April 8, 2013

Feeling the season

The air smells divine

I am outside

Reading in the square against a backdrop of multilingual chatter, medical school students practising multi-syllabic terminology, and the rhythm of water flowing down the stepped landscaping.

A distant airplane, the screech of tires and engine rumble, bicycle clicking.

The warm air is punctuated by a breeze,


retreating suddenly,

twirling then releasing my long hair.

Flowers and leaves not here last week flourish next to trees just budding out.

I think I desire ice cream.

April 2, 2013



Away for the warm weekend,

I returned home,

peeked outside and a joyful smile

exploded on my face.

Three tulips whose colours were previously unknown

bloomed in hot pink, hot pink and yellow, hot pink and white

in varying shapes and scents.

“I love them!” I exclaimed.

And across the street, the tree that has always looked beautiful

was topped with a bounty of magnolia blossoms

with more to come as they open in a cascade downward.

The willow is greener from afar, its tiny fledgling leaves glowing in the sun.

A forsythia I never knew was there reaches for the sky.

I wait for the other trees outside to leaf out.

Is that a pea sprouting in my garden?

Garlic scapes grown taller while I was gone.

My first spring in my new home

delivers me all kinds of sweet surprises.

I’m attempting to participate in NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month.

April 1, 2013

I know it’s spring


I know it’s spring

when the air is fragrant —

    cherry blossoms and ocean breeze,

    freshly cut grass,

    plants breathing

the sun seems to have sprung

higher in the sky.

those little unknown seedlings that over time will take shape,

slowly growing and unfolding into — ah! — whatever they become.

home smells new, with the

scent of warmth and life.

short sleeves and bare feet,

soles dirty from the grass and garden.

shadows, still long, appear for a longer day.

it’s time to put toques and scarves away.

(at least on the West Coast.)

winter has passed the torch of time to spring,

to light up the daffodils, tulips and magnolia,

the hyacinth, camellia and forsythia,

and others the sun is still beckoning.

I’m attempting to participate in NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month.

March 13, 2011

Unspoken rituals

Oppenheimer Park

organized sport on the field surprises me

those flattened yellow cones reminiscient of school

people gather on one side, cones spread out

if it’s in a pattern, I cannot tell

the other side, the domain of seagulls

they own the place when we aren’t looking

I once watched them in ceremony

together, a hive mind, they tore into flight

circling the field — a different field

one that enjoys more organized sport

— and together descended to alight in a sort of circle

from which they marched outward,

each individual making its own bobbing path

and repeat

all this from the window of a bus

i wonder

if anyone else notices

these unspoken rituals

75th graphicThis daily green blog challenge is in celebration of David Suzuki’s 75th birthday, supporting the David Suzuki Foundation. Please help me out by sponsoring me online now.

Note: I am writing solely on my own behalf, and do not claim to represent the David Suzuki Foundation or its views here.

June 2, 2009


the evening with sinking sun beckoned me.

my shiny blue bicycle led me to a tiny paradise affectionately known as

“the little bahamas.”

it was unexpectedly appropriate.

shallow water, still as it can only be with no wind, no boats,

slopes quickly downward across the gritty sand, rocks and shells

(a clump of blue mussels clinging to something so thickly it became invisible)

where it tints silver-blue and in its rare clarity, with the welcoming spread of sand underneath it,

it seduces me to explore its depth up to my thighs.

in wintertime i feel the same,

only i do not indulge.

in summertime i cannot fight it, cannot break away and so as i move to retreat,

i turn back to admire it, desire it. it implores, and i wade back in.

Continue reading Irresistably »

November 23, 2008


November Sky


(22 november)

what an amazing day.

the sun is warm happiness radiating

at the market voices buzz and twitter

I talk at length with four people

and indulge my vices

apples crisper than ever imagined greet me immediately and yes, kind sir, I will see you again soon.

the hall is stuffed with scents and warm colours that suggest the turning of fall into Christmas. I cannot wait for the next two.

at the market I move in slow motion, with thoughtful decisions and careful handling of the earth’s most sacred gifts for which I have a delectable passion.

suddenly the presence of honey, maple and bread intermingle with curiosity and my senses urge me without hesitation to ask for a plump loaf of sourdough which I shall with butter enjoy later.

hues of pumpkins, squash and apples overflow amongst varieties of mushrooms, potatoes and dried fruits, all the colours and textures singing the plenty that is the harvest here, even so late in the fall. this is abundance.

