“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
Pure Mexican, can’t you tell? She hung around me, panting, pawing the sand in front of my feet, friendly enough. Or maybe she wasn’t Mexican. Maybe she was American. Really, you can’t tell, can you? But that’s not what this story is about. Continue reading
What could be better than going to Baja Mexico in February – from snow drifts to sand dunes; from tires spinning on ice to waves crashing on the beach; from white-out conditions to bougainvillea and cactus flowers in bloom? What could be better than all that? Going to Writing-down-the-Baja, a writers retreat led by author Ellen Waterston of The Writing Ranch, and attended by bra fitting expert and author Elisabeth Dale. Not that I knew the latter would be there or that there would be surreptitious glances at my breasts to determine did I know what I was doing bra-wise. No, that was a double-barreled bonus. Continue reading
Lopsided, I lug my tote bag and clomp into the change room of the community swimming pool half an hour late – because of work. The lane swim began at 11:30. I like to get there for the start, be the first one to break the surface of the water, make the first wave, set the pace. I tiptoe through the heat-fogged room in winter boots, careful not to slip on the slick floors. I love the smell of chlorine at high noon. I’m in my element. Continue reading
Will work for cookies.
Pat stamps fast tracks –
tap tap taps.
Baas assays Pat’s annals,
yack yack yacks,
alarms Pat. Nay ‘scape.
Can’t sass. Facts am facts.
Pat drafts a brash plan,
charts tasks, basks –
ha ha ha – all’s grand and
all that. At last, Baas marks
Pat A1 – nay spat – pays scant.
Alas, tax man grabs all back.