old poem – Beside the Sea at Night

written in 1974 when I was at the University of Toronto



I’m down by the pier now

quietly whispering

steered by a star long lost from sight


Perhaps you’ve seen it

shining so whitely, lightly above.

Here cats carefully peeking,

peek without cat smiles

all night watching for mice,

cats’ fur is washed so clean and so bright.


My last cigarette burns a fingertip.

Frightened little spark

falling into the black, black paint.

They call it the sea.

I hear the brief stinging kiss

and the moon is fairly, squarely, barely the moon.

The moon, the moon, the moon.


Now smelling the salt air.


the damned fishing boats

gleam at their moorings

netting hung out  to dry.

Smelling the fish guts,

gulls gobbled and tore them,

fighting for room on the rocks.


Tasting the hot air,

so hot past the evening,

not as hot as the noon was

not half as hot

as tomorrow will be.



Sunday drive to Coldwater, Ontario

DSC_8806 -1 DSC_8803 -1two shots I took with a Nikon d3100 w 18-55 Nikkor lens – I was out enjoying the autumn sunshine, lots of leaves down but still some colour left up on the trees….these are in Tay Township about 100 miles north of Toronto.

old red Mustang

old red Mustang

Midland, Ontario on Saturday that just passed.  I parked at Harvey’s and heading in for a burger when I stopped and took some shots of this red vision…..camera – my walk-around-fulltime rig – Sony NEX F3 with Sony 18-55 mm lens

an old poem – Preliminaries to Winter

I am slowly working on  preparing a manuscript of poems old and new.  One of the problems with working on this stuff very early in the morning is that I can get inordinately impressed by material which seems to be wonderful but in the light of the full clear day seems quite a bit less shiny.  This is an old poem of mine from February 1983.  I was 29 years old when I wrote it.

Preliminaries to Winter

Trees reach out into that empty space

the wind takes, when it has a mind to.

They have an extra weight pulling at them.

Sometimes the rainwater, sometimes the ice.

They reach up, and down, and around,

all in a scarred motion.  A tricky business.

Showing your empty hand, a little

like a child’s bedtime prayer.

protection from the dark.

Sometime I wonder if all this

is just the exhalation of a familiar sense of loss.

Or the oration of a close exhilaration.

With the sense of blood in the body

and mind resting in the hand,

then the heart swings open.

Fear forgotten, for the lion is old

and much smaller than I remembered, anyway.

People surround us, waking and walking.

I pass among. I watch their eyes for time.

Pass the butter. Don’t spill the milk.

I would like to say that kitchens are honest places.

Trust in food, but no mice please. Yet a lie isn’t much.

Just a suggestion that helps the truth lie down.

A look that gets followed like water down a drain.

Her eyes were just two eyes. I recall

a cigarette dancing nervously in a hand,

the tightness of concern drawn out, a thin line

wedged out of the summer light.  He played

a simple tune for a puppet jig, but

when the strings fouled, the lines torn out,

there was only the current disturbed, all

muddied water—two tired heads swimming through,

one field mouse caught in a trap, and the rat gone.

February 1983

OCTOBER the 3rd

photo by William J. Gibson - Georgian Bay the east end early on June 21, 2011
not from today, today I am too comfortable in my sun porch to go out over the dew-laden grass and shoot the photograph, yawn

nice looking dawn on Georgian Bay this AM,  smallish cloud bank with wide open clear sky above to the east….the bay is very still.   It is going to be a good day to take a camera out for some adventures….. I wonder what we will catch today.

BTW I have been immortalized.   My neighbour, Murray Van Halem, painted me.  I appear to be channeling Hemingway, but the beard is off this month and will perhaps return during the winter…… thanks. Murray.


poem – Endless Clarity Skipping



the water ski boat curled past

the clouds looked down

marshmallows over the

blue steel soup

the crow watched me carry out the garbage

I waved at him

he waved back

I laughed all the way back to the kitchen door

stopped when I walked inside

became serious again for some dumb reason

fouled mood pulled me through the day

and half way through the evening

you phoned and got me angry

and the phone sat down again

I went outside and listened to the wind in the trees

tell me how little I know

how smart I used to think I was

how far I have slipped

then down the road a short iron golf shot away

the fox started across the road

right in the streetlight

saw me and stopped

looked at me

sat down

groomed his coat for a minute

looked back at me

and thought of something to say

changed his mind

shook his head

and walked into the cedar hedge

and disappeared