Sunday, August 02, 2020



Okay, okay, it's suddenly August and I haven't posted anything since the end of April. I know. I'm a slacker in blog land.

Slacker in Blog Land. There's a title. 

So thanks to Facebook friends I just heard about this thing people do in August called the Sealey Challenge whereby you commit to reading a book—or chapbook—of poetry, every day, for the month. As luck would have it, today's only the 2nd, and further to that, I actually read a chapbook yesterday, so I'm counting it, and am going to attempt this, and not only that, I'm going to blog about them. 

If you're anything like me (and if you are, you have my sympathy), you have a bit of a collection of poetry  books that you may or may not have actually read. Oh, I've opened all of them. Read one or two, or a dozen, or all of the poems within. But to be honest, I have so many books I haven't read all of...and I think it's about time I rectified that.

So I will do a separate posts on the books I read this month. And I'll likely focus on chapbooks, as that's what I publish, and, come to that, that's what I've been published in. 

I can't say much about the first one, the one I read yesterday, because I was reading it whilst wearing my Nose in Book Publishing hat, it's one I'm in the process of publishing! 

I have a couple of links to share.

First, and I've already posted about this one, I read several poems for National Poetry Month and you can catch the videos here.

Then there's Paul Nelson's interview with me about August postcard poems, now known as POPO. 

And a few of weeks ago I got an email from a blogger from Virginia who came across an old poem of mine online at Your Daily Poem and wondered if she could use it in her blog. And this is the result. And here's my mom who's now living at Jubilee Manor as did my aunt when I wrote that poem, when she turned 100 at the beginning of June. 

Here she is with her grandson, Jesse, his partner, Cheralynne, and their boy, Kyran, her great-grandson

With Ben, Jubilee's resident cat. He's turning 22 this month, which makes them around the same age!

100 years young!

I hope you're staying well in these crazy COVID times. Wear a damned mask!

Me and Ted in May, wearing our Mexican fabric masks made by our friend Cheryl Malmo

Having a COVISIT with Rita Moir, at Lakeside Park in Nelson at the end of July


Thursday, April 30, 2020



A poem about something that returns is on today's menu from NaPoWriMo.

Light, Birds, Fish, Birch

Each day the light returns,
sometimes later, sometimes sooner,
but always, it returns.

Hummingbirds come back
each spring, to the feeder.
If it's not out, they buzz the window, looking.

Paper birch in the curtilage
rolls out the catkins,
promises leaves to come.

Late summer finds the redfish
swimming up their birth creeks
to spawn the next generation.

We are all the light, the birds,
the fish, the birch, off on our adventures,
coming home.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020



"Today," says NaPoWriMo, "I challenge you to write a paean to the stalwart hero of your household: your pet." 

Sisu and Kiisa came into our lives a year and a half ago. Found them on the K.A.A.P. site on Facebook, a Kootenay-based animal rescue group. I'd been keeping an eye on their "looking for a home" posts for at least a year, and there was something about the face looking out at me; Sisu's, it turned out. Grey with the faintest of tabby markings. The other was full-on black. After a few day's deliberation (and being firm with the husband) we arranged to meet them. Imagine our surprise when Sisu came to greet us, all 21 pounds of him (9 ½ kg). Long story short, they moved in about a month later. It's an open adoption; before Covid their former family would drop in when they were back in Castlegar. Every now and then I send pictures and/or videos of cats being cute. It's what they do. We look forward to seeing the boys' boys once this social distancing thing calms down.

Sisu attempting to get all of himself into the patch of sunlight

Kiisa loves the Irish blankets that are usually found on my chair

The two of them, during an altercation

But a poem about them? I dunno. I sort of stopped writing cat poems after my first one which happened when I was in my early teens. It went something like this:


I turned the corner and there he lay
a little ball of white and grey
basking in a golden ray
of sun.

I wondered as I saw him there
what charms he held to make me care
thankful, I offered a little prayer
for Ned.

It truly worries me that I still remember that!

And here are a couple of pictures of the aforesaid Ned:

And I'm done. One more day in April! This was the longest, shortest, fastest, slowest month I've ever lived through. 


Tuesday, April 28, 2020



Welcome to the world of Emily Dickinson! NaPoWriMo is digging around in our memories today.

"Martha Dickinson Bianchi’s description of her aunt’s cozy room, scented with hyacinths and a crackling stove, warmly recalls the setting decades later. Describe a bedroom from your past in a series of descriptive paragraphs or a poem. It could be your childhood room, your grandmother’s room, a college dormitory or another significant space from your life."


Pale yellow walls

built in shelf



April 30, 2020 — 

Last night I was reading this on my phone and saw a typo. Somehow I deleted most of the poem and I hadn't gotten around to saving it anywhere so it's gone. This may be a breakthrough—I really can get rid of everything! Anyway, Sanctuary is now a two-line poem. I thought of adding 'Ootpik' for a third and final line because I know one was mentioned in the original and how often am I likely to use it again?

This is writing and letting it go. The August PoPo Fest is about writing directly onto the card. First draft stuff. Quality varies greatly, but now and again you get a line or two. I wrote Santuary directly into my blog, likely quite late at night which is how this month of daily poeming has gone. 


Pale yellow walls

built in shelf



Monday, April 27, 2020



A poem in the form of a review of something/someone that doesn't normally warrant one.

And I fell asleep after dinner and just woke up and it's ten to midnight, my time.

Don't expect miracles!

Oak Leaves

While some may speak of acorns
and how you grow from one
I'd like to point out how your leaves
make such a mess
before they're done.

They worm their way inside the nest
of boughs of lavender and such.
They're picked out one by one
and then they don't break down,
at least, not much.


Sunday, April 26, 2020



Today is all about creating a sort of poetry blueprint after jotting down your answers to an "almanac questionnaire." Too sleepy to do much with it.


thank you for coming,
the fox is back in his bedtime story,
cowering dog 
to the cold, hard, nothing
of confrontation.

bluster of a day
sprigs of yarrow still coming up 
legacy of a former resident 
who planted it everywhere, 
its roots as determined to stay 
as I am for them to go.

black bear      garter snake      
rainbow[ trout,      
five-year-old’s scary wolf-face nightmare
footprints of the past
in an ordinary life.


Saturday, April 25, 2020



NaPoWriMo's prompt today looks like way too much work so I'm going the light and fluffy route and I don't even care!

A Non-Gardiner's Garden Meditation

it's been three days 
since I hurt my hands
but healed my soul in the yard

flower beds I thought done-for
—two years since last we spoke—
are greening up already

the one tulip the deer missed 
raises its head in disbelief
considers its options

a little rain, a little sun,
clouds speeding overhead 
as if they had somewhere to go 

I'm grateful for the greens 
of maple, larch, and aspen,
for the world just as it is