Service Alerts

Visit your neighbourhood library branch for programs, meeting space, borrowing and more.
Free, fun March Break programs for your family!
Has your Library Card expired?

Poetry London contest winner Michael Kuiack


Michael Kuiack's poem "Life is School" won1st place in Poetry London's Annual Poetry Contest. 

Life Is School
Before, at the bottom, in the pit,
I learned that I smell like my grandfather.
I smell like the inside of my grandfather's hat.
I stink like pork and ammonia.
I reek of liquor and sweat.

In the middle, in the ambulance bed,
All tied up, all tied down,
Driving fast on a rain-slick road,
Driving noisy in the early of the night,
I studied my hands, my father's hands,
Reptile hands, yellow like parchment,
Wretched hands, old like an Egyptian king.

After, at the window, placid,
Looking down at the jaws of the street,
Reaching up to eat me,
I came to know that a woman waiting at a bus-stop,
Is the most beautiful thing in the world.
I came to know that a woman waiting at a bus-stop,
Holding a small and shiny, hard-shelled purse,
Clutched close to her chest,
Is the most dangerous thing in the world.
I realized that life is school and I have been left back.

~Michael Kuiack

Michael Kuiack is a two-time winner of the Poetry London contest.  He is an office clerk during the week and owner of Clockwork Books, a used bookstore, on weekends.  Michael's other hobbies include stained glass, collecting first editions of 20th century American authors and making the world's best dill pickle every September.

All of the winning poems are on display at London Public Library as part of National Poetry Month celebrations.

Check out other blogs on National Poetry Month for 2014.

Click on the image below to download a pdf copy of the poem, Life is School.