Hunting and Fishing


“il faut enivrer sans trêve”


Not far from the derelict

    elevators of bread, still rising

    blind and Babylonian, closer

still to our Lady of Safe Harbours so often

bathed in honey, braving the wet

resin of coming winter war, my friend,

    an impending pappoú, has friends

with greeting hands into which we disappear

for a time.

Helen is the fire of Crete, ensuring our mindful

use of public transport before

    the bubbly, the orange of Campania,

La Vielle Prune warming the beginnings

of imaginative huitres, home-smoked belly

of boar, and pockets of lobster.

The tip-tongue tripping of pappardelle

    and truffle slivers, l’air doux de

thon, de morue glacée, the solid verities of

venison, all now under the domain of Bizot,

    and a moist November evening evolving

into a Night of Saint-Georges.

And amidst the peaty pleasures of

a small and curving glass, this clean night

of fall hangs delicately with sweet, soft smoke.

With this patina of Ottawa still clinging,

even after decades in this other, older home,

my words are, as always, merely wind,

yet they remain, as always, my only wine.

And my friendship,

    even as occasional and

    too-distant as this, proves again

as dense and unyielding as this

old city’s blocks of grey stone.

[for Theo Diamantis]

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