Poetry: Chad Norman

Chad Norman
WILFRED AND THE HARDWOODS

None of
all that was said
means anything
anyway
if I wish
to hide from it,
from him,
a past so long ago.

What does mean
and always has
finds one spot
to survive each
and every lovable season.

In there
he is long gone.
In there
I don't miss him
or think about him
at all;
a father
has one chance,
the small parental forest
I know,
I love, has many.

As I navigate
the ice and snow
walking a path
I have made,
I hear both my father
and the voices
of the trees
I have known
are for me to hear.

To take guidance from
about how
I am the older man now,
and this living 
and this aging
goes beyond
the failure of a father,
leaving me a happiness
in the songs
of one day's melting ice. 
***


FAREWELL TO 2020
for Mohammed

Somehow I endure
the waiting, and watch
as the clock's hands part,
the birth of a new year.

One second afterwards...
I sigh deeply, loudly,
actually manage
a strange rapid grin.

And come to understand,
to feel the essence of
every immediate blessing
relief begins to offer.

January 1, 2021
Casa Harris
Truro, N.S.
***


THE NUT AND THE BOLT, 2021
for Ernest Asante


At work in the endless warehouse
another new job taken on,
the widest broom in hand,
comfortable dust on floors
between the storied walls
where it is my job to sweep up
what's been left by the workers
who were told their jobs are over.

I feel them, their families, their losses
everywhere in the talkative air,
product they gave to long gone
taken from their town's economy,
all of them left to handle
such a shock, removal of an income,
all the promises money can make.

As each push begins to form a line
all of it what the bristles find
in both cracks and smooth sections,
a line appearing more and more
made up of broken concrete, old tape 
once placed to designate walkways,
dirt left by fork-truck trips, empty
pop-cans, lengths of banding used to
hold a variety of full pallets together,
and unbelievably in a spot easily unseen
a shiny unused nut, there alone,
causing me to believe it was forgotten.

I rest the broom against a railing
part of a protective guard, painted
yellow over the years, go down on
one knee to pick it up, and stop
the hand holding it to make a decision
about theft: am I or am I not guilty
by putting it in a pocket?

Another choice is offered the same moment
to place the nut in the open palm
of my other gloved hand, when chosen
I realize not only forgotten
it will never know a bolt
and the threads it will never
be wound through, like some
rare relationship being started,
required to hold together a building,
the essential dreams of a new owner
and his open, virus-free company.
***


NOTES ON KNOWING WHERE THE NEST IS

What I am up against, if anything,
 when change slows my search, 
for better or worse doesn't matter
when a tree had no leaves
and now it is heavy with them,
keeping me from spotting it
as I liked to do during the snow,
keeping me from seeing the boy
with a loud voice walking the poodle
going by it, going under it, knowing
nothing about what the Spring does
when it is time to rebuild somewhere else.

Now that hardwoods can hide the sources
of so many different irresistible sounds
the play on the mind, to fool it, begins,
an occasional event during my visits
all of them Winter or Spring to see
or hope to see what I thought was
a bobbing black feathered head
above what appeared to be the mother
but turned out to be a black branch,
the type a fir tree gives to shadows.

No matter what kind man stands
and watches, thinking there will be no
young again this year, a kind man
far below on the sidewalk where he
has grown comfortable with little
the nest wants him part of, even
though it won't be the one
where any young break through,
the rarity of eggs being any guarantee
a new member will join the family,
will join his hope of seeing or knowing
where the new nest is, the one hidden
he hasn't found yet, the one noisy
they don't want even him to know about,
to have any expectations it will be
where mortality ends in a hungry young beak.
***


SHY CROWS

To have a scene
where a fly
wakes from recent cold
or a wire holds up
a family of seven.

I call and call
as the spot draws closer...
hoping for a visit
on a day leaves are red.

Seeing is a return
into how many come
collecting this time.
***

Brief bio 

Chad Norman lives beside the high-tides of the Bay of Fundy, Truro, Nova Scotia. 

He has given talks and readings in Denmark, Sweden, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, America, and across Canada.

His poems appear in publications around the world and have been translated into Danish, Albanian, Romanian, Turkish, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, and Polish.
 
His collections are Selected & New Poems (Mosaic Press), and Squall: Poems In The Voice Of Mary Shelley, is out from Guernica Editions. And Simona: A Celebration of the S.P.C.A. will be out early 2021 from Cyberwit.Net (India).

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