medieval style graphic by keith
faces: by keith o'connor logo by:  keith o'connor 
Warning  ~  Warning : some of my poems express mature adult content 
and controversial themes
A printed copy of my poems are available for $1.00 each U.S. special consideration will be given for educational usage: please contact me through email  
 All Poems are Published through tinman Gallery Publishing
quick list of poems: click here
Dramatic  Poetry Books
   the legacy of : those wetrusted six dramatic story poems from Canada's first hundred years of history
dead men don't talk                   22kb
added march 2005

the assassination of McGee - the untold story of of nation building's dark side
who killed keith    (not available for public viewing)
added march 2005

we are all addicted to something - either physically or psychologically - it is when our addiction interfeers with our own health, the health of family members, or of community members - that we must come to terms with our addiction that kills those we love .

the iron bed                               7kb
added july 20, 2004
Myths teach us about our human nature - this gory myth teaches us to look closely at how we justify our beliefs.

duchamp's urinal                        8kb
added jan 16 2005
how a urinal in an art gallery becomes the icon of free thinking.

Alison                                             6kb

A philosophical drama that explores the artists sensitivity to the universal life force

Soul Stealers                            9kb

There are times in life when we must compromise but there is a danger in how we compromise - for in that transaction we may loose our self esteem and thus our souls to those who would make us into people who make other people into door mats.
Broken Brothers                          10kb
added Dec 11 2002

Family conflicts are multi-dimensional and this poem uses my own family experience to explore only a small segment of this very complex emotionally charged world.
Gun Registry                             14kb
added Dec 14 2002

The game of using hate and fear to manipulate language into a cloak , that obscures one's human folly, is an age old tradition.
Shaman  Prophesy                    11kb 
added Jan 14  2002 

eternal optimism in the face of adversity

birdcage                                  9kb
added Feb  3  2002

In this modern age many of us are raised in stratified economic social groups away from life's mixture of young and old. We are young now but some day we will grow old but we have  no childhood memories of old people no memory of how to grow old. 

Eulogy to T. Darcy McGee       11kb 
not availabel on web 

Ottawa Apr  7  1868:  Thomas Darcy Mc Gee elected member to Canada's parliament: murdered  by a bullet to the back of his head by a cowardly fanatical Irish Fenian.

Duck  Lake 1888                       8kb 
added Jan  10  2001 

How to kill Indians

hotel room art                        7kb 
added  Jan  6  2002 

If we look closely and think about something we may convince ourselves that our first opinion was not our best opinion.

hammy  hamster                       9kb 
added  Jan  6  2002 

Sometimes having a pet hamster requires more knowledge than we think.

victoria  cross                        10kb 
added  Jan  4  2002 

To those who suffered this cruel unjust act this poem in humbly dedicated.

July  1   1935                    8kb 
added   jan   4  2002 

In 1935 a march of the hungry began in Victoria heading for Ottawa. The conservative government of the day believing this to be an insurrection planned to stop the hungry marchers in Regina using all means at the disposal of the federal government including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  To those starving marchers this poem is dedicated.

fire in the  night                        14kb 
not available on web

With threats of punishment we teach our children the silence of fear.

other has gone                    8kb 
added  Dec  28  2001 

Some of us on our journey through life separate from our inner child.  This poem explores separation from an inner child named "other"

broken factory                              6kb 
added Dec 28  2001 

Reflections on mortality

cholocate milk                            12kb 
added Dec  28  2001 

When you can't face the consequences of your actions just blame others. 

mens                                             10kb 
added Dec 9 2001 

This is the second "got to pee" adventure poem that I have written. Seems that my exciting life will be defined by what happens to me in mens washrooms.

white sweater                             15kb 
added  Dec 28  2001 

some confrontations of our youth seem so sensless to our adult perspective

kill that fly                                    9kb 
added nov 30  2001 

A simple observation can sometimes recall an experience from the past.  That happened when I noticed a dead fly on my window-sill. 

