The Poetry of Place Blog


The Poetry of Place - Words and Images © Mike Keenan

Whenever I have something important to say, inevitably, it turns into poetry. As noted above, the text and images that follow are mine, but if you have your own "poetry of place" to share, send me a copy and an appropriate jpeg ( whattravelwriterssay@cogeco.ca), and we will credit your submission.

Enjoy!
Mike Keenan
whattravelwriterssay@cogeco.ca



Elgin Marbles, The British Museum, London, England by Mike Keenan




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Bethlehem, Palestinian taxi, photo by Mike Keenan 31°25'N 34°20'
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Arizona, Sonoran Desert Saguaro, photo by Arizona Tourism 32°15'36"N 112°55'34"W
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Today, I am numb
Homes gone, civilians dead
Israeli air strikes
Love conquers hatred
Amidst the harshest climate
Beauty shall survive


Toronto City Hall, photo by Mike Keenan 43°42'N 79°24'W
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Vancouver Art Gallery, Emily Carr Exhibit, photo by Mike Keenan 49.282875°N 123.120464°W
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Self aggrandizement
With brazen idiocy,
Vote for Mayor Ford
Primeval forest
Wild and mystical nature
Emily Carr soars


Vancouver, WHL Giants, Blimp & Zamboni, photo by Mike Keenan 49°17'9"N 123°2'34"W
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Vancouver, BC, St. Regis Hotel Art, photo by Mike Keenan 49°16'37" N 123°07'15" W
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Zamboni driver
Surely a meaningful job
For Vancouverites
Art found on each floor
A gallery for sleepers
St. Regis Hotel


Savannah, Georgia, Paula Deens Lady & Sons Restaurant, photo by Mike Keenan 32°5'N 81°5'W
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Vancouver, English Bay, Ships at Anchor, Century Plaza Hotel View, photo by Mike Keenan 49°17'00"N 123°09'15"W
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Biscuit and pancake
Served before we order here
Calories galore
Ships set like concrete
From our superb hotel view
Such a stunning city


Savannah River, container ship, photo by Mike Keenan 32°5'N 81°5'W
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Intracoastal Waterway, Spirit of Harbour Town, Captain Chuck, photo by Mike Keenan 32°5'N 81°5'W
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Russian doll-like ship
With stacks of hidden treasure
On deck in plain view
Captain Chuck in charge
Our quick vessel springs ahead
Water swells recede


Trumpet Player, Savannah Square, photo by Mike Keenan 32°5'N 81°5'W
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Savannah, Georgia, A. THUN Gallery, photo by Mike Keenan 32°5'N 81°5'W
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Alluring music
Floating from the tranquil square
Erroll Garner soothes
Pete the cat rules here
Covering an entire wall
Art as feline life


Boston, MA, Trinity Church, Copley Square 42.316147°N 71.084483°W
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Boston, MA, 500 Boylston St. 42°21'02.67"N 71°04'27.76"W
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A monumental
Showcase for U.S. heroes
Patriotism reigns
Brave city tested
Marathon of hope and fear
We admire your strength


Belize, Colourful Toucan, photo by CTA 17°30'17"N 88°11'12"W
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Belize Zoo
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Belize, Sunset Dock, photo by CTA, photo by CTA 20°21'34"N 89°46'17"W
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Belize Destinations
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If I was a bird
A big beak and colour please
For rumination
When the day is done
Leave all in a purple blaze
To reflect beauty


Belize, Central America, Ancient Steps, photo by CTA 17°30'17"N 88°11'12"W
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Belize, Caracol Mayan Pyramid Ruins, photo by CTA 20°21'34"N 89°46'17"W
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A Mighty Maya Nation
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Life is taking steps
Striving upward then downward
As gravity pulls
Stone antiquity
Mayan civilization
Eroded slowly


San Antonio, Texas, Dinner on River Barge, photo by San Antonio CVB 29°25'N 98°30'W
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Rio San Antonio Cruises
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San Antonio, Texas, Alamo at dusk, photo by San Antonio CVB 29°25'N 98°30'W
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The Alamo
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Vessels are afloat
Keeping their savoury course,
A moveable feast
A symbolic loss
Becomes an heroic stand
To launch new attacks


San Antonio, Texas, River Cruiser, photo by San Antonio CVB 29°25'N 98°30'W
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San Antonio, Texas, Restaurant, photo by San Antonio CVB 29°25'N 98°30'W
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San Antonio River Walk
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From birthing onwards
We relish water's passage
To the river Styx
Sometimes it is wise
To pause and reflect a bit
Before the next bite


