Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Day 2009

“I’m off balance, not sure what’s wrong. —You have misplaced joy, he said without hesitation. Without joy, we are as dead. —How do I find it again? —Find those who have it and bathe in their perfection.” 

from M-Train
by Patti Smith

Saturday, December 22, 2018

A Visit from St. Nicholas BY CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse"

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”"

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Upon receiving a lovely gift (new critter) : Edward Lear seems appropriate

"They sailed to the Western sea, they did,
To a land all covered with trees,
And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart,
And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart,
And a hive of silvery Bees.
And they bought a Pig, and some green Jack-daws,
And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws,
And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree,
And no end of Stilton Cheese.
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve."

from The Jumblies

"Then Mr. Daddy Long-legs
And Mr. Floppy Fly
Rushed downward to the foamy sea
With one sponge-taneous cry;
And there they found a little boat,
Whose sails were pink and gray;
And off they sailed among the waves,
Far, and far away.
They sailed across the silent main,
And reached the great Gromboolian plain;
And there they play for evermore
At battlecock and shuttledoor."

from The Daddy Long-legs and The Fly

Saturday, December 15, 2018

"Scope eludes my grasp, that there is no finality of vision,   
that I have perceived nothing completely,
that tomorrow a new walk is a new walk."

from Corsons Inlet
by A.R. Ammons

New Lens on Life
Residents of Pinehouse in Northern Saskatchewan are using photography to heal from trauma.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Morning snow, a couple days ago

"Snow fell in the night.

At five-fifteen I woke to a bluish
mounded softness where 
the Honda was."

from An Old Life
by Donald Hall

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Going Home November (winter roads)

"I drive

west. I wend between snowbanks,
until the road delivers me
to a sleeping boat launch.
They stand on the frozen ramp;
watch me with coats that are
better than mine."

from Three Deer in Oquossoc
by Sonja Johanson

American Life in Poetry:
Column 713

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

"Or the dayscape flings a thousand tones of light back at the

Be any one of the colours of an Earth lover;
Walk with me and sometimes cover your shadow with mine. "

from Live With Me on Earth Under the Invisible Daylight Moon
by Milton Acorn

to see winter at it's most beautiful

Thursday, November 29, 2018

"Show me the place, help me roll away the stone
Show me the place, I can't move this thing alone

Show me the place where the word became a man

Show me the place where the suffering began

The troubles came I saved what I could save

A shred of light, a particle away"

from Show Me The Place
by Leonard Cohen

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Snow Day

"that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day."

from Today
by Billie Collins

Thursday, November 22, 2018

“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” 

from Giovanni's Room
by James Baldwin

"He understood the need for love because he understood what hate had accomplished.

from The Fire This Time: James Baldwin and the Civil Rights Movement

by Robert Pfeffer

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Heading Home (September prairie)

"How do you sleep when the world keeps turning?
All that we built has come undone

How do you sleep when the world is burning?"

Barbra Streisand - Don't Lie to Me

Friday, November 9, 2018

Spirit Badger (trip to Hafford)

"Anyone with quiet pace who
walks a gray road in the West
may hear a badger underground where   
in deep flint another time is
Caught by flint and held forever,   
the quiet pace of God stopped still."

from Walking West
by William Stafford

"Her luck
has always been bad, so she stood
to one side and let me pass, trailing
the unmistakable aroma of badger
which she mistook for my underwear,
and so she looked upward, not
to heaven but to the cracked ceiling
her husband had promised to mend,
and she sighed for the first time
in my life that sigh which would tell
me what was for dinner. 

from One My Own

by Philip Levine

full poem

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Fall landscape and poetry

"I don’t know, but I do know that one thing that interests me is being in a landscape and trying to attach a language to something that you could never attach a language to."

An Interview with Michael McGriff at Poetry Daily

"My blood fills with so much iron I'm pulled
to a place in the hard earth where the wind 
grinds over the ridge bearing the wheels of tanker trucks 
oiling the access roads, where deer ruin the last of the plums, 
where the sloughs shrink back to their deepest channels, 
and I can turn away from nothing."

from Iron
by Michael McGriff

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Heading Home (September prairie)

"In scenery I like flat country.  
In life I don’t like much to happen."

from Passing Remark

"Wherever we looked the land would hold us up. "

from One Home
by William Stafford

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Heading Home (Sept. Harvest)

