Selected Works, Volume One On Sale
Jerry Prager, author of Legends of the Morgeti vol 1 &2 has published selections of poetry and prose from three of his previously published books, his blog The Well Versed Heart and unpublished works. On Sale at Macondo Books, the Bookshelf, in Guelph and the Eden Mills Writers Fest.
D'Etre Raisins

No sour grapes these,

rather the withered sweetness
of seasons lengthened
to aged fruition
chewed introspectively.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Overlooking the Nottawasaga

On the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment
overlooking the patchwork of fields and
woodlots, river valleys and floodplains,
the Algonquin Sea that once beached these heights,
thrived with lifeforms now gone to ground
long before the ancient tundra shore
vanished into the mists that now rise
to fill the primordial basin
with wisps of sea and echoes of
millennium past.

And yet, in the tiniest fossil found
in the minutiae of dolomite
the limestone scarp reveals itself
as the coral reef of a still more
distant time when sea was all there
was in this remaindered sea-bottomed landscape.

Stories so old they can only be told
in the voices of rock and the cadences
of stone can be glimpsed in visions
in the mid-air above the mists
of the long lost younger sea.

And below the patchwork fields and woods,
the aquifer pools and streams in the
underground world beneath the ululating
wind hills that lead down to the connected puddles
that are Georgian Bay and the Great Lakes,
the living waters are being consumed by
the towns and villages of the Nottawasaga valley
like some vast mammalian horde oblivious to
the consequences of depleting the water supply.

In the ages of extinctions life goes from wonder
to wonder like glimpses of far off reflections.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Horton J. Pig Dog

I never knew a dog the world conspired so much
against: the body of a hunting hound, his legs
were as short as a dachshund's, complicated
by a an early case of rickets, leaving his joints
twisted, painful in the frost or damp.

And yet they once saved his life: hit by a car,
he was short enough to shuffle under the bumper,
ahead of the wheels, and so escaped the fate
of a larger dog.
But even as a pup, in the tan,
pig-looking face captured in the photo that gave
rise to his name, he seemed fully conscious that
things would only get worse.
And he wasn't old,
we had him only seven years, but the long winters
left him each year more battered, turning
gray-haired, limping.
In the vets,
walking toward the pound, he turned to my brother,
Caged, Horton J. Pig Dog waited
as he always had: sitting on one buttock,
a paw bent awkward, his head erect.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

After a Night of Ideological Bingeing

In the posting of web log ideologies,
among debates of objectivism and politics
and economics, among the logistics of
philosophies contested, the parry and thrust
is intoxicating until I awaken, hung-over from
methodical articulation, the banging back of
thought after thought, counter point after
counter point, emotions hiding as ideas,
purposes concealed in intellectual traps
and cul-de-sacs, the concern of correct
thought leaves me feeling dirty,
angers displaced into chosen sides,
us versus them, like a war being grown
on an agar plate
waiting to escape the lab
and defile the world.

Among the ways of words
I would rather make my way
where ideas move into intuitions
and arrive at beauty by routes not taken before,
or if the arrival is to ugliness and suffering
I would rather come there inside the healing
voice than come bearing didactic tones.

In the nuances of meaning
turned back in page leaves
and branches parted to see
what lies within and what
burbles with truth, I bathe
among the metaphors, and scrub
myself clean among shades
of meaning, the cool warmth
of evening becoming dawn
and time falling in pools
of still breaths held
to sustain a glimpse
of eternity expanding
and infinity measuring
the instant
of the microcosm
while a tingle of skin
celebrates spirit and thew,
and where I find joy in solitude
and gladness with others.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dead Bugs

There are dead bugs in my bed,
live ones on my wall:
they come every year,
little blue-grey bugs
with wings,
although I've never seen them fly.
They walk around a lot.

