Parting Advice

Someone with a clipboard is at the door
asking if I favour sequestering carbon
beneath the ocean floor. Rather than sign
his petition I have heated views to share,

even though my flight is just hours away
and there are last-minute things to do
such as watering the parched plants
and turning down the thermostat.

Having squared the circle I propose
we slice the globe into tiny cubicles;
now that we have stood upon the moon
let’s plant our boots on a real planet.

He takes offense but then the limo arrives.
To the petitioner I suggest he see the guy
down the road who works in the oil patch.
I assure the driver I have only one suitcase.

A Russian in exile for three generations,
a distant relative of the martyred Anastasia,
my driver hums tunes from the Nutcracker.
I see from the license that his name is Igor.

Like a nihilist out of Dostoevsky Igor barrels
down the highway and I mention very gently
that there are prisons with no hope of escape,
places where blindfolds keep darkness away;

yet the heavens still revolve, the great wheel
needing no watercourse to furnish power,
mover and mechanism perfectly merged,
cycles unfolding as long as there is time.

We pull to the curb at Terminal 3 and I give
my ardent driver all the change I have left.
From soviet-era propaganda I learned to say
do svidaniya. Odd the way things work out

On the departure tier a loved one is waving.
I check again to see that my visa is in order.
At last the queue moves forward and I glide
through a door towards the enveloping sky.

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.