my father's lesson                 14kb 
added Dec 4  2001 

.Sometimes when we look back on the frictional events that occurred between ourselves as children and our parents - we see our parents with different eyes. My father always said:  "I expect you to understand me when your are a man". I will assume that he knew that I would understand him - he's dead now - and that his words were not just his way of putting a positive spin on a hope.

got-to-pee                         12kb  
not available on web

This fun poem will appeal to many teenagers and some adults, who still remember what it was like to be a teenager.

squirrel  war                            13kb 
not availabel on web 

This is a fun poem about my war with a pesty squirrel. 

sept  11  2001                                 18k 
memorial  poem 
added  oct  14  2001 
revised  Jan  8  2002 

Notes:  Part one: explores the innocent victims of terror and looks at that  noble human quality of sacrificing  one's life for another.  Part two: explores fundamentalist madness showing that it easily hides behind both the Koran and the Bible.  Part three: explores the eagles response.

bus-Nazi                                    13kb 
added oct 21   2001 

My observation of the racist behaviour and personal experience with a local bus driver applying the policy of the local bus company: continues to leave me angered.

changing the guard                 7kb 
not available on web 

This poem resulted from our Kanata Poetry and Writers Club assignment: write something about a marching band. I used my memories of the "changing of the guard" ceremony on Parliament Hill Ottawa Canada. 

Kainet and  Karen                    7kb 
added  Oct  12  2001 

Kainet, a dying Islamic infant in Afghanistan and Karin, a dying Christian infant in North America.   Both parents believe that God will protect their children from sickness and death. 

doing god's work                 12kb 
added aug  26   2001 
modified  sept 1  2001 
philosophy in poetic format 

This poem resulted from christian missionaries going door to door in my neighborhood.  There was a short thin one carrying his bible tucked securely under his arm. The other one six feet at least - weighing towards 300 pounds 
pulling a nicely dressed girl toddler, (just getting the hang of walking), by the arm and when she resisted,  he would pull her within reach, pull her up till her toes just touched the ground  and  swat her on the ass. 

A brutish act by a christian missionary believer doing god's work. This poem explores the neurotic mind of these sanctimonious christian believers and questions their blind following of their  bible. 

the return                                  6kb 
added  aug  29  2001 

This poem reflects my feelings at that momement in time, while walking down Penfield Drive on my way home, at mid-day - my impending retirement stopped being an abstract idea and became real.

secret me                       7kb 
added aug 25  2001 
philosophy in poetic format 

This poem deals with the idea that to believe in confession is in essence to give your self into the hands of neurotic predatory priests, interested only in power and control over other human beings.

bureaucrats                             7kb 
added aug 25  2001 
talking bureaucrats (3) 

 This is a poem about superior subordinate bureaucrats, and typifies the over simplified jargon based thinking that has become the norm.  But,   they do sound just like those over simplifying politicians we vote for.  Maybe we do get the government we deserve. This poem has also been done in binary format under the title "the managers".

the word and the tree            7kb 
added aug 24  2001 
philosophy in poetic format 
This poem explores the idea that words put a wall between ourselves and our perceptions of reality elements. That the relationship between self and other comes into existence through the invention of language, which creates a wall like  separation  between ourselves and reality. It has been said that the naming of mother breaks the unity between child and mother.  Yet many mothers rush to hear those first words - the words of separation. Some religions state that god must never be named because it would break the unity.
presumed guilty                 8kb 
added aug 25  2001 
philosophy in poetic format 
Ottawa Citizen: 2001, aug 25: Jamie Nelson spent forty two months in a federal prison for a crime he did not commit. He is not the only one who wound up behind bars because police took "vindictive" complainant Cathy Fordham at her word. 

Mr. Nelson and other's like him had previous encounters with the law which made them less believable than Ms. Fordham. 

cut government costs       9kb 
added  aug   20    2001 

What does a newly elected government, elected to cut costs, do when it discovers the previous government was reasonably cost efficient?