I went to visit my ex-girlfrined
and one fell out of my suit.
They have a graveyard in my window sill
I vacuum up now and then;

I guess that must be hell for them.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Well-Versed Heart

I have penned more odes to love
than I could ever hope or want to recall.
I have echoed every lovesick swain
who ever sentenced a passion to poesy.
I have written psalms and prayers and praise.
I have word-processed my idylls
and photocopied my confessions.

Like an aging general surveying the course
of his longest campaign,
I have grieved over the naive blunders of my youth,
considered the costly advances, the cavalier abandons,
the seasoned stands against the inevitable,
and learned patience for the long awaited
final engagement.

And now in answer, it seems,
to the psalmster's prayers,
to the young man's laments;
her silver-blue eyes
with their Scandinavian calm
gaze unflinchingly gentle
over the wreckage of my last victorious retreat.

How can I not return the Romantic from his exile;
how can I not grant him yet another indulgence,
how can I not risk being foolish one last time ?

What I remember is buying a blue scarf
and giving it to her for Christmas
and getting nothing in return.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Habits of Desire

In the habits of desire developed since the age of twelve
my impulse to go forth and multiply was tempered at first
only by the chronic rejections of girls unwilling to date me.

At the age of twenty-five
in a diet rich with promiscuity, I sought redemption
in the bars and dance clubs of the city.

I became apprenticed to the vanity
of women who would never have spoken to me
if we had been young together,

In the habits of hope - clung to despite all evidence to the contrary,
I passed through the phases of my aging. I survived failures and failings,
I survived betrayals and betraying; I survived the defects of childhood
and the neurosis of youth; I survived being clung to and clinging.

For it was redemption we sought:
we wanted to salvage the heroic dreams we had lost as teens.

Moderation awoke in the wilderness noting how every new affection
was laden with reapings and sowings.

The course of my life had become a penitent trail.

There was no enduring comfort in the quieting of heartbeats,
my head on breasts, still joined at the hips, in softening withdrawal.

There was ecstasy
in the nuances of all that had carried us away,
but that ecstasy
was like sonar that sounds out depths but receives back no echo.

Adam was dead
and he knew it.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Words in Progress

If by progress I mean sanctification,
the process of renewing self and society
then I am progressing, or at least professing
to progress from lesser to greater,
distilling the best of me, refining
timings and placings

but if by progress I mean technology
as saviour and home to all hope,

then I mean technology only as metaphor
for what is genuine, actually there, the way
existence always was, the way it can at first only
be experienced through manufactured content
by nuts or bolts or levers or electronics,

materialized, but once invented and applied we
see what was always there, and we know it thereafter,
the technology no longer withstanding.

We possess the means of becoming more
through the understanding of realized nature;
word associations evoke becoming, their sonar
defines the unseen.

Experiences that remain
within range of our uncommon sense
come from words.

The ability to make sacred
all matters, ignites the base and
refines the uppermost, gives a fighting chance
to speak worlds into being which we can
leave to our children.

Edens arise
only when they resound from
the tips of our tongues

and edge existence

into the open.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

In a Pool of Light

CHORUS I'll be in a pool of light
Waiting for you and the last bus,
Whatever else may become of us
I'll be in a pool of light waiting for you,
I'll be in a pool of light
Waiting for the last bus.

For if I stay near the shadows
People see nothing but darkness:
Most sense something's not right
So that's why I'll wait by the lamp post.

I confuse others all the time
They think I'm someone I'm not:
I think unkind spirits swirl their shades
Around my soul an awful lot.

But I know that you know
I'm more found than lost these days:
Even if sometime you don't
Come looking for me this way.

CH But I'll be in a pool of light
Waiting for you and the last bus,
Whatever else may become of us
I'll be in a pool of light waiting for you,
I'll be in a pool of light
Waiting for the last bus.

I feel like a portrait
Too large for a frame,
Like a dancer
Burning skyward in flame.

Voices in the wilderness
Make haunts of my head,
They unnerve me occasion'ly
or fill me with dread.

I've hope like a river
Faith like a fountain
Love like a lake
Dammed in a mountain.