How i Joined Humanity at Last   Harbour Publishing   1998

How i Joined Humanity at Last Harbour Publishing 1998

Function of the Individual

The function of the individual
he realizes as he travels through town
is to provide the lightning strike
to matter.
What God once did in beautiful
biblical illustrations
he now must do.
The waterfront, for instance,
must be charged up, revved higher
until, incandescent, it shimmers and soothes
the men and women
who stumble mornings
out of the Seabus
and into time.

Loathsome are some of those bodies.
But he sees them now
as uncharged lumps
unable to grip
the time they have in this
configuration of weary mouth and heavy plunging step.
Up the escalator he rides with them
careful not to stand in front
of those who wander
with their demons.
The cruise ship out the window
has arrived at dawn
and now from its white sides
happy angels watch and watch
and are ignored in turn.

All travellers move time 
aside as they go, and as they pass by
it changes, collects, leaps ahead again
so each travels through
what has been shucked off
and waits patiently 
for the lightning eye to burn it up
to the cloudy thin-cloudy sky seen in the sea,
in the harbour's oil and white wave.



Zieroth consistently creates entire poems, not just settings for curious anecdotes or bright images. His poems have a seamlessness that doesn't encourage us to notice his considerable technical skills before we experience his poems' expressive hold over us. What the poems do offer includes a readiness to probe entangled emotions, a skill with narrative that pulls the everyday toward parable, an unusual ability to pack many nuances into small spaces, and an intelligence that sometimes moves with staggering speed.

Brian Bartlett, Fiddlehead

It's a moving record of self-discovery that includes poems about loss, about the glory, shame and ordinariness of one's parenting...frequently enlivened by his considerable skills as a storyteller and the aptness of his imaging.

Gary Geddes, BC Bookworld