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Royal wood…

October 10, 2010

On a bright autumn morning,

Windy was curled up beneath her tree…

Even before she opened her eyes,

she could hear her favourite sound…

— in Windy by Robin Mitchell and Judith Steedman

Yesterday afternoon,

when I returned from three hours of flamenco class,

I listened to the messages on my voicemail…

One from an old friend I haven’t seen for at least seven years…

She said she was in my neck of the woods,

watching her son’s soccer game,

and could I come meet her…

And before she pushed the end button on her cell,

she added,

I know someone who knows you…

By the time I received the message,

the game was over…

I’m no longer interested in hearing about friends,

through friends…

It feels like Facebook…

As much as I enjoy exploring,

and filtering through the artifacts of multiple dimensions,

I live for,

what happens on the ground,

of planet Earth…

Starshine called me this morning,

and said,


How are you???

I called you two times yesterday…

Where were you???

She sounded worried,

but when she heard my voice,

on the line,

she immediately relaxed,

and was reassured…

I told her,

I was dancing,

just like every Saturday…

And then I was here all along…

I knew you would call when you could…

Starshine has been telling me for weeks,

how excited she is for Thanksgiving,

because of the food,

and being with family…

She’s been a Food Network regular,

since she was a toddler…

When Martha Stewart got put behind bars,

by the old boys club,

for insider trading,

she’d hug the television,

and say,

Don’t worry Martha,

I’ll get you out…

In preparation for a big dinner at Granny’s,

she’s been studying all the back issues,

of Marth Stewart Living,

she’s pulled out of the boxes packed up in the basement…

She asked me to take her out to the Applebarn last weekend,

so she could get tiny pumpkins for centre pieces…

And this morning she got up with Granny,

at 7:30 am.,

to stuff the bird…

She said,


I woke up to the smell of sauteing onions…

This is the biggest turkey I’ve ever seen…

It has to cook for eight hours…

And when Granny sewed up the cavity,

it made me thing of an old man’s skin,

all white,

and flabby…

I asked her where on earth she’s seen some old man’s skin…

She said,


It’s just how I imagine it to be…

Today I have been giving thanks,

for the fact I woke up in a soft bed,

in the company of a cinnamon cat,

with enhanced light perception…

Grateful I’m not spending my days and nights,

in a jail cell with five other men,

with monthly visits from my beloved wife,

because I’ve been speaking out for human rights,

and freedom of speech…

And that my children have been born in the right place,

and time,

to be granted Canadian citizenship,

and passports,

with no questions asked…

Last night was the first game of the Vancouver Canucks 2010-2011 season,

and it seemed that despite efforts to tame collateral damage,

players all over the NHL were getting knocked around,

and knocked out,

in the name of reckless speed,


and power…

I sat,


as I watched hockey,

and knitted a lace wrap,

in the shade of  turquoise haze…


and re-doing,

row 280,

and 281…

What should be a simple exercise by now,

given my age and experience,

is proving to be more complicated,

than I previously thought…

I had to put it aside for awhile,

and put my attention elsewhere,

before I lost my grip…

My cat guest wouldn’t settle last night,

and I had dreams I was searching for missing persons…

Doing all of the things I was being told to do,

feeling like I wasn’t getting any closer,

and that someone else was holding the reins,

on an experiment,

as I held my magnifying glass in one hand,

and notebook in the other…

In one sequence I was shooting rapids on the Thames,

and in another I felt the ghosts of a brothel,

locked under the pavement,

where the building once stood…

Like black miners trapped underground,

awaiting a shaft of light,


and a breath of fresh air…

Before Starshine hung up the phone this morning,

she told me that Granny’s husband took her and Little Gem to see Alpha and Omega…

Then her voice fell into a whisper,

Don’t tell anyone this,

but the last thing Granny said to us,

before we left the house,

is, “No treats…

You just had tacos,

and you can have popcorn when you get home…”

And the first thing George said,

as soon as we got out of the cul-de-sac is,

“So what do you want for a treat???”

We said, “But Granny said, No treats…”

He said, “You can have anything you want,

as long as you don’t say anything…

So what’ll it be???


A special drink???”

When we got to the theatre we wanted Starburst fruit chews,

but George said that we would smell too much like candy,

and we should get something a little more quiet…

He’s really smart about sneaking,

and so generous…

He bought us a box of Reese’s peanut butter balls,

only took two,

and gave the rest to us…

I told her,

when she could,

in between the white meat,

and all that gravy

to give him two thumbs up,

from me,

for civil disobedience,

and showing up,

without a fight…

I’ve been accused,

in a court of law,

of influencing my children…

And after I unraveled,

from the charge,

and responded with,

What’s a mother to do???

I was forced,

to speak to the question,

What do you know???

It’s sunny today,

and XwayXway is calling me,

to its circumference,

and shell mounds,

for skating,

and working up,

an appetite,

with the same light,

in a different way…

Casting out my sweet line...

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