“Patina”, “Onward Snow” and “On chord progressions”

“Patina”, “Onward Snow” and “On chord progressions”


One corner brick

100 year old black blossom stained across

Northeast soot fading

to raw pink orange southwest

Checks the force of two walls

20 bricks under

100 press down from above

Victorian clay horse hauled in a rail cart

Maker’s eyes staring down the kiln’s glare

14 hour shift, blinks away coal and sand

‘The single brick mould had an advantage in that

a child could carry it to the drying area’

Steeltown, boomtown, border zone, sundown

Whose hands laid whose roofs sheltered

The art of the straight line, street lines

North of one, south of another

“Not transferred by sale, inheritance, gift, or otherwise,

nor rented, licensed to or occupied

by any person wholly or partly of

Negro, Asiatic, coloured or Semetic[sic] blood”

Sand-blasted spotless across the street.

“Overall, the respondents preferred the surfaces of

new materials, especially Brick3 and Stone3 (Table 6)”

Payday loans on one corner

BLM signs on the other

Out front, a new mother weeds a neglected garden

Children and birds wake

to a city scrubbing clean

Onward Snow

Bare snowflakes, expanding universe

Slow drift left, right

Everywhere but down

Onward snow

The grey, southerly glare side glints snowflakes

in phasing grids, dodecahedral mobiles

Maybe I can finally quantify the geometry of air


Walking the Grange, never quite warming up

The closer bodies step, the harder we look away

Breaths held

Never near enough to see who is mourning

And who is waiting to

All secretly packing

Killer, guard and escapee

Onward snow

Wartime sees the rockwall side of love

Cold, strong, with cracks everywhere

Still there’s good blood

under city scabs

Age of suspicion

Good blood scab

The snapping of an exhausted parent

Good blood scab

A refugee boy dies working a nursing home

Come so far to have life drunk dry

by strange ghosts, neglected too

Best blood wound


Onward snow

Light the old engine of loneliness

with extra space the safe slow killer

as abstract as the glass spheres cracking round me

in the cold winter light

—The Grange, Toronto, January 2021

On chord progressions

After Regina Carter

Skyward jazz

moon spoon the fetal body

Notes tinker above

like ping





deafened ears

Ride the changes

conga circle

on a centrifugal orbit




of delicious






another through

back dive into that Milky Way

clockwork footholds

will not slip

on the buzz current

Ride the changes

Gravity’s nothing on a baseline

Earthquakes nothing on a clave zing

Ride the changes

stiff as muscles may be

will drift skyward


when the body lies back

About the Author

Esme Allen Creighton

Esme Allen Creighton is a musician/poet living in Hamilton, Ontario. Until the world shut down, she performed regularly at Shab E Sh’er poetry series, and productions like ‘Forest Bathing’ featured in Whole Note Magazine. She is currently creating a music/poetry podcast ‘Lines to lines’ thanks to an Ontario Arts Council Grant.