Almost there


Standing among birch and pine on a high ridge;

all stillness, but for the river below and babbling within.





When I was a child they called me

Fear of Darkness and Water.


As a young man I went through a great change

living in a cabin in the backwoods of Northern Alberta

and became Dances on Frozen Beaver Ponds.


I turned thirty, did what had to be done

and was Very Capable for a long time.


At fifty-four, I am Religiously Walks the Dog.

What’s your name?


The Coming Glory

Winter spent, the thaw is well underway.

Slush, mud and slippery footing.

Soggy landscape and the scent of wet ashes.


Streams and runoff flood ditches and fields.

A ruckus of geese appear circling wide over treetops.

Two deer hesitate on the path. Watch us.


A gangly mountain maple sways

grey, spindly branches reveal the first buds.

Whisper the coming glory.

Morning Rush

Scatter of blue jays and mourning doves.

Goldfinch, redpoll, junco and chickadees gone.

The feeder swings empty.


Melting snow on a grey white morning.


Sudden thud, frantic wing beating of a sharp-shinned hawk

pressed and panicked against a plexiglass wall.

Barking dog, spilled coffee. Spring for the door.


But she is away. Shaken.

Composing herself on the branch of a nearby tree.


The Dog Walker

She knows when I switch off the desk lamp

stretches and dog smiles.

Ours is a simple pattern,

footsteps threading through weathered days.


On the trail not much changes but for the seasons.

Her impeccable presence. Earth’s holy indifference. My distracted push.


Eventually, eyes closed I breathe till I wake up.

Hear the hollow rattle of winter trees,

trickle of water under ice and snow.


This feels good. We play two stick toss and fetch.


Approaching the car, she drops the stick,

falls in beside me, sits and we cross the road.