Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Morning Enchantment

I climbed out of bed,
Acknowledged the tail wagging dog
On the way to the toilet
Where I sat and read a "morning reflection",
Reminding myself that all humans
Are Gods that shit.

I again acknowledged the tail wagging dog,
As I departed the bathroom
And entered the kitchen.
Created the miracle of the blue gas stove flame,
Then opened the enchanting freezer door
Taking out the wondrous coffee container.
I scooped just enough deep brown coffee grounds
To make the Expresso maker very happy indeed.

I saw that the dog climbed back on the bed, curled up,
For a nap, after the hard work of morning greetings.
I sat at the table looking at this computer screen
Reading mail from the internet,
Smiling at the inspirational quotes from Facebook friends,
Waiting for the characteristic morning coffee music to begin.
Listening as the symphony symphony crescendoed
Then gurlgled to a rich conclusion.

I rose on cue and turned off the stove,
Lifted the expresso pot and poured the aromatic creation
Into my orange Harley Davidson mug.

I then drank the "said" coffee.


My morning has begun.

Sensuous spirituality incarnate.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Afraid (poem)

I am tough and strong
I am David before Goliath
I am the Rock of Gibralter
 I am the steel that is true
 I have fought for righteousness
Defended the truth
Given my health and wealth
For all the right causes
I have carried my burden
And carried yours
And been carried by the Lord
And known grace

But still I am afraid
When you threaten me
 With armies of lawyers
And legions of bureaucrats
And threaten to take years
Of my valuable time
I once thought would be mine
After years of service

There is no real reward in this world
I have known the various distractions
The brief R&R that is given to men
So they will forget for a moment
And return to the battlefield
Where others profit from the service

There are many battlefields
And many wars
 But always there is death, old age, and taxes
And yes I am afraid

Please God give me strength to carry on
And face yet again your enemies and mine
For the darkness is all around
Only you and yours are the light
Help me be more and more with you
In you and surrounded by you
Thank you, Jesus.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Eternity poem

There is a lot to be spoken of
In the soft explorations
Of fingers and tongue
Lying here
Together Moulded
Reaching for something finer
In the depths
Where our privacies unite
And for the briefest moment
Our loneliness is met
Beyond politeness
Vulgar with sweat
Human and divine
Arching geometrically
Parabolic and banal
Grunts and syllables
Sweet tears
And last caresses
Before the sounds
Of deeper and deeper sleep
Are forgotten
In erotic dreams
Of this moment
Over and over
Again and again
Ecstasy colliding in eternity.

Giselle-Ballet BC

I so enjoyed the world premiere Ballet BC,Giselle, choreographed by the extraordinary Jose Navas.  The blending of classical and modern forms created the most wonderful avante garde  performance  of this great traditional French folk tale.  Adolphe Adams whimsical and serene music was paired to the dance as if the performers had been written in as staffs and notes.  "Of course," I thought time and again, "those movements are simply perfectly matched to the score!"

The dancers themselves were unsurpassable.  The leads, Alexis Fletcher, Maggie Fogeron, Connor Gnam, Alexander Burton, and Gilbert Small were interpretative geniuses with every expression of their bodies coupled to each other, the music and the mood of this terribly moving story of the star crossed lovers.

Lino's set with the simplicity of hanging ropes and the high screen movie back drop of slow moving scenes of petals and clouds  was truly ingenious.  I loved the snatches of words, reminiscent of e.e. cummings, that appeared cryptically, almost teasingly, as a poetic sub text.   Linda Chow's costumes were point and counterpoint to the cultural sense of love and romance, both hidden and exposed.   All combined to explode the senses, touch the heart and free the mind of the viewer.

I felt I could have been in Europe or New York, the cutting edge work was so artistically refined and professionally polished.  Standing ovations, roses, bows and more bows, bravos, and curtain calls were all well deserved.

It was a shock to find myself back in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre lobby surrounded by other Vancouverites.  Looking at the haute couture dresses of some of the beautiful young women and the studied appearances of the handsome  young men about me as I departed,  I might as well have been at fashion week in Paris or Hong Kong.  I keep forgetting that Vancouver has become a artistically diverse city with countless denizens sufficiently sophisticated to appreciate even the highest forms of cultural advance.  

Artistic Director Emily Molnar had announced to great applause that Ballet BC had already nearly met their  spring fund raising campaign goals. The announced line up for shows in the coming year looks tantalizing.  Driving home I felt my spirit lifted by the ballet, my mind challenged and my heart touched. I love art when it's so truly accomplished,  original and moving.

 IMG 2984

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I used to encourage people to journal
But then thought how sad it was that all this thought
Went into boxes no one read
Like the many boxes I have in the shed

So now I tell people to share a blog
Not to worry what critics say
But write a blog everyday
And be surprised when people say

I liked what you wrote, yesterday.

