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selections of poetry and prose from three of his previously published books, his blog The Well Versed Heart and unpublished works.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.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Canadastan Support

More soldiers die in Afghanistan
and we are told it is our duty
to support our troops because
they are willing to die to help Afghanis
and I believe that is why the common soldiers
are there, for it is not so much
they who wield the weapons as it is
those who command them, those who create policy
whose aims I do not trust.

What the Minister of Defense
wants from Canadians
is an adherence
to political, economic
and ideological idolatries
I do not share: their public policy
masks a privateering imperialism,
and conceals caves of unholy alliances,

false reformers parading their faith
behind patriotic proclamations
in unison with Bush League bunglers
and Babylonian Whore mongers:
survivors of WWII anti-fascist campaigns
in Europe where Canadian
soldiers died by the tens of thousands

while North American profiteers and
black and brown shirt collaborators
were left free to grow strong and prosper
until the day they finally seized power through
the breaking of chads and the tampering
of electronics and through lie upon lie
still emanating from the Terror war-room
in Washington.

This nation's
right wing liberals and conservatives
benefit from the sustained hostilities
that fill the coffers of
America International Incorporated and
its subsidiary principalities and powers
and despite all that, I accept the belief of soldiers
and their families that they give their lives
and loved ones in the cause of Afghanis.

As for Minister MacKay and his generals
their words are deceptions
and the utterances of the Prime Minister
are a sulfurous stench.


The Board resigned one night;
the next day the Church shut
down the youth night-shelter,
home of Change Now in
Norfolk United.

They fired the staff
without explanation,
giving birth
to a bestiary of rumours
about what sins or crimes
the staff might or might not
have committed
to warrant their fate,
serpentine speculations that made
their way through the downtown core

as the post-mortem proceeded to
the process which led
to the youth-in-crisis operation
reopening soon under the auspices
of all the proper authorities
and with the involvement of the kids.

The old staff have been told
they need not apply,
a position taken
without stated cause,
without public disclosure of
their presumed failings
or faults,
without mercy or justice
and without a protest
by the co-opted teens whose
cause the workers once defended
against all comers.

And still no one
will say what sin or crime
the old staff committed or omitted:
it's as if they have been condemned
by conspiracy, banished by a cabal;
by those who prefer the sounds
of their mutual self-congratulations
to the cadences of grace.

And the lesson of the day
for congregated Guelph
is how to sacrifice
to institutional expediency
while doing good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Elaine Campbell 1925-2007

"There is a golden summer
waiting for you,
spinning a dream by sunset
til it comes true."

Gone now the gift card notes in verse,
the long ago birth on the steps
of the morgue in the Dome, the
Northern Ontario mining town child
grown to lose her first lover
to the War as she guided bombers
onto airfields of New Brunswick,

gone now the forger of peace in the aftermath
when the survivors sought to build
a nation and a world that would last,
the friend, the stalwart of the
National Ballet Board in the days
the company stormed international dance
with an esprit de corps
sprung from the depths
of post war convictions like hers.

She strove for the mind of God
with a will of steel and a kind word
waging peace in a broken world with a gentle
intensity that diminished the darkness
as nothing more than shadows
of clouded thoughts
contrasted with Divine Light.

The sister, the mother, the mother-in-law
to me, whose kindness outlasted my marriage,
the grandmother of my son, her only grandchild,
whose place in her heart was an eternal spring,

her beloved husband gone a few years ago now,
like the strains of loss on the Grand Piano
in their home edging the ravine that began as
a ravaged urban hollow returned to the wild,
bordered by gardens and music and laughter,
a quiet constancy wafting with the scents
from the overlooking kitchen.

Prince Edward Island's
golden suns and deep red earth
became theirs when the keys
to a farm home and the summer joy
of their children's youth
were hung for them by a grateful province;
the undaunted airs of a musical
staged year after year
as the core of a small island's economy,
woven beyond the commercial hawking
of Lucy Maud's orphan into
dreams of an increasingly fragile
post-war visionary,
who died as she lived
spinning hope into sunsets
to the airs of that unsilenced Grand,
melodies strung with now unsung verses
for the passion that was theirs.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Twilight of the Lake

Lake Ontario stretches from Sandbanks
towards the distant smog of the Golden Horseshoe
but here on the edge of the dunes
the half dead lake survives
in traces of its former magnificence,
a wilderness once untamed, unbroken,
unbattered, an inland sea of bounty
systematically pillaged and poisoned
by the bacterial spread of humanity;

the water is surprisingly clear and
the toxic sources
of the great lake's injuries
are a hundred miles away
lost in the green shore
that fades into the loom
of endless city
and surburban drudge
that marks the north shore
of Ontario turning
towards Hamilton's unseen steel mills
and the pesticide realms of
Niagara's wine country,
heat rippling horizon mirages
like promises;

and although the lake falls into
the slip stream of the St. Lawrence
around the thrust of Prince Edward County
behind us,

and thus, undoubtedly, the currents
that wash this sand
carry the effluent
of the multi-millions
who foul these extraordinary waters
past this
blazing beach
on this summer day
as on all days

the land retains its pastoral realms
and its birders' paradises, hidden away
in coves and bays along the private shore,
where - inland - a new wine industry is taking hold
and where its toxins will eventually
lay waste to the herons and hawks,
the waterfowl and the red wings,

and yet for now, the river that cuts the beach
and turns combers' feet inland
remains a living path to nearby East Lake:

for this vast sea of fresh water
can still shake off the degradations
of human generations,
still offer up its ancient glories,
still allow glimpses
of its power, its vitality,
it's welcoming shallows
cooled by undercurrents
from its depths;

and you and I
touristing about on our first holiday
in five years,
partially protected
from the deadly sun
and the dying waters
are revitalized by the age-old ways of
the watersheds spilling their
remaining life
into the lake, and

you and I, almost alone on the beach
(or so we are allowed to feel as the weekend
hordes disperse back to the small towns and cities
from whence they came) swim and wade
neck-deep along its' sandbars;
I growl and pursue your legs
as we belly our way back to the shore
like amphibious returnees to the land,
sand in our suits, and the wonder
of the lake in the eyes of
the countless races that
make up the nation,
and those of its visitors,
the tongues of distant places
quietly alone together
as we pass the lingering
among their folding chairs
and coolers and umbrellas:
the bright colours of beach fashion are
surreal in the glaze-work of setting sun.

I am like the caretaker
of a grand estate that has fallen into ruins,
I find comfort in the little pleasures
experienced by those who travel a long
way to find the remnants of
an earlier age, I horde
their happiness against darker days,
as I horde your langour
for the night and the fire
we will discretely start
seperated by cedars and dunes
from the tents and caravans of those
who imagine themselves - with each other's
consent - as alone with their loved
ones in the twilight of the lake.