JonArno Lawson's A Hobo's Crowbar: Excerpts

Cover Hobo's Crowbar

JonArno Lawson's first book since his internationally acclaimed award-winning Sidewalk Flowers is a collection of poetry, Hobo's Crowbar, with woodcut illustrations by Alec Dempster, a collection of poems brimming with whimsical wordplay, rollicking rhymes, and funny, profound, occasionally contrarian life lessons for children of all ages.

We are pleased to feature an excerpt here. 


Image Spunky Dunker

Spunky Dunker

There was a spunky dunker who swept across the flux
she floated in the flotsam

and trudgened in her tux

Shouts from the shore

Had her turning about

where wrathful officers hollered her out

Her peace was disturbed

So as smooth as a trout

She disappeared under the ducks. 


Image Under a Billboard

Under a Billboard at Bathurst and Eglinton

Under a billboard at Bathurst and Eglinton
Using nothing but my eyes

I bought some clouds—

Because they were big and self-sufficient

but I bought them too for protection—
Since a friend of mine

Once safely walked this same street
under similar clouds

They passed over the same sidewalks she passed over
But the past can’t be touched, and you can’t touch clouds
And there’s something wrong inside me

and the clouds might solve it ...

I bought them also because they’re grey without being depressing— And slow, but not in a way that makes me impatient

Because having nowhere to be or go

Doesn’t stop them from being or going

They travel like jokes

So I accept them as natural
See how they activate my wit
without taking credit

Because they ask nothing

And pull me gently away
from the great loneliness

to which no one gets accustomed

but the clouds. 


Image Exits Exist

Exits Exist

Exits exist

Entrances too

Look and you’ll find them
In all that you do 


Image Sink


You’re driven by desire

I’m drifting on a whim
You’re heading for the centre
I’m clinging to the rim

You keep growing brighter

I keep going dim

You go I stop
You lift I drop
You stare I blink
We’re out of sync

And when it’s time to dive straight in
You won’t need to stop to think
You’ll dive in and swim and swim—
I’ll slip off the edge and sink. 


Image At the End

At the End of the World

In come the oceans

Out go the mountains
Volcanoes erupting

Like soda pop fountains

Souls of our ancestors
Rose up and swirled

To watch from the moon
At the end of the world. 


From the book The Hobo's Crowbar, © 2016, by JonArno Lawson and Alec Dempster. Published in 2016 by Porcupine's Quill. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.

October 24, 2016
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