Category Archives: life

Into The Heart – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon


Linda at dVerse has invited us to write a quadrille (44 words) using the word slip.

dVerse Poets – Quadrille – Slip

"Pit race against race, religion against religion, 
prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! 
We must no let that happen here."  Eleanor Roosevelt

Into The Heart

All the world's an ideology
a race of humans never won,
we wear a mask of society,
eschew our common-unity,
too much in our ego self,
too little for the common good,
let's slip into something
more comfortable,
let's slip into the heart.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under community, Free Verse, life, mindfulness, philosophy, poem, Quadrille, quote

What Is The Colour Of Guilt? – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon


"There comes a time when silence is betrayal."  Martin Luther King Jr.

What Is The Colour Of Guilt?

We thought he had a gun,
she was in the way,
he walked towards me,
she was similar to the picture,
he was eratic,
he was suspicious,
she reached into her handbag
he was filming me,
she was unwell,
he looked like a perp,
he was known,
he argued,
the neighbour said,
we didn't know it was a phone,
he crashed his car,
there was a phone call,
O, it was a toy gun,
He shot himself while handcuffed,
he was running,
he was asleep but he was armed,
he was in the shop,
He was high,
she was arguing,
there were drugs,
he laughed,
O, he was in his own yard,
mistaken identity,
he was helping police,
he looked at me,
he was mentally ill,
she was homeless,
unpaid fines,
the white man said,
the white woman said,
he was black,
she was balck,
a counterfeit twenty dollar note,
a cheap life
when you stand in blue
above the law you uphold,
you can make up a story
to make their innocence 
suit your crime,
what is the colour of guilt?

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: To say that Black Lives Matter is not to diminsh other lives, especially Indigenous lives, but they simply make the point about injustice. Statistics don't actually bear out the injustice until you look deeply at the cases - unarmed, ill, mistaken identity, and many innocent people. 



Filed under community, death, Free Verse, injustice, life, poem, politics, quote, Racism

Desperation – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: This was a peaceful protest in Minneapolis.

"Violence only begets violence."  Ilhan Omar 


Of course,
Anger must out,
an expression of grief,
so black and blue and
the smell of death is electric,
if you open the wound you
expose the bones of desperation
sick with the cancer of misery,
you can feel the divisions,
and like cornered strays,
retaliation is the last vestige
of self-respect, survival, 
how far have we really come?
What is the point of celebrating 
progress if we can't love our neighbour?

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under Free Verse, life, poem, politics, quote, Restorative Justice

No One Could Hear Me – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

"A Riot is the language of the unheard." 

No One Could Hear Me

I dreamt a torrid dream,
that I was in a grand hall
and no one could hear me speak,
but everyone laughed at me,
pushed and shoved me,
took my coat,
punched and kicked,
spat at me, 
robbed me of everything
even my dignity,
I called for help,
no one came, 
they jeered it was my place,
to accept their fate for me,
so, I set fire to a chair and
burned the hall to the ground,
perhaps you can hear me now?

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under community, dreams, Free Verse, life, poem, politics, quote, Restorative Justice

To Breathe (George Floyd) – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Grace at dVerse is hosting Open Link Night, the night we choose a poem of our own to post.

Photo: New York Times

“I Can’t Breathe” George Floyd

To Breathe

The tissue of life is delicately thin,
especially when the protectors grin,
arraigned with a knee and
pinned to the ground,
he couldn't breathe;
no judge, no jury,
they refused his cry,
the man needed air,
we was guilty, without sin,
they murdered George Floyd
with a dirty white lie and
since the moment he stopped,
I have struggled to breathe.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

I struggle with this, I wept for this man, for us, for life!



Filed under death, Elegy, Free Verse, grief, life, poem, quote, Restorative Justice, Uncategorized

There Was A Room – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Make Me Some Room

Laura at dVerse has invited us to write about a room or rooms in whatever manner.




“I am not absent-minded.  It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.”  G.K. Chesterton

There Was A Room

I had memories of an outside world
that I never left, but never lived
since the solace of solitude
there was another place,
my room within a room,
I vaguely remember,
was it large or small,
attic or other?
To know is never important
whether the room was in me
or I in the room,
there was a room.

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under dreams, Free Verse, life, mindfulness, poem, quote, Spirituality

Pretending – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon




“There is a price to pay for speaking the truth. There is a bigger price for living a lie.”   Cornel West


There are some,
but few lines are straight,
we are two uneven halves,
and the wind whips nature
into new maps as rivers
carve bends that even turn
in on themselves while
the relentless ocean
ever wastes itself on
shoreline rocks,
but we become illusion
to satisfy demands,
we straighten lines and bends
offering opinions
that want to be heard,
presenting faces that
want to be seen,
living a deception of ourselves,
pretending to believe in the
straightness of lines.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: The Japanese have a word that describes those who pretend to believe something to suit society – Tatemae



Filed under Free Verse, life, mindfulness, philosophy, poem, quote

Are We Ready – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon



“The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.”  Peter Drucker

Are We Ready

To say future
implies something real
something sophisticated and desirable
which is hidden from us,
are we ready for this future
we cannot see,
where all predictions fail,
and where there is no center,
except yours,
ever floating,
marking no time,
setting no tables,
keeping no account,
missing connection,
passing by.

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under community, Free Verse, life, poem, quote, relationship

Everyone Matters – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon




“All human beings are my neighbours. We share the same planet.”  Ana Monnar

Everyone Matters

The journey to my neighbour’s is
longer than any other I might take
until that moment when
the chasm is drawn closed
against the comfort of denial
and the habits of suspicion,
then the patterns of self give way
to an emerging knowing and
a lived experience of kindness,
giving space for gratitude,
no matter how fragile
in this place where everyone
and everything matters, and so,
in this garden of life,
love grows.

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under Free Verse, life, poem, quote, relationship

What If – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Circling




“The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.”  Ellen Glasgow

What If

along this narrow deja vu,
once again I pass you,
in familiar places
of textured prescription,
ever circling the interment
of this rutted trench,
the padre’s whisper
haunting the way,
as we skate this
tired path,
what if
we stepped out,
out of this grave
and into the brave
unprescribed geometry.

©Paul Vincent Cannon



Filed under Free Verse, life, mindfulness, poem, quote