A Shot at Redemption

I wake to my mother’s black and white image every day. Her photo hangs over my dresser and she stares directly at me. Its one of those photos where the eyes follow you. My husband has never objected to the location of the photo or that her gaze is focused on our bed. Perhaps its because she is very beautiful and serene.

Judging from the hairstyle and clothes, the photo was probably taken around 1940. She looks like a big city gal which belies her rural Midwest roots. I wonder if it was taken while she lived in Chicago where she finally settled down after years trailing her Dad in the Dirty Thirties as he looked for work.

Propped in my bed with the dog snoring beside me, cozy in a nest of pillows and books, we loll in soft grey light. A squirrel skitters across the roof and I tense, hoping he doesn’t fall down the chimney as happened to one of his brethren on Boxing Day. As I hold my breath, I hear my mother’s voice. Continue reading

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The 42nd

PointPeleeSign

Mainland Canada’s southernmost tip is parallel to Rome and although there are no ancient monuments, the ecosystem is as old as the last ice age when glaciers slid into Lake Erie 11,000 years ago. Point Pelee National Park (pelée being a French word that means “bald”) is on the 42nd parallel and it pokes into the shallowest of the Great Lakes like Pinocchio’s nose. Varieties of plants, animals, insects and birds found within its bounds are unique in the country. It’s a complex ecosystem.

CarolinianForest

Walking through the Carolinian forest of Point Pelee

To reach the Point you drive to a little town called Leamington, Ontario. Leamington is known as the tomato capital of Canada and the tourist office on the main street is housed in an enormous tomato replica – undoubtedly a beefsteak. It comfortably holds two people who peer out of its window and greet you, offer advice on what to see, where to go and how to get there. Continue reading

Right, at Last, and Wide Open — Deborah J. Brasket

Deborah J. Brasket, writer and mother, posted thoughts on moving beyond motherhood and aging, words that lifted me out of Mondayness and made me feel good about this “in-between” stage of life.

Leon

 

 

I’m letting my hair grow out. Like a girl again. It’s past my shoulders already, still mostly brown with a few shimmers of light woven through. I don’t feel old. Few of us do, even while seeing the signs. When I was young, I always felt young. Too young. Young in a lost, vulnerable, deer-in-the-headlights […]

via Right, at Last, and Wide Open — Deborah J. Brasket

Crank

– For immediate release –

Crank, A New Literary Magazine Showcases Older Writers

Pensioners prose given preference

April 16, 2018, Ottawa, Ontario – A new literary journal for the 60+ writer launches here tomorrow. Crank will fill you with high fibre content from the sexti-septi and octogenarians you want to read. Look for age defying fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry to make you wish you were 60, 75 – even 89.

Susanne Fletcher, Crank’s well-seasoned editor, says “No one is too old for Crank but if I find out you’re a 20-something pretending to be 60 because you’re desperate to appear in this mag, I’ll send you a sack of used Depends.”

The inaugural issue features a cover design called “The Grand Damn Canyon”, by 93 year old Val Vielle, and takes you on a single wrinkle’s journey from big toe, through the arroyos of her knees to the crater around her right eye. It will stun you. Sit with ninety-nine year old Digger Jones at the edge of the abyss in his epic confessional poem examining his life as a gravedigger. “Died in Heaven” recalls Mercy Sakes five years in a tie-die commune in central British Columbia.

Crank promises post-menopausal, Viagra pumped prose with no periods. Period. Edgy in the way the young and optimistic don’t get. Real. Short. Limited time offer. Nonfungible.

Fletcher earned her snark working in underfunded non-profits for 40 years. Bitter but not beaten, she feels her experience in this sector notorious for unreasonable expectations and low pay has prepared her to lead Crank.

Got a story, poem, or art to send us? You must be 60 at the time of submission. We charge $50 Canadian ($5.00 US). All funds go to the Crank-in-Chief’s bank account. We promise to reply within two years.  We love horror. Send us your stories.

Contact: sfletcher@crank.ca

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Chrysopoeia

You come from a land of drama. On Vancouver Island gardens and drunks share a word: Lush.  Its mountain peaks split the ski like axes and windstorms batter homes rougher than Viking invaders. Natural colour wails like a Saturday night, as unavoidable as a beach party in June.

Cedar

Maybe because the last time you lived there you were an adolescent it will always be a land of Romantic Comedy, Shakespearean tragedy, The Greatest Show on Earth. Nothing, nothing, nothing in moderation. Like the farmer’s field across from your old high school known province-wide for its hallucinogenic magic mushrooms. Every fall pickers arrived and kids skipped school to harvest organically grown highs until one kid totaled his brain on a bad batch of mushrooms. Drama. Continue reading

Metamorphosis

Image result for the great wave off kanagawa meaning

Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa”

I felt no different when I woke at 2:00 a.m. than when I had fallen into bed four hours earlier but, as is my habit when I wake in the wee hours, I checked my phone for the daily horoscope – to be prepared. The usual exhortations about my love life and relationships glowed in front of my eyes. Then I read the “If today is your birthday…” bit which said:

 There will be numerous occasions over the coming year when it seems as if you are at the mercy of events, and to a large extent you will be. But that does not mean you cannot bend those events to your will. You’re smart enough to make it happen.

I stumbled out of bed in the dark to the bathroom, flicked on the light and looked in the mirror to inspect the damage of a 4th consecutive night of crappy sleep. A strange woman with grey hair looked back at me. Continue reading