Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Past

    My parents lived through trauma of the depression, followed by World War Two. They raised four children from the money that my father earned in an automobile factory. Money was saved for each child's education after high school so they did not have to work in the factories as well. As with many of their generation this necessitated a certain frugality that persisted their entire lives. I do remember a momentous occasion when we got a "new" suite of matching furniture, chairs, coffee and end tables, a record player and radio in a cabinet, and the families first colour television in a matching cabinet. New was a big deal, although their nature did reassert itself, when the tv broke down the cabinet was fitted with doors and remained in our lives for years. 

The bathrooms were more typical of the frugality and homemade ethos with which they lived. They would often contain a decorative soap, hand painted with a decoupage image of flowers and legs made form pins and beads, the spare toilet paper roll would sit beneath hand some knitted cap (sadly never a poodle), on the wall maybe a reproduction of some well known painting picked up a A&P for buying a certain number of groceries and sometimes a hooked rug made by my mother. As an adult (and long since moved away), I gave my mother a crude pottery bowl I had made, it appeared in the bathroom with hold extra soaps etc. 

So recently when I wanted something to hold the toilet brush, I went not to the store but to the basement. I know they would approve. 

Please note: This can was selected because of the size. We have Scotland on our want to visit travel list.

So Much Unknown

But who shall so forcast the years
and find in loss a gain to match?
Or reach a hand through time to catch
The far-off interest of tears

Alfred Lord Tennyson 1850 In Memorian

Riffling photos so much unknown; 
unasked, the dog’s name, the smell of the park 
the colour of a hat now lost, no eyes to see, 
when so many days lay ahead; but 
the tunnel ends, alone now with cast off bags 
no one spoke, when there is time to hear
your friends name, the make of the car
All orphans to the world suddenly alone
Questions for empty rooms, empty mirrors
but who shall so forcast the years.

A legacy of things holds freight
a story of a first this or that
weddings, service, gifts cold things 
warmed by a breath of life
Held now as your absent hand
For memory, words, stories meaning attach
to the humblest thing, the simplest occasion.
Identity itself is risked in every loss
and life itself will clutch and snatch
and find in loss a gain to match?

Or in gain a loss to hatch
For each day is not a puzzle to unravel
And some nights, peace is best
Every occasion is not greater
Then the sound of dice in your hand
Sometimes from the present we detach 
new memories for old a warm touch for cold.
Like a child with a favourite book reread.
Striving with every moment to stretch
Or reach a hand through time to catch

a moment once wasted now wanted.
It seems that age can only embrace
what comes it’s way regardless.
Each loss, each parting 
each cold alone awakening.
Those unanswerable fears.
change callow youth to miser 
hoarding half remembered days.
Some long delayed reckoning nears
The far-off interest of tears

This version Sept4/05
form Glosa

Monday, January 15, 2018

Time to bring this blog back to what it was meant to be, a celebration of nature and poetry. A reaffirmation of life and a buffer between a world that is to much with us.

One of our friend Laraine's horses.

These books came today and I am chuffed, I see the complete poems as a record not just of his best poetry as his collected poems are, but as a record of the fullness of his career and his life. A.R. Ammons was a poet of so many things, the weather, the seasons, time, motion, shapes, forms, the changing natural world and the ultimate inconsequential reality of the individual in a vast universe. 

"We praise the mind for
how high it goes
without losing hold
and how wide
it goes without
and for how sharply it can 
relish a particular
without losing the 
dispositions in this
fine war-zone
between the great energies,
this narrowing that 
allows life's widest play, "

from For Robert Penn Warren
by A.R.Ammons

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


"What is the most important lesson life has taught you?"

"Nothing is just. Everything leads to something else."

from an interview with Jennifer Hudson in the Guardian.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Beaver

I first came to Western Canada to participate in an archaeological excavation at a Northwest Company post. I stayed for three months living in a canvas tipi and came to love the parkland. Every summer at the cabin I try to read books (often shared with my mother-in-law) about the fur trade and the Native People of Western Canada both pre and post contact. I am trying to learn a history other than my own, I find it interesting, and it seems the least I can do.

"The slow current
of the life below tugs at me all day.
When I dream at night, they save a place for me,
no matter how small, somewhere by the fire. "

from Remembering Mountain Men
by William Stafford

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

"When for too long I don't go deep enough
into the woods to see them, they begin to
enter my dreams. Yes, there they are, in the
pinewoods of my inner life. I want to live a life
full of modesty and praise. Each hoof of each
animal makes the sign of a heart as it touches
then lifts away from the ground."

from The Faces of Deer
by Mary Oliver

Sunday, December 31, 2017

How do you know that the pilgrim track 
Along the belting zodiac 
Swept by the sun in his seeming rounds 
Is traced by now to the Fishes’ bounds 
And into the Ram, when weeks of cloud 
Have wrapt the sky in a clammy shroud, 
And never as yet a tinct of spring 
Has shown in the Earth’s apparelling; 
 O vespering bird, how do you know, 
 How do you know?

from The Year's Awakening
by Thomas Hardy

Thursday, December 21, 2017

“Come in, -- come in! and know me better, man! 
I am the Ghost of Christmas Present. Look upon me! 
You have never seen the like of me before!” 

from A Christmas Carol 
by Charles Dickens