Poems by Chad Norman

Επιμέλεια: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού

Chad Norman lives and writes in Truro, Nova Scotia. In 1992 he was awarded the Gwendolyn MacEwen Memorial Award For Poetry, the judges were Margaret Atwood, Barry Callaghan, and Al Purdy. His poems appear in journals, magazines, anthologies around the world. A new book, A Matter Of Inclusion is out now.


I have been touched.
I have been entered.

And now you’re in me.
And now you’re helping me.

I can only tell you
the moon isn’t super, just full.

I see it that way,
but you won’t believe me–
will you?

Somewhere along the walk
the cold is very cold,
everything I am in,
dressed, hooded, gloved,
just a shivering man.

Trying can describe
some of it,
this living I do,
I have here in me,
this living being more
than me, being a big view.

Being a view with no size.
Just something to lead
all that is in me
ready for all of a song,
a poem, leading all of this
into ourselves, into,
some place all of us eventually find,
and will stand for,
that deepness we feel
when trust is the teacher,
the path, the hand,
the eye, the voice,
a little spot to claim
without any fanfare.

Just a voice I’ve trusted,
a voice not a parent,
a voice not an adult,
what I take steps toward
no matter a past
when a boy hated
everything his father ordered,
all the words I used
to become unlike him.

None of all that said
means anything anyway
if I wish to hide from it,
from him, a past, so long ago,
what does mean & always has
finds one spot to survive
each & every lovable season.

In there he is long gone.
In there I don’t miss him
or think about him at all;
a father has one chance
but the small parental forest
I know, I love, has many.

As I navigate the ice & snow
walking a path I’ve made
I hear both my father
and the voices of the trees
I have known are, for me to hear,
to take guidance from about
how I am the older man now,
and this living & aging
goes beyond the failure of a father
leaving me a happiness
in only the songs of melting ice.


He has a choice of shoes,
that pair he tries to step out of
each time the garden
asks him to open the gate,
asks him to become the harvestor,
the picker, the taker, the
one human voice it understands.

In the kitchen
on the counter
each crop is a colour
inside the bowl & pot he
chooses before the boil
turns into the meal.

He opens a craving for rum,
after the garden is far away
the sound of the gate is echoes,
after the garden has changed him,
a man simply looking to refill
his drink, stepping off the carpet,
finding the lone fruit fly
drowned in the jigger glass
beside the spoon meant to stir
the next perfect mixture.

He dips his fingertip in
like some hero looking to save
the small body of some thing,
some tiny being none of us like.

Casa Harris
September 19, 2011


I am alone. But with my self.

Prayers have taken me
I want to say nowhere.

But there is the word, “But”,
I seek an answer from instead,
mired, no, comfortable in
a depth where anger feels
good, feels exactly where I
should be, no matter how lonely
the body and mind I trust feels.

At the moment I ask
and ask and ask isn’t hardship,
a stop I don’t need to make at 61.

I imagine the clouds in you
passing in the brown water
unable to reflect the sky’s blue.

I wanted some help
for my age and my body
but I was a fool again, I was
forgetting how each time
I felt free of the filthy lucre’s
ability to stifle the mirror.

Stop me from hearing what
my reflection has always said,
better than anything I hoped for
after any prayer.  

Me, standing there
in front of
that piece of strange glass
told I must once again enter
the possibilities in making windows
may somehow bring to alleviate,
start up another phase of control
only meant to pay off a few bills.

The speechless puddle out with me
on a walk I wish would take me
out of this life, lead me like a guide
to a river where I can board
a boat shaped like the word, “Why?”                                                     

I am alone still… happily alone.


When a woman
who has been
treated poorly
by another man
chooses to turn
your help
into a session of
flirtation, even
though you offered
a journey to
the distance, the one
you learned from
when a boy,
how she gave it
the track of her life,
being married
for all those years
but still came out
for who knows why,
to check out your invitation,
your new male energy.
You doubt it
now that she can
accuse you of it,
flirtation, even the
sway into the sexual
where she already
ran her problems
fastly, sadly, aground.

What was wrong
was hers, wasn’t part
of any song, a song
you once heard
at Christmas
when you were looking for
nothing to do with
the ear, just a candle
to light
and see fire be
what it has always been.