02/26/2019, 0600, -22 Celsius or Fahrenheit
matters naught, either way the mathematical
conversion equals ice.
I push my tootsies into felt lined “Joan of Arctic”
boots temperature rated to -32 C (-25 F)
and squint into the morning’s sub-zero blast,
dream of the day spring brings a new
numerology. We count on Pi Day to celebrate,
defrosting last summer’s cherries sweetened
beneath a warm crust. Until then, I trundle
past the Christmas tree the garbage men forgot
in January, still hidden under its snow sarcophagus.
Oaken and frozen
You don’t hear his command,
so he delivers a bitter reprimand
and takes you down with a hard smack.
He teaches you a lesson with a whack
to the knee, a stab in your low back. Continue reading
Hard, fast ice on the Rideau Canal, January 25, 2018
I skated by myself today. By choice. I wobble when I skate and I’m slow and I’m afraid of falling. Plus, I don’t want to hold anyone back and I don’t want them to see my ancient skates which date way back to the early ’90’s. They were the first generation of leisure skates. ie. NOT figure skates. They have a thick liner and fasten with velcro. This means when its minus 20 my fingers survive the 20 seconds required to pat the velcro in place.
Have you ever tried to unlace skates, winkle your foot into the boot and then spent the next 15 minutes getting the buggers laced up while you lose sensation in your fingers and your glasses fog over because you’re breathing through your scarf and then your nose starts to drip and your eyes start to water from the cold? When you skate the condensation in your spectacles freezes and you’re blind. Velcro prevents this from happening.
There I was screewhooshing along on the best hard ice so far this season when I stopped to take a picture at Patterson Inlet. Two women were attempting a selfie and asked if I would take their picture.”Where you from?” I asked.
“Maine and Massachusetts. We’ve been friends for 40 years and we both turned 55 so we came here to celebrate.”
And off they skated with me wobbling behind them. As they slid away they said “We’re sorry for our President.”
I said “Me too. But I like our Prime Minister.”
“So do we.”
Wasn’t that nice?
Photo by Maine and Massachusets
Just Jot It January: Prediction
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.
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
This jot’s got no juice. There’s no justice!
Rideau Canal skateway, Ottawa – January 8, 2018
Justice is the prompt for Just Jot It January today.
scatters crows –
ammo from a pellet
Such a flap.
They don’t know
even bullets can’t
Photo credit: Greg Saulmon https://birdsdowntown.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/with-first-snow-in-western-massachusetts-crow-roost-takes-shape-in-springfield/
Sun glides over snow, checks the pulse of earth, cracks open the ribs of this black morning, revives light. Colour rises, rosy – respires.
Dawn yawns, inhales grey, exhales pink. Later, when the day dons blue we force ourselves out. For the dog. Why else venture into frozen lung territory where breath pinches nostrils, a sign not all pink is benign.
We creep across the snow crust, wish it were pie crust we could eat instead of feeling eaten. Snow bites our feet. Where did my toes go?
We unpin icicles from the roof, chew blue, become the hue because this is what we do in winter – respire*.
*I’m tinkering with the word respire which means to breathe, but also has an older definition meaning “to recover hope, courage, or strength after a time of difficulty.” I like the idea that winter is a period of recovery, not just something awful to be endured and gotten through. And of course every dawn is just that – hope for a better day.
Here’s a musical take on blue for you, something mellow to sip your coffee by. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4PKzz81m5c – Chet Baker – Almost Blue
The rejected hat
No one in the family likes this hat. Composed of odds and ends of yarn leftover from other projects, it flops at the back halfheartedly, neither all the way down nor pointing straight out. No one has a coat that matches it either. Its awkward, like the sad uncle who shows up at Christmas and slumps in the plaid wing chair, sending out waves of malaise along with a faint aroma of wet wool, coffee breath, and an under note of evergreen air freshener. Continue reading
Spectacles rest above his brow
cornea drops spot the window pane
thinly sheathed in freezing rain
cataracts blot his view. Continue reading
Sit and reflect
A green lawn chair
by the woods.
My fretful steps forgotten.
by undulating drifts
and hiding beneath
the trembling storm,
the forest. Forward,
just a few steps
beyond the last stand,
So much past.
Savouring the future.
*Written in response to the weekly photo challenge – Reflections. On my usual daily walk, albeit in a robust snowstorm, I noticed this lawn chair in the woods. What a perfect spot – in the summer – to sit and think.