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selections of poetry and prose from three of his previously published books, his blog The Well Versed Heart and unpublished works.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

Sunday, October 31, 2010

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 case of rickets, leaving
his joints twisted, painful in the frost or damp. And yet,
they had once saved his life: hit by a car, he had been
short enough to shuffle under the bumper & 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 last name,
he seemed fully conscious that things would only get worse.
He was wasn't old, we had him only seven years, but the long
winters left him each year more worn out, turning grey-haired,
limping. Irritable, and now cared for by my brother,
he clawed my niece and my sister in-law had had enough.
At the vet's, walking to the pound, he turned
to my brother, knowing. Caged, Horton J. Pig Dog waited
as he always had, sitting on one buttock, a paw bent awkward,
his head erect.

Harbourfront Coureurs de Bois

The still water curls in concentric arcs
from my feathering paddle-tip, over
sun-clear, gravel-bottomed lengths.

City sounds and mallards feeding among gulls
drift through the receding swirls as I meander,
alert to wind-shift, blade and balance.

early 1980's
after paddling Omer Stringer's
12 foot birch back canoe
in the cement pond at Harbourfront,

from Providence and the Itinerent
and Selected Works

On Our Way to Disney World

She may have been eighty-five,
black, a bandanna holding gray curls back

and a print dress faded and
contoured down grandmother curves,
eating a grape;

not as you or I would eat them,
a cluster at a sitting:

she was leaning on her porch railing,
sucking a solitary grape held in her fingertips
like an egg in an egg cup,

her eyes on us, talking about the city
needing her street, taking her house
and there being nothing she could do about it;

that one grape still in her fingertips
five minutes later when we left, glancing back.

circa early 1980's
from Providence on the Itinerant
and Selected Works

Sunday, October 24, 2010


It is an ocean-bottom river:

currents of feeling-thought that converge
into articulations of erosion;
an elucidation of channels and flows,
a voice that forms and folds
as it sweeps across floors of seas
to the foundations of continental shelves:

the urge becomes resonant and dissonant,
encrusted with the washed and
run-off remains of the world above,

fertilized with soils;

it is an underwater cascade off the shelf;

memory-streams that fall
into submerged crater pools
from the heights above,

and from above the continental shallows,
beyond the atmosphere of wet
in which the urge to compose arose,
fall materials from the unrolling lands
of the air, from the realms of the enfolding sky,
earth clouds washed by torrents unleashed by
thunderheads; by light rains
that drift offshore:

weighted mysteries of mud and debris
that sink in swirls and roils
of dissolution downward;

and it is then that the uttering voice becomes
as substantial as sunlight that dissipates
mists into the shifting dapples and shadows of day,
the words speak an effect into motion,
they become as substantial as moon glow radiating
from the rim of the blackening deep
as dusk darkens the ocean
in which the urge
first appeared as current
from elsewhere, from
inside, within and
without, alternating,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Suddenly Maureen, Again

A photo on Facebook:

a face unseen in decades,
a name like an icon
clicks open to unexpected
emotions welling, suppressed
memories of forgotten feelings bubble up,
and yet, tagged with too few details, nothing
but overarching images remain: Rosedale rooms
and St. George Street dug from my oldest phone book,
two numbers, a time and two places I can't access
otherwise, a spring of experience distilled over decades
into streams of gladness and regret.

I don't remember how we met or why we parted,
except as possibilities I can't confirm without her to say
what is true and what is not: she's from a time in my life
I can't recall on my own - self-taught as I had become
from the age of ten on - to avoid thinking too deeply
about the patterns of self destruction that I had
taken over from my father.
My shields, like dividing walls,
still separate me from who I was back then.

Only now, days afterward,
because of the age of that phone book,
do I know that I knew her in my early mid-twenties
when I was little more than an adult housing a broken child.

That is why, when I came across her name online,
and then found her photo, buried complexities suddenly
fountained into sense - but not quite sensible - memory;
her smile became visceral, then became the sound of her voice,
her eyes became her laugh, her breathing near me was felt;
my heart remembered her as my mind raced to
understand there was someone I had loved deeply
and forgotten. I messaged her to reintroduce myself,
I received a return hello,
I followed her message - with
not just one - but two of my own;
both written as poles of previously
compartmentalized love and guilt
erupted together from my
no longer divided

The emotions were those
of the young me I am now lamenting:
the two notes the older I just wrote
were driven by my need to make sense of
what was happening to me, to apologize
for a past I couldn't remember in light of feelings
for someone I am only just remembering...

To her, they must have seemed like
missives from madness.
Her response came with morning,
the fragile link was blocked,
access denied,
contact severed.

Since then,
I have a sense
of an almost certain
phone call.

My last words to her,
remain beyond recall,
her response
I still cannot hear.

The gist un-knots in my gut
as strands of sorrow and joy.

Only the long practice
of self-forgiveness
for that time
of fragmentation
allows me
with myself
and this outcome.

For even though I had ended it,
I had cared for her in depths
I could not reach; and thus,
some of what was,
or email.

She is no longer forgotten
and I have a few
memories back
I never meant to lose.