December 20, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Larissa Sayer photo



Susan McCaslin




Pumped Lines



what comes down the line

on lines fraught with soiled oil


to undo sacred

chants, hearts’ drum?


bitumen-laden pipelines

would stretch from Alberta to BC


bringing 400 supertankers a year

chugging through Burrard Inlet


one leak, spill or spew, or more

un-homing salmon, whales


corporate greed

severing sacred lines


true lineage lost

to unpoetry of the machines


gains of weighty corporate kings

Gaia’s unmitigated loss









Each year as we ad-vance

further into the advent


of our thingamagig-



pre-christ-mess ego-



the ego loop

draws tighter


scrooge squidges

up his eyes tight


signs sighs

over loveless listless sale racks


where tinytim’s time’s out

compassion’s candle unlit


drugged turkeys’

truncated lives feed


our continual feast

lard our larders


stuffed with stuff

we are unselved, shelved


on our own listless lists

though for all we know


eastern stars are still rising

angel hymns falling


on inattentive ears






Susan McCaslin

Susan McCaslin is the author of fifteen volumes of poetry, including her most recent, Into the Open: Poems New and Selected (Inanna, 2017). She is a Thomas Merton scholar who has recently collaborated with J.S. Porter on a volume of creative non-fiction, Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton’s Dance with the Feminine (Wood Lake, 2018). Susan resides outside Fort Langley, British Columbia where she initiated the Han Shan Poetry Project as part of a successful campaign to protect an endangered rainforest along the Fraser River. www.susanmccaslin.ca

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