anything to say

I threw down 
the dusty bag 
untied the cord
and pulled the fabric wide

golden face of the sun, 
white orchids and blue morphos 
greeted me, 
a whisper 
of what remains unsaid

old photographs, 
half-finished stories, 
unsent letters 
fill the darker folded corners 

and I, 
I am left still looking 
to see
if I have
anything to say


la 2020

50 before 50

It seems like a lifetime ago now, but it has only been ten years since my last birthday project when I wrote forty stories before I turned forty. To honour my fiftieth birthday next month, I decided I would put a gallery together of fifty pieces of art that I created before I turned the ‘big 5-0’. My hope, plan, loosely put together plan for this year is to create more space and time to get back to the brush, back to clay and stone, back to pen/pencil and paper. It is not certainly because I stopped being creative. I think would find a way even if my arms fell off to create art, but my intention is to do more.

My oldest, Andrew, is finishing up their BFA at Western University this year. I will admit that I have lived vicariously over the years of their time at Western and I have learned from what they have shared with me. One of the more challenging pieces I have learned this year (and have not yet attempted) is a formula for writing an artist statement. In fact, it is a series of questions that can be answered to create the statement.

Perhaps this is my next task after sharing the gallery. I will try to tackle answering these questions in a more intelligent way than current response: Gah! I don’t know.

In the meantime, fifty pieces of me:

I did not ask

I did not ask 
After the sun had left
For anything
Not in the darkness
Or the darkest part of the night
As the rain fell outside
And sirens wailed
Somewhere in the streets
I did not ask one word
In the stillness 
Within the walls of
Concrete and plaster
But I lay within listening
To the wind dance 
With autumn raindrops
Waiting for sleep to steal in 
Between one breath
and the next
The weight of knowing 
Like pouring honey over
A hornets’ nest
until no longer 
Can I stay in place
To receive the consequence
Or help those
Who must bear it
I should have asked 
To be taken
Like a leaf newly turned
Dropped from the limb
Swept up from the ground
By the wind then left
Plastered by the rain
On some other window
Waiting to be seen
To be discovered in time
Then discarded long enough
To return to the soil
I know well
I should have asked 
To scream my silence
Pierce the night
Until dawn broke in 
And let the light reveal
As it could
I should have
But could not
Instead in the darkness
Wrapped in blankets 
against the chill
I listen to the rainfall
And imagine parts of me
Washing away with it
Into the deep night
Hoping dreams
Will take me there

writing poetry in the waiting room

writing poetry in the waiting room
worn seats in lines 
bland taupe comfortless
to the pain and discomfort 
of others
I wait for my child’s return
alone in a quiet corner
somewhere a doctor watches 
over them
does what I cannot do
heal, find answers or 
more questions
all I can do is wait 
to see what will unfold
within the walls 
and pray 
the discharge may bring
nothing but relief
a familiar bed 
a hot meal
fresh clothes
a cup of tea
all of which I long for
sitting with the stench
of vomit 
and creeping malaise 
every emergency room
the same
those who vomit blood
sit next to the short of breath
the anxious mothers
daughters, fathers and brothers 
a nurse washes spittle 
from the window around her desk
a woman with a broken foot
and a scorpion tattoo on her neck 
swears at the wait time
a ninth ambulance rolls in
and we wait together
under the silent flashes
of the televisions 
hanging on wall
high and out of reach 

You will always

Day 30

you will always
be safe with me
to unload your heart
on a sea of tears
or to rage
in the last few hours of the day
to laugh through the veil
to question and share
moments of doubt
of fear
of uncertainty
of relief
of joy
of quiet stillness

you will always be safe
with me
because I love you
without condition
or restriction
I love you
like the sea loves the shore
like the cloud loves the sky
like the tree loves the forest
like the stone loves the river
like the bird loves the wind

You will always
be safe
with me
to just be you.




I lost three days

Day 29

I lost three days
like pennies
falling out of my pocket
I have no idea
where they have gone
If I wore proper glasses
I could look
in the folds for them
under the cushions
in the corners
turn the living room
upside down
but they are gone
leaving my heart heavy
and head bewildered


Fever crept in

Day 24


fever crept in
while I sat at my desk
the not so subtle reminder
my body will fail me
in spite of my will
to avoid
finish out the day
it is all I can do
still feeling guilty
for not being able
to work longer
I slept in the chair
when I arrived home
food a dare I could not face
I forgot to turn on
the lights before closing my eyes
the sun has set
without me knowing
plunging the room
into darkness
the fever brings unwelcome friends
the body rebels
and succumbs
I move in so few places
I know where I found it first
not that it matters
sickness is isolating
like the weather
it will pass
I will be lighter for it
in the meantime
I let go
hoping for the morning
to be gentle
and kind


Coming home

Day 23


coming home
we did not meet here
at the corner
waiting for the light
to turn
caught up in the rush
to return home
after a long work day
bumper to bumper
the bus pulls
to the curb
one empty seat
becomes home
for twenty minutes
horn blares
the driver yells
not seeing the flashing lights
in front
the hurry to beat the bus
blinded him
it’s how people die
in this city
because someone can’t see
they are sitting in the same boat
watching the struggle
to bail out the water
filling the end with the holes
I pull the cord for my stop
finish the hour
by making tea
and listening
to day stories told
to me by offspring
then at long last
I will lay in the darkness
and listen
to the night breathe