Wednesday, March 31, 2010

winter pulls away

winter pulls away

leaving streams
that burble
the promise
"i will return"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

the eternal dreamer

for the next two days
i am living on the thirtieth floor
of a hotel in downtown toronto

it's to do with
my work

my role


my days
are circumscribed by time

it's how things get done

it's how things get measured

and yet i know myself
to know
that i exist
outside of time

so i make a point
of finding
the timeless
and making it my acquaintance

for i love
the timeless
in whatever form it takes

we hear him and take him among us like a wind of music,
like the ghost of a music we have somewhere heard;

we crowd through the streets in a dazzle of pallid lamplight,
we pour in a sinister mass, we ascend a stair,

with laughter and cry, with word upon murmured word,

we flow, we descend, we turn. . . . and the eternal dreamer
moves on among us like light, like evening air . . .

all words conrad aiken from the house of dust

Monday, March 29, 2010

the grace

as unsurely
as i move

this moment

by a thread)

i will
become more
of what
i am meant to be

and in the becoming

granted the grace
to let me tell the tale
of why

Sunday, March 28, 2010

a factory window at night

a night time walk
past an old factory window

the only light on a darkened street

across the road
a cemetery

an almost complete

in the sky
a full moon
round and white
peers from behind
scudding clouds

there is no one around
to think it odd
as i sit on the curb
just my self -
this window

i've looked out
windows just like this
and now
i am older
i can look in
and treasure
its dusty orange glow

so much of my life
in the enfolding
of a march night

Saturday, March 27, 2010

the bottled glow

one of the beauties of being a teacher
is that you get to sew seeds.

i have an idea
about the kind of future i wish for my kids
i took my class
that incorporates active and passive solar systems,
grey water processing
geothermal heating,
walls made from straw bales
and adobe.
walls made from shredded denim and adobe.

and the people who work there showed
how it can all be put together
into a real working building.

but honestly,
i was really drawn to a wall
made of cans and bottles
and mud.

it was truly beautiful.
especially because the light
was drifting through

and blue glass

even the clear glass put on a show

and what was especially exciting
was that i was able to say truly
to my kid's faces
that this is now -

it's real.

it's here.

it's entirely possible
and it doesn't cost more than a regular
old-fashioned building.

like the one i call home.

we're hoping to be asked back
to help plant the butterfly garden in the spring.
it'll match the one we have planned to dig in to the natural habitat at our own school.

Friday, March 26, 2010

frost halo

in the morning
a frost halo

let that fragile gift
ever so gently
onto the finger
of your imagining

Thursday, March 25, 2010

little wonders





wonder -- is not precisely knowing

and not precisely knowing not --

a beautiful but bleak condition

he has not lived who has not felt --

emily dickinson

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

getting my feet wet

it's funny

but when i
get my feet wet

they dry out

i know that

but i do all
that i can
to avoid
getting my feet wet

and not

i'm not alone

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a chance

spring snow
traces a loving line

through the woods

across the river

takes complex routes
along the shoreline

and comes
to a rest

a chance to breathe
and listen
and see

Monday, March 22, 2010

an early spring snow

an early spring snow!
strange to think
that i've been waiting all winter
for its soft white kiss

an early morning
a walk down a little stream

allows me to reflect
on reflections

to see the light-rippled
of water

free to flow

and to be grateful
for so much

Sunday, March 21, 2010

spring in my step

a cold day
that began with snow
through the woods
i can feel the earth
wriggling out
from under the weight
of its winter memories.


tracks of rain and light linger in
the spongy greens of a nature whose
trees vanish--reappear--vanish:

but--stirred, the eye seizes
for the first time--the eye awake!--
anything, a dirt bank with green stars
of scrawny weed flattened upon it under
a weight of air

words excerpted from william carlos williams "romance moderne"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

deliquescence (ii)

in its ripples and whorls
a necklace of mirrors

their polished surface
and you will see
all the givens
and negotiables

the myriad allusions
to the transitory

each drop of water
in its deliquescent dance
a timeworn
to impermanence

what is
is not

what is beginning
is ending

it is here
it is gone

all in one moment

of being

(for dan gurney)

Friday, March 19, 2010

drawing the line

the sun
draws the line
between winter and spring

the line is fine

and sometimes

sometimes it is subtle

like a flare of morning sun
threaded through
a frozen rivulet of ice

and sometimes it
fills the skies
with departing
winter wings

Thursday, March 18, 2010

stones singing

a poet hears stones
singing water music while
stones hear his heart sing

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

late winter wind

crow tales
are being sung


the wind is dancing
silver-blue ribbons
clenched in its teeth

i can hear its
cold fingers
sliding across
the walls

for an opening

a door not entirely closed

a window left slightly open

a place to enter
and wrap itself around
the honey-coloured
flame tongue
of warmth
that swirls
in soft arabesques
around me

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

lisa o piu

the keen-eyed among you might have noticed a link to the music of lisa o piu on my sidebar.
the brave among you might have clicked on that link and gone to her myspace page.
the daring might even have clicked on the player on her myspace page when you landed there.

my mate sid (who you also likely know by face and perhaps by music as his mug also graces the sidebar with links to his outstanding series of podcasts) turned my ears towards lisa's work
with a glowing review of her new album which you can read right here.

but really, the music tells its own story and so here's the gift of a beautiful tale.

Monday, March 15, 2010

river life

the city i live in is bisected by a beautiful river.
i cross it two times every day.

the otonabee was once a wild river that the first nations used to travel through this region.

later, it drew the early settlers to its side because it provided not only the necessary liquids around which all life inevitably gathers, but also because it provided a source of energy.
energy to drive grainmills and woodmills.

many cities began their lives this way.

it is now a tamed river. being a source of hydroelectricity for the city, there are dams to help divert water into the small plants that create power. passing through several small towns and my city, it also provides us with our drinking water, and being one element of a waterway for boaters travelling from lake ontario to the south to lake huron in the north there is a lock system to ensure safe passage for lovely little boats.


it has retained much of its beauty.

as these appreciative residents will tell you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


is (my aunt)
margaret's birthday

she is not one
to sing her own praises
she is not one
to encourage others
to sing her praises

and yet
among the many legacies of her living
i know that
so much of what and who i am
comes from gifts
and otherwise
that margaret
has shared with me

a copy
of hermann hesse's
and a trip
to europe
at a tender
and critical age
opened worlds
that flowered from that point

my most treasured worlds!
worlds that became
my passion for writing
for art
for music
for thinking
for being
for doing

her greatest gift
for me
has been the quality with which
she lives her life

so thankyou!

happy birthday margaret!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

time to return to water

last night's walk home
was cheerier than usual
as of this morning
or last night
depending on your perspective
it's march break!

the sun is higher in the sky -
so are the temperatures

for each day
of the march break
the temperature will be above zero

the ice on the river is breaking up

time to return
to what the trees
the flowers
the rabbits
the bugs
all living
or to become living
things require

time to return to water

time to become more fluid