Don Coles

Don Coles lives in Toronto. Someone Has Stayed in Stockholm: New and Selected Poems was published by Arc in 1995. His collection Kurgan was published in 2000.

Poem: ‘Places’

Don Coles, 17 December 2009

I was sitting in a booth in the Copenhagen Student Union’s Café reading Art Buchwald’s column in the Paris edition Of the Herald Tribune when a careful voice coming from Just above the partition asked: ‘Could you tell me the time, Please?’ This was about forty years ago when I was not as Ramshackle as I am now and was wearing a watch, which I no longer seem to...

Poem: ‘Kingdom’

Don Coles, 5 March 1998

Around six, six-thirty these late winter days I’m usually walking home across Lawrence fields, couple of blocks from here. Make a point of checking on the rink, the afternoon hockey guys finished now and the last light fading off it, though you can easily spot the gone-silent sprayed brakings and prodigal wheelings incised on the glow. I like it best when the Zamboni’s out there...

Poem: ‘Botanical Gardens’

Don Coles, 4 September 1997

Here’s a handy Arcadia, let’s go in. Rich loamy smell, heavy fronds – I’ll hold this one up while you bend through. Frangula siliquastrum – fissured trunk, glossy blunt leaves, and what an odd angle to this low branch, jutting forward like a warning arm. Abandon hope, short people. Loamy smell, damp clumps of humus, encroaching blunt leaves – and this...

Forests of the medieval world, that’s where her mind will wander the three dissertation years, lucky girl – Forest of Bleu, which crowded around the walls of Paris and stretched 10,000 leagues in every direction; the great Hercynian forests of East Prussia, from which each year 334 drovers bore the logs for the fires in the Grand Duke’s castles of Rostock, of Danzig and,...

Driving in the car with her Was wonderful! So close – He loved, without any rush To say so,

Those guileless uncoverings of Legs getting in, their confidential Jostlings as long as he kept His foot down, the car

Moving in the tunnel of itself Narrowing their options to Crossing or uncrossing, or just Dumbly offering themselves

Usually neatly together, which was Fine, or now and then...

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