Editing images… and words

I’m in the process of editing thousands of photos of birds made over the past year and a half (initially there were about 14,000). I made a short checklist to help with selection and speeding up the process.

1. Identification (the only existing record of a subject)

2. Image quality (clarity and focus)

3. Composition

4. Character or personality

5. Unique or unusual view of a subject

It occurred to me the list could also be usefull for editing poetry.



Reality is a convincing argument

September 3As pressure builds for something to be done immediately about the emissions from Northern Pulp, more people are beginning to speak up denying there is a problem. There is a lot of talk about photo manipulation and the accuracy of one groups data over another. Live in it folks. Walk in it. Breathe it. Choke it down. Play with your children in it. Light the barbecue. Sit on the deck and drink a beer with friends. Try and do business. Just go outside or open a window any day the wind isn’t in your favour. Reality is a convincing argument. The photographs barely do justice to the situation. In this photo taken from Lyons Brook this morning, the town of Pictou is behind and inside the cloud.

(For those of you not living it, last night on her Facebook Page, Erin Brockovich added her voice to the outcry. Thank you.)

No trumpets

Sleeping under stars


Approach awareness of God

cautiously. Like waking in a dream.


There are no trumpets. The light is vague.


Ignore the weight of your wings

as you climb the stairs, wade to the window.


Gargoyle crouch on the stone-damp ledge


between landscapes. Listen; spider

dangling-drop-spins into an empty nest.



No immediate threat

Toxic Winds


Close and latch the windows tight. Catch your breath.

Eyes watery red. Curse the rasp and phlegm.


Baby’s born with a shadow on her lungs.


Horns honk. Streets are lined with painted signs. Protest.

But there’s no proof. Just anecdotes. Civil unrest.


That’s the smell of jobs and cash. Sulfur. Steam. Some dust.


Long John straightens his tie, signs another cheque.

The phone rings. Still no immediate threat.