Thursday, August 20, 2015

Idea for a chalk festival

Key word: chalk. You write it wherever it will take, preferably a concrete wall downtown. Find new spaces, in black and white or colour. At this point, remind nervous merchants or developers that the chalk will wash off in the first rain. Should this rain want to occur as the chalk is first applied, writers/artists will be supplied with a 24-hour waterproof fixer to spray over their work. The more surfaces covered with chalk, the better. An all-ages event. Over in the beer garden, the chalk slam begins, poems scrawled on chalkboards the size of home plate. At the signal, all home plates are brandished for the audience to read and, with the usual hoot-and-holler of poetry fans, out-call. Of course, the local mall will have commissioned ten local artists to create large-format chalk pieces for installation in the mezzanine. Everywhere on the streets, volunteers hand out chalk. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sunny one minute, pouring the next

Puddles everywhere. My shoes were still wet when I went to put them on this morning and one smells much worse than the other. And I mean smell! Go figure. They’re meant for hiking, but I wear them for gardening as it’s the safest way to get around, and they’re waterproof, too, up to a point. Last evening, running through the ditch at a speed, I found that point about halfway, just as the rainbow ahead of me doubled. Just keep going, H said from the road. He was right. It was too late to turn back.     

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Susie's bag

had garlic in it. The bag was from something else, the garlic was for me. She advised me to chop it up with a T or so of olive oil and a t or so of vinegar. At that point it can be frozen for later. But preparing the garlic was a little like organizing geese for the relocation, all the flapping. I felt fine with garlic on my hands but my grand-daughter shied away. A little later she didn't mind so much. Then came the night of the pork chops with a t or two of the stuff, which the chops tried to ignore. Next morning I ran hard on the treadmill, garlic in my step.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Rain rain

Don’t go away! It’s a cool day, the kind of day where you look out the window and say Man, I grow some fine lettuce. Look at those frilly leaves wringing water out of the dishrag sky! That’s what I’d say on a bad day, just cuz, but this is not that. Out with the dishrag, out with the woolly bag! It’s too much. Sag sag sag, look, the lag bolt has let go. The deck now tilts in this direction. The lettuce points it out as if it all comes down to me. Post-lunch onion breath fogs the window, a slow death in this humidity. Don’t overdose on chives while the garlic cures, I tell no one in particular for no particular reason. Of course no one listens. No one ever does. I used to recite that e e cummings poem, you know the one, but I don’t remember it anymore, not that it has anything to do with onions or garlic. It’s more the breath thing perhaps, but who knows. It's anyone's guess. From an easel in the entrance hang two varieties of hardneck. They’ll be there for weeks, bundled and suspended, swaying in the breeze. The smell makes me hungry. Yesterday I sampled the one called Music. Once free of its wrapper, the clove dripped. I’m not sure what I heard, but it was something.        

Saturday, August 1, 2015


I woke up with one eye seared shut, the other not commenting. My hat had done to my head what a bag does to an onion. My neck wasn't even needed. When I spoke to my sister, she burned away. Otherwise, cool, we said. This was 10:00; like tomatoes, I was just starting. The papers said to beat the heat by sleeping it, by heating in. That's why I've been this way.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Same old story

You know the one where the mirror needs cleaning and it’s too hot to do anything else so you grab a rag and take a swipe and WTF! Who the hell are you and why are you wearing my cap?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I woke up in my car the other night in the mountains west of Rocky Mountain House. I was in transit along that route between the Edmonton area and the okanagan that I'd driven yearly since my parents and sisters started living out there (or, as I say from the coffee shop in the Mission district of Kelowna, here) in the 70s. I'd decided to try sleeping in my Matrix with the seats folded down and a mattress laid out. It was darkest night, brightest stars, when I woke up the other night. I'll claim face-to-face, me and the Dipper, one the mask of the other. We opened at each other, no words. 
No words but I've told the story a couple of times now--camping at Two O'Clock Creek as I used to do, opening my eyes to the stars there.