Tomboy Store, Point Road, Fort Gary

My friend Karey Shin (Asselstine) wrote a song about this icon of our childhood. Apparently some luddite demolished it in 1970. She's trying to make a music video and can't find any pictures so asked me if I might have some. I've asked my photographer brother if he has any and now am putting it out there to see if anyone else might.
As a silly young man I wasn't taking pictures of the buildings about me in those days. I thought 'architecture' was in Europe and that the only pictures of a 'city' worthwhile taking were Toronto, Quebec City, Chicago or New York. When I was in Europe in the early 70's I took all manner of pictures of buildings but didn't appreciate my home town in 'that way' until years later. My mother always appreciated the local Fort Gary sights. She didn't take pictures but would have prefered a picture of the Tomboy Store to a picture of a castle in the south of France.
At least I enjoyed the people around me. I have all kinds of pictures of the kids I knew. I was a people photographer early. Now I suspect I've become more a dog photographer thanks to my cockapoo 'model', Gilbert. I'd think I was becoming addled by my friend Wes Hazlitt just posted a picture of him and his dog for Facebook so I've got a few more years of sentamentalism left before they call it 'dementia'.
Karey and I were writing poetry in high school and here we are both over 21 and continuing to enjoy this. My doctor friend George is always sharing his insightful poetry with me. Several of the CAA folk are great published poets too with everyone enjoying the 'scene' and 'open mike' nights as much as the poetry itself.
Now I'm looking forward to Karey's music video on the Tomboy Store and hopefully someone will have black and white pictures of the memory.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Dry Dock - SV GIRI

It's that time of the year. Boat work and bottom painting. Tom had my sailboat hoisted out at the boat yard. The paint job from last year has done well. A new coat of bottom paint will be all that's needed. The zincs will be replaced though they've survived pretty well too.

Finally the prop and shaft can be repaired. Jim finished the new autopilot and now all that was needed was for the prop problem to be solved. Nothing major found out of whack just a few little things all of which conspired to slow the GIRI progress in water. One of the prop fins is very slightly dinged and this can be fixed by the machinist. A new prop has been ordered but won't arrive in time for installation this haul out. So it will be the spare and my present prop is still in pretty good shape with lots more years wear. Spares are always important.

Couldn't help but reminisce about all the times I've had the boat 'on the hard'. I remembered the first time Sherry and I had it out on the Tide Grid at the Fisherman's dock with ropes holding it in place because we were misalligned and the ship threatened to fall off the grid. We all painted the bottom fast that time. In those early years we had the boat out on a tide grid a few times as well as on the hard at Granville Island.

Then there was the motley crew of barely sober painters that Joe brought along one year to do the job, the heat of the sun causing several to leave after the first hour.

Sherry and I had the GIRI sandblasted in Thunderbird Marina North Vancouver, living aboard using the portapotty and hauling water from the ground faucet. We had it sand blasted and painted too when we sailed to Mexico and had the boat out on land in La Paz.

Tom was with me painting the bottom with Laura's help on Granville Island. Then the two of us were grinding and painting the bottom in Kona, Hawaii. It was on land for the welding at Mosquito Creek and bottom painting a few times.

It's amazing but it's been a dozen times at least in the last roughly 25 years years I've owned the GIRI. Each time it's a strange experience, I imagine, like one would experience, if they saw their house being hauled away on a trailer.

I'm thankful these last few years that Tom's taken on the challenge of managing the work. I'm happy to be the 'owner' and glad to remember all the times I had paint in my face or sweated under the hull in the heat grinding away rust. I can't say I enjoy the expense. Haul outs have gone up 10 fold since I began and the tide grids have become fewer. That said there's a lot of pleasure in the continuity and having cared for something so extraordinary as an ocean going blue water ship for nearly a quarter of a century.

With this work done , there's only really cosmetics or minor improvements to be achieved as the GIRI is again restored to her capacity to cross oceans. That said, all I'm really looking forward to doing is some island hopping, fishing and anchoring off the islands in the Strait of Georgia.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, April 22, 2013

Learning formally

Learning formally is a disciplined regimented process

It's a whole other thing to learn informally

In formal learning it's like having the brain squeezed like a sponge

So that when exposed to knowledge it soaks it up

Learning informally is like putting a rag near water

And hoping to catch the drips and osmose the content.

I've begun another formal learning project.

Naturally my head hurt.

It's tiring and frustrating and humiliating

It doesn't matter the content

The process of formal learning is invariably as such

Because it requires attention and training in a manner


How can new learning be anything but foreign.

A lot of informal learning masquerades as great learning

Because it suggests you are learning a lot 

When if it feels great and is appealing 

Is probably merely confirming what you already know

Formal learning quickly moves at a pace which 

Usually indicates that though you feel above average

You are slow

I'm convinced right now I'm the dunce of the class

I've been at this place many times.

It's called the beginning.

If I don't run screaming from the classroom

I may actually learn something new and alien

And very disturbing

Like a new language

A science or religion or the culture of another different

And strange and irritatingly difficult

Formal learning is work

As playful as it can be for an adult

For children formal learning is play

For adults play is the known with just a wee bit of learning 

Added in for interest.

