Archives for posts with tag: Ward Maxwell

the essence of prayer

the essence of prayer is not what is sung
the song that is sung, dances on tongue, begins
and begun is done and undone, the essence
of prayer is the breath of what is sung

the draw and expel from throat, heart, lung,
the coil of what is and what remains to be done,
the beginning is always what is yet undone; the
essence of prayer is the breath that is sung

heart binds blood to lung as stars are blind to the sun
the song is not the beginning nor what is sung
we mount this ladder rung by rung; the essence
of prayer is that which binds breath to lung

in our singing our melody remains undone without you
but the essence of prayer is the breath that is sung
<I would like to thank everyone who follows this blog for your interest and support. It has been a year of revisiting the past with my Peterborough Poet Brothers & Sisters, and a year of recharging. Your interest, comments, likes, shares, truly do keep me going. This is one of my new poems. There will be more to come in the New Year! My your spirit be bright. — wm>



currently employed
at the highest level
in civic, provincial, and national government
and several professional sport associations;
in charge of defense,
the Treasury, foreign policy,
final freeze frame adjudication.

The brief reads
“keep away from footballs.”


© Ward Maxwell, 2014

<This ends the Daily Dialogues. Thanks for the inspiration Richard! New work Monday from Ian David Arlett and another remembrance of Ian by Rob Wipond.>



the clue is meek, mild-mannered
read: there is a rip-snorter of a man beneath
who aches to tear off his clothes
and fly with you

invulnerable to pain
sensitive, powerful
his X-ray vision sees through any disguise
any excuse
he’s … the alternative
to every other guy.

© Ward Maxwell, 2014


first superhero to fly (with vines)
first superhero to talk with animals
killed his enemies with his beloved knife
no superpowers — just animal magnetism

wrestled gorillas for his exams
discovered ancient lost lands
saved his one true love over and over
every time she loved him more and more

sinuous black lines that barely contain
the outline of man most savage, most glorious
slick black hair, artlessly tousled, aquiline
silhouette, portrait of majesty in the jungle

“Kreegah, Bundolo!” his war cry
the wild trembles in a million heart

© Ward Maxwell, 2014


Everyone remembers the button eyes;
no one remembers who she was.
Marching for War Stamps, supporting
the troops in the fight against fascism —
no one remembers she was the American Way.

That’s all gone now … the optimism dead.

She was loved —
not because she was beautiful —
because she was smart and shrewd,
insightful, loyal, brave, kind.

She inspired men. She had sand;
she knew what was what and
though she didn’t kill anybody,
she knew it was war and didn’t
bat an eye when the Asp did the wet work.

Brave enough to know when to be scared;
scared enough to know when to be brave —
showed us all — in the end it’s timing
that counts. A cliffhanger everyday.

Then there was Sunday — full colour.
America’s favourite red head.
No punches pulled — Show time!
Live or die kid — you’re on your own.

© Ward Maxwell


People say I’m angry, but I’m an ordinary guy —
look at Goofy — he’s happy all the time;
we all know what ‘happy all the time’ means.

What about Daisy? No, you talk about Daisy, but
what about Daisy? I mean, she doesn’t do anything,
she has nicer clothes and a nicer car than me?!
!!#*%*!! Don’t get me started on Daisy.

And don’t get me started on the mouse —
FUCK THE MOUSE — there I said it and
I FEEL BETTER — fuck the mouse and all of his
house — they’re no friends of mine.

Angry? ANGRY? (My face is beet red. My arms windmill.)
Talk to me about your richer than Warren Buffet uncle
who delights in your misery, incapability and continuous penury,
and to add insult to injury, monthly requires your assistance
to protect his swimming pool filled with gold … FOR NOTHING!


I haven’t even started yet. How about my “where did they come
from nephews?” 3 goddamn clones who, in conspiracy with my
previously mentioned richer than Croesus uncle, regularly belittle,

mock and undo me — often to make things better …

to help me …

do you understand what helpless is?

Ward Maxwell


Common sense and shellac,
good with a joke,
his girl Minnie, a gun;
Goofy at his side,
manly determined —
even so, Mickey’s the mouse —
Black Pete doesn’t stand a chance.

Able to leap from mundane
to unbelievable in a couple
of panels, Mickey, intrepid explorer,
investigator, takes us along
shares easily, completely;
it’s the American Way — any mouse
would do the same for a pal.

Picture this, reality on its edge,
sixteen corners a day,
the centerpiece a pint-size
quarterback ready to run
with the whole ball of wax
even though the impossible lurks,
a twitch of a whisker away.
Pursued by the nervous breath of
the stalking cat of public adoration,
come, chase the mouse if he is to make it
and … look…
ahead, all that white, the blank …

© Ward Maxwell, 2014


The name says it all — jamming’ cats is bound
to lead to hell bent frivolity and flipping the bird
to all authority schtarting with der Kaptain,
the Inspector, King Bongo — and anyone else
fool enough to be marooned on those islands.
We all get a taste of cocobonk in the end
which demands only one result — bend over and take it
this hurts me more than it hurts you … almost …
Yee Haw!!

all bulbous, plump at every angle
nose, cheek, bosom, belly
even the islands are fat, only the sea,
flat and underfed, maintains calm until …

timeless Hans and Fritz (who wear outfits precocious
and deviant in any era — any real child would know
to stay far, far away) push sleeping people out to sea,
toss around TNT, drop coconuts sure to concuss —
all in the new language (der English demands der unusual).
Ja! Ja!

Momma always forgives them — dis is der paradise —
then the regular exotic ending featuring a couple of well-deserved,
judicious, predictable spankings to keep the sea placated

But Oi! the acid bite of unfeeling youth!
Yow!! those rascals get me going!!

© Ward Maxwell

04_13_07_krazykat2b krazykat

the name says nothing, words say nothing
the place is nowhere and the kat is eponymously
krazy — follow? is it the eternal brick
flying from one cell to another that will
E-pit-O-mice the 20th superfluous century?
krazy proves it, shows it, like no one knows it —
krazy’s the channel

at home within a marooned landscape that scrolls
by alive as anything else in this krazy world
surrounded by those who think they know better
only Ignatz knows to eraducate your noggin —
the only noggin worth unknowing — l’il ainjil
you’re in love — noggin already undone

the drawing all wrong and confused like scribble
Offisah Pup, Miz Heron — anyone knows better than them
we are all so wrong because we think the what for all
is not worth considering versus the what you presume, whereas

the what don’t match cannot match the what you don’t do —
independent will trumps reality … and the brick?
someone has to toss it — then it starts again

© Ward Maxwell

<Krazy Kat is my favourite comic strip of all time — despite the technical brilliance of Little Nemo (close 2nd), Herriman drank from the clear spring of comic.> 


“…and he woke up and it was all a dream.”

Better to start that way,
start your day that way,
make your quotidian dollar,
chase the sun to bed.

Prepare to enter, welsh rarebit fiend,
the Greatest Most Colourful Place on Earth,
far better than this dull newsprint world,
marvelous, capricious, the new four colour American dream.

Of course, the princess falls for a nebbish in a nightgown —
who, in return, wants to reunite her with her father —
so she can marry her ordinary boy.
But in the heart of this wondrous world
Flips a nemesis who wants in, metonym,
1910 anarchism; he subverts all meaning,
turns delight into mock proportion calamity
that inevitably undermines all order,
causes our hero to tumble back
to that inevitable beginning again …

“and he woke up and it was all a dream.”

… the best dream you ever had —
find it in your local gutter Monday.

Ward Maxwell

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