Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Must be coaxed
at three a.m.
What roared and hissed
an hour ago.
When the storm has settled in
and the heat
is most wanted
So you taunt it
To make it stick its tongues
out at you
A witches fire - Witches Hour
kindled, kindly, cunningly
at three a.m.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
in my windows.
Big and silver
She would have more mercy
Thank I do.
The Universe is not
The Cosmos is full of
mind and heart
because I may fill it so.
Even if all other life be hostile.
The Universe loves bigger
than I can know.
but not bigger than I can feel.
April 29, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The the Word is God.
Words have not been
I've been bedeviled
Especially when they flee.
Like sparks in the night
dare I say... wordless
while I go get
my butterfly net
The asbestos one
to catch those Lucifers!
Friday, November 5, 2010
I live in heaven.
Brunell Rd. -- broken shocks
Bare feet on cool dirt
and cooler rock.
Trees whisper love
I hear the sudden
noise of too-loud too-much
music from a passing car -- tourists.
I have an abundance
I live in plenty.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
was on a neighbour's property.
And at first
the dog slept below.
then climbed up with me
to lie across my lap
as I read
cradled in the arms of the tree
We swayed in the wind.
and in the words.
I swam in prose
while we shared a heartbeat.
April 29, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
haunting, stalking, pouncing
In the forest of
my kitchen chair-legs.
I have four tigers
only one by name.
The buzz-fly chasing anus licking
foot stuck high in the air
chin biting, mouse devouring
of the dark wild dangerous night
When quick death haunted savannah
on velvet/razor blades, dreaming
of how good I taste
Cat! Oh CAT!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Bits and shreds of lace
Jersey, linen, gabardine, cotton
In a life; diaper cotton, velvet princess dress
itchy wool socks
Torn wedding dress or dresses
support hose, satin pillows winding shroud.
Faded, overwashed dreams
Burlap hard times
patched and repatched
into new lives
Until it too wears out
and is added
to the new quilt.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
First line of defense. "Could you do something about your dog, please?"
"What's wrong with my dog!" Not a happy response...
"Well, he barks a lot. All day long."
"Yeah, well, he's a dog." He's also lonely, I thought, but didn't say.
"Can't you do anything?"
"No, sorry." He wasn't sorry. He didn't sound sorry.
End first line of defense. Result: me zero, neighbour one point
I wanted to shoot the dog but that would have been unfair to the dog. It wasn't his fault. Similar dog focussed solutions were also out.
I tried ear plugs and that worked for a while but they were uncomfortable and it wasn't really a solution anyway.
Second line of defense. A slingshot and packages of outdated hot dogs, cut into one inch pieces.
From my bathroom window, if I stood on the rim of the bathtub, I had a clear shot into the neighbour's backyard and porch. The first day I went through three packs of hot dogs. And I know the hot dogs when through the dog. Wait a day. Funny, the dog is quieter anyway, sniffing around incessantly in the yard to see if any more hot-dog pieces have miraculously appeared.
Next assault. Only two packages... I cut them into smaller pieces. I was a student and couldn't afford much of anything but this was worth the piece of mind... Wait two days.
Dog's behaviour is changing... he's starting to spend most of his day hunting for manna from heaven. I've given him something to do. Of course I've given my neighbour something to do because of the heavy diarrhoea caused by the hot dogs...
Third time, the neighbour is lying in wait. The dog finds something in the bushes and he pounces! The dog thinks this is a marvelous game and runs around with the shred of paper that blew into the yard. I'm just watching from two stories up, elbows on the window sill.
The dog's not barking. He has company and something to do. I note that the neighbour's swearing vocabulary is improving... or degenerating as the case may be.
Next day the dog tries barking again.
Another packet of hot dogs and the neighbour tries something different. He comes home for lunch. The dog's been snooping all over the yard, diligently hoping... quiet all morning. Huzzah, the master's home! Walkies! In the afternoon, he's walked out enough and mostly snoozes. Success.
Result: I have spent a couple of weeks and six packets of inedible hot dogs. The neighbour has found out a way to make his dog happier... he comes home at lunch and takes the dog for a walk. The dog now snoozes in the morning, waiting for lunch... and is content enough to only yip a time or two. Game OVER and the crowd goes wild!
Everybody wins in the great rain of hot dogs.
Oh, and John... this is a confession, if you remember this, if you ever read this. Yes, it was me.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I have a chick magnet, however.
A tin plate full of slugs
picked from my plants
and porch and walk... it's been a wet year.
And I take my glistening,
cobweb trails of slow escapes
back to the hen yard.
The first chick finds my gooey bounty
and cannot keep it to herself.
Beak full, she mufflechirps
I have a plate full of gobbling fluff,
chasing and swallowing simultaneous
and then they turn T-Rex eyes
on my toes.
