Tuesday, August 31, 2010

weave little webs

she hovers
on silk
perhaps a smile
perhaps a dream or two
perhaps she sleeps
as the clouds drift overhead

what was she
before this

what will she be

what little animal's life
will end
in her arms

what will that little animal become

and i
filling so much of her
world in this moment
when she feels my breath
as i sit near her
and watch
does she know i exist

Monday, August 30, 2010

the farther away i am

i wake up some mornings
keenly aware of the fragility
of my body

its impermanence

it is here
for such a relatively short amount of time
subject to all sorts of stress
demands and expectations
that aren't entirely physical
but which resolve in part
in the physical realm

i'm comfortable with flying away
really i am
although i wish
for enough time
to complete
what i hope to take care of
while i am here

that's a lot
to ask
and the mechanisms
by which the answer is driven
carry no guarantees
no warranties
just possibilities


in this mood of reflective wistfullness
i came across a song i have loved since it was first made available

ladies and gentlemen headphones on please!

the farther away i am
the farther away i am
is it just a cloud passing under
i don't want to lose you . . . .

words - daryl hall ~ frippertronics - robert fripp

if your sense of daryl hall has been irrevocably adjusted by this listening then you may wish to look for this disc

Sunday, August 29, 2010

little lights

there have been times
when the world
has been available
to a means of experiencing itself
that asks the question
that has spoken from inside my self
for as long as i have known i am my self

and the question is -
can we find
within the expanse
of our lifetime
the will
and the wherewithal
to allow
a gracefulness of living
a simplicity
and a fullness
of being
in which the revelation
that is this place
is the elemental force
that guides our lives?

can we live with care despite all the distractions?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

the house in the woods

in the house in the woods
there are no clocks

there's no one to tell the time


the colour of the leaves

the creaking of the floor

the abandoned nests
of winter mice

the sedimentary layers
of dust

the peeling paint
on the empty chest of drawers

there are stories here
of what once was
and will not be any more

Friday, August 27, 2010

the origin of the golden fish (redux)

three years ago i began writing this blog.

this is the fourteen hundred and seventh post.


this is the first blog i posted.

this begins where everything else left off to allow me to write and so i'll be drawn to whatever comes my way in the way of thinking - right now i'm thinking about the golden fish - the painting by paul klee that this blog takes its name from and i'll tell you the story of why i chose those three words to stand/ hide behind.

grade 10 - a new school for me - me: a not very well-to-do boy - at a very-well-to-do-school serving kids who had grown up together knowing success and happiness and money and all that that triumvirate - the holiest of holies at that time in western culture - brings to a person. i was an automatic outsider and so i began to forge a life of privacy, untempered insularity, thinking, to cultivate my sensitivity to both my inner and outer voices, and especially to seek out the obscure or different, the forgotten or simply overlooked.

i discovered that at the centre of the school was a large octagonal shaped library.
a treasure trove in and of itself but most amazingly, filled with catalogues from which students could independently order books, cassettes, films, records and audio visual equipment
for their own use in the library.

i skipped school completely for more than two months - well completely might not be fair because i was actually at school the entire time, i simply didn't attend classes.
incredibly enough, i wasn't caught!

as a teacher myself i find this amazing but there you go - clearly it was intended to be!
so, i ordered books and music and all sorts of stuff about the great architects, great writers, thinkers, artists, musicians . . . . . it was the most wonderful existence!!!
i literally spent my day sitting in a study carrel reading, watching filmstrips, listening to music from all over the world, and waiting for shipments to come in
from the school board's head office.

the librarian who handled all the orders and shipments said nothing!!
i can never thank him enough.

it's from this intense two months of self-education that a lot of what i know and from which so much of what i still pursue originates. it was as if i was being given the tools or the knowledge to begin to understand what i might be here for and what i might be able to do with my time and gifts.

the knowing that the difference i perceived in my self was actually alright - that it had a broader context was huge as i finally came to see that while i didn't fit into the school or world of which i was a part at that time, i would find a place or pass through other worlds in which i would be recognized and would recognize others like me and perhaps most importantly i would be able to share the difference - and let's call it creative energy - that flowed through me like a river.

my "crime" was eventually discovered of course, and there was an awkward meeting with the principal and my parents but the damage - or as i now prefer to see it, the creative force that flowed through me in those two months - was done. this in part explains why am i am writing this today.

the golden fish?

well, one day i was sitting in my study carrel looking through a beautiful book on "modern art"
and came across the painting by paul klee entitled "the golden fish".
it resonated deeply within me then as it does now.
artistic representations of fish have always resonated within me
and i can't say i understand why. i am aware of their symbology and yet none of the various meanings of the fish or uses of the fish as a symbol have ever actually spoken as "the one" that i can ascribe my self to.

i have had many dreams of my self as a fish
but that's for another time.
and another place.


dear golden fish visitors:
on the occasion of my third anniversary as a blogger i'd like to tell you
something of the experience in this moment.
firstly and most importantly,
i've enjoyed the changes i've experienced as a result of writing and sharing images here.
my writing and my photography have evolved as a direct result
of the opportunity this somewhat public forum has offered.
for that i am deeply grateful.

