Not Niagara Falls
May 28 – Niagara Falls, Ontario
The meeting starts at 8:00 a.m. and I arrive at 7:00 to make sure the internet connection works, put out the name plates for the attendees, distribute expense claims, test the conference phone. With everything ready to go, I stroll outside. At 7:30 on Sunday morning the town is quiet. I saunter along the path following the lip of the Niagara River gorge to find fog and mist obscuring both the river and the Canadian falls. Continue reading
All day, I sat in a windowless meeting room in the basement of a hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia and listened to very important people talk about very important things. Immediately before the meeting my bowels had erupted, protesting as they often do to the change in input when I travel. I also forgot my acid reflux meds at home in Ottawa. And so the day began.
French Canadian woman looks down on symbol of English oppression – the Bank of Montréal.
Reside as a word to describe where you live sounds forensic to me, like something you’d read in a police report. “The victim, a 59 year old female with two gold fillings, resides at 123 Dull Street, in Ottawa East. It rings of resignation and victim-hood.
Montréalers do not reside, baby, they live, Live, LIVE! Don’t bore me with that old joie de vivre bullshit. Montréalers are way past that borrowed colonial French cliché. They’re on a whole different planet of life. Continue reading
Coffee and teeth the colour of
old love notes on
blue lined and boxed beneath
the bed – the bed at 3 this morning
unscented Continue reading
“Gert was promiscuous. “ And then my brother said “Her husband criticized her housekeeping.” I’m not sure either of these two traits was a true – or fair – measure of my Aunt Gert. Continue reading
Dozens of alarm clocks squawk
– these darling starlings –
speak sun, speak beams,
speak corn snow soon to go,
squawk sun loaded bullets
to snow below – warning squawks fired.
Light flickers behind our shut eyes,
the Greek Chorus sings: yellow beaks
speak spring, speak spring! Awake!
We are here. We are here!
Map of Canada – 1963
When the Canadian Oxford Desk Atlas of the World dated 1963 was published, I was six years old. The first map in the book shows the land mass of Canada and the scale is one inch to 300 miles. In this atlas the islands and inlets spattering the west coast of my childhood are, like my memories, unnamed. I know now those islands grew from cataclysms and it makes sense that the route through them – the way home – is dangerous. Continue reading
we rumble-clatter-rumble-clatter by
cracked grey barns
school buses in the yard
deer hobbyhorses support
turkeys forage orts Continue reading
We moved to Vancouver Island when I was ten. One of the selling features for the new location offered by my dad was horses – I could learn how to ride. Lessons arranged, I showed up at the barn on Saturday morning. The group lessons had started the week before and so the trainer gave me the last horse available – a 16 hands tall beast named Jet. I needed a leg-up to get into the stirrups. Continue reading