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Outside Influences - Maureen Glaude
07/18/2016 03:41 p.m.

I first met local poet, Maureen Glaude, here in Ottawa in 1999 at the Sasquatch Writers’ Performance Series, when invited to help out by founder, Juan O’Neill. In sharing the duties of publicity for the group, we quickly became friends.

What I didn’t know at first was that in 1998, she had contracted Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and with chemotherapy had luckily gone into full remission. Maureen or Mo as we liked to call her, remained in remission until April 2007, when she was unexpectedly rushed to hospital. The diagnosis/prognosis were grim, as it was discovered she had Leukemia. With more chemo, Maureen put up a valiant fight, but the disease quickly spread throughout her body, and on July 18th, she succumbed.

Ironic in that her oncologist had told her in 2006 that she no longer had to undergo routine testing, common to all Cancer survivors. Tragic also in that her initial survival had given new meaning to her life. Maureen was so filled with creative ambition and positive energy, many hearts were broken, both here in Ottawa and on the Internet, in her untimely departure.

On the up side, during the period 1998-2007, Maureen’s writing was published extensively in various hard copy creative writing magazines and ventures, including several chap books. Her library here at Pathetic.org has since been locked In Memoriam, should anyone wish to read her work.

Below are a few of my personal favorites:

Pool & Poetry

You ask me why I spend
hours and loonies in the pubs
shooting pool and poetry
it's not real life, you say

I like my venues and ventures
I'm training myself
to master fresh angles
design new ways to
break onto the world
anticipate the slice and hook
align the combinations

when I share my poems
I work to float
and ventilate
feelings across the room
to enter ears of lovers
of freedom and the art
of trading story

I string images to embrace
stretch out to others' souls
turn out my mind and theirs
as on an autumn trail

listening to the others' works
I bathe in holy waters
in this unlikely place

back at the green felt
behind the cue stick
I position myself
focus, draw back, shoot
sink into life's openings
try for surprises
or from old games, sure moves
around the pocket corners

you say that my friends
seated on the barstools
in the readers' pub
are players in life
not grown-up
but you cannot show me
a saltier sample
of the real earth

and so I'll add my name
to the poets' sign-up sheet
but first, I'll play the winner


Cat on a Hot Tin Page

Let me tell you about this cat I know
who makes his rounds, on dry ground or snow

he’s not the cat from Dr. Seuss
nor a treacherous tomcat on the loose

he can make the hair on your arm stand up in alarm
but he purrs a gentle poem, and means no harm

his lines don’t rhyme as in Mother Goose
and he prefers a plane to a train caboose

he maneuvers sly, like the famous Cheshire
he settles down on mousepads and net wires

this dark-haired cat sneaks into souls
meowing his stories of triumphs and tolls

scratching at the mundane to the sensational
topics torrid and forbidden or easily conversational

this cat will prance on any altitude of walk
prowling over keyboards to make them talk

swatting at the humdrum and the things less sure
turning us inside out, looking for his cure

licking avid paws, he pokes through others’ poems
doing the limbo-tiptoe into other poets' homes

he can send out feelers in synergy that’s psychic
natural but uncanny, and whether or not we like it

be he agitated, be he calm, the tomcat makes it clear
what he most despises, and what he most holds dear

sometimes he’ll chase his tail so the end seems
the beginning; the present the past and the future in between

he leaves his mark of mischief, and magic behind
for the archivists of lyrical literature to find

the true origin of his nickname's quite aloof
maybe you think you know it, but maybe you've goofed

after all his daring leaps and ginger steps, I'd wage
he’s just a cool, mischievous cat, up on a hot tin page


Rural Morning Haiku and a Cup of Yoga


on a country deck in September
beside two tiny fallen pine cones
cobra posture


limbs and skin stretched
supine beneath the sun
peace of the corpse


windrush in the aspen tops
outdoor chimes, intermittent
a hammer on a plank


boxed begonias
the leaves at autumn matching
petal reds


sunlight streaks
across the deck floor slabs
between shadows


originally appeared in
The Ontario Poetry Society (TOPS) Newsletter Jan '03

The Perfect Man

I think I'd rather have
a statue than a man
I pass one every day
Lord of my neighbour's lawn

He marks the arbour entrance
by the clematis vine
he's naked, man-sized, Grecian
a piece of ornate masonry
but to me he seems the promise
of the perfect man

He does not argue back
but stares with gracious eyes
holds his creamy shoulders proud
and even though he's tight-lipped
it's not to shut off his soul

I'm sure his mind holds mysteries
of distant Aegean lands
his torso, hard and constant
carved into virile stance

He does not scoff or curse
and through long, sweltering days
suffers the sun, but doesn't drink
or whine, or get a druggy haze

I swear some days when I walk by
he listens for my step
and wishes he could wink his eye
or kiss away regrets

I always know his whereabouts
he's patient when I'm late
I'll bet he'd never lock me out
he never even shouts!

My only fear is that some year
these neighbours of mine will move
for how could I entreat them
not to uproot their statue, too?


All poems © Maureen Glaude Estate

I am currently Calm
I am listening to Air Conditioner

Member Comments on this Entry
Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 08/09/16 at 01:20 AM

Precious, Chris. Thank you for posting this. Maureen gave so much kindness.

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