Michael Kleiza has read his poetry in a number
of venues including the Eden Mills Writers' Festival, Hillside
Festival and the Art Bar in Toronto. He helps out as a member
of the poetry editorial staff of the University of Guelph literary
magazine Carousel, and is part of a team that judges submissions
to the Eden Mills Fringe Contest. He has been published in a local
anthology of poets and artists and Off the Shelf a local bookstore
publication. He has won The Bookshelf Poetry Prize and has been
twice shortlisted for the Winston Collins/Descant Poetry Prize.
He has hosted spoken word events and lives in Guelph. His manuscript
titled Love, War, and Some Things In-Between has been, in general,
rejected by all publishers who have looked at it.
Now in this late-push stressed drive,
cars' tires grip blacktop,
screech to a heartpound in a deadstop.
This gaggled flock
deciding the grass is greener
on the grassy knoll, begins
in Chaplin walk,
on the road
with an alpha's lead. Craning his long
neck he casts a gandering eye
cocked awares the idling cars
that huff and chug.
One-by-one, each twenty and four
follow, hopping off the curb dainty
as dainty can on stunted legs
made low through some Darwinian ploy
or Mother Nature way, and,
working their webbed waddle,
ebb and sway
Their pace commands patience,
their courage earns respect;
and for those slowed minutes, all
of us caught in this silly dance
cannot contain the smile
that creeps across our frowns, or
stifle the chuckle
their performance brings.
When finally the last straggler
of the gaggling horde has been ushered
to the other side,
our hurrying away has geared down,
our movements are a bit more deliberate,
and our hearts briefly lighter.