South Londonderry, Vermont, sunflower, photo by Vermont CVB 43°12'21"N 72°48'47"W
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Lowell Lake State Park
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Stowe, Vermont, Trapp family lodge, photo by Vermont CVB 44°28'31"N 72°42'8"W
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Stowe Mountain Resort
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The happy flower
Radiates the blissful sun
And warms merry hearts
The hills are alive
With the sound of fall music
Leaves resound in joy


Burlington, Vermont, Church St., photo by Vermont CVB 44°28'33"N 073°12'43"W
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City of Burlington
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Green River Reservoir, Vermont Kayak, photo by Vermont CVB 41°8'44"N 104°48'7"W
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Paddling Green River Reservoir
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We love to mix about
As vibrant social creatures
Uniting the day
Glide through water's mist
Brisk air that energizes,
Reviving the spirit


Wyoming Rodeo, clown and bull, photo by Wyoming CVB 41°8'44"N 104°48'7"W
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Wyoming Horse Barn, photo by Wyoming CVB 41°8'44"N 104°48'7"W
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Riding Stables
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Sometimes it seems that
A joke only goes so far
Before it gets tense
When fenced in at night
It is nice to have a close pal
For companionship


Wyoming Sherriff, photo by Wyoming CVB 41°8'44"N 104°48'7"W
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Wyoming Capitol Building, photo by Wyoming CVB 41°8'44"N 104°48'7"W
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The Forbes 400
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Law and order best
Provided by a sheriff
With badge and rifle
Capitalism
Skewed to the ultra wealthy
Who control the state


Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University, Widener Library, photo by Mike Keenan 42°22'25"N 71°06'38"W
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Alaskan Highway Bison, Photo by Mike Keenan 55°54'51"N 130°01'28"W
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LEARNING

We yearn to discover, become aware,
integrate experience into a brief harmony.

We also inhibit - folly's chief inquisitor.
The more expertise we claim, the less likelihood of growth.

If judgment is suspended on each tour, we might learn
from every situation.

Easily said; hard to do!
WILDNESS

As we speed along the highway, far off behind a fenced clearing,
an astonishing view -
a deer felled by wild dogs.

And in this alarming instant, that which remains most vivid
is the collar and shiny metal tag around the neck of the largest hound
that looks our way - grudgingly.


Dalmatian courtesy of Google Images 45°48'N 16°0'E
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Dalmation Breed
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Salvador Dali Watch courtesy of Google Images 51.4781°N 0.014°W
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World Clock
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CRUEL DEEDS

I curse those mean moments
When, like a Dalmatian,
I am available only in spots
To bait you with dot-to-dot games
Intimating form.
Sometimes, I am a cur.
TELLING TIME

We should invent a new watch
Remove the units of division -
Seconds, minutes and hours
Replaced by one word - NOW


Wood boat image courtesy of Google 43°42'N 79°24'W
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London Ontario, London Knights vs Erie Otters, Shoot-Out Action, photo by Mike Keenan 42.9837°N 81.2497°W
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MY ROWING MACHINE

When I sit aboard my rowing machine
and my heart is not really in it, I think
back to when I was a kid walking on
the boardwalk past the Balmy Beach
Canoe Club where they stored exquisite sculls,
and I see those streamlined skiffs
that sparkled, polished wood with an exotic aroma,
and images of Thomas Eakins' painting
of the sculler and Ken Danby's
Olympic oarsmen invade my mind,
and I engage in a reverie for several miles
before I realize that there is no water
foaming beside me, just concrete.
GAMES WE PLAY

Beware the minor hockey mentality, steeped in trophies,
crests, jackets, trips, and prizes such that hockey disappears.
We manipulate children like caged lions entering
a ring to jump through hoops and assume postures induced by
whip and chair.

They advance when we step aside. They remind adults
that it's the young who judge the old; get out your
Bob Dylan records! Prepare for inconvenience.
Invest not only time, but be attentive; encourage them in
their struggle. Defer judgment; be surprised. Ultimately,
the test is for us to set them free.


Gettysburg, PA, Lincoln Square, Abraham Lincoln statue, photo by Mike Keenan 39°48'31"N 77°14'12"W
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Gettysburg, PA, Lincoln Square, Civil War Gettysburg plaque, photo by Mike Keenan 39.8126°N 77.2366°W
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His speech sought motive
To the bloody battle's loss -
Dead men, child soldiers
In three days battle
Over seven thousand dead
Many more wounded



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