Monday, August 16, 2010
If you like the person, and trust that they are intelligent, they are probably pounding on themselves harder than you ever could... and you need to realize that your words might be adding insult to injury. Somethimg may be true. But it does not need to be said, unless you want to add pain to someone's burden.
Most people do not want to do this... however... we are taught that 'truth is everything' and that the person who says the harsh truth out loud is supposedly superior. This sets people up to say the exact right thing to hurt someone else...
There is truth. And then there is sympathy. It is usually better to sympathize rather than hammer someone with truth. Unless they are morons, they will be hammering themselves hard enough, thank you very much.
The trick here is to remember that there is being 'right' and being 'nice'. Are you actually being 'true' to the spirit if you spike someone's mistake through them while they are suffering... does this make one a better person? Or hold one's tongue and be supportive?
I guess it's obvious which I think is the superior tactic... but I do not suceed at it myself. I got taught that the 'truth' was always to be said. Especially if someone were vulnerable first. That would put me in a superior position. Cruelty taught as 'truth'.
It made me safe.
This is 'Lord of the Flies' thinking and I always sympathized or empathized with Piggy...
Our society would be a better place if someone suffering were not attacked right at that moment... with the truth... or any other 'I could have told you so'. We would be happier people.
So... the next time someone is unhappy... perhaps it is not the time to unload unwelcome truths on them? People suffer enough without assistance from others. Everyone is carrying a greater burden than can be seen.
It might be nice to lighten the load for someone else, rather than add to it.
Monday, July 26, 2010
That's the bad news.
The good news is that the right front wheel fell off on a slow curve, of a slow highway, not at a hundred and ten klicks/hr. on highway 400.
Any day that you get home safe is a good day.
I need to clean out my car's corpse and find the funds for another one.
468,281.4 kilometres under his fan belt. R.I.P.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
The dog killed three quarters of my ducklings. Not maliciously, just chasing... sigh. He's too small for a dog-skin rug.
The chicks did their usual thing, picking out one chick to peck to death.
And some tourist going way too fast hit and killed one of my cats on the road. The mother cat.
Now I'm trying to get two seventeen day old kittens to take formula.
I think I am going to go cry now.
I'm a tad overwhelmed.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
He' practicing sword/crutch moves.
That's my boy.
But his summer is screwed up. No swimming. Hmm. I wonder if he could swim in a fiberglass cast? We'll find out in two weeks.
We get home and a: the car falls apart again and b: the house is again spewing sewage. I gave up and called a plumber. First guy calls back and tells me he's too busy. Argh.
Sooooo.... universe... is it time to flip over and give up the phenomenal good luck lurking? I mean, it would only be fair.
When it starts raining gold coins I'll be the one running around with the hard-hat, wheelbarrow and a shovel!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Tris went off to Camp Winston. He was having a great time, apparently.
On Wednesday, I had finally locked the toilet back down where it was supposed to be. There was a 5.0 inter-crustal earthquake. This was interesting enough since I thought it was blasting from the highway construction over the ridge at first... until it went on too long and got stronger as opposed to fading off. A good thirty seconds.
That was roughly around the time that Camp Winston called be to say "Tris is fine, he had a fall and hurt his ankle, we're taking him to get an x-ray just to be sure... but it's probably not broken, since he says it doesn't hurt so bad."
So I'm sitting trying to work, watching the torrential rains. Then I find out that a tornado has touched down at Midland. This is about twenty minutes away from where they've taken Tris.
Now they call me and tell me its broken. We do the hospital shuffle and get referred to the osteosurgeon in Barrie.
Friday morning we drive down. I'm now at Karen's place since it is an hour closer to the hospital (my animals... I brought the dogs, the cats have food and water both)
Thank the Gods I don't have the chickens and ducks and turkeys yet. And they say yeah it's a bad break, he needs surgery and asap.
Tomorrow (i.e. today) He can't eat today, just clear fluids. And he goes under the knife to try and fix the ends of the bone.
The one bone was injured right at the growth plate so it is possibly damaged from further growth. I really, truly hope not. But once everything is back where it belongs and he's in a true cast for months to let it heal up, we'll hit him with the homeopathics and shiatsu.
You know, this wasn't funny even the first time.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Unfortunately it is underneath and rusted to crap and I cannot yet get it out, even though I ripped the air-filter housing out of the way to allow me access. I can't do that on the semi-running vehicle. It's going to be interesting.
Karen is taking Tristan to Camp Winston today because of the vehicular problems... and came up to get him so she and Raphi were here this weekend. Nice, except for on-going plumbing problems.
I think I have the house's constipation problems fixed. A careful probe... one of about eighteen... with a plumber's snake seems to have pushed things on through.
