Richibi’s Weblog

Just another weblog

Category: my poems

on, however exuberant, ambition


         “The Chess Players (1902)

                  William Orpen


                                      for Joselyn, my Ariel

pumped as I was by my most recent
exegesis about longevity, a dear, 
dear friend, used to, and infinitely 
tolerant, of my, apparently often, 
according to her, exhortations 
about my significant literary abilities, 
sighed when I told her I’d make her 
famous with my artalso my mother,
as well as other influential and 
cherished characters, and produced 
a Scrabble word over our game to, 
in an instant, overwhelm me with 
seven letter concoction, at the very 
last moment, leaving me with a row, 
furthermore, of unused tiles, with,
however trivial, still annihilating, 

ouch, I said, girlfriend

but I’m not giving up on my promise
to her, I’m reaching for the stars

what do you think

R ! chard


the time change / March 11, 2018


   “Clock with Blue Wing (1949) 

           Marc Chagall


with the unruly sleeping patterns of the aged,
mostly, disquieting midnight hours awake, 
fretting ever about not enough proper rest,
even though the next day might be fraught, 
in retirement, with plenty of time to recover, 
I wondered, as such a person, at the 
relevance of this semiannual time change, 
especially among seniors, those dripping in 
time to squander, one day following the next, 
often nearly indistinguishably

all it means to me, I said to my mom, is that
I’ll be falling asleep, instead of at two, at three,
in the morning 

she hasn’t answered yet

R ! chard

on Billy Collins – “Safe Travels”

Photo on 2016-05-24 at 6.31 PM.jpg

          me, May 24, 2016


I save all the New Yorker poems  
to read after I’ve been through
everything else in the issue, 
like dessert after a meal, icing 
on the cake, sometimes too 
heavy, sometimes too light,
sometimes too rich, sometimes
just right

today, I found my favourite poem,
period, this year, stepped right 
into its shoes, like old slippers, 
the only difference being my 
walls are painted a variety of
contrasting colours, studded 
with memorabilia, treasured 
artefacts, see above

also, no one’s translating my 
poems, though even our metre
is the same, try it, sing us out 
loud, you’ll dance 

R ! chard


Safe Travels

Every time Gulliver travels
into another chapter of “Gulliver’s Travels” 
I marvel at how well travelled he is
despite his incurable gullibility.

I don’t enjoy travelling anymore
because, for instance,
I still don’t know the difference
between a “bloke” and a “chap.”

And I’m embarrassed
whenever I have to hold out a palm
of loose coins to a cashier
as if I were feeding a pigeon in a park.

Like Proust, I see only trouble
in store if I leave my room,
which is not lined with cork,
only sheets of wallpaper

featuring orange flowers
and little green vines.
Of course, anytime I want
I can travel in my imagination

but only as far as Toronto,
where some graduate students
with goatees and snoods
are translating my poems into Canadian.

Billy Collins


psst: I said just recently to a poet 
          acquaintance that what poetry 
          needed in the 21st Century is 
          humour, the only art form not 
          catching up with the rest,
          otherwise it’ll die of, indeed
          succumb to, its own 

          thank you again, Billy Collins

a contemporary haiku, on wine


     “Haiku Poet and His Poem (?) 

            Yosa Buson


a glass of wine, I sing,
two, in German,
go figure

R ! chard

true love – an insight


                          “Love’s Secrets (1896) 

                    William-Adolphe Bouguereau


the only way you can hate someone 
you’ve loved is if your love was selfish,
true love can never not love, ever



what is a poet


                            Flowers In a Brown Vase (1904)