Formal learning is adventure of the highest order

Because it's dictated by the learned to the novice

Set at a pace and in a way that they think is okay


Hail on a Motorcyce

I was not impressed. Coming over the Lion's Gate Bridge hail hit. Hail. It's spring time. We've had our share of snow and cold and wet. Now my lip was being struck with BB gun shots. My face was stinging. I could only feel for poor Gilbert behind me. He didn't have a helmut. He pawed his off somewhere in China Town last year. Now he was at the mercy of hail. Thank goodness for Tim Horton's. I pulled off the road and parked to sit out the worst of it. I carry Gilbert's jacket in the carrier bag. Tim Horton's has a roof. He's now protected. Not happy to be outside with me inside but then he thinks he's a person and should be allowed to eat at the table. I agree but we manage. I'm inside having a coffee watching the rain get worse. Hail is the reason for full face masks on helmuts. In all other scenarios I love the half face mask. Having one's face peirced by needles makes finding shelter the best solution. Thank you Tim Horton!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Sunday is everything
Completion of a week, beginning of a new one
A time to sleep in
A time to go to church
(A last minute to sin before confession)
A moment to reflect on healing, the present
God, the Big Picture, life and death
The alpha and omega
The time between
Purpose, meaning, spirituality, direction

I pray and meditate
I work and do the next right thing
I play and participate
Love to read and write
I watch tv, listen to the news
Go outside as much as possible
Walk the dog
Throw the ball
Stay in touch with family
Hang out with friends
Carry through with projects
Building things
Learning things
Travel, hunt, fish
Am fascinated by the means of travel
As much as the destination
Am with people alot
Helping whenever and whereever I can
I pay taxes
Some days it's enough
Really, enough
But often I'm alone
And wondering sometimes still
If I'm really doing God's will
Or marking time
Waiting for the Messiah to come

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Roses are Red

Roses are Red
Violets are blue
Because I've a dog
I scoop up poo

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


I'd not been to Walmart in a while. I'm pretty much a regular at London Drugs and Canadian Tire. I really like Safeway. I'm a big fan of the Bay and Sears. But I just don't get to Walmart that often.
Probably that's good. It's really easy to spend money at Walmart. Everything is priced low so why not get two instead of one. I've just bought two sets of flip flops and two shirts. In the entertainment section I got several $5 DVD's on sale and one reduced price Durango. It really was the best price I'd seen. There was the shampoo I bought even though I still have shampoo at home. It was on sale too. Really good price. I bought apples and cod and microwave vegetables. I don't know when I'll get around to eating them but I've got them. More dog food for Gilbert too. There was whole package of chocolate bars too.
I'd just thought to get a shirt. I mean that was my intent. I've not done the laundry and now it's going to be days before I get it back from the launderer so I thought I'd get a shirt. One shirt. I got shorts as well. I've got a load of shorts from last year but the shorts were beside the shirts and each was only $12. In Mexico they wanted $25 for the same shorts.
The bill at the cash register was a couple of hundred dollars. It kind of surprised me. But then these days bills always surprise me. Yet I had a shopping cart full of stuff and normally I'd have paid twice or three times what I paid. But I don't 'need' some of this stuff. It will get used but I still have to think, Walmart makes it way too easy to spend money.
The lady ahead of me had less than a half dozen items. I think if there's a shopper's heaven she's going there. Not me.
Walmart is to the shopaholic what Vegas is to the gambler. I must say, I love Walmart. Like Death by Chocolate. There are just some things that really do it well.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

love in darkness

we don't ask of love in darkness
the children are long away and asleep
only adults are here about
the noises are distinctive
gutteral, animal, and joyful
there is a space there
in community
for respect and mutual agreement
despite the voyeurs and perverts
who would point fingers
and shine lights
ignoring bombs where children run
it's one or the other really
silence and discretion
here in the coupling of creatures
away tongue waggers
and fat cows
little men
and apathetic creatures
who are titillated
easily by death in the marketplace
whereas I would die with you
again and again and again
in ecstacy and self forgetting.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, April 19, 2013

Scuba Diving in the University Aquatic Centre

Hauling tanks and gear
From truck in rain
Down stairs through doors
To where scant clad
Bright eyed youth frolic
In water.
Instruction in suits by side of pool
Jason and Michelle our teachers this night.
Technology and fabric, zipper care
Signalling emergencies underwater
Then suiting up.
I'm little a little kid with snow suit
Can't get the feet down in boots
Struggle to pull bag over my fat ass
Feel michelin man for a bit
Then ecstatic when finally zipper closed.
I'm ready.
To don already assembled tank
And Hubb BCG and regulator.
It is heavy.
I'm ready.
Pick up mask and snorkel and fins
And waddle to side of pool
Inflate BCG a bit,
Right hand on face and regulator
Left hand on weight belt
Step off in faith
Falling into water.
I float beautifully.
Proud of myself.
Till it's apparent I've forgot my weight belt.
I won't descend.
Minutes to figure out the problem.
Out of the pool
Out of fins and Hubb,
Find my weight belt.
It's heavy.
Don this, then the Hubb and fins.
Step off into the air and hit water
Float. Ah.
I descend.
The 13 year kid, Charley
Keeps flying in circles
somersaulting and generally being amazing.
The other half dozen 30 year olds are gathered
On the bottom on their knees
Observing jason.
Michelle is often flashing the okay sign at me
I'm the old man.
I look up and see bikinis flashing by overhead.
Life isn't so bad.
I'm bobbing up and down
Putting air in my suit
It's too much. I rise to the top.
Let out air, sink to the bottom.
It's supposed to be a few inches
Whereas I'm travelling up and down
Like an elevator.
Finally, finally, finally
I'm hovering.
I've got the hang of the latest generation dry suit
Breathing softly float inches above the floor
Kicking gently move stealth like
Below the bikinis passing over head.
I know they are there but I'm focusing
On buoyancy and breathing
Then am doing somersaults like Charley
Then I'm good. Really good.
The suit and BCG work for me.
I'm ready for the sea.
I will soon again be amongst shark and octupi
Swimming with fish and turtles.
I free myself from Hubb at weights at poolside
Climb out of water
Can't for the life of me get out of the suit
Feet stuck in boots
Eventually free myself
Fleece untangles
I'm in a bathing suit with a pile of equipmment
All around me. I hose it off.
Go to shower room
Quickly shower, dress wet,
I forgot my towel
Haul equipment through doors upstairs
In rain, across road and parking lot to truck
It's been a couple of hours
Who would guess.
The gang high fived each other as we left
One girl so pleased she could finally
Put on her mask under water and clear air
I'm pleased with my new suit
Understanding the valves
My reconditioned HUBB restored seals
Look forward to the sea
But driving home
Hungry tired
Good tired.
Scuba diving
is easy underwater
Like flying
Gliding really.
It's just the getting there and back
That's all the exercise
And I've seen no fat scuba divers
Fewer are older
But what fun it was
To get out to the University Aquatic Centre
And prepare to return to the sea.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, April 18, 2013

