Aum Ah Loka Ah Hung

Jah Sirocco Loam Shekinah Sirrah Sung

Slippers and Tea

Flippers and Thee

Hi Dee Ho / Hi Dee Hee

Tee Hee Tee Hee

Bless me Holy Father for I have pinned

thy priests’ performance to a document of sins:

from raping little children to enslaving Indians,

from enflaming witches, to left freezing street denizens;

a bejewelled hierarchy,

women blamed and excluded;

the task overdue: Ask forgiveness — please the dead —

for doctrine of discovery, terra nullius, indebted payments

for lands and autonomy stolen, coloured citizens

fallen to a cross on one hand, larcenous sword of Jesus in t’other.


pray for the wind      for the curtains that bulge at windows

breeze to cool the fevers of memory


More, you say, more…. Economy’s profit, the crop tall and green;

but mono-, not poly-, lone farmer on empty plain,

without bison or predaceous partners:  no wolves, no bears —

no gophers, no hawks; fields of one plant, ahh Christ,

how’d I get stuck here, no neighbours,  no helpers,

just me ‘n’ this bleedin’ time-delimited scheme?


pleasant little creek      from the glacier’s tongue

meanders even froths      through high meadow

tasting the soil      its knowable limits


Pipe wrench and wires, screw threads and welds,

mechanico-industrial pumps roaring out dulled life, pitting

worker ‘gainst worker, race against race,

cis- against genders of any other;

theft      division and greed engrained industry’s

employment, wage slaves the norm, boss above workers;

owners on holiday, counting their harm.


oh lord won’t you grant me…

a seat round the fire


In the systems of robbery blue notes drone, counterpoint

to a march of military gore — the ordinary scheme of things.

Jazz rocks through agonies of approved comportment,

belies the instructive stance, upsetting the conditioned woes;

unseating the ministers to the dance floor of doom, the generals,

the hireling politicians chanting choruses after chorus

where the blood red river flows.


sing the silk road      sing the desert and mountains

horses and camels      elephants and yaks

sings with the animals       sings to the distant sea

oh hear the answers


Bludgeoned laughter

not so funny;

all that piss pot

full of money.

Sort out the good ‘uns,

kill all the bad;

lever up the leavings

for the little buggered lad;

lever up the leavings

that the women never had;

lost it on the shore,

lost it in the war,

tore up the deed

to the burning store.



by Philip Kienholz

Philip Kienholz studied creative writing at North Dakota State University and received a B. Arch from the University of Manitoba. Publishing credits include a 2016 book, Display: Poems; two chapbooks, The Third Rib Knife, and Born to Rant, Coerced to Smile, as well as poems in journals: Whirlwind, Windsor Review, Greenzine, River Dhamma, Links, Poetry Halifax, Global Tapestry Journal, NeWest Review, Cutting Edge, Quarry, Atticus Review, Whetstone, Prairie Fire, Ecospeak, and Crazy Horse.

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