Ed Woods:
Diverse Perspectives

Poet's Statement:

The great actor Rod Steiger once stated, “First you must entertain, then get your point across.” I try to entertain within the lines and then draw the reader into my topic. My first published poem was titled “Pipelines, ” related to my work on the natural gas pipelines in Alberta, and since then my topics often relate to jobs I've had.They range from the serious to those with a comedic twist and convey a wide range of observations and insights written from the heart.

A favorite topic is about aviation from a pilot's point of view through the limitless panorama of a wrap-around windshield. I find the focus demanded by driving a transport or flying an aircraft leads to a creative mindset. At such times a pad and pen are always near at hand.

photo courtesy of Stella Mazur Preda


the crisp morning is still life
as whispers of wind
sway tight prairie grass.
sunrise clears darkness
illuminating rolling hills
and all too familiar outlines

movement starts and startles
as animals scurry about
as if by cannon fire this silence is broken
voices and noises compete
as engines roar to life
starting the hustle of work
digging equipment
leaves a six-foot deep scar
in this virgin land
noise dust fumes energy and sweat
pour out until dusk
as this work-train fuses hollow steel together
in persuit of more Energy

as dullness returns to our sky
tired serenity prevails
until tomorrow
when this cycle will continue
for the necessity of this resource
and a human love of this work

Earned Skill

ready for departure
as captain of this jet –
an earned skill

the night is clear
to the overcast layer
powered up engines
thunder the land
runway motion
rocks us into the air
a smoothness of its own

first I enter clouds that split sky and ground
stars dot an invisible horizon

soft crimson circles
glow from towns
like hidden gems
with billowy caps






The Thrill

unsealed hangar doors roll open
                                       at last
I have waited an eternity
to see this beauty

gleaming shine
                       across long wings
carnival colors
                       in sunlight

sitting inside
a turn of the key
starts a symphony
under the nose covering

an invisible whirling propeller
moves me to a runway

controllers issue clearance
                         anxiety is overcome
runway markings disappear
faster and faster

my first flight of spring
as always
is a heart pounding thrill


Heat Wave

movement slows down

a childless swing
of thick knotted rope
                       and half a tire
dangle in Humidex
from a tall tree

it's too hot to think
of energetic pleasures

birds won't fly
        they leave branches
        and glide to the ground

hurry rains
hurry sundowns
where I can step outside
and breathe

        fresh air

Open Door

you left the door
to your heart
wide open
and all I had to do
was walk inside


for there is no rush
we are young
and one more day
will not make a difference

as I ponder my move
someone else
a good decision maker
crossed the threshold

as so many times before
I have all the time
in the world
to look
for another open door

Hamilton Gnomes

a weaving pattern
of shabbily dressed
smoking sidewalk gnomes
litter King Street

declining image and fashion
cigarette clouds puff the atmosphere
some sport soup stained beards
flick smoked butts to the curb

sighing in a delusional search
for a welcome diversion
from leaning against walls
and conversing with parking meters.

they are merchants seeking opportunity
to play their cash register
in symphonic harmony
the key to a sale

Writer's Block

I remember the day well
enroute home on transit
to my hellhole abode
deep writer's block
moot creativeness

Burlington Route 10
GM Coach and Detroit Diesel
driven by Rita in vocal song
to lyrics and composition
on this mobile stage
like a chorus of angels
driven to rescue
a dormant poet

my mind became inspired
and tonight my pen
will still be in motion
well past midnight

Poetry and Song

an emergency
rushed me to your bed side
time will tell
of danger or recovery

I held your hand
as you must have held mine
in infancy

in a whispering tone
I recited your favorite poetry
and sang remembered songs
out of sync and key

recuperation may tell
if you heard one word
or note

Time Tattooed in Memory

humming power guiding the long hood
smooth between highway lines into darkness
interrupted by the occasional set of headlights
coming to glare bright until passed
into darkness and broken lines
the night is beautiful in weather and celestial display
car lights after car lights approach in a steady flow
then depart in passive redness
reflected in blackened mirrors
the next set of lights looks lonely
approaching faster than the others
as if in a hurry to reach a destination or destiny
it won't take long for those lights to pass
so close and fast in a time
about to be tattooed in my mind

abruptly that car crosses into my lane
suddenly time is hollow as the vehicle
disappears into the slant vision vacuum
just ahead of the hood of my truck
I lift out of my seat anticipating a full collision
activating all braking methods
including the deathbed Red Button Terminal System

impact is heavy ― engines die

rubber screeches life and motion to a stop
sounds and smells of emergency break the night
into a path of speckled glass and debris
leading to a wreck on the ditch embankment
paralyzed and staring in stunned disbelief
I step down shakily to begin a jittered tip-toed walk
toward no sign of life

among the ominous automotive litter
of a car so shockingly unrecognizable
a stilled mannequin figure in fixated stare
hands locked onto the steering wheel

« still alive, thank God, she is still alive »

safely I remove this youth from potential disaster by fire amid a swirling fog of fluids unable to survive
such a collision

« shocked only, thank you God, she is shocked only »

the stress of youthful priorities
overpowered by a parental demand
to get right home to study for school
instead of socializing with friends

enroute streaming tears and ranting
gave in to losing the will to live

… I'll show you, all of you,
you will be sorry now, Mom,
for I am going no farther than
the front end of this oncoming
truck ...




Ed was born in Toronto. His early interest and education was in the field of electronics and engineering, but hands on experience and travel replaced a degree. He worked for several utility companies in different roles but became especially capable in transportation. His experiece in this field includes piloting aircraft, driving trucks (including tankers and extended/oversized vehicles), taxis and buses.

After a major collision incapacitated him, and during his recovery from surgery, he wandered into a meeting of the Tower Poetry Society. He felt at home with the gathered members and with their encouragement began to write about his life experiences.

Today he is semi-retired, but writes about his past and his present life. He volunteers his time at several nursing and retirement homes. He lives with his partner in Dundas.


photo courtesy of Ed Woods

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