Did you Hear ?


Did you hear
Leonard Cohen died
His family, and his lovers
by his side.

Did you hear
Leonard Cohen died.
The music and the words won’t be quite
so gravelly

Did you hear
Leonard Cohen died.
Won’t be long before Irving and Abraham
Are by his side.

Did you hear
Leonard Cohen died,
Discarded mask
And costume that he wore,
To slip behind a curtain.

Did you hear
Leonard Cohen died.
A village and a nation sighed.

Did you hear
That last
soft breath open:
Go by brooks love
Where fish stare,
Go by brooks love
I will pass there.


Andalusian Song


Song of Andalusia
rolling over hills
and mountains
to Granada,
breaking light of
first in Seville,
and among
the solitary palms
of Algeciras.
Moonlit gutteral cry
deep from
belly of
of Gypsy, Arab, Jew,
a slow arrival from
Cordoba and Cadiz,
a fusion casting Spain,
a song that revives
the sleeping dead,
resounding deep throughout
the useless times,
over plains and night.
Strains of exile, pain,
longing and disgrace
are peering out from black
and lovely eyes
of lover’s face.
Somewhere Lorca
Is lurking in the moist
and creeping soil
lost in his duende,
tasting the
sweetened sadness
of the deep song
and now
inside it.
It no longer needs
to be inside him,
except in written words
on the white
and spread out spaces.
Hands like graceful
birds are flying round the fire
In the forgotten places.
The hungered Gypsys and
Gitanos dance
and sing deep down
from the well,
like flowing water
around the burning flames,
Proud heels are beating
into dust
and flattened earth,
waking passions of the dead .
Guitarras strum
soundless claps of hands
burn deep Into the palms
of Moorish lovers arms,
lost In the embrace
of black duende.

From “Free Verse in Useless Times ” by PWChaltas

Night music in the Parking Lot


Night music in the Parking Lot

Night music in the Parking Lot

A freestyle Calypso
steel band plays
in the In the corner
of the Shoppers drug mart
parking lot,
Illuminated by lot security spots,
and surrounded by
red Rogers
Bundles vans,
and by a lighted
chain link fence.
The music echoes
freely off the underbelly
of a freeway stage and stand,
as the steel band practices nightly
for a coming Caribana show,
with lined up arms
all swinging
in a row
on stainless steel tin cans.
Ringing tin music
bounces off smooth
grey concrete walls
and ceilings
and off the pillars
of the slightly lonely
freeway stand,
and the music takes us
to the brilliant whiteness
of the island sands.
And as I stand there
with my MacDonalds coffee
and the rest
of my bystander clan,
with their Blackberrys
clicking pictures,
and recording music
all in hand,
along with all the other
random stragglers,
and some other Shoppers
parking lot club fans,
I’m reminded of my
friend Jamaican Island Wayne ,
with the palm trees
that wave and flutter in his eyes,
as my good old friend Ben
had once described.

And that palm tease makes
the ladies all excited
from the tips of their
Philip Traecey hats
and down
to their polished knees.
Their Marc Jacobs skirts
sway in the gentle island breeze.
It makes
their Hermes hearts
all flutter,
and oh how he knows,
right down to
the tingling tips
of their luscious,
red underbellied,
Louboutin toes.
And I sit in my beige Lincoln
and think
how can paradise
be described ?
Is it name brand heaven
that makes us all alive ?
Can we survive
on the islands without
Dolce and Gabbana
and without Todds?
Are we all so invested,
that we just can’t
be divested,
of all those brands,
without losing who we are,
or for fear of being someone
that no designer knows.
Perhaps it’s just Ma Bell,
who is always listening,
that only really ever knows.
The calypso steel band
is still playing.
and it’s so real and so alive,
and it’s so not even Bose,
And I think of my
little two year old
nephew William,
who would now
be clapping,
and a dancing,
and taking off his clothes,
to the ringing island jive.

Where is naked, natural, beauty
with unemcumbered eyes,
free from all the Maybeline
(that’s now even worn by guys),
and all stripped down in its beauty,
and free from all designer clothes ?
So drink your one fifty one and coca cola,
and polish your Manolos too.
It’s just plain good for you
and stylish too,
or so we’re told,
as all of corporate America,
Europe and China knows.
So make sure
to wear your Calvins,
underneath your Gucci suit,
and hop into your Mercedes
for display
on a circling Yorkville toot,
as the music of the islands
still wafts across
the evening sky,
and the white sand meets
generic salty waters
across a brandless evening sky .