Friday, November 30, 2012

my "buddy"

this is my daily ride

since moving into my new home
on the north edge of downtown
(you know . . .  the slightly cool 
almost well to do place called the "teacher's college area")

i've left him outside

mmm hmmmm
i gave my bike a gender

but true . . . 

. . . nope no name!

but i do refer to him as "buddy"
at times when he bails me out of tight spots

"thanks buddy you're so good to me . . ."
when he gets me to places quickly and safely

"thanks buddy for being so understanding . . ."
when he carries insane amounts of food or beer
in the panniers
or huge items for my house
through rain and shine and fog
and now snow

"come on in buddy" when the weather's so crap outside that i understand 
why the chain comes off 'cause the rear derailleur's so gummed up from the dried oil 
and street muck 
and yeah
he's a machine for sure
but somehow he conjures the need in me
to take risks
and to move quickly

he definitely prefers the downtown streets
to the west end streets he used to live on

see for starters
there are other riders on
downtown streets and they've got "colour"

ya know what i mean by "colour?"
some of them are on
slick wheels . . .
hardcore riders who don't repond to my "hello's", my "good morning's", my "hey dude's!"
my "sweet bike brother!"
 but then
who knows what shit their lives are filled with?!

and i say with all my heart and fifty two years of riding under my arse
that when you're on two wheels
tell me
you aren't the luckiest person alive!!!
go ahead
tell me it ain't true!!!

downtown there's more riders who are on rusted squeaking wobbling whips

my faves are the
bikes somehow wrestled together
from the scrap bin on aylmer
and cobbled onto bits
from punked bikes left punched and trammelled
on the side of the road or chained to poles
with more and more bits missing every day
their wheels warped and exploded
like an umbrella in a high wind

those are the most righteous bikes
always ridden by guys who don't wear helmets, goretex gloves,
or jackets striped with reflective tape and pants shipped purolator from portland
"the hub of the bike universe"
nope those dudes are wearing third hand mark's work wearhouse pants
and maybe a carhart jacket that somehow slipped through
the value village filter  
and boots . . . 
always steel toed boots with no laces

and when i pass those dudes i nod a slight nod and they always
nod a slight nod right back.
no smile
no words
just the connection
that sweet so very real moment
when we say without saying anything
"we're hurtin' in our own ways -
it's tough being human isn't it?!"

but both of us
are free
for this brief time being
while we ride our bikes
through the streets

and our nods are like tickets
granting us safe passage to the next way-station
to the next set of lights
to the next coffee or drink
to the next car that somehow doesn't see us
or somehow fails to anticipate a choice 
we have no choice but to make
and when we arrive
at the doors to our homes
and switch on the light and leave
our bikes
i know 
that at that very moment
the very last glimmer of energy from those nods
drifts off into the night
and i can say
in all honesty and with affection
"thanks buddy"
to my bike sitting out on the porch

Thursday, November 29, 2012


time passes and music settles deeper and deeper . . .

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

in the night

late in the night
the popping and banging and creaking
of this old house
remind me of my own gently aging bodies'
each day 

and so i get up and touch its walls 
and run my hands along its 
framed doorways and railings
reassuring it
and drawing it closer
before returning
to my own bed
filled with the soft light
the three a.m. streetlamps

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

everything revealed

like fenceposts
drowned in the water
pointing inwards

"everything revealed is magical,
splendid in its ordinary shining."

Monday, November 26, 2012

it happens all the time in heaven

it happens all the time in heaven,
and some day
it will begin to happen
again on earth -
that men and women who are married,
and men and men who are
and women and women
who give each other
often will get down on their knees
and while so tenderly
holding their lover's hand,
with tears in their eyes,
will sincerely speak, saying,
"my dear,
how can I be more loving to you;
how can I be more


Sunday, November 25, 2012

don't surrender

don't surrender your loneliness so quickly

let it cut more deep.

let it ferment and season you

as few human or even divine ingredients can

something missing in my heart tonight

has made my eyes so soft

my voice so tender

my need of God

absolutely clear.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

the bridge

and forever and forever,
   as long as the river flows,
as long as the heart has passions,
   as long as life has woes;   

the moon and its broken reflection
   and its shadows shall appear,
as the symbol of love in heaven,
   and its wavering image here.

excerpted from "the bridge" by henry wadsworth longfellow

Friday, November 23, 2012

ripe depths

i've dreamt of rivers
thick with time


only shadows stir in their ripe depths

Thursday, November 22, 2012


it's lovely to wake to a world of fog and tangerine lights and softened trees and the gentle dripping of captured droplets coalescing into single drops then returning to the earth eventually . . . .

i ran out of storage space on picasa today and so in order to continue illustrating this blog i'll need to purchase more space. that may / likely will happen later today . . . .

for now then . . .

“wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.” - kahlil gibran

kahlil was a good dude . . .  thanks for the reminder brother!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


exultation is the going
of an inland soul to sea,—
past the houses, past the headlands,
into deep eternity!

emily dickinson

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


a man's ignorance sometimes is not only useful, but beautiful--while his knowledge, so called, is oftentimes worse than useless, besides being ugly. which is the best man to deal with--he who knows nothing about a subject, and, what is extremely rare, knows that he knows nothing, or he who really knows something about it, but thinks that he knows all?