All the Way Home by David Berner

All the Way Home is a book that chronicles the truly amazing and miraculous life of the X Kalay Foundation. X Kalay is a First Nations word for "The Unknown Path". It is also part memoir of it's founding member, David Berner himself.
X Kalay began in the 1960's when David Berner became a member of the Young Canadians. In the federal penitentiary he began to help a fledgling group of First Nations folk wanting to develop a half way house for aboriginals in hope of countering the almost complete recidivism of the day.
It became apparent from the start that no one wanted to just go half way but indeed wanted to go all the way on to never return to the penitentiary. To this end abstinence from drugs and alcohol became a cornerstone of this early recovery house.
The lessons learned in early years are poignantly described in colourful action sidestepping none of the violence, sex and harsh words that went into developing a working prototype which would go on to influence all subsequent recovery communities.
David Berner, born in Ottawa, studied Mathematics and Literature at University of Winnipeg thereby becoming a North Winnipeg Jewish intellectual. He and the community would incorporate all manner of eclectic ideas from the Synanon community to encounter groups led by innovative hypnotist psychologist, Dr. Lee Pulos. The free for all creativity of these early days fairly percolates from the pages as young men and women sought whatever way possible to stay clean and out of jail. Together they developed the Game, a therapeutic tool for group cohesion.
X Kalay would grow to 125 residents and a $2 million dollar budget closing in 1976 in British Columbia but living on in the Behavioural Health Foundation of Manitoba.
David Berner, actor, talk show host, television personality, provacateur, journalist is a splendid writer. He promotes the cause of abstinence fearing the emphasis on 'harm reduction' denies the humanity and potential of addicts who he has seen personally find new life in X Kalay and programs that promote such respect and honesty. His writing is reminiscent of Victor Frankl. His compassion for his fellow human and his track record of solid success are amazing.
I was deeply moved by All the Way Home and would recommend it to all who work in the field of addictions and corrections. Alone it's an amazing testimony to marginalized humans with extraordinary dreams. The potential of the human spirit shines throughout this beautiful and uplifting book of great endeavour.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday Poem

The National write a poem a day contest
Is a bully beating me with literary sticks
And prodding me with electric verbs
To write a poem today when it's Wednesday

Who ever heard of a Wednesday poem
Poetry of love is written on Friday
In hopes of getting laid on Saturday
While poetry of loss is written on Sunday
After breaking up on Saturday

Spiritual poetry of great design is written
On Sunday or Monday,
Monday because a sermon
Has raised one from the carnal contemplation
Of news or hockey

But Wednesday, this Wednesday
I'm without any inspiration for a poem
And dont' want to look at the 'prompts'.
My goodness, I'll likely look at the prompts
Because I'll have to have a poem them
Or the NaPoWriMo folk will pull out
My literary fingernails
Demanding lot
Can't imagine how I fell in with the beastly folk
I should be getting ready for work
Drinking a second cup of coffee
Languishing in the bath
But instead because of the brutes
I agreed to run with
I'm putting out a useless silly poem
That won't get me laid
Doesn't say anything about breaking up
And hasn't a twit to do with God
I'm not even celebrating nature
I'm not singing the body electric
Or even being electric
I'm stringing words together
In the appearance of compliance
This is the wednesday poem
Take that
You poetry police
Not that anyone but me is monitoring
I could have stolen a Shakespeare Sonnet
Plagiarized and no one but me would be sick
With guilt and remorse and feeling of moral crapitude
I can't imagine criminals and losers having much inner peace
I've so little even thinking of stealing an e.e. cummings
And saying it was my own
Just to get a Wednesday poem
No I've muddled through myself
Externalized the demon of work ethic
That internalized thing of committment
Which I must have imbibed at my mother's breast
For from her I learned not to cheat or steal or lie
And saw my father was a wonderful man of great character
So accomplished in so much he did
So I've not plagiarized though it would have improved the content
And I've not stolen or shot a poetry contest judge
To get special dispensation
To have someone say, he wrote a wednesday poem
When he didn't
I've not done any of that
So I've got this instead
Not much to write home about
But better than nothing
And certainly better than something stolen.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

