Three Poems

By Beverly Frydman

Natural Language

I want to know what the birds are saying
I never minded much before but now
with all the quiet and time to listen
I have decided to care

I am not a natural linguist
I don’t speak to plants I just water them
until they drown, unsuspecting orchids
supposedly hardy spiders

I love my dog but I want her to speak
my language so she can fully explain
why she has the hump and taken offense
to a bumbling seeing eye dog

Regarding the birds, I don’t want to know
if they’re parakeets or pigeons or larks
or robins who I hear have filthy mouths
I just want to know the score

The Guardian Asks What Skills Have You Acquired During Lockdown

I have become a spider web hunter
with my extendable feather duster
turquoise microfibre Excalibur
it takes me to places I’d never been

Distant corners of the living room ceiling
someone was obviously partying
dead flies lingering in silver hammocks
no one had bothered to clear it all up

I do stop for a moment of silence
to acknowledge artistic existence
Is every spider’s web one of a kind
we do need to ask ourselves these questions

A bristly swipe will quickly undo
the spider’s life work in a silent coup

What’s New

What’s new what’s new what’s new What’s new What’s New What’s new what’s new what What’s new what’s new what’s new What’s new WHAT’S NEW What is new what’s new Nothing What’s new What’s new NOTHING Nothing Nothing What’s new again What don’t ask don’t ask me that again What’s new Nothing What’s new Nothing still nothing What’s ever new Nothing anything right now anything new No what’s new Nothing fucking nothing mother fucking nothing is new there’s nothing ever new nothing’s new anymore will there ever be anything new is there any news How are you what’s new nothing nothing Fuck you How are you what’s new Nothing Vas machstu how are you how are you Fine how are you Fine how are you Blah How are you Meh What’s new nothing nothing nothing at all how are you how are you how have you been is everything fine how’s everyone Fine are you fine Blah How are you what’s new Nothing Nothing nothing hi how are you what’s new Nothing how are you Are you well Yes are you fine Yes are you well YES Are you I’m great FUCK OFF How are you what’s going on on On on and on and on and on and What’s been going on Nothing tell me something new No tell me something I can’t Tell me something Blahblahblah Tell me something Fine I understand fine I understand Fuck off what is new Nothing With you Nothing nothing at all tell me something new No tell me something tell me something new What’s new Nothing tell me how you are Fine how are you Shit how are you Blah how’ve you been you feel OK how do you feel OK Blah Is this a good time No To talk No Is this a good time no not good not anything no nothing is good Is it fine the same Everything is everything is good fine same Are you fine blah I’m good fine the same I am I am nothing nothing blah nothing good I am not the same everything is the same Fine it’s all good fine It’s all new nothing is the same Nothing Is new Don’t ask me What Don’t call me How are you Don’t Talk to me Ask again What’s new.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Loretta Knopp
Loretta Knopp
1 year ago

I’m a high school teacher in Vancouver. I chose “The Guardian Asks . . .” for my grade 12 students to study and write an explication about. They loved it! If you e-mail me, Ms. Frydman, I can send you a few of the best explications! They would also love your feedback, and maybe even a Zoom visit to our English class!

Beverly Frydman
Beverly Frydman
1 year ago
Reply to  Loretta Knopp

Hello Loretta, I just saw your comment and I am so delighted. If I’m not too late I would love to see what your students wrote and would love to drop by your classroom if it’s still going. All the best, Beverly

Loretta Knopp
Loretta Knopp
1 year ago

Great to hear from you, Beverly! English 12 has ended, but I still have them every day for Religious Studies 12, so we would still love to chat with you! I would like to send you their essays first to look over, so we will need about a week to organize. Not sure how the time difference would work for you, but are you free one morning for a Zoom visit? It would be Vancouver Pacific time between 10 and 10:40 a.m.? We would aim for the week of Feb. 8-11? Also, could you share your e-mail which would be better to share their essays? Mine is They will be so excited to talk to you. They really loved your poem, and will be interested in your interpretation and creative process! Thanks!

Let us know what you think of the Poetry and Covid project by completing this short survey… thank you!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x