"Oh the weather is against me and the wind blows hard
And the rain she's a-turnin' into hail.
I still might strike it lucky on a highway goin' west, 
Though I'm travelin' on a path beaten trail. 
So it's fare thee well my own true love, 
We'll meet another day, another time." 

from Farewell
by Bob Dylan

Friday, November 2, 2018

Sharpe-shinned Hawk, Saskatoon (eying backyard feeder)

"the birds 
Have eaten the crumbs of our past.
Here we are both

Lost children wandering
In the asphalt wood."

from Les Masquers de l'ame
bu D.G. Jones (the sun is axeman)

Thursday, November 1, 2018


from Signature
by Dorothy Livesay

Monday, October 29, 2018

Happy Halloween (recommended reading)

"Yet more disturbing than our view of the asylum was the idiotic gaze that it seemed to cast back at us. Throughout the years, some persons actually claimed to have seen mad-eyed and immobile figures staring out from the asylum’s windows on nights when the moon shone with unusual brightness and the sky appeared to contain more than its usual share of stars." 

"And next to that room would be another room that was unfurnished and seemed never to have been occupied. But leaning against one wall of this other room, directly below the sliding panel, would be some long wooden sticks; and mounted at the ends of these sticks would be horrible little puppets."

"To make things worse, the setting sun would each day slip out of sight behind the asylum, thus committing our town to a premature darkness in the long shadow of that massive edifice."

from Dr. Locrian's Asylum
by Ligotti, Thomas

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Sept. Snow

"Fast drives the snow, and no man comes this way;
The hills grow wintry white, and bleak winds moan
About the naked uplands. I alone
Am neither sad, nor shelterless, nor gray,
Wrapped round with thought, content to watch and dream."

from In November
by Archibald Lampman (One of my favourite poets)

Thursday, October 25, 2018


"To hear at eve the bleating of far flocks,
The mud-hen's whistle from the marsh at morn;
To skirt with deafened ears and brain o'erborne
Some foam-filled rapid charging down its rocks
With iron roar of waters; far away
Across wide-reeded meres, pensive with noon,
 To hear the querulous outcry of the loon;
To lie among deep rocks, and watch all day
On liquid heights the snowy clouds melt by;
Or hear from wood-capped mountain-brows the jay
 Pierce the bright morning with his jibing cry.?"

from Comfort of the Fields
Archibald Lampman

Monday, October 22, 2018

"Back there at the beginning, as I see it now, my life was all time and almost no memory. Though I knew early of death, it still seemed to be something that happened only to other people, and I stood in an unending river of time that would go on making the same changes and the same returns forever.
     And now, nearing the end, I see that my life is almost entirely memory and very little time." 

from Jayber Crow
by Wendell Berry

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Fall Reflections

"This land like a mirror turns you inward

And you become a forest in a furtive lake;
The dark pines of your mind reach downward,
You dream in the green of your time,
Your memory is a row of sinking pines."

from Dark Pines Under Water
by Gwendolyn MacEwen

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Big Walk 2

"Live with me on Earth among red berries and the bluebirds
And leafy young twigs whispering
Within such little spaces, between such floors of green, such
figures in the clouds
That two of us could fill our lives with delicate wanting:"

from Live with Me on Earth Under the Invisible Daylight Moon
By Milton Acorn

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Big Walk

Labour Day weekend we went for a walk intending to visit an area next to the cabin where we can hear frogs in a wet spring. We found it, a dried slough but got turned around in the trees and the half hour walk became 2 1/2 hours as we walked past sloughs, neighbours' fields, the nearby lake, Helen's brothers place and the family farm. But we saw some lovely things and the rain held off until we got to the cabin.

"But rather as children of one common birth,
Discerning in each natural fruit of earth
Kinship and bond with this diviner clay.
Let us be with her wholly at all hours,
With the fond lover's zest, who is content
If his ear hears, and if his eye but sees;
So shall we grow like her in mould and bent,
Our bodies stately as her bless├Ęd trees,
Our thoughts as sweet and sumptuous as her flowers."

from On the Companionship with Nature
by Archibald Lampman

Friday, October 12, 2018

Heading Home Red Deer River crossing

"Do not think for one minute it is the Poem that matters.
Is is not the Poem that matters.
You can shove the Poem.
What matters is what is out there in the large dark
and in the long light,

from Let Me Make This Perfectly Clear
by Gwendolyn MacEwen

I am not sure who if anyone other than the occasional friend or family member checks in here, but I thought I would mention I am have cataracts at present, which means taking and processing photos is a bit more of a challenge. One solution is that they might become more processed i.e. brighter, with a bit more garish colours. (which I am starting to like) 

Despite this I have a backlog of photos I want to work through and they fall within two parameters. Photos taken at the cabin, and photos taken on drives, many from a moving car, on the drive home from the cabin. Helen and I love the landscape of southern Saskatchewan and Alberta and if we had not chosen the Parkland as a location for the cabin (or if it had not chosen us) we might have picked the rolling landscape of the Canadian prairie, (which will be the focus of those photos called Heading Home), as the spot for our cabin.

