Free PDF Ebook Reissue of My 2002 Book of Poems “Manure”

I’ve finished scanning to PDF my second handmade chapbook Manure, added an author’s note to give the title and poetry some context for the reader, and made it available to freely download from this site by going to the Media Page and clicking on the link under it’s cover image.

Found Poem (letter from sponsored child in Vietnam)

The following is a word-for-word copy of a letter from a girl I have sponsored for years who lives in Quang Uyen, a little village up in the mountains somewhere in north Vietnam. I enjoy every letter I receive from here, but in this one I noticed that there was an interesting cadence which was simple, authentic, and reminded me a little of the kinds of rhythms we often find in translated Haiku and Tanka.
All I have done is try to bring forth music from the prose by inserting line breaks:


Please imagine
how delighted
I am
upon receiving
your letter.

The Cherry blossom
that you told me
must be
very beautiful.

It’s winter here
in my place
and the weather
is so cold
that there isn’t
any kind of flower
that can bloom.

I am
for my final
tests of semester
so I study
than usual.

I love sports
and drawing pictures.

I often
read books
at midday
to relax,
and I love
fairy tale comics.

I haven’t gone
fishing very often,
the water
is too cold
and there isn’t
a lot of fish.

now I am
grown up and
can help my parents
with their work.

Please send
my best regards
to your mother.

I would
stop here
and wish you
good health
as well as
happiness for always!


Ma Thi Ngan.



Peering out
from the window ledge
beside my bus seat
at a large piece
of cardboard
clasped between
is an Origami swan
folded from,
could that be,
a pharmaceutical receipt?



Gazing at the Port Hills
while waiting for the bus,
I imagine them
as outstretched arms
of what could be
Christ on the cross,
and wonder if those
who named our city
perhaps saw them the same way
after witnessing
the proverbial lashings they took
from an unforgiving southerly,
followed by their disappearance
into dense, low cloud,
and followed, in turn,
by their grand resurrection
on a Spring morning,
such as this,
where every colour
in every garden
speaks of a miracle.