                                            Odilon Redon


if I imagine myself to be a poetwhat 
is a poet, I have to ask, or, more 
accurately, what do I imagine a poet 
to be

cause this is a two-way street, I am
defined by the word I inhabit, but I 
define the word as well, redefining 
it, essentially, to fit my etymological 

my moral purpose I leave to myself,
in a completely other ideological

if I can

a poet then is one who writes, paints,
composes, manifests, in a word, 
creates, poems

what is a poem

a poem is where beauty and truth 
combine to create harmony, 
coalescence, to the point of one’s
admiration, enchantment, wonder, 
enlightenment, in incremental steps 
leading to very transcendence, the 
feeling that something has moved 
in your heart

just a bouquet of flowers will do it,
for instance

that’s what I think


up my idiosyncrasies – a bio


      “Marcel Proust” 
       Richard Lindner
for a bio with which I’ve been asked 
to provide an online poetry magazine 
I’ve been encouraged to apply to, I’m 
submitting the following text
I thought you might enjoy it
my name is Richard Bisson, from
which you’ll intuit my French 
Canadian background, though I 
write mostly in English, with no 
trouble however in French, my 
mother tongue is le français  
I am thus imbued, undoubtedly,
with that sensibility, my peers 
have been HugoFlaubert, and
most of all Marcel Proust, whom 
I imbibed for 33 years, in French,
page by page, reading each out 
loud as though it were my own, I 
cannot but be replicating now his 
rhythms, his aesthetic, his view 
of the world
it didn’t take me as long to read 
Homer, in the thunderous Robert  
Fitzgerald translation, – a mighty
roar resounding still from the 
ninth century before the Christian 
Era – from him I learned to speak 
from the heart, it’s not one’s style  
one has to master, but one’s 
Robert Browning gave me the 
dramatic monologue as a poetic
device, a gift he’d received from
Shakespeare himself, of course,
the unbridled freedom of his own 
literary imagination
Carl Sandburg‘s Chicago taught 
me to talk about every wo/man, 
about things even my own folks 
were doing
Collapsed showed me that even 
apparently inconsequential acts
can be poetry, poetry in the 
apparently humdrum 
Mary Oliver is a strong present 
the cadence is entirely Beethoven,
with some help, I must admit, from 
the atonalists, SchoenbergBerg,
and Weberncommas are my bar 
I call what I do prosetry, a word so 
new my computer won’t even let 
me write it, I’m a prosetrist, this 
word either
I want to link everyday experience 
with poetry, make poetry in the eye 
of the beholder, where truth and 
beauty lie
if people can see what I see, they 
can see that way themselves, it’s 
something one learns, and it’s all 
in the way one entrenches words 
and ideas
I eliminated the word “if” from my 
vocabulary once, for being then
too speculative, it changed my life, 
I’ve replaced it since with the word 
“miracle”, that has also changed 
my life
I am 67 years old
I live in Vancouver, Canada
I consider myself to be, at this 
point in my life, bibliosexual, I
sleep with my books, and we’re
all still getting along just fine 
may you be so blessed
psst: also Anaïs Nin, for the 
          intimacy of her diaries
          o, and Woody Allen, for
          giving up before his  
          nihilism and just 

dinner out – Francesco’s Ristorante


                              Kent Bellows
my mom and I discovered a new 
restaurant, an old institution, in fact,
Francesco’s, opened in 1975
it was superb 
after our having been seated 
perfectly in an airy room, with 
windows all around looking onto 
an adjacent courtyard and the 
street, Grant introduced himself 
as our waiter, we tendered our 
names back, he was about 50, 
just my type
he was jaunty, full of good cheer, 
and was, despite a rapid fire 
delivery, utterly helpful
the bread came, hot, with a saucer
of butter in oil
I’d come back here just for the bread,
my mom said, I never have bread, but 
the prognostications were good 
my beef carpaccio, clung to my fork
like love, the thinnest slices dipped
in a caper and truffle oil vinaigrette,
with shaved Parmesan and an 
asparagus spear proud as a ***mas
nutcracker, and a mustard coulis
like hieroglyphs illuminating the 
artful concoction, went down like 
I’m going to have dessert, I said, on 
the strength of just that appetizer,
she would too, she countered
my mom had the lobster bisque,
which despite her enjoying it she 
put aside to make room for her 
pesto pasta, she said, and which I 
refrained from finishing for her to 
leave room for my own main plate
rather than my usual pasta, I went 
for the veal piccata, this time, meat 
that brings back Vienna and Austrian 
fine dining, that’s what I’m having next 
time, my mom said, maybe I will again 
too, I thought, though her pasta looked 
delicious, the rest of which she took 
home in a designer doggie bag they 
send you home with, another touch 
of class, so she could enjoy it later 
for dessert I had crème brûlée, she 
had cheesecake, I also had three
by that time I can’t remember if she 
had coffee or not, I paid, I however
remember, it was Mother’s Day, and
every penny was entirely worth it
to excess, I toasted, and mothers


