A Beaver In Polite Company: a “slowpainful” tradition.

As did Walt Whitman, of Manhattan the son, labour like forty-five freaks flatlining on Fentanyl on his never-ending “Leaves of Grass”, so do I, with nothing but a couple packs of “native” cigarettes and a glass of non-spiked Kool-Aid, continually revise and revisit my Canada Day Ode, one of the most popular posts on this blog.

I say “popular”. I mean, someone other than me once said they kind of liked it.

Potato, potato, pronounced differently!

So without further ado, I give you yet another preview of my book. This is uncharacteristically generous of me, so do not, as the man said, push your luck.

Veuillez de ne pas appuyer sur la chance! Whatever that means!


a beaver in polite company

(an absolutely epic ode for Canada Day, July 1st)

O Cana-DA!

O frozen fatherland,
I sing of thee — !
From the depths of my igloo
(Or in summer, a tepee)

While moms in babushkas from Hudson’s Bay
Bake their collective, corn-syruped way
All beneath a stunning display
Of shimmering Northern Lights,


(For it is enshrined in the
Charter of Rights
And Freedoms
That …

“… WHEREAS the provision of
butter tarts,
Being an essential service,
May not suffer even the slightest pause …”

To make a summary:
Federal laws,
While exempting pecans
From the “Notwithstanding” clause,
Have ensured every mother will
Obtain her degree from
Butter Tart University,

Majoring in raisins.)

Welcome to Canada,
So cold in December,
But then we remember our
National Winter Sport,
Played on ice, with a puck.
Yet so hot in July,
It takes all our willpower
To manage even a

Nice game of lacrosse.

Yes, this is Canada —
The Superhero who’s always Clark Kent,
As tasty as we might look in tights;

The land where the indigenous people, Inuit, not Eskimo,
Reportedly have a hundred words for snow,

Where we finish our summer vacations
With full septic tanks
And scratching scars from mosquito bites.

And we all give thanks
We need never go to Mars,
Instead, piled into our hybrid cars,
We head to Winnipeg to experience minus fifty —

(That’s approximately a nifty
Freeze your ass off, eh?
In American, non-communist temperature systems —
And while we’re at it, kudos to the lady from Texas
Who had heard of us.
Though she thought to visit meant sailing an ocean,
Then maybe — taking a bus?
Y’all got that wrong, ma’am
But even knowing our name,
And that we’re north,
Shows, at least for a lady from Texas,
Rare devotion) —

And there in The ‘Peg, we play a traditional game
Where, for good luck, you lick the icy posts of metal fences;
Such innocent fun!

Till we find our tongues are stuck,
And, being Canadian,

Come rapidly back to our senses.

And we all put chains on the tires of our cars,
We wear plaid shirts, and we wear combinations,
We summer in Muskoka where all Hollywood vacations
And we never never never, I mean NEVER go to Mars!

Land of clear-your-ice, your winter civic duty!
We even declared Family Day in February,
So we can be sure of finding an ice floe
For packing with our elderly, so it will be a nice flow
Up the Saint Lawrence and out to sea.

Frankly, in February,
They’re too cold to
Make a commotion.

“Here’s the snow shovel, grandad!
Don’t bother with the salt!
Or the commie-red Canadian Winter Olympics toque
That would cover what’s left of your hair!
And remember to leave my St-Jean-Baptiste Day card
By the leftover tourtière!
Hey, how’s that hip replacement?
Still hurtin’?”

Ah, Kwanzaa-lights on fir trees!
And on pine!
The ring of the shovel on ice!
Each step a crunch of
Canadian Tire mukluk,
You can be certain!

Mon dieu ! Qu’est-ce qui ce passe ?!??

His asthmatic wheezing, the left arm pain!
“Don’t worry, children, I feel just — fine — !”
As he falls, pardon my French, on his ass!

The sudden thump, the lifeless lump of —

“Here’s your Timmies hot chocolate, Grandad!
Did you decide to have a little nap?
And why did you take off one new mukluk?

Your face and hands are a funny shade of blue!
Grandad? Grandad??!!


Au revoir! Goodbye! Oh, grandad, it’s true!
Nous sommes tous Canadiens/Canadiennes !

We’re Canadian!
We’re — more or less — glad we knew you!

O Cana-DA!
Land of fortitude, of hunky men!
Land of Lumberjacks, RCMP’s!

And a cunning, bilingual Prime Minister
Who, by extending a hand to a few refugees,
Makes Andrew Scheer look downright Prime Sinister.

So, unless any spoilsport has reasonable objections
Goodbye, boring ballots! We’re weak at the knees!
Though a tiny bit treasonable to abolish elections —

Hello, seeing Justin
And getting erections!

Cause…. He’s… The…
Yes! He’s The Person-Called-Trudeau!
His dad was Pierre, his mom was Maggie,
He’s working real hard to make legal the “baggie”
That’s all you have to know, you know?
That’s all you have to know!

And this dynasty henceforth defines our nation —
Wait forty years, till little Emperor Hadrien — the Person-Called-Trudeau for our grandkids’ generation — ascends the throne
By Acclamation?

(Yes, though Trickie Dickie’s a tiny bit too dead to have that conversation — !)
By Acclamation!

O Cana-DA!
Godless refuge of the Devil’s Own North!
Where atheist gays marry dogs with impunity
And polygamy is mandatory, on penalty of death!