HSBC Money Laundry

HSBC is the bank for me
HSBC is a laundry
For crack, cocaine, crystal meth and death
HSBC is the bank that's best
HSBC is for heroin
HSBC is for prostitution
HSBC is the killer's bank
HSBC has the highest rank
With drug cartels, criminals and graft
HSBC and all of its staff
Anyone who banks at HSBC
Anyone who works at HSBC
Should be ashamed
Because HSBC
Is the Devil's laundry.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Costco is a favourite store
With good stuff, savings
And much much more

I love to walk around and round
Finding the best of deals in the town

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Poem On Sunday

I'm not at church today

I'm in the backwoods instead

I've woken and said the Lord's prayer

Then I sat meditating

I repeat the Jesus prayer and the Rosary

And then make coffee

I've had a cup and plan another

God is with me always

This world is the dream

Reality is much greater 

Than my limited senses can no

I am thankful for all that I have here

I am grateful for God's grace

This is paradise

Old Hedley BC and Spring Bear Hunting

I drove my Ford F350 HD edition truck towing the Rockwood Mini lite trailer from Vancouver.  There's no snow in the Frazer Valley but the woods were full of snow in Manning Park.  By the time I got to Princeton I saw dozens and dozens of mule deer. There were no antlered deer because this is the time of the year the deer shed their antlers.
I stayed in a lovely RV park, Riverhaven, just beside the Gold Mountain Road, as the #3 crosses the Similkameen River. The RV camp is a km beyond there where the Stemwinder road to the mountains turns off.  It's a lovely forested site right on the Similkameen River with very friendly helpful owners.
I set out from there with my truck or Honda CRF 250 motorcycle.  I had Gilbert my cockapoo with me and he road either in the passenger seat of the truck or in his dog box on the back of the bike.  I had my Ruger bolt action stainless steel 30:06 in the truck but carried the Mossberg 30:30 lever action while out hiking on in a scabbard on the motorcycle.  I had some fun target practicing.  The bear might have avoided me but I killed some pop cans dead at 100 yards.
We had a great time back country.  A little exciting 4x4 ing in the truck when I had to go up a mountain on John's Creek road, got into snow and ice with no place to turn around. It's times like this I miss my quad.  The motorcycle wouldn't have been any better with the iced road, though when I was riding it the next day and got into a bad stretch of rock slide it was easy as pie to turn around. That's the limitation of the big truck on the logging roads, no turning radius.  When I had the Broncho II it was almost like having a quad because I could turn around anywhere. The same was true with the Ranger truck compared to this monster with the crew cab.  Even in the worst of the high mountain snow and ice I was thankful to have the bike in the back. Barring sliding over the side and plummeting a half mile or so, I figured at least if I got stuck, I might be able to ride out on the motorcycle and get help.
The first day out I forgot my iridium phone. Since getting hurt in the woods a couple of years back I've felt better for the ability to call for help. I'm finding I'm not as confident running over logs and down hillsides, having this nagging worry that I could quite easily break an ankle or such.  Silly thoughts for an old codger but still the phone gives me a measure of comfort.  God's with me wherever.
Gilbert and I had a great hike in the woods for a few hours off Stirling Creek logging road.  He was ecstatic when we scared up a grouse. They're out of season. I watched one big boy doing the cock walk by his female, feathers all fluffed out.  Didn't point him out to Gilbert who upwind didn't know he was there though if we'd stayed he would have heard them with his keen ears.
All manner of deer in the woods. I came across a couple of herds of a dozen or more riding along the Similkameen River trails.  They were out in the meadows and ran back up the mountain when I appeared. Quite the sight each time.  4 actually ran across my path at a cars length away bounding across the meadow to the safety of the woods.  Some even came into the campground only to turn around and find their way out by the way they'd come in. They'd walked up from the river.
I stopped at the town of Old Hedley. There's a museum there celebrating the Gold Mine that was once there.  I liked the little town with people making it pretty and welcoming for tourists.  I took pictures of Magpies on a roof there.
We never saw any sign of bear so figure they're still in hibernation.  Another week or two and this area will likely be crawling with them. I've seen many in the fall when I've been up around Princeton hunting mulies.
I can't say I've been a dedicated bear hunting either. No early morning departures.  I've really enjoyed hanging out at the RV park, one day driving into Princeton on the motorcycle without Gilbert and the other days only hunting a few hours, mostly just driving about in the back woods or out hiking.  Country folk do just this for entertainment.  I have a rifle, binoculars, a knife and hatchet but otherwise I could be going out for a Sunday drive.  Gilbert sure is excited when I get the rifle out.  I think he always thinks we're hunting partridge, his favourite, and doesn't have a clue why I pass up going where he thinks the most likelihood of finding birds is.  The last time I had him on a bear hunt, we came around the corner and there was the big black bear. This startled Gilbert and he began to bark ferociously nervously scaring the bear away looking back at me to make sure I was backing 'big dog' up.  I've got  him trained not to bark at animals in the woods, I think, but it's a learning process.  It's not the same hunting without him though. He's sheer entertainment with all his enthusiasm and interest , sniffing and pissing, running circles and generally so much happiness. Alone I'm just on task.  He's probably not contributing to the hunt but the hunt isn't all about getting a bear. It's mostly about being out in the woods and enjoying nature.  Getting off the grid for an hour or two too.  It's so peaceful and quiet in the backwoods.  This time of year I didn't even encounter loggers or other folks out in the wilderness.
This RV site is so peaceful too. Right now I'm looking down at the river.  Later today I'll head back to Vancouver.  Gilbert's had a great time with a variety of country dogs playing and showing them his city dog moves.
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Riverhaven Motel and RV Hedley BC

