Monday, May 31, 2010

they know me as their son

here the blue river

robert spencer flowing water

and these the fields
over whose flowers i chased the butterfly
where overhead the ancient crows
hold their conversation in the sky

berthe morrisot grain field

these are the same, but i am not the same

these trees and stones are audible to me
these idle flowers, that tremble in the wind
the wind that rustles down the well-known forest road
the stream, the trees, the grass, the sighing wind

they know me as their son

arthur wesley dow at evening

text comprised of reassembled elements of ralph waldo emerson's "the river"

Sunday, May 30, 2010

far away

she is so close

and yet
so very
far away

she sees the game
and plays it

"i see you"

she sees me not
but see me she will
and so
i accept her knowing

that it isn't me
she sees
at all

Saturday, May 29, 2010

fairies are like the girls of boy's imaginings

the good fairies bring gifts
and not always
the gifts
you've asked for

more often
they're the gifts you need

the gifts you've wished for
without hearing yourself
say those words
without knowing yourself
think those thoughts

and they weave like fog
into the forest of your life

what you know
of what you know

like the girls
of boy's imaginings
and out
of moments
like fog

and yet not seen

and yet not felt

and yet
not known

their gifts
in perfumed

that leave their
soft fullness
in the air

august malmström dancing fairies

Friday, May 28, 2010

passing through

i stood alone
on the curb
as evening sank
to the earth
like rain-soaked curtains
carelessly draped
in deep violet folds
and smeared
with the slight stain
of the night train's
pale fire

"train station" willis adams

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the crystal escalator

i was in a mall recently -
the sort of place i rarely enter

i was drawn to the people

or what was left of them

sales clerks
playing roles

also playing a role

they all have to
the whole thing
falls apart

there was very little left

when i got home
i had a piece of music
in my head

by yorkshire boy

here it is

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

soft sentinels

the river carries
me on
the back
of its silver-blue body

passing through
eddies and whorls
whose satin voices


trees arch
and as i pass under
their outstretched arms
they ask
in leaf whispery voices,
"are you alright my love?"

rounding a bend
i can see
the terracotta roofs of
the twin gatehouses

soft sentinels

heralding my arrival
at the land of ever after

charles warren eaton french river scene

Monday, May 24, 2010

two taxonomies

two taxonomies

upstream flash of sockeye school;
hard-driving toward a natal home.
a vermillion sea: spurred by the fat
of their own cells.
each summoned through this intrinsic cycle:
alevin, fry, parr…
now, in the heavy last light,
a shared ritual of birth:
a steadfast collectivity of red.

from my sofa, what do i know about struggle?
awash with “he’s and she’s,” and “so-and-so’s”;
soaked through with the weight of small news.
taxonomies are more turgid here than in the stream.

filing home,
the tide of workers
kill their ignitions;
standard also in their phases.
soon the night will fill with the noises of their rituals:
bored plates resigned to their beige placemats;
the drone of grey dishwater;
hard-drives and remotes will yawn to life.
the ragged shorelines of fitful sleep…

in the stream, the upstart salmon embraces its work.
probing with its tail: planting its hopeful spawn
in the shoals of the streambed.
waiting near these gravel nests until rest subsumes it.

peter mullins
may 2010

(thanks for the contribution peter!)

gonna get wet

here's an end of the day view
out my classroom windows.

my boys are laughing . . .

"you know you're gonna get wet!"

they're right . . .

Sunday, May 23, 2010

sailboat pond

i sailed the world
in the course of my life
my dreams the wind
on which i glided

'cross waves
flecked with foam
past islands
rich with my imagining;
lands soft with silk
and glorious with gold
gifted with spices,
cakes, sweets untold

i knew the dreams
of which all men were made
sang the songs
the women taught me

and finally
i came to rest
a little boy
of my own imagining

setting sail
the mystery
of my own becoming self

Saturday, May 22, 2010

the great romance

i am overwhelmed
by the simplest things

a cloud

drifts across my line of vision
and somehow
in its passing
between two trees
i feel the deepest sense
of hope
for this planet

a belief
that this will always be

that rain will fall
that trees will grow

that the great romance
between earth
and sky
that alludes in part
to the deeper love
in the allness of everything

will be available
and always

Friday, May 21, 2010

the hollow log

i like that my life
allows me to say
with my heart
let the river
carry me
under the trees

