A Smoke in the Shed

With a bow to Vladimir Nabokov who began Pale Fire
with a couplet that still reverberates many years later.

Splitting the sheltering pine in twain
a raindrop elongates on the windowpane.
From the clothestree a yellow slicker hangs
like an amputee lounging on one limb.

The jar with the rusty lid stores spiral nails;
plastic pots nest atop a motley paint can;
the utility lamp still with its bulb burnt out,
old tools elude the grasp of the curio man.

A cigar lasts longer than a glass of wine,
the smoke unfurling like an easy rhyme
mid scents of varsol, hints of mouldy tack
and the subtle essence of the firewood stack.

Taped to the windowpane, a paper raptor
deters live birds from a looking-glass war;
and like a suitor adorning his precious bride
a patina casts rainbows on the tree outside.

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.