Harold Standish was born in Toronto, Canada on September 24,1919, moving shortly thereafter with his family to Chatham, Ontario, where he grew up. Despite leaving school at age fourteen, he dedicated himself to the life-long pursuit of reading and writing, and was particularly influenced by the poetry and fiction of such European and Canadian modernists as Yeats, Auden, Birney, and Wyndham Lewis. ... more »
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Harold Standish Poems
Sonnet of Dreams
Drifting fitfully into the realm of night, I answer the quickened glimpses of my mind. The ever-parting nomads of its flight Are brooking passage in its fertive kind.
The Mythological Cinematographer
I, Orion, went to Milan To find cloak-and-dagger feelings. They made cinéma-vérité My chosen group therapy.
Scurge of Creation
Who are They? What do They do? They attempt to be an unholy presence in the vicinity of Bibles. They never worship God (not now! not ever!) They're a whining congregation, with flotillas of bright orange theories.
The little pigs are bracing themselves For their last peek Into the
How soon will time Radiate from the mind To join the drought of reason?
We are moving into the seismic valley of remembrance Where all the journeys end with a doubling back To the days of lost forgiveness and endless work And parents who know how mountains crawl.
I Was Born
I was born in a shack at midnight Behind the vultures eyes I staked my claim I invested all my habits into stealing Whatever allowed me to fill my quota
Give Me a Sword to Lie On
Give me a sword to lie on, A cold blade of steel on tile; Sharp and gleaming, like a ruptured sun, A broken glimpse of a violent morn.
Claims Upon the Innocent
It seems we are forever falling, Falling into empty channels Where the darkness thickens and consumes us.
The Bleak Hand
My father’s bleak hand was ravenous for the glory of blood. He placed it under his sheets to warm it for action— What did he do with it once it had reached its operating temperature?
The Blue Puppet
“The blue puppet hanging in the closet is a lot like me, ” you say. “I was broken and beaten, a hand forced up my rear, Made to do monkey tricks and cast spells on unsuspecting children.”
They climb in the trees Like furry spiders in a web of branches these racoons
Gone in every direction: Listen to what the other says. James Stewart, who lives in a different rhythm,
Comments about Harold Standish
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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Sonnet of Dreams
Drifting fitfully into the realm of night,
I answer the quickened glimpses of my mind.
The ever-parting nomads of its flight
Are brooking passage in its fertive kind.
Where the flowers come I surely go,
Reacting to the nightmare’s cold embrace.
I ford the brook, where bloody waters flow,
Into the hollow chambers of my face.
And now, redacted, dreams distill their gloom
To other worlds I seldom chance to go.
In the dusty corners of my room
The impossible labyrinth of consciousness flows.
So am I making passage for all time?
Or is it just a ...