I leave with luscious beet greens slung across my back and deeply enjoy the sight from the corner of my eye.

it makes me feel somewhat of a peasant or… something special… a collector of sorts.

a perfect day for a walk.

to pass time I follow people to a cluster of studios in the most unlikely place for the Eastside Culture Crawl which I had not planned to attend. when I am wealthy I will buy other people’s art and gourmet cheese. today my wealth is my experience.

happily timed my bus arrives and I cradle my earthly belongings.

a young man strums an acoustic guitar at the back of the bus, a surprising reminder of when I once did the same.

sunlight pours in across the city and the trees, between the branches, the dead leaves

it’s a perfect day

November Water

november moon

(19 november)

it was dark inside, and outside the fog had rolled in, shrouding everything, and through which the neighbour’s light glowed softly. and yet I could still see shimmering clearly a star — nay, a planet — in the black sky. the moon lit up the top of the fog’s arm that stretched over the inlet, yet I could not see the moon. little time had passed since I saw its reflection, perfect and white on the still water. its face looking downward and half hidden, the moon played hide-and-seek behind the thickest part of the cypress, thick enough to block it from entering the house. but I knew it was there; on the sparkling dotted glass its shape blurred and crackled. tonight it was shy but it will soon light up the darkness like a second sun, come fullness.

September 14, 2008

Fire in water

Cates Park; photograph by Stephen Rees

a sign of autumn sails by,

silently suggesting that summer is on its merry way out.

fire in water, the wind-torn edges curled up,

it negotiates the gentle, lapping tide.

reflections steal the leaf from view.

two sailboats, steered from the shore by father

and son,

cut a quiet path through cool, salty waters.

the wakes of speedboats bounce them

as the waves undulate, roll, tumble against the beach,

each tip pushing another in diverging directions

until they ease upon the sand.

crisp whitecaps crumble into sea foam as they

dash the sand, splashing against me.

the heaviest suck back into the swell, dragging

sand and shells out from under my feet.

they whittle a steeper slope from the shore, a sculpture

that dries quickly in the warm sun.

the little girl’s blonde hair glows in the light

as she scrambles, shrieking with delight,

in and out of the water, mother casting a cautious gaze.

the thin, tropical sea foam gathers around

her feet and glistens all along the shore, in its slow,

sparkling retreat.

she tosses handfuls of wet sand onto the dry.

huge waves pound the shore and delight me as I skitter back.

I no longer feel at one with the “sea” when my

limbs go numb and the water begins to sting around my calves.

but coot or not, this is bliss and I cannot leave it.

the sunlight curves across the beach, tickling the

water as if orchestrated, the rays singing.

I smile, stall and wait; the wind picks up.

it’s time.

as if the onlookers are betting on my decision,

I tip backward and barely move through the

chill before rising and trying once more,

only to get up, not defeated by the late season but

rather, refreshed and triumphant.

I smile up at the spectators and curl a towel

around myself, testing the water with my toes.

it no longer feels warm. the tide has ripped the heat

away and the sun is playing hide-and-seek

with me.

but I did it.

I pull myself away from liquid heaven,

the endless waves that make love to my overwhelmed skin,

as the sailboats head out to sea.

Thank you to Stephen Rees for the photograph to complement.

August 11, 2008

Silence and noise

How do two weeks go by so fast?

So much to do, so much time, for a change

Avoiding most of it in favour of sleeping, reading and

6 hours a week of Dexter episodes

My god, when it’s not on the TV screen it doesn’t feel like it’s TV

6 hours in a weekend of transit riding

I forced myself to take a break, stay home, catch up, rest, revitalize, restore

And caught up on Dexter episodes missed the previous nights

Fed by Darkly Dreaming Dexter, its parent which

so inspires more writing, more creativity with its intricate words but somehow

when I want to do any of it, there’s something else to be done…

like going to bed. Or not waking up sleeping children downstairs

(as is the case with the piano).

Feeling ambitious but lazy, motivated but tired

Energized by long bike rides, sexy design and a potential purchase

that had to wait because dinner would be better than sitting on a bus.

Two weeks’ absence feels like less when I write snippets in between,

pieces that are waiting for completion as I contemplate them further

and think of things to add.

Ahh — I have one.

Continue reading Silence and noise »