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Category: Vein of Work


The Show: A Love Story

It’s 1995 and your first job. You spend so much time in these shoes your feet have sweated through the leather. It leaves white rings on the shoes, sweat or dried soda and popcorn dust. You stand at a podium in a black vest and bowtie and tear tickets. Enjoy the show. You direct people

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As Spring Yields to Summer

As Spring Yields to Summer I only see her when she’s out, the woman across the way, pushing her lawnmower that has no engine, the grating of squeaky wheels, its whirling, rusty blades, the sound of a hundred haircuts. A fumeless, slicing symphony, the grass wafting fresh and green. Day and night through my windowsill

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Late March

Late March The deck has collected a weight of snow. How else to describe that body? Laying flat across the foot of the door blocking my exit, detailing the railings as snow swirls on winds that howl like voices in the channel where roof meets the walls of my shelter during a mid-winter storm. In

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The Big Ask

As if unknowns have not always been nearby, hovering at edge of sight, beyond reach but closing in now, still unknown. All our questions rise without reply. Peace workers, be praised. May you multiply until there’s no more need. May you rest till the rest is easy. May your harvest be in health not death,

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Opal Dusk

Opal Dusk Sun sets in the west birdsong is a background lullaby. Pinks weave with blues that mingle with amber. The opal dusk summons creatures of the night – the dark side of life. Golden owl eyes light a silent flight path. Masked scavengers hunt and cavort. The fragrance of an alabaster moonflower tantalizes a

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My Human Identity

My Human Identity I am a social construct. Word upon word like blood. Image upon image like flesh. A technicolour film Of places and stories I have lived through. I am walking, breathing memory. Frame by frame repository Of history’s collective thoughts In my seemingly separate cranium. I walk this Earth for a slice of

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In Praise of Norma

The year is 1977. That’s when I recall a certain WIT (writers-in-transition) meeting at one of our members’ homes. As we settled comfortably into our host’s living room waiting for the ‘official’ start to our evening of reading, Norma — a usually calm voice in the midst of writers’ babble — held up her arm

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On Writing

for Norma When I arrived at her door, she called from her chair, Don’t take off your shoes— but I did out of habit, sinking into the couch, bewildered with half-finished poems—mostly, she let them walk into the dark but one time she said, A poem wants life. I’d stand beneath cottonwood trees, listening to

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Where Are You Now

In memory of Norma West Linder I have photos of us standing by painted moose in Toronto, standing next to Pierre Burton, beside other poets, in taverns and living rooms. I wonder where you are now, Spirit Island girl. Arranging letters in some heavenly Scrabble game? Sitting on a park bench under lemon trees humming

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From Teacher to Friend

I first met Norma West Linder at Lambton College in Sarnia when I attended her evening Creative Writing class. I had never taken a writing class—I hadn’t even told anyone I wanted to be a writer. Just the thought of meeting someone who was a writer made me nervous. I had written a long poem

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