Michael Edwards

Demand outstrips supply

The price of virgin earth,
beauty a rare steak,
cows mull their decisions
chew the cud to milk frothing
in a Starbucks latte smelling
burnt beans of my whisper
“Wednesday’s here.
do they give credit for part
weeks worked?” 

Paring down
expectations like eyes
of potatoes gouged for
their lack vision
white flesh beneath leaking
Its own milk or liquidity for
the blank canvas of a bank
account teetering between
poverty and promise,
snug like children buckled in
a warm car. 

A Land Rover the most
amazing green and
perfect houses 
craftsmanship the previous century
stands secure like baby boomers
with their pensions. And perhaps
a generation ago I could live there 

But now I walk past this rat
trap with a sticker
Climate Criminals 
knowing they’ll never take
the bait walking to
the nearest ATM
wallets brimming with
cash and carbon credits
grass-fed beasts unleash
methane clouds over
fallow fields. 



I fly down Highway 99
past car dealerships, strip malls
and pheasants. They drift and bounce over
Coyote Flats and cattle wander below
Mountain tops grassy and balding. 

But I smell pungent asphalt,
fresh beside the crumbling Taco Time
and there’s a sign, a petition to save it.
It reads semi-arid like humour mostly
too subtle and lost on me 

in Rutland Heights fog lingers.
My mind can’t climb where Jesus
walked with me, puzzling over purple
lips gasping like goldfish. I was pez dispenser
of glad tidings, prayers and parcels
with dry pasta, bread and yogurt past due. 

I took great pains to notice pain
in others, their eyes like downcast
crescent moons, each with a teary sheen.
Man of sorrows, I was a stranger or
modern psalmist with no enemies,
with a cave I left and only magpies
creep the winter dust on the
parking lots sprawling. Mouths shut 

And I have to ask, who will translate
my prayers millenia from now? Because
theses no one recording the faces of
the flocks. And I guess when time’s
counted in tacos and quick snacks
nobody expects much but your
standard roadside salvation or
drive-by prayer. 



Before I begin more about me
an autobiography loner poet 

hearing words in isolation
soundproofed from a world judging. 

Tell myself I’m a seafoam
somebody. Now press start.
Machine froths my cappuccino 

One setting. Ultra-boring.
last drops fill the cup, Only I
see the ring evidence overflowing 

a tan crescent the corona
a fingernail the mug left.
When will I call this moon ours? 

Keep tapping keys like a story
will unlock itself only meaning
something to speech my own ears 

collect in cylinders silos. Stale
notes I whisper hoarse. Breathe
in the self-talk again. 



Michael Edwards is a poet, writer and busy dad living in Vancouver, BC on traditional unceded Musqueam and Coast Salish territories. A recent graduate of The Writer’s Studio Online at SFU (2020), he has been published in various online journals including Cypress Poetry Journal, Cabinet of Heed and Headline Poetry. Michael is also the founding editor of Red Alder Review, an online publication focused on building connections between writers and the wider community. Find out more at: michaelwriter.home.blog // Twitter: @michaelwrites1