Thursday, October 11, 2018


"Time and space - time to be alone, space to move about - these may well become the great scarcities of tomorrow."

Edwin Way Teale

Monday, October 8, 2018

One thing our somewhat truncated autumn at the cabin showed us is the potential beauty we could experience during a longer stay.

“Time is the river. We are the islands. Time washes around us and flows away and with it flow fragments of our lives. So, little by little, each island shrinks….But where, who can say, down the long stream of time, are our eroded days deposited?” 

Journey into Summer
Edwin Way Teale

Sunday, October 7, 2018

"The seasons, like greater tides, ebb and flow across the continents."
Edwin Way Teale

Since we got the snow in Sept. at the cabin, we seemed to enter directly into winter with over 30+ cm or about a foot of snow in 24 hours earlier this week in Calgary. We spoke to a gallery owner Saturday who lives in the foothills and she got over twice that. But before we left the cabin the beauty of autumn was really becoming evident. One thing that really impressed us was the thousands of snow geese that passed over head or lay like drifts in the fields. And when I think of of the seasons I think of Edwin Way Teale and his four book series The America Seasons documenting 75,000 miles travelled across America to follow the changing seasons. Although at present I do wonder whether Autumn Across America or Wandering Through Winter is the more appropriate volume.

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad."
Edwin Way Teale

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

"I am a part of all that I have met; 
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro' 
Gleams that untravell'd world"

from Ulysses
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The snow seems to have followed us

The snowstorm and the gale increased in violence that night, and I slept uneasily, plucked again and again from slumber by the fierce battling of the wind that shook my windows as if with an imperious demand for admittance. It came in billowy gusts, with strange noises intermingled with it as for a moment it abated, with flutings and moanings that rose to shrieks as the fury of it returned. These noises, no doubt, mingled themselves with my drowsed and sleepy consciousness, and once I tore myself out of nightmare, imagining that the creatures of the Horror–Horn had gained footing on my balcony and were rattling at the window-bolts. But before morning the gale had died away, and I awoke to see the snow falling dense and fast in a windless air. For three days it continued, without intermission, and with its cessation there came a frost such as I have never felt before.

from The Horror-Horn
by E.F. Benson

Shaun is unimpressed. 
I am not sure if we will see the postie
this morning

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Packing Up

The snow I photographed Monday Sept 17th finished our summer at the cabin. It had become increasingly cold (about 10-15 degrees celsius below the seasonal average), and despite the fact that the fall colour was just beginning and the migration of birds was still beautifully evident, we packed up and were on the road by Tuesday.

"The music seemed to him oddly unartificial. It made him think of trees swept by the wind, of night breezes singing among wires and chimney-stacks, or in the rigging of invisible ships; or — and the simile leaped up in his thoughts with a sudden sharpness of suggestion — a chorus of animals, of wild creatures, somewhere in desolate places of the world, crying and singing as animals will, to the moon. He could fancy he heard the wailing, half-human cries of cats upon the tiles at night, rising and falling with weird intervals of sound, and this music, muffled by distance and the trees, made him think of a queer company of these creatures on some roof far away in the sky, uttering their solemn music to one another and the moon in chorus."

from Ancient Sorceries (John Silence)
by Algernon Blackwood

While picking up the canoe we encountered a flock of Eastern Bluebirds and while the photo is not great I thought I  would share it.

Monday, September 17, 2018

And it's a very wild wood today

Scenic, but snow when trees are still leafed out will do some damage.
And we will be packing up today rather than Wed.

"One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,"

from The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Evening Flight

"Where the names float like birds, and all desire dies,
And the life we longed for finds us at the end."

from A Substitute for Time
by John Koethe

Friday, September 14, 2018

"These were the lonely hours, when at last she could let down from the work of the day, when she could stand there and feel the wind touch her hair, when she could look at the bright, silent stars, and hear a coyote’s plaintive cry come from far out on the plain."

from Conagher: 
by Louis L'Amour