Two Poems by Denis Robillard (Part Two)

The Dark Marauder

Outside the city awakens
street sounds travel through us
like an underwater glass conduit
we hear the singular metallic
celebration of progress and faith
on wheels
marooned here on an island
of lambent thought
I think of the desperate acts dollared out
in the traffic of ambition
This constant vas et vien of vehicles
that tethers me to this place

At night, with days machinery
finally idle and gone to bed
I think of the highways’ open space
ready to flee
caught in the car cage
of simmering nerves
I am the dark marauder on
an endless excursion of aching sighs
eating up the verdant landscape
with my eyes.


Windows opened and closed

There was a window of opportunity once, I had
then it got up and disappeared another time
all the open doors left me. No leverage.
No quarter. No skin parlay. Everything was all
dried up. I had to bargain my way back to zero. Sum.
Some days fall off a dyslexic calendar
Now I am on the gauche side of 50
Tonight the stars nod in the absurd dark
we exchange vows with tired eyes, set our sights
on newer days, newer things.
Now winter gnaws at daylight long shadows retreat
Bones get colder. You imagine you are somewhere else.
A retreat to warmer climes. To seek again places
without borders, you tell the wind to stop
chasing us. Leave us alone for a while.
You swear by the inconstant moon, the moon man’s
shiver face, but no one wants to listen to your
frozen diatribes.
Memory travels like the blind zigzag of moles
beneath the surface of things
heads or tails something always comes back.

Denis Robillard is a 56-year-old poet and educator born in Northern Ontario. He now resides with his wife and children in Windsor, Ontario. Robillard was first published in 1986 and has had over 340 poems published in Canada, the USA and Europe. Recent publications include Ristau (Kentucky), Rampike (CAN), Ekphrastic Review (CAN), Windsor Review, LUMMOX (Calif) and The Nashwaak Review (2020). He is the past winner of the Ted Plantos Poetry Award in 2015 and the Cranberry Tree Press Award for his book, THE HISTORY OF WATER. His poetry book, ASK THE RIVER was published by Black Moss Press in 2018.

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