Friday, March 29, 2013

"We see them
and never see behind them
how flat they are
immobile     immovable
cold    calculating
O the flat platitudes
of the camera!"
from Postcard Mountains
Dorothy Livesay
Still ( and for a lot of entries, at the Sylvia).
I have not decided whether you become
accustomed to this landscape I assume people
can. But for me, whether it is the transition
between land and sea, the different plants,
the fact that in the mornings after high water
the park crew, seen only by the crows, the gulls
and the early morning wanderers, come down with
a big yellow machine to collect the great cedar logs
that have washed up on the shore but I have not
tired of it after several visits. Most of the birds
are not exotic new species instead those I see
are old friends that I greet anew in a strange
landscape that has been reshaped each night thru
the intersection of waves and wind. I find there is
always something new, ducks in the bay, birds on the
rocks and the entire enchanted forest beckoning me,
to explore, to see
let's look.
Down to the seawall.
Song Sparrow
"Those left on land
for a blue breath blown
from the sky's sighing
sea ripple in still light
sail furling out and flying."
                            from Parting
                                 Dorothy Livesay

Barrow's Goldeneye

Large dead trees in the park are sometimes topped
but left standing for woodpeckers. They can become
Or stages.

" His irritable hoarse
coughing cry
contradicts the slow    sure
heavy flight
weighted with wisdom
plumbed calm"
from Unmusical Bird
               (blue heron)
Dorothy Livesay

Sunday, March 24, 2013

 "You are so far away
On this cold and empty night
As I lie in a hotel room
Lookin' at a street light
Outside my window
I listen to the rain
And the sounds of the passin' cars
And the waves on English Bay"
   from English Bay
  Blue Rodeo
"The Sylvia Hotel is a designated heritage building,
ideally located on English Bay, beside Stanley Park
and just 5 minutes from downtown Vancouver.
Built in 1912, the Sylvia Hotel is a city landmark
and one of Vancouver's greatest treasures."
From the Sylvia Hotel Website
Helen and I have been starting to feel the grey
days of winter so in mid March we were off to
one of our favorite spots,  the Sylvia Hotel on
English Bay in Vancouver. On one side you have
Denman Street with lots of restaurants, in front
the beach and the Seawall, and a block or so away
on the other side Stanley Park. A  1000 acre park
with thousands of fir, cedar, and hemlock trees. In
Mid March we are still too early for the beautiful
displays of rhododendrons and azaleas but despite
the rain, off and on for two of our four days and the
occasional cold winds, it is green and there is no
snow. Our room a corner suite on the seventh floor
has a view of the lights of Denman Street from the
bedroom and views of the bay from the living room.
After a walk along the Seawall we had a wonderful
meal at the Legendary Noodle House and picked up
some flowers for the room.
Photo taken from our suite
someone braves the rain to explore
the beach.
Large groups of gulls and crows frequent the
seawall. Cormorants, herons and rafts of ducks
can normally be seen along the bay.
The Seawall is a favorite place to walk dogs.
A solitary Heron watching the waiting ships
The following photos were taken from our suite.


The lights of Denman St from our suite.

"About me the night   moonless   wimples the mountains
wraps ocean   land   air  and mounting
sucks at the stars   The city   throbbing below
webs the sable peninsula   The golden
strands overleap the seajet   by bridge and buoy
vault the shears of the inlet   climb the woods
toward me   falter  and halt   Across to the firefly
haze of a ship on the gulps erased horizon
roll the lambent spokes of a lighthouse"
      from Vancouver Lights
  Earle Birney

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"We wrote it on our papers
in round big shapes,
Jan., 1928.

The snow outside
glittered like mica-shavings
in the Alberta sunshine."

from A Seed of History
Margaret Avison
"The country of innocence is
a mistake of nature. The white
Geometry of winter leaves no margin
For error, no relic in the snow."
from The Geometry of Winter
 R.A.D. Ford
"NOT to forget the sullen, grey-cloaked sky
With red along its western hem
Not to forget brown leaves blown down a slope
and all my thoughts pursuing them!"
                     from Song to Myself
                          Dorothy Livesay
"Our best days are now a winter sky
White with coruscations of the clouds,
A mirror of the logos, flared
And cracked across our lives."
from Soliloquy to Absent Friends
D.G. Jones

Sunday, March 10, 2013

" O when shall we be free of the winter palace?
Armorial in air my breath was plantagenet
and my heels were spurred."
                                            from Winter in Montreal
                                                   Patrick Anderson

Last Sunday we had a quick prairie storm
the weather has been nice since.
I had not noticed this before the wind
has driven the snow into the feeder
filling the space above the food.

“Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow
after your characters have run by on their way
to incredible destinations.”
 from Zen in the Art of Writing
Ray Bradbury

And once the snow is over we will all
go for a walk so Whateley can roll in the
new snow.
"Let not another green thing grow
the rivers row or the West Wind blow;
for the polar front has carried down
the latitude of snow."
   from Early Williows
James Wreford



Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Am I going on too much? I value these because they happened,
and the sum of them is my lifetime."

From Roger Ebert's article My Backup Mom
(discussing his memories of his family and friends)

I have been feeling the passage of time lately something I think
is quite common as one grows older. Certainly I find a lot
of writers discussing the past, memory, history, the passage
of personal time, the passage of institutions, customs. A poet 
I have been reading lately John Koethe excels at memory and 
passage of time in the city landscape.
"This is the life I wanted, and could never see.
For almost twenty years I thought that it was enough:
That real happiness was either unreal, or lost, or endless,
And that remembrance was as close to it as I could ever come.
And I believed that deep in the past, buried in my heart
Beyond the depth of sight, there was a kingdom of peace.
And so I never imagined that when peace would finally come
It would be on a summer evening, a few blocks away from home
In a small suburban park, with some children playing aimlessly
In an endless light, and a lake shining in the distance.

Eventually, sometime around the middle of your life,
There’s a moment when the first imagination begins to wane.
The future that had always seemed so limitless dissolves,
And the dreams that used to seem so real float up and fade.
The years accumulate; but they start to take on a mild,
Human tone beyond imagination, like the sound the heart makes
Pouring into the past its hymns of adoration and regret.
And then gradually the moments quicken into life,
Vibrant with possibility, sovereign, dense, serene;
And then the park is empty and the years are still."

from The Park
John Koethe

So staying with the theme of time a homage to the seasons.

I have loved science fiction since encountering it in the school
and public libraries I frequented as a child in Windsor. Lately
I have been adding SF anthologies from the 1940’s and
1950’s to my collection. I love the strange stores that appeared
in an pulp magazine were republished in a old anthology and
then disappeared forever. For example a running bathtub that
brings down the skyscrapers of New York? Tonight I opened
the mails and there was Science Fiction Adventure in Dimension
(time) but the first story I picked out was by a favorite author
Ray Bradbury and I encountered this wonderful passage set on Mars
Max registers his approval.

“There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and
turned the fancy in his mind. There was a thought. What did
time smell like? Like dust and clocks and people. And if you
wondered what Time sounded like it sounded like water
running in a dark cave and voices crying and dirt dropping
down upon hollow box lids, and rain. And, going further,
what did Time look like? Time look like snow dropping
silently into a black room or it looked like a silent film in an
ancient theater, 100 billion faces falling like those New Year
balloons, down and down into nothing. That was how Time
smelled and looked and sounded. And tonight-Tomas shoved
a hand into the wind outside the truck-tonight you could almost
taste time.
He drove the truck between hills of time"

                                                         Night Meeting
                                                                            Ray Bradbury