Monthly Archives: May 2011


Here is a poem by James Reaney from The Essential James Reaney, published by The Porcupine’s Quill.


All day cars mooed and shrieked,
Hollered and bellowed and wept
Upon the road.
They slid by with bits of fur attached,
Fox-tails and rabbit-legs,
The skulls and horns of deer,
Cars with yellow spectacles
Or motorcycle monocle,
Cars whose gold eyes burnt
With a too-rich battery,
Murderous cars and manslaughter cars,
Chariots from whose foreheads leapt
Silver women of ardent bosom.
Ownerless, passengerless, driverless,
They came to anyone
And with headlights full of tears
Begged for a master,
For someone to drive them
For the familiar chauffeur.
Limousines covered with pink slime
Of children’s blood
Turned into the open fields
And fell over into ditches,
The wheels kicking helplessly.
Taxis begged trees to step inside
Automobiles begged of posts
The whereabouts of their mother.
But no one wished to own them anymore,
Everyone wished to walk.

James Reaney, 1949

Klaxon was published in 1949 in The Red Heart, the first collection of James Reaney’s poems. You can hear James Reaney reading Klaxon in the NFB’s animated film collection, Poets on Film No. 1.

La Cosecha Community Garden
East Broadway and Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC

“The Box Social” screenplay success

Congratulations to student Scott Summerhayes, whose screenplay based on James Reaney’s short story, “The Box Social,” is one of the Top 13 Finalists in the Canadian Short Screenplay Competition.

“The Box Social” was originally published in 1947 in The Undergrad at the University of Toronto, and then in the popular magazine The New Liberty. Here’s what Reaney had to say about why he wrote the story, in an autobiographical piece from 1992:

“Out of the deep past it somehow came to me, I think from my mother talking about the way men treated women in our neighbourhood. They never struck back; well, in my story one of them did.” (James Crerar Reaney, Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, Volume 15, page 304.)

James Reaney’s short stories are collected in The Box Social and Other Stories, available from The Porcupine’s Quill.

For more about The Box Social, see “Southern Ontario Gothic and James Reaney” from June 2015.


© 2017 James Reaney