Tzef Pine CC
WHEREVER THEY ARE NOW
“The past is still, for us, a place that is not yet safely settled.”
– Michael Ondaatje
Sediments & sentiments lately arriving, settling
into periods of settlement. Existential time zones
more generous than borders or rivers – forever catching
up to themselves. “As far as I know, they were gone
before they left. And nobody’s seen them since.”
When television finally comes in, it comes in colour.
And while those nameless roads have all been paved,
they still have to be plowed.
Now, shock of distance distilled to black ice, chips in
with photo toll fees faster than sheet lightning. “Yeah,
we noticed that nasty streak too.” The glazed trail
of wreckage: Denial, Blaming Others, Paranoia,
Cognitive Distortions. Everything his addiction needs
to believe himself alive. All she pretends to need or know
to get their lives together. “Haven’t written.
Haven’t even written them off.”
Crafty creepiness in every glib assessment. Better left
unsaid. But some people can’t even argue
in their own best interests. What if things really are
as bad as they seem? “They were gone
before they got here.” The rest of us shrugging, verifying
what they just aren’t getting. Anyway,
there they both still are. From away. Back from
the road. Locked in their instead.
Bill Howell, one of the original Storm Warning poets, has had a literary career spanning five decades. With five collections to his credit, his work appears regularly in journals and anthologies across Canada, in the UK, Australia, Sweden, and the United States. Born in Liverpool, England, he grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has lived in Toronto for more than half his life. Bill was a network producer-director at CBC Radio Drama for three decades. Ranging from the lyrical to the ironic, his poetry deploys colloquial language, deliberate narrative, and a sharp sense of the focused moment.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.