Nihilist Blues

Been hearing the Nihilist bang on her drum.

No need to speak, cause no words will come.

She’s rejecting all comers, there’s nothing to choose.

There seems there’s no meaning except for the blues.

The smile seems forced, no joy in that face.

Her pain is well known, been making her case.

I can’t see the future, except that it’s near.

I somehow feel better not being so clear.

It’s cold when it’s warm, it’s wet when it’s dry.

And nothings as quiet as a wordless goodbye.

Dennis Mantin

Monsters Ball

It’s not wrong to feel sorry.

It’s not right to enjoy the fall.

You just need to row your own dory.

So sorry you can’t have it all.

I guess I could say I got what I came for.

Guess you could say she got what she needs.

It means sometimes the bad guys score.

It means sometimes the monster feeds.

Oh hell now don’t look so broken hearted.

Not done for you, you just faced your fears.

Win lose or draw you finish what you started.

If it makes you happy then shed some tears.

Dennis Mantin

The Curse of the Narrow Mind.

I have watched you in your pain and I’ve listened to you in your assuredness and I have wondered how did your mind get so certain?

It isn’t that you’re always wrong, no. It’s that you’re so certain that you’re always right and never wrong that’s I find interesting.

Where I knew for certain of the dilemma you find yourself in… was the time you responded to my claim that my daughter was my best friend.

You snapped with vitriol.

“You can’t be friends with your children.”

I responded, ” It is sad for you that this was your experience.

No doubt with me, it was here that you developed this lonely certainty you cling to so tightly.

Dennis Mantin

The Ability to Shut Up

I feel something built up; rising from somewhere ancient deep and a part of me nods and smiles:

“There you are! My old friend Rage… How ya been?”

I let him out and I spout some frothy nonsense until even I think.

‘Yeah right”

My apologies are genuine and fast! I’ve been down this road and have become resigned to the possibility that I may never find the ability to shut up when I am emotionally charged and challenged.

Dennis Mantin


Sometimes you see them slip and fall. Sometimes you just find them resigned. Sitting there fretting… all hope drained. Planning the next big move?

Sometimes you wonder how they do it? Sometimes you try to help and then… Sitting waiting for some light and hope. Preparing for that onslaught of compassion.

Dennis Mantin

Jason Screams

Jason sits at Queen at Jameson, his head bowed slightly taking stock of the trinkets that sit on the sidewalk beside him. He’s been here for decades now.

You usually hear him throat scream before you see him and most that hear that pain walk around him to avoid what ever it is that Jason offers.

The trinkets and toys are from a child long gone or grown… I can’t be sure except this was Jason’s child when he was younger and living on the east coast.

Whenever I think I’m having a bad day or that the lawyer bills for my child’s custody and safety are too much… it’s Jason who provides me with perspectives.

Dennis Mantin

October Thanksgiving Canada

A young 11 pound turkey made the ultimate sacrifice here this week and has just been stuffed and seasoned.

Z is still sleeping and she is healthy and seemingly happy except when she’s not and she tells me about that and I listen and do my best to make it better except for those times I can’t and I tell her and she’s good with that.

I decided when I was 50 to have a child and the blessings in this life for me begin with her and us and this and that young turkey and friends, are why I am thankful to God today.

Canada 🇨🇦 is a great place to live!

Dennis Mantin


I wake up tired all the time now. However I am thankful for this.

I still wake up.

The cumulative effects of life have taken a toll where time and weight are all I can take… however maybe I am wrong like so many times before.

I am thankful for this experience for which I’ve been allowed to participate. The alternative seems eternally vast and full of abandon.

Dennis Mantin

That Drowning Silence

I have this memory of a time many years ago when I almost drowned.

In the moments that followed, sitting alone soaked on dry land; when my deep breathing eased to normal and my heart settled back to normal…

I was struck by the silence and the lapping of the river water against the shore in bright moonlight.

The river just kept doing what rivers do and the world kept on turning regardless of whether I lived or died and in that moment I knew that truth.

This knowledge made it easier to leave home. I left the next day.

Dennis Mantin