recent Poems


“For Joan Jones, Sanctified and Righteous.” In honour of Civil Rights Activist Joan Jones. The Chronicle Herald. June 1, 2019.

“Moses” and “Song of Solomon—VII.”  Two poems.  Braided Way Magazine.  February 5, 2019. 

“Wisdom of Solomon VI,” “VIII,” and “IX.”  Three poems.  The Pangolin Review.  January 8 2019. 

“Exodus XX (Gloss),” “Ruth II,” “Ruth III,” and “Ezra VI.”  In Ottawater. January 2019.


“At Ortona: An Oratorio.”  A poem.  The Globe and Mail.  [Toronto (ON)]  Thursday, December 27, 2018.  A19.

“Discourse on Pure Virtue.”  Translated into Bangla by Farzana Naz.  October 9, 2018.

“Zanzibar: A Meditation on Slavery.”  A poem handwritten on Fairmont Hotel Chain stationery and mounted and framed, and also printed, for exhibit, “eRacism.”  Curator: Paul Crawford.  Penticton Art Gallery, Penticton (BC), July 6, 2018-September 16, 2018.

"Address to a Politico." For Robert Burns night, published on the League of Canadian Poets website, January 23, 2018.

Excerpt from “Achieving Disaster, Dreaming Resurrection: Witnessing the Halifax Explosion, 6 December 1917, and After.” Halifax Explosion Remembrance, 2018. With Pianist Tim Crofts.

“Rollcall.” Commissioned by Canadian Heritage as part of Black History Month, celebrating the contributions of African/Black Canadians. Accompanied by Timothy Crofts of Fountain School of Performing Arts on piano.


Poems written as Parliamentary Poet Laureate

From the Diary of William Andrew White, à Lajoux, Jura, France, Décembre 1917


A powerful rain

dins down these mountains,

rinses peak snow into hellish streams,

floods gully and pitfall.



Ain’t You Scared of the Sacred?:  A Spiritual


Ain’t you scared of the Sacred?

Ain’t you scared of the Sacred?

Divinity spies you naked.

Tremble or your heart breaketh.




Up in Smoke, or Reverie on the “Mary Jane” Legislation


If Parliament high-fives marijuana,

Druggists will decide that grass is manna

(Reefer potent right now—and mañana:

Good weed feeds medicinal arcana);



Kaddish for Leonard Cohen

(à la manière d'Allen Ginsberg)


This terrible, irritable dawn—

This morning of Mourning

His obituary crowbars apart

Prophecy and Nostalgia...



Letter to Canada

(pace Allen Ginsberg's "America")

Canada, when will we finally enforce a Pax Canadiana in America,

replacing all their automatic weapons with hockey sticks?



An Elegy for Gord Downie—

via A Review of Coke Machine Glow)


Elegantly trick-riding rain—

Savvy as Grant Fuhr in the crease—

Levitates militantly, but

Still drops, freckling, speckling sidewalks



On Heckling, or Oral Violations of Standing Order 16


To exclaim, loudly, is no boorish act -

So long as Members honour the contract

That one is silent to let others speak,

To audit discourse with thought forensic.



Beat Meditations:  Beach / Mountain


Waves shining like woven cord and straw—

shoot forth short fronds—

linear whips—

knotting against rocks

or leafing with seaweed,



i have now seen….


i have now seen -

nestled twixt warped ties of rusted train tracks,

snow, aged dingy, grey and black,

frosting loose, brown dirt and jumbled gravel,



Yukon / Utopia


In “Spell of the Yukon,” Bobby Service suggests,

The realm’s Utopia—snock snarls of forests;

Avalanches that out-grumble politicos;

Gold that outweighs paper dollars backed by zeroes;



On Political Economy; or, The Ballad of Viola



It's impossible proof! The ten-dollar

Bill sporting her face demonstrates "Crime pays":

But, first, the heroine has to holler;

She has to be jailed while ass-like Law brays



For the Murdered & The Missing:  A Spiritual


Someone’s guilty of a million crimes!

Blood on his hands, Death on his mind!

To send my sister away, away;

To put my mama in a distant grave.




More Poems Online

"Address to a Politico."

For Robert Burns night, published on the League of Canadian Poets website,

January 23, 2018.

"The Gospel of Tobit."

September, 2017.


"Answer 3." 

A Dialogue. "Ain't you Scared of the Sacred?" (With Aaron Kent).

April 8, 2017.


"Elegy - Non-Partisan - for Fidel Castro."

The Halifax Examiner, December 3, 2016.


"The Testament of Ulysses X." 

The Malahat Review, summer 2016.


"Solomon 2:1-7" and "Experience 1:1-9"

The Toronto Review of Books, October 15, 2013

Translation of "Self-composed."

Chinese Translation by Anna Yin.

April 22, 2017.

"Extro: Reverie & Reveille."

YVR (Vancouver International Airport, Richmond, British Columbia)

24 Février MMXVII.

(CBC: Published Online September 30, 2017.)

“III. The Fire Sermon"

Waste Land German translation by Paul Celan [1947].  The Walrus.  April 15,


"Royal Audience"

Eyewear, the Blog, January 7, 2011

Recorded Readings

“Never,” performed with Chris White and Mary Gick at Parliament Hill, November 17, 2017.

“Position/Status/Place.” Poem for the Minister for the Status of Women. October 23, 2017.

"An Introduction to the Late Revolution in 'Haiti': by Abraham Lincoln (1834)."

“On Autism or Authoritative Art.” Performed at the Metcalfe Hotel in Ottawa, Canada for Autism Canada.

"Everything Is Free". Ron Davis' brilliant SymphRONica - the electric/acoustic jazz/pop/string group - accompany Clarke and vocalist Shelley Hamilton in a performance of the poem.

“Surveying Winnipeg.” Written by George Elliott Clarke as the Poet Laureate of Parliament, about Winnipeg.

George Elliott Clarke reads at the Art Bar Poetry Series, September 13, 2016.

“Poem on Transgender Equality, or Re: Bill C-16.” Recited into Hansard record of the House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, by Julie Dabrusin, MP, on November 18, 2016, at 12:57 p.m. (EST).


“A Edgar Mittelholzer.” Performed to the music, “Magmatea,” by Triat.