Monday, November 19, 2012

my vicinity

"my vicinity affords many good walks; and though for so many years i have walked almost every day, and sometimes for several days together, i have not yet exhausted them. an absolutely new prospect is a great happiness, and i can still get this any afternoon. two or three hours' walking will carry me to as strange a country as i expect ever to see."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

straight to the heart

a mid afternoon walk through an older part of town
opens my eyes
to treasures
that have seen 
and know much

even sidewalks

and then of course
the younger
proudly showing off

bright red
sweet to the eyes

straight to the heart!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

without condition

i saw this leaf . . . still pale red
with hints of tangerine about its fringes
lying still
nestled in the fingers and arms
and throats and eyes and arms and hearts
of a hedge
that had somehow taken 
this leaf  . . . still pale red
with hints of tangerine about its fringes
their welcoming
fingers and arms
and throats and eyes and arms and hearts
without condition

Friday, November 16, 2012

oh the stories . . .

i wondered at the stories that could have run
the length of the ropes 
attached to the boats
carrying the people
who stopped at this lone mooring


they had been given the chance

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Already in front of the islet, the rushes and reed flowers shine!

du fu

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

i have spread my dreams

he wishes for the cloths of heaven

had i the heavens' embroidered cloths,
enwrought with golden and silver light,
the blue and the dim and the dark cloths
of night and light and the half-light,
i would spread the cloths under your feet:
but i, being poor, have only my dreams;
i have spread my dreams under your feet;
tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

w.b. yeats

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

november 13

i'll be here to welcome you back!

Monday, November 12, 2012


on river road coming back from lakefield 
these reeds
reaching up reaching out
reaching in

Sunday, November 11, 2012


this is the treacherous month when autumn days
with summer's voice come bearing summer's gifts.
beguiled, the pale down-trodden aster lifts
her head and blooms again. the soft, warm haze
makes moist once more the sere and dusty ways,
and, creeping through where dead leaves lie in drifts,
the violet returns.

excerpted from "november" by helen jackson

Saturday, November 10, 2012

waiting to fall

my eyes
fell through
this leaf crested archway

i rested
in the branches

held like summer
dry and spent
waiting to fall

Friday, November 9, 2012

half moon run

lovely music! 

i ask for more and accept much less 

with genuine gratitude!

because less . . .

is more

than i could imagine -

Thursday, November 8, 2012


this little moment in a river reflecting an early november sky . . . trees newly bare of their summer clothing . . .

on one of my rides around the east side of the river . . a new route for me . . .

and one of the last images from my old camera which has gradually been giving up its spirit . . .

thankyou little camera . . .

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

the hunt

after hurricane sandy sent long howling whistling fingers of rain through the trees it has become even more difficult to find the last vestiges of colour still clinging to their sugared summery memories and so imagine my joy when i found one slender tree holding ever so tightly to her leaves!!!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

all of these and this

this brittle sweep
this grazing caress 
these binding forms
this tender chill
this interlacing
this drawing me closer
this pushing me back
these words that grasp

Monday, November 5, 2012

guy fawke's day 2012

well here it is november 5th and i completely overlooked the major event of the day for all anglophiles which is that this day in england is “guy fawkes day”. the day is named after guy fawkes, the most famous of a huge pile of conspirators who decided to blow up the parliament of england and the king back in 1605.
my own memories of guy fawkes night are vague but involve a stuffed "guy" in a wheelbarrow, a catherine wheel, fireworks, and treacle toffee and a massive (to me at the time) bonfire.
the history of the event is well documented.
the big bomb plot was supposed to mark the beginning of a great uprising of english catholics,
who were really bothered by the increased severity of penal laws against the practice of their religion.
the big mistake that the conspirators made?
well they got a little carried away by their importance
and expanded their number to a point where secrecy was impossible.
this is key to the success of secret societies:
don't share everything.
keep it small.
have lots of secret symbols and signs.
meet in strange places.
the plot itself is unique in my own view.
one of the chief conspirators hired a cellar under the house of lords,
in which 36 barrels of gunpowder,
overlaid with iron bars and firewood,
were secretly stored.
the conspiracy really began to fall part
when a mysterious letter was sent to lord monteagle,
a brother-in-law of one of the conspirators,
(more proof that
it's the brother-in-law you should worry about,
not the mother-in-law)
on october 26,
urging him not to attend parliament on the opening day.
the 1st earl of salisbury and others,
to whom the plot was made known,
took steps that lead to the discovery of the materials
and the arrest of poor guy fawkes as he entered the cellar.
it's easy to imagine his disappointment!
the other conspirators,
were either overtaken in flight or seized afterward,
and then were killed outright,
or executed in various nasty ways.
guy fawkes day,
november 5,
is still celebrated in england with fireworks and bonfires,
on which effigies of the conspirator are burned.
now here's the funny thing: the real guy was never burned.
he was supposed to be hung, drawn and quartered
(please don't ask or google it -
it's horrible)
but he managed to jump off the scaffold
breaking his neck and thereby sparing himself the nastiness of all that was planned for him.

so happy guy fawkes day to all my english and expatriot english readers!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

early november. by the river

i came upon a whittled drifting sameness
of day
that had colour and form 
but no substance
i could hold onto 

and so i sought its echo
in nature

Saturday, November 3, 2012

a little moment by a pond in the autumn

do you know
i stood here for a while

not knowing
much of anything
other than

because i couldn't
in all conscience
wish for more

Friday, November 2, 2012

give me a name

teacher give me a name
so that I'll know what to call myself


Thursday, November 1, 2012

the thin film

this moment of leaves
yellowed and spent
on the thin film
between air and sediment