Riverhaven RV is only 20 km past Princeton on the #3 highway.  The road crosses the Similkameen River at the Gold Mountain Road.  Stemwinder is to the left and just beyond there is the turn off to Riverhaven RV right next to Gold Mountain RV.  Yesterday, I was the first customer this year.  The owner was terrific guiding me into my place and making sure I had power, water, sewage and wifi.  I've overlooking the Similkameen River which is a lovely view indeed.  It's so quiet and peaceful with lush green all around.  Another RV came in today.  There's this lovely sand beach along the river. Gilbert and I walked down last night, just a path down the bank, really.  The stars were bright in the sky. The river was gurgling and talking. The white capped mountain peaks loomed in the distance.  I love it here.  This morning deer , coming up from the river bank, walked right on through the park. They got themselves trapped for a moment but found away out. I was able to get some great pictures.Later I was across the river and took a picture of my RV in Riverhaven.
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Hedley BC Canada

This is the first time I've been here in the Spring and it's beautiful.  I usually come to Princeton in the fall for hunting, camping or staying in a motel in town, then driving out here in the truck to unload the motorcycle or quad.  There's a zillion miles of trails out from Old Hedley in the Gold Mountain direction as well as north.
Gilbert and I drove up from Vancouver in the Ford F350 pulling the Rockwood Minilite RV.  There was snow in the forest in Manning Park where the campgrounds are all still closed.  Deer were out along the road coming down into Princeton. What a beautiful sight.  The town continues to grow with lots of evidence of paint and development.  Beyond Princeton I saw horses and cattle then some 20 ams on I was at Hedley.
On the way up I've been listening to Graham Greene's novel of the red shirt killing of the Catholic priests in Mexico.  Graham Greene is such a great writer. I took several stops which pleased Gilbert no end. There's a bit more strain driving pulling a house than just whizzing along in  a sportscar.  A bit like motorcycle travelling where it's nice to get out and stretch one's legs.  
Thankfully the Riverhaven RV campsite was open. They'd just turned the electricity on.  I was the first customer of the year. The owner, a very helpful and personal, good looking man, guided my RV into the parking space.  Now I've a love view of the Silmakeen River rushing below me.  There's a walkway down to a sand beach too.  Gilbert loved running up and down the beach.  "We like pets, " the owner had told me, "but I don't like picking up after other people's dogs so make sure you do."  He's got a little shepherd female who Gilbert has loved playing with.
I'm slowly moving about this morning after porridge and my second cup of coffee. I'm planning on going out with the Honda CRF 250 motorcycle to explore the backroads. The weather has been kind, cloudy but sunny with a sunny forecast for the next couple of days.  It's wonderful here.
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Yesterday Poem

I had no wi fi
Travelling in my truck
Pulling my trailer
My loyal dog beside me
His name, not Charlie, but Gilbert.
We stopped often
This hauling about of one's home
A greater strain than riding one's motorcycle
I appreciate now the methodic movement of the turtle
Compared to the frantic effervescence of the hare.
Gilbert was pleased to pee on as many trees as he could
I think he has a daily quota
And rewards himself with happy faces for more
He's very much a twitter tweeter
To my blogging.
So a poem did not go out for napowrmo
Daily as the national poetry month deserves
The poem was written in my head and heart
But it's only today that the wifi at this campsite
Gives me the sense that I'm again connected to the web
I was off the grid there for a day
No doubt the satellites could see me
And the traffic cameras could detect my vehicle
With the distinctive cockapoo dog head sticking out the side window
But the cellphone signal was lost
And much of the way I didn't even have radio
So I listened to a talking book of Graham Greene
About the time when the Communists were lining up the priests
And shooting them as the Romans crucified the Christians.
The scenery was magnificent, the Silmakeen River rushing along
But snow deep still in the forest concerned me
I didn't imagine stopping till I was over the mountains
Away from winter and back into spring.
It's been a mild winter but still I'm weary of leaving yellow marks in the snow
Gilbert marked the crocuses and daffodils as though they were trees
He's so very off the grid.

The River

I am no Tennyson to capture the river in words
My camera works fine for that
But I imagine were he here
He' DL Lawrence to this river as I do
Feeling it must be enchanted
In a Rowling way.

There's something in the sound that's Mozart
Mixed with Beatles and Bob Dylan
Odd how that is
A river bringing all the history of a person to bear.
I am moved by this river as Buddha was moved by his.
Not the same, not the same, but in my personal way.
I can not look at water as Peter did
After the Lord made him walk on such.

