a poem

I saw you,
did you see me?
you stepped off the bus
unmoving i wait to board
no salutation, no embrace
how very unlike me.

though it was early
i could not go home with you
nor could you come with me

i just don't feel
the same way you feel
about the possibility of

At that moment
LKJ deep in my ears
please don't disturb
his lovadub rhyme


she left Linton
standing the rain
now he's going insane
and oh, what a terrible pain

and i'm sorry because
i did not mean to do the same...

no matta how late or early
i cannot go home with you
nor can i invite you to
come with me
not in all honesty

the simple truth is
(i'm sorry but,)
i do not share your feelings
on the possibility of

Jamilah Malika


An interview

Today I spoke with Robert; this was yesterday -

At the end of the work day just after 6 o'clock I found Robert (thought I did not yet know his name) sitting cross legged in the center of the gleaming white tiles between the heavy double set of glass doors to the subway. The King Street subway entrance is essentially the absolute bottom of the 58-storey CIBC building.
Blue fleece, jeans, no jacket, no hat, Robert was looking down into his tattered paper coffee cup. For some time now I've stopped regularly to give Robert my change, a gesture of pity I suppose, but today I had a question for Robert.
I kneel down and immediately start stumbling, "Um hi, um listen, sometimes I see you here, you know, umm, I work in the building and I, well I, I also write some. And umm, I was wondering if aaah if, I could talk to you tomorrow, um, around this time, If I could ask you a few questions?" As four suits briskly blow past us all shoulders and angles it seems, suddenly i realize that Robert needs to man this station for the full extent of the commute and my request is inconvenient and I'm probably wasting his time right now, so I blurt out, "but, i could come later if that's better for you, you know"
He met my eyes some moments ago, but he looks down at his hands covering his cup, one over the other. I look into his face and begin to wonder if some evilous person has ever knelt down as though to speak with him and suddenly jacked him out of nowhere because Robert is slowly receding while processing me, his facing is backup up into his neck as he asks, "Questions?"
I move back a little to increase his sense of personal space and reply, very conscious of my pace, "Yes, I would like to interview you please. I'm Jamilah." I extend my hand and he doesn't reply, so quickly I add, "What's your name?" Now, I catch him; he half smiles for an instant, his eyes moving from my open palm up to my face, and as our hands meet he answers, "Robert."

I submit to you a test of humanity: stop and shake hands with a homeless person, ask their name, speak casually with them for a moment and if you are not moved, then no heart beats in your chest, no soul stirs deep inside you and you are quite likely entirely dead inside.


power down for one hour please

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Alberta is the next Niger Delta?

Check this out:"The Tar Sands, Selling Alberta's Oil"

The gist is Alberta is whoring herself out to America. Greed and Immorality are closely followed by out-right stupitidy and fear-mongering as Canada carves out a new niche for herself in a post 9-11 world as the stable oil source to the south...

On this course Canada will surely meet the fate of allegedly ex-third world/ex-colony disenfranchised nations, now touted as "developing" countries with largely unsustainable futures - growing greivances and insecurity.

If the oil is going to be sold off to the highest bidder - the US, China (pitched to the former as the enemy competition; get in there buddy, these Chinese are clamouring for our oil sands, don't let 'em get their hands on it!!) - Canada (federal or provincial) must be involved and protect the interests of its citizens and environment.

Meanwhile Newfoundland is securing its future (and future profits) with sound environmental and fair royalty rates - Newfoundland is putting Alberta and Canada to shame with progressive politics, yes, it's true.

(1)Foreign Ownership; the fallout is intensified by low and ever-decreasing royalties which mean cheap oil for Americans at an enormous social and environmental cost for Alberta AND merging US-Canada policies... pro oil/insecurity/war-in-Afghanistan policies... this is us, 'hi, i'm canada. i'm your cheap, stable, source for the next hundred years, not like those arabs. let's hug... or should i turn around?'

(2)Fort McMurray, aka Fort McMoney, Alberta is our nation's new migrant hub. 30,000 laborers strong and growing, all banking on the American, oops, I mean Albertan dream... many finding isolation, depression, social destabilization; strained marriages, a drug abuse crisis, more and more are joining the "working poor" and homeless...

(3) The basic stats are hard to believe: by 2045 Alberta will be the number 2 oil-producing country in the world with a projection of stable output at 11 billion barrels a day for the next one hundred years.

Kyoto what? Kyoto who? Harper is making Paul Martin look like a flippin green revolutionary...

Good bye Pearson's peace keeper dream... Adieu Trudeau's days of progressive internationalism... So long Canada's general positive image abroad... Hello heavy footed, backwards, drooling foolish Canada, slummin it with her southern step-mother calling the shots. Hello eager new sycophant to the States.

Maybe Canada was always this way? With origins in Chinese slavery and Indigenous apartheid maybe Canada is merely going back to her roots of poor policies and disregard for humanity...


Alone; My Words and I.

I write madly
late into the night
illuminated by candle light
flicker, flicker, pause
write, write, write
I drop asleep. Exhausted.

Still wondering,
words come in a flash, fast and frantic
is it just the silence and burning flame
makes it feel so... romantic?

Jamilah Malika


La Hora Nueva

After what I hoped was the last nasty snowfall of this season, I awoke on Sunday to find I lost an hour...

Now where did I put it... I know it's around here somewhere... If I could just remember when i last had it...

This daylight savings business never fails to dodge me right out; I'm wondering, how an they just do that? who are they anyway? this they with invisible intangible access to all my electronics? or is there one enormous system clock connected to channel 5 (or whatever channel your local listings appear on), my cell phone, oven, bedside radio.... weird, isn't it?

And it's weirder that we all just say okie-dokie, business as usual, they say to go forward or back and you say 'oh yes, just tell me how many seconds, minutes, hours, sir?!' like the sun really cares... it's up there blazing away on rotate, not even awares that we're scurrying about trying to catch up...

Now, in Nicaragua, there's a much more pragmatic understanding. After a few months living with a family in Neuva Guinea (un amigo costeno lo llamo 'el culo de diablo') time "fell back" and I foolishly went about changing my alarm clock and watch, and more importantly, started referring to time accordingly in conversation, making plans, etc. Here's what I encountered upon stating the time or making reference to a time (to meet, for example) "?La hora nueva o la hora vieja?"

-Literally translates to "The new hour or the old hour?" ... so, this is great, imagine every time you intend to meet someone or get ready to go somewhere you're wondering, did we agree on old time or new time? are they starting on old time or new time? And when inquiring about the time of day, you'd have better luck gazing up into the sky, because whoever you're asking, they run by the opposite of whatever you're requesting and an old man flapping his gums under a wilting cowboy hat is only too eager to give you an earful on why his choice is preferable to the other...

The 'old time, new time' phenomena helps me remember that really it doesn't matter what time the cellphone says and whether it differs vastly from the blinking numbers on the stove because the moment is relative, it here, there and nowhere, it is forward, backward and right now.

So if you were late yesterday, don't worry about it; tell them you're running on the old hour, seen???

peace jams