Cross fingers pour hot water down the drains.
And all will one day again be good in the Land of Elimination!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I ran over something with my car and took out the two tires on the driver's side. Got towed home in the rain and the car sat. I managed to pinch my scissor jack under the parts car. Its still there.
Today I get help and the tires got swapped out. Great.
Now the car won't start at all. WTF?
Oh and my toilet is suddenly flushing not down the nice pipe to the septic system but over the floor. Sigh. I need a new wax ring.
My son pushed the car down the hill almost a half a klick and I tried popping it into second but that did not work.
So the car is now parked down by the Hydro transfer station and I'll have to bike into town tomorrow to get the plumbing bits.
Look, all joking aside you trickster Gods... these are NOT FUNNY. I don't care that you're rolling on your ass laughing at me! Not funny.
Well, maybe a little.
I mean the toilet thing and me needing to be the Sewage Fairy again after all these years, schlepping nasty wet towels across to the washing machine... Yeah, maybe I can get a giggle out of that. At least it was just towels this time. It could have been much worse!
I guess I should have expected the toilet thing. Some Gods have a low sense of humour.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
There will be a post tonight! Yes, indeed! On this site! The words are still flowing and I am still catching some of them.
Because of a minor accident
There has been a
We should be caught up over this weekend.
With the flippin’ car crippled and on two wheels, my scissor jack squashed under the parts car and only a bicycle to get my son to freakin’ camp this weekend… We have a whole week in which to flop around like deranged jellyfish access our brilliant think-tank and come up with a smoothly sliding seamless solution.
Stay tuned for our very own Update from the Gulf of Words!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
The Duct-Tape Kayak! Dum Dum Dah!
Some people might say dumb dumb dumb, but if a sailboat can be built out of the tape then there is no reason a kayak could not be made out of the modern equivalent of hides.
I will, of course, blog and do pictures of the whole process.
At the moment I am considering wooden frame options rather than the welded steel that the Mythbusters used in their sailboat, but it seems to me that there will be less pressure on a kayak hull than a sailing hull.
We'll just have to see, won't we?
I think it will be fun.
Updates to follow, wish me luck.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I'm reminded of a class that Karen and I taught. A grade 6, 7 and 8 girl's self defense class. Chaos in action.
Given that we were the teachers there's always the students who really think you're cool and want to hang out in the breaks and so there is one of the girls telling me about this truly cool movie she and her best friends have seen over the weekend. Not current run, a couple of years old. She's telling me about it and I realize she's talking about Tom Hanks and the movie is Apollo Thirteen.
I'm nodding and taking it in and as she pauses I, figuring I'm going to insert some interest in the conversation say, "Yeah. That is a good movie. When it happened though, we didn't have video feeds or any kind of TV contact, all we had was radio and we could hear them. I had the radio on the whole time. We really were afraid they'd miss the earth coming back." Her eyes are getting more and more round at this point and I continue. "It was one heck of a tense time."
She gulps and whispers "You mean it really happened?"
"Yes, it happened." Karen throws in her two cents... "It was big news, even if people didn't approve of that part of the space program."
"The Apollo Moon program. They never landed on the moon and almost didn't make it home. We were afraid we'd lost them..." I'm now talking to her back as she runs over to her friends.
Wildly gesturing arms, girls getting that same wide eye'd look, peeking out of the crowd as if I'd suddenly sprouted antenna. The whole rest of the class... the story spread... a wave of change. This cool movie had suddenly become history. Reality.
And I'm standing there, flat-foot. People have forgotten this? Already? This is MY memory. I saw this. I heard this. I'm still alive and people have forgotten? Something so important? The first time we truly went to another planet, our co-planet. Duct-tape and illness and sweat and deaths, though no one died on this launch. New computing power and discovering a hundred new ways of looking at the world and the universe and it's forgotten? It's just this cool movie someone made; a fantasy like Star Trek or Star Wars?
We had to repeat the story a few more times as various girls came to ask for confirmation. But we didn't say anything else. I wonder sometimes if we should have, but we were only supposed to teach self defense. We taught a bit more that day.
I sometimes wonder if it had any effect.
Friday, April 2, 2010
I must disagree. All the stuff we have on the planet, including medical telemetry and a piss-load of stuff we wouldn't normally have if we'd never gone to the moon...
But it got me to thinking.
First of all it was worth it to go to the Moon because, in part, the itch to go past boundaries is part of what makes us human. Not always a good thing, but human. So here are two guys... two evolved primates who have pushed human boundaries all the way to the moon. And in the LM, while futzing around with their stuff in tight quarters, someone moves that wrong way and a little plastic switch gets snapped off.