I Killed My Poetry Machine      8kb 
added  aug   22    2001 

I had seen numerous adds for poetry writing software, so I decided to try a reasonably good one. I came to the conclusion that poetry machines in general produce bad poetry. There is more to writing poetry than conculting lists of words.

self at war                         7kb 
added  aug  19    2001 
philosophy in poetic format 

how to become a neurotic

we will believe together     9kb 
added  aug  19    2001 
philosophy in poetic format 

If you are taught as a child to believe in god: then decide that there is no god and there is nothing else that you can believe in - to replace your childhood belief in god - and you need to believe in something then you will return to your childhood belief in god.

secrets                               14kb 
added  aug  16    2001 

This poem shows the need to keep our thoughts secret otherwise we may hurt others  including ourselves. My father always said "he who lives in a glass house should not throw bricks". 

Byward  Market  1944       7kb 
not available on web 

My first visit to Byward market Ottawa as a toddler in 1942. 

I believe                                     6kb 
added  aug  12    2001 

This poem explores some old forgotten beliefs in conjunction with some current beliefs, to highlight the dark side of belief that continues to cause war between people . Red symbolizes the aggressive "let's not question anything" believer and blue symbolizes the oppressed more rationally  based "let's question everything" position.

I am not Me                              8kb 
added  aug  15    2001 

When in my creative mode of writing or painting it sometimes feels as though I just watch as the words come into my head or my arm moves in strange directions. This poem struggles with the idea that each of us is a complex that cannot be reduced to the singular "I" or "me" .

sunlit  rocks                       5kb 
added   aug   9   2001 

Sunlit Rocks is based on a painting by Wilfrid Flood (1904 - 1946). Many of Mr. Flood's paintings are on display at

mani's  way                               8kb 
added  aug  12   2001 

This is a fun poem inspired by my participation in the news group rec.arts.fine

mommy  knows  best         7kb 
added aug 8   2001 

 After years of watching other parents and being a parent, who took a course in parenting.  I finally got tired of those parents and the news papers who report on the "parents know what is best for their child" and decided to write this poem about what I have seen some parents do the their children. If you think this poem expresses the normal way to raise a child then you and your child both need psychiatric treatment.

my eight dollar time-machine    7kb 
added aug   9   2001 

Some times we buy things because they remind us of something in our past and we want to keep that connection alive. 

brown  nickel  1944            6kb        
added aug 7   2001 

During the second world war Canada produced brown coloured nickels in the years 1942 - 43. This event with my grandfather takes place in   1944. On the surface it appears that I am being manipulative but it illustrates the idea that inside my grandfather was his memory of being a four year old and that his memory was linking up with me when I was a four year old, such that I became a part of him and he became a part of me. A form of empathy was being developed between us.

I  was  taught                  7kb 
added aug 7   2001 

This poem asks questions about God that as a child I was taught not to ask. It was inspired by an event of which I have first hand knowledge.

the  chosen  ten                    6kb 
added aug 6   2001 

I won't say what inspired this poem

yes  I  do  promise              9kb 
added aug 6  2001 

My presence at a wedding inspired this poem   

Bingham  Square                      9kb 
 added aug 4   2001 

Vile politicians both English and French under the guise of fair play take from one group and give to another. 

our toddler                             6kb 
 added aug 4   2001 

a poem about our daughter at the toddler stage

here comes the plough       10kb 
added  aug   3   2001 

Here comes the plough is taken from my childhood memories recalled from a painting of the same name, same city, slightly earlier decade, by Wifrid Flood.  See this site for the Wilfrid Flood Memorial Gallery.

my  father's  work                     11kb 
added aug 3   2001    

My father and his friends worked for the same employer for over thirty years. They became a family supporting each other during the hard times and enjoying the good times together. Even in my father's time this type of working environment was rare.

