Your wealth. My fortune.

Sitting on the deck with the dog and a cup of coffee, I notice all the things you have hanging. Colored glass, twists of copper and beads, lanterns and feeders. The yard sale candelabra that I constantly bump my head on. Bird houses and bamboo chimes. The rock on a wire. Bistro lights woven through dried branches and grapevine. Everywhere potted annuals climbing and cascading. Blooming shades of orange, pink and violet. Scattered perennials and flower beds. Tall trees, once dusty saplings struggling along the edges of country roads. The vegetable gardens that exist only because of you. Occasionally you ask me to turn some earth or dig a hole. Build or carry something.

You’re not here this morning, on a road  trip with our daughter, and I think of how much richer your life is than mine. And how fortunate I am to share your wealth.


In this space


What to do in this space.

Of time.


Stare at the screen.

Draw lines on a page.

Grab the keys and go.


Sun rises in the east

passes overhead and sets in the west.

This from birth to death.


But everything changes.


Will I pace between moments.

Run from one hour to the next.

See or miss the day.


Cormorant disappears,

dives for a silver mackerel.

Muskrat swims just below the surface.


Will I wander aimlessly.

Seek some near or distant point.

Or live undecided.


Rain falls. Snow melts.

A robin nests by our door.

The telephone rings.


I grab the keys and go.


By the river

Our ancestors cross my mind. The ancient ones on the cusp of departure, still competing with the others for food and shelter. Freezing to death under moss and animal skin. Starving. Running fast but not fast enough. Chipping away at chert. Piecing together shards of dream. Thinking. What is thinking? Creating point and edge. Fly-bitten, skinny creatures, all bone and gristle tying stone teeth to broken branches. Tight fist and trace of smile. Rocking on their haunches as the world turns, unaware of what is coming.

Sitting by the river with a beer in the evening. This is not what I was thinking when they crossed my mind. All romance and elder wisdom. Gentle breeze in the bulrush. A kingfisher passing close by, reflected in the stream. I tucked the cushion under my arm and walked up to the house. Put a frozen pizza in the oven.


These days

Slowly I’m becoming one person again. Like when I was a child. Or those times years ago between lost and found. Slowly. At least I’m not running in the opposite direction anymore.


The Lot

Driving by I used to see

a couple of guys and a woman.

Bleach blonde with a little white dog.

Black and red plaid jackets,

rubber boots, toques askew.

Clearing, burning brush,

piling wood and puttering.


Or gathered around the fire

on aluminum lawn chairs,

passing a dented thermos.


The place seemed more won

than bought. Cut into the bush

at the side of the road.


Now they’ve disappeared

leaving behind a thin grey frame

on broken pallets.

A shack in the making

that keeps standing up and falling over.

Torn poly hanging, yellow and brittle.

They must be around

but I never see them anymore.