for Philip Larkin

A mink, jittery, neckless, serpentine,
ransacks the shore three times an hour.
A flash, frog-belly white – devoured.
“Your blood is yours, your blood is mine.”

Mucky scurf, planetary skin
born of accident, rock and air and light,
we feed each other and delight
in the wet machine that makes us kin,

builds molecules as a child makes
a flower of wooden blocks,
gives every life the means to read and talk
World. If being here is all it takes

to fill tick-full with the beauty on view
till love alone drives my heart
yet still admire your killing art
I’m with you.

~ John Donlan

A native of Baysville, in Ontario’s Muskoka region, John Donlan is a poetry editor with Brick Books. He spends half the year as a reference librarian at the Vancouver Public Library, and the other half writing poetry near Godfrey, Ontario. His collections of poetry are Domestic Economy (Brick Books, 1990, reprinted 1997), Baysville (House of Anansi Press, 1993), Green Man (Ronsdale Press, 1999), and Spirit Engine, (Brick Books, 2008.) He is also the author of A Guide to Research @ Your Library (Ontario Library Association/Vancouver Public Library, 2002).

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