talking bureaucrats (2): 
added aug  1  2001 
employee recognition award           7kb 

I will not say what event inspired this poem

all  is  vanity                              7kb 
added aug  3  2001 

This poem resulted from a writing assignment given to members of the Kanata Poets and Writers Club. I mined into my childhood memories to create one of my favorite poems: emotional with a definite victorian romantic flavor - my grandmother's flavor.

little toy truck                                  5kb 
year 1943 
added july 31 2001 

For some strange reason I remember my little toy truck handed down from brother to brother and finally to me.

front door                                     5kb 
year 1940 
added july 31 2001 

From My Toddler World I recall a facination with the front door.  It was a giganitc verson of the peek-a-boo game that adults play with very young children.

vote me: the promise keeper    7kb 

 This poem explores the relationship between, (a) government cost cutting  that became a form of religion; blinding it's followers; causing deaths, and, (b) the sanctity of government by election promises.  Unfortunatly,  the actions of the Harris government of Ontario, as reported  in the media,  provided the material in this poem.  

sunflower killer                        10kb 

Sunflowers: ... he had  always wanted a garden with sunflowers  so,  he bought two sunflowers and planted them in his front garden for all to see.   After the destruction of his sunflowers,  he expresses his feelings through this metaphorical poem .

book fishing                             4kb
not available on web

Scan the book shelves at the library.  Choose what appears to be your last choice book and find it's a jewel.   It sometimes feels like more than just blind luck 

london tube stop                      6kb 

This is a short metaphorical poem about modern societies dependence on time:  being born on a schedule working to a schedule and dying to a schedule.  It uses the experience of waiting for a train in a London Underground Station as it's motif.   

illness                                        9kb 

It twas mid winter 1968 and I had been sick for days...this poem explores the individual's body mind struggle within a social dependency context. Names  and place names are composed to communicate poetic knowledge and are not meant to imply actuality. 

boom  boom fear                      4kb 

I in the 1960's, I scoffed at friends, fearing  the Russians would drop an atomic bomb on us.  I wrote this poem to show how fearless I was in my belief that a nuclear war would not happen. 

my  death                                 9kb 

This was an emotionally  difficult poem to write.  In it  I  imaginatively   explore  feelings that I could experience if I were to die before my wife. 

jazzman                                     8kb 

A poem  about a jazz musician who plays the standup double base with such expression that the instrument and the musician become a form of jazz action art.

the artist and the psychologist       6kb 

Many artists believe that their art derives from their internal conflicts resulting in their being on the outside edge of society and are concerned when psychologists state that their role is to cure them thus reintegrating them back into society

talking bureaucrats (1): 
the managers            9kb 

This is an experiment in my binary poem format. On the left side I present the poem in it's standard language format. On the right I present the emotional agenda, in a different colour, for each character.

silent  stair  rage                       7kb 

This poem uses an encounter on a public stairs to  illustrate the stress generated anger that results when we believe that other people should be following the same rules of behavior that we ourselves follow. 

binary  poem                             7kb 

binary poem is experimental in that each poem is presented side by side and each has vertical variety and unity but they are also linked with horizontal unity and variety.  This poem will form the basis for a series of paintings I will title 
binery (n),  (n) = the painting number in the series.

the ballad of Our Mr. Day                13kb 

Mr. Day, a Christian fundementalist, who believes the literal accuracy of the bible and it's account of a six thousand year old world, found himself on the Canadian political scene running for  Prime Minister of a modern civilized technological post biblical country, that no longer believes the world to be flat.

paint the figure                      6kb 

paint the figure: draws on my life class experience at the Ottawa School of Art in the fall of 2000. luca de marinis: instructor

next time                                       6kb 

My father's wake was the inspiration for this poem. It  explores acceptance of death as the end of life.

million dollar saving                10kb 
talking bureaucrats (4): 

Note how the objective has changed by the time you reach the end of the poem.

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