But I can imagine conspiracy theories
In the countless voices of this gurgling mass
Rushing to the sea
As we are rushing to the sea
With so much landscape to comment on
And so much movement between each molecule

There is wonder in a river
This is shallow and fast
And tears the heart out of the land to either side of it
Wearing it down like Marx
Or any political writer convinced there must be movement
The banks are carried away perhaps less by revolution
Than the comedy of Stuart McLean
I hear such laughter at times

Through the day it changes too
The blues and whites and greens
Turn darker with the evening and seem a Mahler
or Rachmaniov whereas in the afternoon the sound was Bartok
The words are always Tennyson though
If one listens as Walt Whitman might

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Recovery is a wondrous moment
When lost in past and future
We once again become present

Wounded healers, servant kings
Our imperfection our humanity
We walk again in the garden
Naming things with God

Interpersonal, relational
Atonement and personhood
We find the outside looking in
No longer trapped inside looking out

Spirituality at peace
No more at war with ourselves
With serenity, moving forward
With gratitude, celebrating life

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Canadian Author's Association - West Coast - April 10,2013

The board meeting took place at the White Spot where the halibut and fries are truly scrumptuous. Much serious business was transacted thanks to the leadership of our president, Margot Bates.
Grant Brandson, our stalwart secretary, scribbled notes surreptitiously on all the writers events, motions, countermotions, secondings, all in favours, bon mots, grandstanding, giggling and even the occasional burp.
Bernice Lever and Jean Kay waxed poetical about the National Poetry Writing Month and NaPoWriMO (www.napowrimo.net)
I shared that I'd heard a group of poets in Victoria had done a charity event, "Poetry in the Nude". After a brief discussion with no board volunteers forthcoming, the meeting mooved on to discuss upcoming Writer's survey and the Can Write festival.

At the meeting proper, Margot Bates introduced Bernice Lever, the evening's Stand and Deliver Opening Act. Bernice, our writer in residence, has many books of poetry to her credit as well as a book on writing and grammar. An editor and writer as well as a poet she is a great promoter of 'writers helping writers', the Canadian Author's Association mottol Between readings she shared tidbits of inspiration. One poem she read had won a prize and been published but was her least favoured contribution. "So don't be your own worst judge," she said, "You can't know what people will really like till you try."
Her sensual poem of love brought a loud round of ovation.

Margot Bates then introduced our main speaker, Susan Juby, (www.susanjuby,.com) author of 8 highly acclaimed and successful novels with a 9th just completed.
I was so happy to be here as some years before when her best selling teen teen novel, Alice I Think, was just being bought for a tv series, I took Susan's creative writing course at UBC. Not only is she a captivating writer, her books impossible to put down, she's a truly amazing teacher. The audience tonight got a taste of her whacky sense of humor and exuberance for all aspects of writing. I loved the image she painted of the promotional chicken purses she'd distributed across the country when she published The Woefield Poultry Collective, a comedy about aBrooklyn woman inheriting a derelict Vancouver Island farm.
Tonight I bought her book Nice Recovery with stories about young people recovering from addiction, delighted to have a resource to share with parents in my practice struggling with their adolescent children. When Susan spoke about her speaking engagements with young people, where she encounters creative talents thinking that they need to live some skewed version of the 'artist's lifestyle' she shared her pleasure in telling them that that's more a "detour" than any path to success.
Her science fiction novel, Bright's Light has the most outlandish picture of her with a space age hair do. She definitely has a thing for alien fashion and exotic hair stylists as she shared, to her mother's horror, that the tales she told of Alice in Smithers and Prince George Northern British Columbia were based on fact.
Her words fairly dance on the page as her speech sings in person. Her presentation was over all too soon.
After long heartfelt applause, the meeting came to a close. The after meeting chatting then began.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Another YouTube Suicide