carpe diem


                                              Pieter Claesz

we were having dinner at an upscale
downtown restaurant, I was having
as appetizer wild prawns grilled 
branch of rosemary with chickpeas,
all illuminated with a filigree of 
as a main 
course a surf and turf of
crisp pork 
belly and wild Pacific
octopus with a square of 
with again rosemary, Vickie,
a green salad 
with burrata, a cheese
she touted enthusiastically, 
to start,
then the same semolina 
wild mushrooms and pecorino
mother was having, as an entree,
though Mom’
d had a duck and chicken
liver pâté with rhubarb and orange
mâche salad as an opener  

after which we all enjoyed a blackcurrant 
curd for dessert, with burnt meringue 
over a lemon and orange glaze  
Vickie had had a difficult morning,
you need a foam roller, I repeated, 
a cylinder I use to relax, and which 
I’ve been recommending to all and 
sundry for some weeks
how do you feel now, I asked, as I
sipped a fine Platinum Chardonnay 
from the Okanagan Valley, she was 
having nothing other than water for 
a tetchy stomach, she complained, 
despite my several oenophilic, which 
is to say, wine-loving, exhortations, 
even having her smell the clean, 
crystalline aromas of my wine
sitting here, on this outdoor veranda,
in this company, among these glittering
wares, I elaborated
she toyed distractedly with her pasta
out of ten, I said, where ten is fabulous,
a word I usually avoid, but which often 
seems especially appropriate, what 
would you score
seven, she retorted, which I thought
you, Mom, I asked, to which without 
batting an eyelash she replied, ten, 
teaching us both, Vickie and I, 
thereby, inadvertently, a lesson
I should’ve expected that, I said back,
you’re always a ten, I would’ve said 
seven, I declared, when not five
though sometimes I’ll admit to 
transcendental eleven, I had to 
add, when all of my stars fall right
later we each walked homewards
to our separate domiciles, stars 
were speckling, not, maybe, 
fortuitously, I noted, an unfettered 
night sky

2016, a rumination‏


                                         Warning Sign (2006)
in an introspective moment, I mused
    the days move on, the years, it’s 
    2016, beyond what I could ever 
    have imagined, born as I was 
    before even television nearly, 
    1949, Israel was being invented, 
    the Geneva Conventions were
    being devised 
    the future had been predicted with 
    “2001” in 1968, Kubrick’s visionary
    masterpiece, if not quite with “1984“, 
    Orwell’s 1949 attack on imminent, 
    impending, totalitarianism 
    though that work was too close to  
    have significant impact, we still, by 
    that eponymous date, weren’t at all 
    aware of possible pervasive 
    personal monitoring, of even 
    entirely innocent transactions, 
    we were busy deregulating, 
    privatizing, ceding our patrimony
    to unscrupulous speculators, that
    which our forebears had even died 
    for, who once had been serfs and 
    as indentured
    Big Brother since has been 
    identified, verified, and you, we, 
    are the perpetually espied
    we are seduced by the idea that 
    our innocence will be our salvation, 
    though innocence, like beauty, 
    truth, is in the eye of the, not 
    necessarily impartial, beholder 
    and the beholder, the monitoring 
    eye, cannot be impartial
    see God
    we have ever been at the mercy 
    of not necessarily Reason, but
    inexorable Fate, though prayer, 
    I’ve found, has worked miracles
    it is the only hope we have
    I wish you miracles