i have created two other blogs to allow for research and development to take place
("flow" and "gone to earth")
as well as one other blog to allow the special place that bicycle riding has in my life to have a forum.

i am very grateful to those who have chosen for however brief or lengthy a period to "follow" this blog and especially to those who have left comments that have either supported or challenged me.
visiting the blogs i have come across by chance and then developed closer relationships with has been an extraordinary privilege usually accorded only the most intimate of friends.
i'm heartened that despite the dire prognostications of many futurists, a quality of intimacy is available in a digital medium without condition among clever, creative, insightful, compassionate,
and generous people such as yourselves.

in closing then,



Thursday, August 26, 2010


the waves roll in

and air
combine to make millions of little bubbles

the bubbles burst

as the water

shiny water-polished pebbles
in their wake

it is so much
like a life well-lived

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

playing with street art

if you put your hand
to the ground
you'll feel the warmth
of the rain
and then
the deeper warmth of the pavement

take your shoes off
and feel that wet warmth
through the soles of your feet

draw your feet slowly
through the puddles

feel the rainwater
catching between your toes

its all so very simple

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

one little place

water tumbles out of a cliff face
gathers in a pool
and then trickles along a smooth stone path
before falling over a waterworn edge
into another pool

this is happening even as i write this

even as you read this

one very tiny portion of the face of this world

(by the way,
the vertical drop on this waterfall
is about the length of your hand from wrist to fingertip)

Monday, August 23, 2010

waterworn (ii)

over time

even the hardest rock
supple and lithe

on the outside

Sunday, August 22, 2010

waterworn (i)

the waves work against the shoreline and gradually shape it to suit their form

a fluid, soft-edged, image of a wave

- a wave expressed millions
possibly billions of times over

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

worn away

by the morning light

life holds not an hour that is better to live in: the past is a tale that is told
the future a sun-flecked shadow, alive and asleep, with a blessing in store

our souls and the bodies they wield at their will are absorbed in the life they adore -
in the measureless music of things, in the fervour of forces that rest or that roam

by the evening light

italicized words excerpted from "in the water" by a.c. swinburne

Thursday, August 19, 2010


beautiful-braided and woven
virginal shy lights
beautiful glooms
like a lane into heaven that leads from a dream
by a world of marsh that borders a world of sea

words excerpted from "the marshes of glynn" by sidney lanier

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


summer for me
is a time of turning inwards
and outwards
at the same time

slow and sometimes
even deliberate

a time of doing
and undoing

creating and recreating

and revoking

and in the quiet times
we meet
(my self and i)
in the clouds
that pass overhead

and we talk
and listen
about all that is and was
and even what might be

yes there's plenty

yes some

as we turn
inside and out
within and without

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

shine in softness

our motion on the soft still misty river
is like rest in the liquid gloom

in silence is your stillness in the streaming
of light-whispered laughter all around

shine in softness to no waiting friend

(words excerpted from "coming to port")

Monday, August 16, 2010

what do they long for?

people that build their houses inland,
people that buy a plot of ground
shaped like a house, and build a house there,
far from the sea-board, far from the sound
of water sucking the hollow ledges,
tons of water striking the shore--
what do they long for, as i long for
one salt smell of the sea once more?

edna st. vincent millay

Sunday, August 15, 2010

sun sets

there is no more wonderful way
in which to say goodnight to the world
than to share in the silent celebration
that is a sunset

Saturday, August 14, 2010

the map is not the thing named

shadowy waves
wash across
the seabound fields

they dance in unison -
a million golden feathers
each telling the story
of the passage of the wind

Friday, August 13, 2010

when the well is full

when you shout into the well
and there is no echo

when the trees
spread their silvered arms
the mirrored blue
arc of the sky

stay one moment

let yourself
fill with the memories
of moments
that are no more
but which
are entirely present
in the well
of your self

Thursday, August 12, 2010

across time

this building
held me closer
each time i passed it

haunted my imaginings

whispered softly to me
across fields of gold
sleep and distance

come closer

know me
hold me
as if i were your own

for once i was

yes, you knew me as your home
you walked through me
leaned on me
called me
in your darkest moments
the place you would always return to
now you have

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


like so many
little fingers
rooted all the same
reaching past the sibilant wind
for the cloud-filled
azure sky

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


so close to the water's edge
the wind
wraps sand
into little dunes
around their ridged forms

a grain of sand
entirely extraordinary and entirely improbable

they are each
(like snowflakes when i think about it)
and comprised of the colours
in the shell
or rock
or bone
from which they were birthed

in this way
they're so like people

Monday, August 9, 2010


the ebb and flow of the tide
- like anything that comes and goes -
leaves behind little forms
of such vulnerability
of such fragility and fineness
that their very presence
seems entirely unlikely
and yet
there they are
cast in gentle filagrees
softly spread across a field of sand

in this way
they are
so much like people

washed up on the shore of this world