my body
be a hollowed log
eddie to whorl
let me
under a sky
by branches and leaves

let me feel
this quiet river
into tiny ripples
on the bark
of my passing
twigs and branches
dragging like fingers

and let me
forever onwards
and shaping
and feeling
and being
this tiny space
whole and alone

entirely connected
to the all of everything
in the little universe
of my knowing

Thursday, May 20, 2010

the morning whispers

the morning whispers
and the world
takes a sort of shape

my little world
of burgundy robe
and carpeted stairs
strong organic fair trade coffee

and you

of you

i sit
in the middle of the house
to the west and east

the eastern window
the morning sun

the world
passes through
a smear
of misted glass

here comes the sun . . .

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the work

the intricate
of life
as i imagined it
are nothing compared
to those i experience

fuzzy forms
that come into focus
and then just as suddenly
meld into

at their centre
is some sort of purpose
for i believe
that each and everything
or comes to exist
to allow for

the work
is to see beyond
the entanglement
of perception

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

three white petals

my favourite woodlot
has bloomed
with trilliums

an annual event
much quieter
than the riotous
return of birdsong
but equally joyful

and easily as beautiful


Monday, May 17, 2010

be thirst!

i took this photograph two summers ago.

the little parts of this plant
that you can see
are emerging from a garden
that could be described as "well-ordered".

there's nothing wrong with that.

what appeals to me
is that
this plant had ideas beyond its place.

i liked that then.

i like it now very much more.

for your dry soul
clouds of mercy are gathering
ready to burst open

if you would hear
the heavens speak
be thirst!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

the little ecology

i like that trees make spaces for the rocks
cradling them in their roots
and that the rocks
hold the warmth
of the sun
and the goodness of the rain
giving the soil
and the little creatures
a place to gather
and grow

it seems like such a simple
such a fundamental understanding

reciprocal care

kindness without condition

Saturday, May 15, 2010

all there is

when time
has no relevance
or place

in silent contemplation

as if you were
simply being
this moss-covered rock

is all there is

Friday, May 14, 2010

last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street

there is always time for music

particularly music
that steps out of time
and tells a story
that is older than time

this is music
that fills this space
on rainy mornings
snowy evenings
whatever the weather
space times.

join me
and listen
with open ears
to the
of these men

taking its title from the words of the sufi poet rumi,
jon hassell plays trumpet in a piece of music entitled
"last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street".

here's the full text of rumi's poem:

drunkards fall upon each other, quarrel,
become violent and make a scene.
it is the rule.
like the drunkard, and
worse than the drunkard, is the lover.
to be in love is to enter a gold mine,
but what kind of gold is found there?
the lover, king above all kings,
is not afraid to die and cares nothing for a golden crown.
just as the dervish, with a pearl concealed beneath his worn out cloak,
is not ashamed to beg from door to door.
last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street
“get up,” i told my heart, “and give the soul a glass of wine.
the moment has come to join the nightingale in the garden,
to taste sugar with the parrot of the soul.”
i have fallen, with my heart shattered
i have fallen on your sacred path and broken your bowl
i am drunk my idol, so very drunk
shield me and take my hand.
a new rule, a new law has been decreed.
break all the glasses and fall toward the glassblower.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

an old rock

the morning bloomed
warm and tender

not a soul stirring
anything more than
the life they lived in

in the woods
a somnolent hum
borne not of insects
but the contented
of a clear sky
great swathes
of golden sunshine
through a sweet young canopy
not yet two weeks old

i sat
in the simplest luxury
and dreamed
day dreams
as shadows drifted
their soft grey fingers
across the moss
of an old rock

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

day dream

the waking
and the dream
are so
closely connected
so intimately connected

that they find places
to hold each other
in their arms
and whisper
sweet wishes

that look like this

i sit on the shore
my place
in the slowly flowing
of which
i am
one small part

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

goin' to brownsville

forty years ago i sat on a plane
- a b.o.a.c. boeing 707 -
and put on a tiny pair of earphones to skim through the six channels of music.

on one channel my ears were caught and dragged under by a piece of music that i hadn't heard before.
i kept circling back to it.
over and over.
the way a piece of music
that's meant for your ears does.

that it was the blues was undeniable.
i didn't listen to the blues that much
but i knew enough from my exposure to rock and jazz to recognize it for what it was.

the lyrics stayed in my head for forty years
- "i'm goin' to brownsville, gonna take that right hand road"-
i'd be in the middle of all sorts of activities
in all sorts of places
and those words would sing their way into my mind's ears.

at one point i spent time trying to find the source of the lyrics.
i had no idea who the musician was,
what the song was,

as is the way with these things
i woke up this morning,
hauled up youtube on the macbook
and there it was.

so here it is.

do you remember what it felt like when you first discovered that
people were that good, that cool, that talented, that present and inside their craft.

