WALKING A DACHSHUND IN MALMO                            

for Kettil Kasang



A life without photographs in times we currently share

is to be moved,

is to stay close to the intelligence of the Wild,

is to walk away from a locked door

and stare into the Swedish emptiness of a street,

a life without a key,  a key to let in the weary ones,

those two I can call my family even though

we are locked out, waiting, standing in front of a door

somewhere in Malmo, where we can be moved,

where we can hear the Wild speaking,

speaking to our fatigue, to our knowing we were late

for the exchange of the key, a key we wait for

trying to enjoy our first time in a neighbourhood

full of the fall’s insistence, colours in bushes,

shadows on sidewalks, a growing coolness each time

I still doubted the handle wouldn’t come through and get us in,

in where a bed and sofa                                                    

could be a true welcome.



When there isn’t a camera is when the eye returns,

no camera,                                                               

nothing that captures other than the eye,

everything about being locked out                                                

goes somewhere when she comes                                             

slowly up the noticed sidewalk,

being locked out allows me to observe more

than the dominance of the door,                                             

allows me to scan those darkening bushes,                  

allows me to see her

with the metal forearm-crutches                                                   

on a walk with what I also see                                                         

 her dog, stretched out on one of those leashes,                 

her dog way out in front of what                                         

appears to be a daily endeavor,                                           

the walk keeping both alive,                                                       

keeping the little dachshund

way out in front of her amazing ability,                    

crutches uninvolved with where

her mind wishes to go,

wishes for both of them,                                                            

a destination my eyes will never witness,                                       

a destination my mind says

may have something to do                                                  

with a visit to the butcher,                                                      

to do with their love of the sausage.




for Eva Pors



One coin’s amount starts with                                                                 

the size of the five,  one coin                                              

with a hole in the middle                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

larger than the others                                                                      

also with holes in the same spot–                                                

I think of a cousin far away,                                                                     

one not seen or heard from                                                                

for too many years,                                                                            

one who was born with                                                            

a hole in his heart.


In the moment of being kind of lost

trying to board a bus                             

on  what seems like another planet

having recently stepped off

 a jet quite keen to plunk us

here, Copenhagen, our first steps

with smiles overtaking our faces,

but not our first admissions,                                               

being kind of lost, no clue on how

to get to where we will be able to sigh,

put down our bags, observe the flat,                                         

we chose when searching airbnb.



Unfortunately exchanging currency

doesn’t always provide the coins,

coins now called krone or kroner

or krona & kronor,                                                            

depending on the amount in hand                                        

or the country we were in,                                                  

the amount being how                                                         

we will become math students,                                                   

simply tourists able to communicate                             

our not knowing,

call it fear, stress, worry,                                                   

 call it what you wish,                                                                        

 to a bus driver willing to assist,                                                              

to understand, or to not accept

a word of English and allow us                                                            

on his bus for no more than                                                          

what ends up making us                                                                   

 more lost than we started out as,

or allows us aboard to ride for free,

willing to Google the address                                                                                    

I attempted to speak                                                                                                     

being my first words in                                                                         

what obviously wasn’t even

close to the Danish or Swedish language,                                         

I at least tried to speak                                                                      

in order to rescue, to do something                                                     

as father and husband,                                                                         

bringing the cafe or museum

within the realm of a possible destination.



About the Poet

His poems have appeared for the past 35 years in literary publications across Canada, as well as a number of other countries around the world. He hosts and organizes RiverWords: Poetry & Music festival each year in Truro, NS., held at Riverfront Park , the 2nd Saturday of each July. In October 2016 he was invited by the Nordic Assn. for Canadian Studies to give talks on Canadian Poetry and read from his books at Borupgaard Gym in Copenhagen, and Risskov Gym in Aarhus, as well as other readings in both cities and Malmo, Sweden.

His most recent book, Learning To Settle Down, came out 2015 , from Black Moss Press (University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada), and a new book, Selected & New Poems is forthcoming from Mosaic Press (Oakville, Ontario, Canada). His love of walks is endless.