Where Québec’s Satanic priests (The original Hell’s angels),
Are allocated one free orphaned choirboy yearly by the State,

And la biche, one permitted per authorized family unit, is kept
“on ze side, heins?”
— or else on a leash —

‘Cause to be célibataire
Even for a priest with stale whisky breath —
Is too awful to contemplate!

All together, now — !

« Tabernac ! »
« Marie-Joseph ! »

O Cana-DA!
Where the word “beaver” is always appropriate in polite company.
Polite company being all of us.
Canadians are so un-apt to make any kind of fuss, Lenin only knows!
Why, we’ll apologize to YOU
When YOU step on OUR toes!

O, Cana-da, Cana-da!
Poor we! These chains that chafe and bind us!
Only a measly handful of banks, who tend, discreetly, to remind us
When our credit’s getting a teensy bit high.
Now what kind of attitude is that?

At this rate, we’ll never make first-class!
I mean, when did we
ever destroy the entire world’s economy?

Moss Park rebuilt, as though somewhere nice to live is what poor people deserve!
Runways for jets on The Island — why not?!
There’s no profit in affordable housing, or parks —
But cancelled, for sheer lack of —

Well, it’s about time someone said it —
Nerve, that’s what! Nerve!

But that’s us, so lax, no greed.
So callously indifferent to Deluce’s bottom line.

Even considering he’s the man
Who kept us in the dark
About Phase 2, his Porter Airlines plan
To put the runways in — High Park!

So lacking in get-up-and-go, that’s we.
So lacking in so many things Toronto needs, like —
A casino on Front Street.
A Ferris wheel —


Those died with Rob Ford, for Heaven decreed
Not just the one, but three, acts of god.

You wanna know how bad it is?
We’re not even ambitious enough to want
Our own loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud.

Poor old fat, dumb, regular-guy Robbie.
He was good for a laugh as he redefined “shifty,”
Mayoring Toronto like a teen with an I.Q. of fifty,
A pipe full of “hard,”
And a not very interesting hobby.

Even then, we didn’t complain. We just voted.
How boring!
We didn’t even complain when that Tommy Douglas forced us!
Forced us to have health care!
Took our hard-earned dollars, oh, of course,

But what’s worse, stole our God-given right of ignoring
The tumors until they’re big as a horse.

Too late it dawned on us:
Yeah, right! Make us live longer
And then you’ll have longer to screw us over with more taxes, oh yes,
We’re onto you! We get the agenda — !

At least the Americans, God bless ‘em, didn’t go down without a fight!
And the day of your liberation is so close you can almost smell freedom again!
Soon you’ll have Trump, and he’ll
Cancel your atheist, abortion-reeking,
Death-paneled healthcare sort-of system.

Where each year you’re not just robbed of two hundred and change by bureaucrats —
What unbearable duress — !
But robbed of your freedom to declare bankruptcy.

We feel your pain! But not to worry.
Far, far better, we confess,
To pay fifty grand to the surgeon
Or, if you’re poor, to be thoughtful and die in a hurry!

And up here we’ll be,
In the U. S. S. C.,
Where nothing’s black and white, just white and red,
Where an evening’s entertainment’s lining up for scraps of bread —
Where a Sikh can be a cop, wear a turban on his head!

(Our citizens all disarmed!
Can’t even spend commercial breaks
Protecting our women-folk from stampeding herds of buffalo
Or mowing down traitors —
or the occasional homo — )

You know for a fact, cause you’ve taken to heart
The incisive reporting you read on Breitbart
That our health-care system, centrally-planned (did
You warn us? You did!)
Is collapsing five-yearly.

Why, you could see your wife admitted to the crumbling
Central People’s Hospital of Torontokistan while in labor,
And not even be issued your visitor’s pass until it’s nearly
Time to greet the first grandkid!

“Zut, alors!” cries People’s Revolutionary
Atheist Abortion-Assistant Marxist Midwife,
Rank Thirty-four,

“It is imperative that we find more
Jell-O for Bed Four Thousand Ninety-Three, komrad,
Forty-eighth floor!
Raspberry flavor!!”

And when you can’t take it anymore,
Just slip the surgeon
A few miserable toonies.

If it gets him the Jell-O,
Hell, oh
He might
Do you a favor —

Then ride the po-dunk streetcar three hours
Back to the boonies.

O, Cana-DA — !
The dad of current Person-Called-Trudeau, who coincidentally
Was himself also A Person-Called-Trudeau, and so on and forth,

Once said
That to live with our restive pal,
Our buddy to the south,
Was rather like sharing a peanut- and shrapnel-filled bed
(Alright, I’m putting a few extra words in his mouth)

With an elephant —
— An elephant with sleep apnea;
Plus the occasional attack of
Restless Leg Syndrome;
And a tendency to, every so often,
Just out and out
Shove you.

Tant pis.

He made the joke, if you check the fact,
Just before enacting the War Measures Act —
Which was itself a shove and a half.

Incidentally, Québec always has the last laugh, because

We have to sing O, Cana-DA,
Forever that way.
The word-setting works perfectly — but only en français.

They were first to get their hat in.

O, Canada,
Terre de nos aïeux —

O, Canada,
No matter who may
Shove you:

A Mari Usque Ad Mare!

(Or, rough translation from the Latin:)

Fuck, I love you. ~