I imagine they froze at the sound. Maybe watched it do a slow tumble and eventually hit something. Kind of loud when the nearest fix for something broken is a very, very long way away. It's even worse than watching a rope on a mainsail snap when you're a hundred days away from Portsmouth, or Lisbon. For one thing you can't go outside and find something to fix said rope with.
This little switch is what fires up the engines. In a sense, the ignition. It's a bit like snapping your car-key off in it. There is a divot too small for a human finger and a little toggle at the bottom.
So here we have an astronaut pulling apart his famously, ridiculously expensive space pen (Hi there Fisher!) so he has a perfect stick to jam into this tiny little hole, with as intense a concentration as a starving chimp trimming a termite stick. Simian all the way. Get the stick. Modify the stick. Poke the stick in the hole. Survive.
Very human. Very simian. Here on earth, or on the moon, we are the same only different. Armstrong and Aldrin doing what humans do best. When confronted with another boundary, that teeny hole, between them and getting home, they improvised.
And even if the story is funny, it was deadly serious at the time. Going to the moon changed us profoundly as a species, even if people want to dismiss it, forget it, play it down. Even as we used our most ancient skills on that most modern of flying machines, the Lunar Lander, we did it not only to beat the Russians. Not only to push our boundaries.
With what we brought back from the moon we've figured out a good, solid theory as to WHY we have a moon at all. Dug into the early life of our planet long before we evolved. Thought about how our home even got to a point where we could exist as a species.
And it is a partial answer to "Who are we?" "How did we get here?" and gives us an inkling, a faint shred of thought to "Where are we going?"
All very, very worthwile reasons for having gone to the moon. And just as good reasons for going back.
Don't ever run down an accomplishment just because you can't see the impact. You may not know the ripples that were flung out, Mr. Fulghum. To dismiss the moon shots as trivial, or unnecessary is to diminish our curiousity, our spirit, our big 'Why's'. Whether the moon is green cheese or Diana's smile or a place where a man proved he was still a monkey at heart, to get home, its still important. If I may quote you. "Oooohh, the Moon. The Moon."
Monday, March 22, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
They never had to deal with the vinyl archane mysteries of changing the needle... or wonder of wonders 'the cartridge' or if worst came to worse, gluing a penny on the tone-arm head, any more than they had to learn how to deal with a wind-up grammophone or wax cylinder player.
Yet we continue to say such things as if they had any kind of meaning in the current world. People react as if they understand and thus the phrases continue to be used.
English is littered with phrases, current phrases, whose meaning has actually become virtual. A shared metaphor where people never actually had the physical connection with the thing or the sound, or the reality that spawned the phrase in the first place.
In radio... people asked 'are we rolling'? As far as I know, they still do, even though the recording medium is no longer tape going from one reel to another.
So I have now commented on two phrases that are obsolete in reality but still 'live' on our lips and tongues. Shall we talk about more of them, or haul out the recycling bin full of these old phrases? Are they still useful even though detached from reality?
And if we choose to let these obsolete old terms die a natural death well, English will just have to put that in its pipe and smoke it!
Monday, February 1, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I first felt the warmth of a craftsman's hand
a plain gold circlet, a plain gold band.
Then clasping the warmth on the hand of a King.
The jeweller's gift, a coronation ring.
For twenty years his hand I graced,
and then his son's, who took his place,
then the neck of his grandson's bride.
Wed for power, wed for pride.
She wore me on a chain of hair.
I was greater than her hand could bear,
then passed to the finger of her son,
seen the wars and empires won.
Now I lie warm 'gainst a feathered breast
clasping a bone, in a corby's nest.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Horseshoe nail, curled in a band
made for the miller's daughter's hand.
She wed the blacksmith's eldest boy,
short years to live in wedded joy.
The King's war came and cut them down
In fields I lay, specked rusty brown.
Until a child playing there
spied me, took me, found me fair.
She cleansed me, kept me with her toys
till she chose a lover from the boys.
Shining, from her son's hand I slide
onto the finger of his bride.
Dark metal band of work and earth
remember fire, that gave me birth.
One of the few rhymed poems I've written. Part of a set.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Cats do not care. Things go smash in the night. These three are still looking for the twelve foot tall Christmas cat toy that got dismantled and schlepped out last week. Dogs feel guilty because they have the idea of ownership [my bone, my bed] while a cat owns it all and doesn't care to keep it.
When they're older they aren't so destructive. It's almost a more benign kind of breakage rather than whirling chaos in action.
What's the most fun is watching the look on the face of the Doberman cross when an eight pound kitten claims him as a prize. The dog's very confused by it.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
The other day
the Mer came up
and sunned themselves
on Baja sand.
and said 'Neat trick!
Where are the wires?"
and went away.
stepped from the wood.
on his mane.
Farmer shot him.
broke down ma fences!"
The Dragon came.