Carol Shillibeer


So you’re going along the road. Neat and Tidy describes the day so far. Cars stop when you ask and they all go where you go. Everyone talks nice but then you notice that this one is speaking       but        that yellow            glow fizzles slower           light around head shrink      a slug on a salt trail      so you get out because you       know and you       make it to the elm tree arms before               ground flat nose and the warm pepper           the blue between brown wood                see                prebef sut                 the blue over there turned shoulder to the sun silver polish with chicken curry            fra nitcha         the light inside head pin            identity wings              throw up on knees and heave       postinch dur albesto         who feeds them and keeps them alive             grazzled arn uptomica in distranching               the ants that climb to clean                the forest floor        roll over and over and on back the blue up there           cur umpo pleestimuch           kinder than the silver in here           the woman on the neck’s dock                   is a mess her hair is on fire and her shoes are boulders                       but then silence moves into a recognizable                            shape and the woman ascends                                      black rock feet first


:::::fog is coming:::::


head                 frayed curtain on a windy day

the little lantern got its door closed.

The blue returned to the alcove and the woman closed the door behind them. You remembered your bag this time so you pick it up and fall like an ocean back into time. The first car stops. It goes where you go. The talk is nice. The yellow glow is steady. Neat. Tidy.





When contemplating
the concept of the golden
age one finds



Here on the coffeehouse patio with caffeine and a copy of Et in Arcadia ego, this soft happy square banked by verdant yew, this small eddy in the day’s morning rush, poisonous red berries, their small round mouths unclenched from stems have dropped from the lip of the world to its chin

like the famed leaf of autumn,




this red moment
suspends itself
from grey
artisanal concrete




Cars river and the skytrain rushes wind. The vacuums over at the detailing station, a herd of bovine-bellows. Car horns : cow bells.




low blown
cruise ship shakes
the sky with its leaving


Black potted flowers tumble the hovering blue, the floral eye pregnant with yellow and orange. The high gloss of ivy barks at every passing moment.

What work has there ever been but perception?


The day goes by.

our daily bread

a street dweller shepherds her shopping cart
around the coffeehouse
                          corner and down
into the green shadowed alley,
             from these vast caverns    her living

and because of it, this day turns blue

an egg cracking

tomorrow into the pan


querying the relationship between the world and linguistic entities

In the turbulent edges of fast moving traffic

a chickadee tumbling under air’s whirl

the window open, page clipped by the wind and creased, books—feathered text, spine pressed against the steering wheel

under the still verdant barberry, between the pulled-over car and the slope down to the river, a rabbit tail flicks in muscular flight

blut blut blut of traffic streaming past, up to speed since the last light turning green, hand on the page, finger on poetry wars, marking without a pencil Common Author’s splut splut splut of dismay

have to google that later—in the tree-break down-trail a deer startles

slipping through the reader’s reputed lack of pedantries, the gothic mind of a Common Author: loyalties to worlds, words and their pleasures, ideologies of certainty

forest’s scars, the tissue of its past, wooden platform peeping over river’s traffic, and feet, the overlook, chasms through rock and wood, histories carried by water to the downstream

& deer reading the state of the grasses
doppio espresso in a little paper cup, sweet and bitter by preference, the book spine up on the dash,

the chickadee recovered and chik-a-dee-dee-dee-mapping the depths in a pre-flight check

another car winging by, ruffling time’s feathers, engine in a flurry, the light
just turning yellow, the front passenger is reading a big yellow paperback

green leaved insight, and under the trees ochre shadows, the page, open again, takes on each, one the left, olivine light of sinister, another, the adroit and golden phrase

down at the river the stream-side of the white-tail glimmers like an ink and watercolour painting; the forest-side buckskin—the way a Rodin makes shadows solid

a reader both hands on the book, buffeted, but holding course

the turbulent renewal of requisite thinking

Carol Shillibeer lives on the west coast of Canada. Her publication and awards list is at
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , by Posit Editor. Bookmark the permalink.

About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.