Dear Vaccine

My fellow inebriates,

I’m submitting a poem to “Dear Vaccine” ( It is a global community poem that I just learned about today when listening to CBC Radio, inviting people to share their voices to promote COVID-19 vaccination through poetry.

So, I’m poised to enter my poem. I’ve loaded it into the field and am about to hit “enter.” Will they accept it? I’m very nervous… So just in case they don’t (for the multiple reasons they might reject it), here’s my poem:

We liked the day the traffic stopped,

The banging pots and pans.

The way we wanted to protect

Our granddads and our grans.


And suddenly we all were home,

with Zoom-enabled work.

With four of us and gerbils too,

We quickly went berserk.


At first they said: Don’t bother with

A face-shield or a mask.

“You’ll just spread germs! You’ll wear it wrong!”

They didn’t make the ask.


And that was dumb, but so was when

They said: “Go back to school!”

Why not share air with 30 kids?

Why wouldn’t that be cool?


And even dumber was the time

They said to stay in our “safe six.”

That only works if you can trust

Your six aren’t total dicks.


And while the numbers climbed and climbed,

Yet assholes still did frolic,

The government’s response was just

Chaotic and shambolic.


To mask or not? To get a test?

To bubble with your neighbour?

To get the CERB (or pay it back)?

To safely sell your labour?


And frontline workers, nurses, docs—

You get the biggest callout.

While douchebags rallied without masks,

You suffered through the fallout.


For those of us who work from home,

We should know we are lucky.

The fridge is here, and all the snacks.

It’s really not so sucky.


When you are home all night and day,

The liquor bottles beckon.

Why not pour Bailey’s in my tea?

It just seems fair, I reckon.


And on that note, why not partake

Of Cuervo with my brunch?

Why wait with jitters and the sweats

For noon-time liquid lunch?


And BC Liquor Stores, you jewel!

You made our booze essential.

Who cares if productivity

Has not been exponential?


So it’s been good, but it’s been bad.

For kids it has been rough.

A year without their grandparents

Is way, way, way too tough.


And now we have not just one shot,

But two or three or four,

To make those fucking protein spikes

Torment us nevermore.


“So which one should I get?” you ask,

When there’s a veritable menu.

Not only can you choose your jab;

You get your choice of venue.


But government, you’ve let us down.

You’ve vacillated once again.

You say the best shot is the one

That’s offered, while NACI maintains

It’s Pfizer you should get at once,

Not AZ if you have a choice.

Moderna, too, can beat those spikes,

And Pfizer’s good for girls and boys.


If you are stuck with AZ, then

Be glad that it’s not Sputnik.

The odds are astronomically against

A nasty platelet uptick.


It’s okay if you have some fears…

The needle stick, the achy arm.

The big thing is you understand

How vaccines can prevent much harm.


So anti-vaxers, hear me now:

You shut your mouths and take your shot!

It’s easy—all you’re gonna feel

Is soreness, and you will not clot.


The very best thing that our world

Has done is make vaccines.

When we’re all jabbed, we can feel safe.

Just think what that would mean.

To Pumpkin Beer

I do believe I’ve had enough

Of Halloween-inspired beer.

I started with an open mind

But now I find these products queer.

If hops and barley weren’t enough,

The ghosts and goblins usher in

A cornucopious array

Of “pumpkin” everything but gin.

It’s not like I would ever turn

This autumn merchandise away.

My paws would tremble violently

Without a sip to start the day.

Elysian and Fernie ale,

Lost Souls and Schadenfreude—

My parents wouldn’t buy them all;

At first I was a bit annoyed.

But as we sampled one or two,

Then three and four and five,

The odds seemed most uncertain that

The hops and gingered cloves would jive.

Essentially I just want booze,

Not cinnamon or nutmeg musk,

Nor allspice-dusted candied yams—

Just alcohol from dawn to dusk.

For this my girlfriend says I’m shite,

Unworthy of a hug or cuddle.

That’s fine, I say, but what about

A beer that’s not a flavor muddle?

And then the bottles, people, look!

Each with a creepy pumpkin head…

They scare the shit out of this bear,

Redoubling his existing dread.

Perhaps purveyors of these brews

Don’t realize that I live in fear?

With Scary, Fluffy, and Miss P,

Why would I want scares from my beer?

If only talismanic power went

Along with this autumnal fare;

I’d ward off Fluffy and his twin,

Apocalyptic Scarybear.

Instead I reek not just of malt

But ginger barf and pumpkin tart.

If Mum gets just one rancid whiff,

An evil Maytag ride might start. (OMG!)

So goodbye, spicy cookie notes

Confounding my October ale.

You’ve left your dark kavorka* on

My moustache, chin, and furry tail.

When Halloween has come and gone,

I’ll give these funny beers a pass

Unless, again, I find myself

With DTs chomping at my ass.

*thanks again, beerbecue