Another YouTube Suicide:
Social Terrorism broadcast to millions.
Epidemic copy cat mania.
Insaniety at it's finest:
The epitomy of decadence.
"It's a cry for help", the industry claims
Offering more cosmetic psychiatry
As a solution to the new narcissism.
She was sad not angry,
And the tragedy persists
Addictions are ignored as 'feeling'
Emotionalism replacing rationalism
As the cure for a growing lack of spirituality
And the stupidity of Sex in the City, American Idol,
The Kardasians the new Jerry Springer
What our culture must look like to aliens
No wonder the Moslems jihad in self defence.
The hope though is in the creativity of the gamers,
The genius of the networkers,
The brilliance of the young scientists, musicians, artists,
Who build and create with enthusiasm
As the poverty of the world shrinks
And diseases disappear
We celebrate life
In the midst of individual despair.
As more choose Galileo and Gandhi
Over Sylvia Path and Cobain
There is hope and faith in this wonder
Where Youtube captures many more births
But the mainstream media
Of fearful dying baby boomers
Acts out its own godless angst
Through the celebration of the sacrifice of youth
The old kill with you tube
Unwilling to wait till North Korea
High on it's own "Korean idol"
Gives us another Gallipoli
Mass sacrifices of young
For the titillation of the decadent old
No longer sustained by their snuff films
Of pig farmer porn.
Thank god for channel changes, facebook, and internet
Where we can all switch from drama queens without talent
Drug crazed or simply stupid and sex crazed
Claiming shame that everyone is looking at them
When there is no audience large enough
To give them the the joys of return to the umbilical cord.
We're long past the tit seeking child
In a world that no longer gives expulsion from Eden myths
To guide the young to kill the snakes
And make their way wearily back to the Garden.
Where is Joni Mitchell now that we need her
Woodstock a fading memory.
And all I can say is if you are sitting
In front of the latest boob tube
Peacemissile named you tube
Experience the 'me tube' desire to off yourself
Maybe it's time you really did go outside and play
Hug a human, care for a child, pet a dog, bother a cat,
Water a plant.
Suicide is the ultimately most selfish act
Comparable to homicide
Though perhaps of lower self esteem
More tragicomedy than tragedy these days
Of absurdist sensationalism and mass insaniety.
Where all around spring is being celebrated by bird songs
And flowers blossoming
And activists chant silent spring today
Millenial madness, the skies falling, there is no future
And the young are afraid and angry.
Such that only laughter can explain
As monks the world over have laughed
Before the dark night of the soul
And with every aid against madness
They can find from prozac to brain surgery
To lucky rabbit foots, mother's love, talking circles
And a cypress cross
They carry on
Trudging up the hill
Which Joan Baez long ago said
Had only standing room on it
But we could not see each other clearly
Because the man at the top had a superior
Shit making machine
But we keep on trekking
We keep on trucking
We keep on trudging
And don't take ourselves so seriously
That we actually think we're Christ.
Get down off the cross, we can use the wood!
The Phoenix isn't some chick but a metaphorical bird
Be an angel but not a smeagol
Laugh, dance, whatever,
But this too will pass.
Hang in there for the commercials to end
And the movie to continue
It always does.
Even the self centered dying baby boomers
Know in their heart of hearts that death is just a passing
Their lives, as silly and important as they seem to them,
Are just a beginning.
There is no end
And I will meet you youtube fanatics
In another world where asylums for the soul
Have music of love playing 24 hours
And lust isn't love
And sex isn't all the dirty old men and women
Of the media make it out to be
Now lets get back to sharing pictures
Of our animals and babies and travels
And our poems and pictures of the rocket ships
Our children made
Trips to Mars and meeting with alien worlds
And dancing on asteroid belts
Swimming with dolphins
Building a church
And talking to an old person or a young person
On a park bench
Painting a picture of a bowl of fruit
Living rather than dying
In this great conspiracy of life
Where 9-11 and the planet earth
As less important than
One small sparrow and a universe or multiverse
Swinging on a wee string.
The umbilical cord of the soul.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013


The dog cuddled up to me
So I noticed the friendly sun was shining in on us both.

I had awoken to love.

My dog and I walked the path by the river.
The sound of the stream was pleasant to the ears.
I breathed deeply of the forest.
He was running a hundreds steps to my one.
It's always this way.
Off the leash he's a wild thing.

Now he lies at my feet as I drink hot tasty coffee.

I'll shower.
Together we'll drive to work.
A good start to a day.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Bird Songs

The bird songs this spring morning
Are exuberant with certainty of summer.
They were tentative through winter.
Only the raucous crow insensitive
To the cold.
Robins, red breasted, appear along
The path the dog and I walk.

These song birds are the last of the dinosaurs
Such perfection of grace.
Evolutionaries explain this with asteroids
Like astrologists before them.
Always looking to the outer limits
When the answers lie within.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

I am

I am all of the above and more.
I am the alpha and omega.
I am called love
To those who know me.

And I would love you
All you have to do is come to me.
I am the creator.
You are the creature.
But I want you to know me.
So I call to you in every
Scent, and sound and colour.
I talk to you in the seasons
And the silences.
I am the whispers
And the breath of life.
I have never left you
Yet you still don't trust me.
What will it take for you to believe in me.
Let's hope we can meet before your death
For I never die and would have you with me
Throughout all time.

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Othello Tunnels - Morning Hike

The rain pitter pattered all night long on the roof. I woke several times unused to the quiet and the sound of the propane heater kicking in. Gilbert was sure to wake me at the regular hour, snuggling in beside me, crowding me into the day.
The rain was light and feathery. The canyon light surreal. I leashed Gilbert for the initial walk along the road, enjoying the chamber music of the birds.
Gnatcatchers, chickadees, robins all love the conifers. Gilbert joyfully ran ahead sniffing the trail for God knows what.
It was a lovely walk. I only wore shorts and sandals and a light rain jacket. The weather is that mild.
This region is called the Coquihalla Gorge after the Coquihalla River which runs through here. The Othello Tunnels, closed now, are in the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park. The tunnels were built in 1914 at the time of building the Kettle Valley Railway grade part of the plan to connect the Kootenay interior of British Columia to the coast.
I didn't find them but apparently the hiking trails link to the Hope-Nicola Cattle Trail. That's part of the famed history of the Gang Ranch. The civil engineer with the Canadian Pacific Railway was an avid reader off Shakespeare so named the stations in the vicinity after characters from Shakespeare. That explains why I've seen all these Shakespearean names driving up and down the Coquihalla Highway a short distance away. Apparently, building the Kettle Valley Railway was the most daunting of his illustrious career.
I don't know if this applies but I once learned from a folk singer historian that normally geographical references to Kettles had to do with the making of moonshine.

By the time we got back to Othello Tunnels RV Park Gilbert was soaking wet. I was glad to find a towel and rub him down. Now he's sleeping contentedly at my feet. I've made coffee and porridge. Soon I'll actually think about packing up and heading back to Vancouver. It's only an hour and a half a way but seems a world apart.

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