Monday, May 10, 2010

little birds

i'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

e. e. cummings

may my heart always be open

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old
may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young
and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

ee cummings

Sunday, May 9, 2010

mother's day

on this - mother's day in north america -
i honour my mother

no more than i usually do

ask my friends
ask my colleagues
ask my family

i have a deep respect for my mother
who was difficult
when i needed a "difficult" mother
but didn't know it

easy going
when i needed
easy going
but had no clue why

was loving -
without condition
whether i knew it
or not.

it's very cool
to arrive at a place
of genuine appreciation
and admiration.

happy mother's day mum!


Saturday, May 8, 2010

warm shadows

to remember
the basic goodness
of this place

walk down a path
of copper brown pine needles
on a warm day

in the shadows
of their mothers and fathers

Friday, May 7, 2010

the gift from the manor (in spring)

not long before christmas
a gift arrived

an oleg cassini crystal paperweight!

in my letter of thanks to her
i included a commitment -
to photograph the crystal through the seasons.

here then
is spring.

my blessings and gratitude willow!!!

to see the crystal in winter go here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

flowers in her eyes

i was biking home the other day
and these words
came through my mind.

so i wrote them down.


flowers in her eyes
petals for dreams
the lights of the fireflies
the whispers of streams

john singer sargent carnation, lily, lily, rose

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

the big ride

here's a pic of me on my street

every year i add my name and body to the lists of people fundraising for various causes in my town. this year i'm helping out the local chapter of the huntington's society a handful of times, the jamaican self-help group, pedal for hope, jump rope for heart, and teachers for kids.

the big one for me this year involves a ten day bike ride around lake ontario with the africycle team.
the distance we will travel will be over 1000 kilometres.

this is what lake ontario looks like from space

getting 'round this'll test my physical and emotional stamina and willpower.
am i nervous - oh yeah!

to be a part of this team i pay $250.00 to cover expenses (already done!)
and then i have to fundraise $1,000.00. that's where all of you can come in.

first. if you're anything like me, you might want to know a bit about africycle so if you pop over here
i think you'll find a lot of helpful information.

these guys have done three previous rides. i have met people who've been on those rides and they are all over-the-top blown away by the experience.

second: If you decide to go ahead and sponsor me then you can pop over here.

i'm really excited and looking forward to this challenge,
which is going to be huge for my scrawny 53 year old body.
but i'm going for it and i'd really appreciate any support you can give me.

as i mentioned a couple of days ago, i've started a blog to allow me to write about bike stuff and my preparations for this big ride. it's called "cycles: the journey within the journey" and it's right here. i'm also hoping that somehow i can blog en route and if that doesn't work out then i'll upload the day-by-day pics and words when i return.
i leave on july 2nd!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


the sun warms your back
as you kneel down
before a pool of water
and watch the reflections
of gratitude
of your own

Monday, May 3, 2010

recent developments

hi everyone,
i thought you might like to know that i have started up two incidental blogs.

where the golden fish is a daily occurence, the other two are occasional.

really they're like fractals of the golden fish. or layers.

the first is named "gone to earth".
it's a very quiet place.


i like being there very much.

on the sidebar are little coloured boxes that contain links to other places.
they change every so often to reflect my interests and curiousity.


the second is named "cycles".

it's about my bicycle-based life.
i get to use my daytime conversational voice there.
i'll post there whenever the cycling comes together with photographs
or if there's a story to tell.

eventually the entire africycle journey will be posted up there.
(more on that later this week).

if you like visiting the golden fish, then you'll find aspects of it in these two places.


Sunday, May 2, 2010


i live on
the outer skin of this world
these people
these things

i know myself
by what i'm not

it's not
so much about beauty
a statement of place

the place
of this moment
see me
in my crumbling
carmine monochrome