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Derby reach…

November 10, 2012

As Alexander states,

The secret of your relationship with a horse is that you must love her essence…

You must feel her pain, fright and discomfort as your own…

You must love her viewpoint and try to share it…

The secret of a horse’s soul is that a horse owes you nothing and has no need to obey you…

— in Beyond the Dream Horse by Michael Bevilacqua


on a crisp,


Fall afternoon,

I brushed,

the muddy back,

of a race horse…

Considering all,

the threats,

of biting,

and kicking,

the last time,

I’d tried,

I couldn’t believe,

he let me,

but he did…

And as I moved,

the brush,

in circles,

he hugged,

my shoulder,

with his big head,

and I heard him say,

I’m sorry…

Thank you,

for seeing past,

my behaviour,

while I was confined,

to a 9X9 foot stall,

for 23.40 hours per day,

seven days per week,

for 9 months,

with an aching back…

I know,

that you know,

who I really am,

and for that,

I am grateful…

As I stepped,

to the other side,

of him,

to complete,

the task at hand,

I saw,

the tears,

in the corner,

of his wall eye,

and felt,

my own fall…

Horses are stoic,

and they’ll do what,

it takes,

to get the job done,

even if,

they really,

don’t like,

the job…

I have a lot,

of respect for that…

But being a person,

who finds great joy,

in the happiness,

of others,

I want,

to help,

this horse,

find himself,

doing the things,

that he loves…

Doing the things,

that make his speakers,

go boom boom…

Playing those songs,

that were silenced,

as a two year old,

when he was sent,

to be gelded,

and broken,

in order,

to make him easier,

for handling,

by others…

When a horse,


and kicks,

and plays,

in the mud,

tossing his mane,

and tail,

calling to his herd mates,

well then you know,

he is happy…

And there is nothing,

quite like,

a happy horse,

who chooses,

of his own accord,

to walk,


to shoulder,

in any direction,

you both,

want to go,



after the cry,

over the fence,

with the dude,

with an attitude,

I stood,

in a stall,

with his grandmother,

while she ate,

her beet pulp,

with 28 year old teeth…

I brushed the lines,

of her mane,

and tail,

the deep curve,

of her spine,

from the weight,

in her womb,

of making,

those 15 babies,

for the perpetuation,

of a man’s game…

This mare,

who ran,

her heart out,

through five years,

of racing,

in front of,

the grandstand…

When you,

share space,

with so much,


packed into,

one body,

the buckling,

of knees,

in a fall,

from grace,

is inevitable…

And as I got up,

from the fall,

the old lady,

as she’s referred to,

looked right into me,

with her ancient eye,

and said,

THIS is the stuff,

I am made of…

And with those words,

she shook me,

all night long…

I’m more than a bird, I’m more than a plane…


Good gravy…

October 27, 2012

Delia was brought to Oddfellow’s late one night,

after her parents and younger sister,

were done in by bandits…

The immigrant family,

all albinos with the whitest hair and snowy eyelashes,

was a traveling attraction with Captain Marvelous’s Sideshow…

Delia escaped by pretending to be a pile of laundry and,

as she is very quiet,

was quite convincing…

The headmaster accompanied the police to the scene,

and found Delia hiding,

folded up in an enormous quilt,

with one white braid trailing out…

— in Oddfellow’s Orphanage by Emily Winfield Martin

Over some slow,

roasted pork,

and mashed Yukon Gold’s,

with buttermilk,

Little Gem asked me,

the following,


do you ever go back to bed,

in the morning???

I told her that I haven’t,

for some time now,

and that if I need to,

I take an afternoon nap…

She said,

If you’re tired,

you should sleep in the morning,

because it is better,

for your night sleep,

seeing as,

you’re the kind of person,

who needs to sleep a lot…

It isn’t just everyone,

who works,

while they’re dreaming…

I don’t know,

if you ever remember,

heading down,

to the office of,

the guidance counselor’s,

in high school,

so as to determine,

what direction,

you should take,

in life..

Well I do,

and the thing is,

there wasn’t,

an occupation,

I recall,

which addressed,

the trade,

of a sleep worker…

This seems to be,


one comes to,

on their own,

with teachers,


can see…

I’m fascinated,

by the fact,

that racehorses,


off of,

Harris Road,

and doing what,

they’ve been bred for,

in the seat,

of Jefferson Country,

know where,

to find me,

and know,

what to say,

within reason,

to confirm,



I often wonder,

How do,

they do that???

But as we know,

most of,

the best things,

in life,

are free,

and refuse,

to be explained,

by hard science..

Several weeks back.

I made my wei,

into the Home Depot,

off Terminal Ave.,

to pick up,

some chicken wire,

and pansies…

The greeter,

at the entrance,

handed me,

the latest flyer,

on store specials,

then fanned out,

some stickers,

for me to choose from…

What fun!!!

I said,

as I pulled,

and flipped over,

the word HONEST,

then peeled,

the back off,

to slap,

the message,


my heart…


we got to talking,

about his methods,

of transforming,

the energy of,


not to mention,

his radical,

career change,

from doctor,

of Chinese Medicine,

to box store,


He waxed,


on his intent to,

shift workplace,


by bringing,

positive expression,

to his people,

every single day…

I told him,

how my visits,

to this store,

are always full,

of new adventures,

and that,

I had felt,

this recipe,

for change,

long before,

our meeting,

in the physical plane…



the conversation,

to a close,

I marched,


the electrical aisle,

on the path,

to appliances,

as one,

just never knows,

when it’ll be time,

for a power smart,

deep freeze,

so its best to,

keep an eye,

on what’s in store,

and add it,

to the list,

of anything,

is possible…

This week,

I watched,

THE HORSES frolic,

and play,

in a field,

of green grass,

and the experience,

was breath taking…

The freedom,

to finally,



and charge,

at will,

after seven months,

of stall confinement,

shocked the air,

with gladness…

Mr. Bettman pronounced,

the cancellation,

of all NHL games,

until the end,

of November…

Don’t ask me why,

but this made me giggle,

and recall,

a neighboour,

walking his weiner dog,

to Yaletown,

in search of,

moustache wax…

Surely in preparation,

for all that hockey,

that is waiting,

on the wings,

of an unbelievable season,

with no compromise…

My love throws me like a rubber ball…

Lift kit…

October 13, 2012

CAROLE SERENE: Do you like racing Blackie???

BLACKIE: Oh, enough I guess…

CAROLE SERENE: Do you want to be the fastest horse in the race???

BLACKIE: Doesn’t matter…

CAROLE SERENE: Oh, you don’t care if you win or not???

BLACKIE: Well, for me to win is to finish and get back to my house and eat and not have pain…

That is my winning…

CAROLE SERENE: Blackie, Kevin and Randi tell me that you fade at the end of a race sometimes,

and they ask if you do this because you are tired,

or maybe you are sore…

Can you tell me about that???

BLACKIE: Fade???

CAROLE SERENE: Yes, go slower

— found in MY YEAR of the RACEHORSE written by Kevin Chong

Two weeks ago,

I received,

a voice mail,


the impending shipment,

of three,

of my beloved horses,

to a track,

in Pennsylvania…

Now the thing is,

these horses,

were never,


in the possession,

and ownership,


of the word,

but I love them,

none the less…

And they know it,


and through…

I cried in bed,

with Little Gem,

thinking about,

these three,


as I have come,

to know them,

being hauled,

across the country,

with the innocence,

of angels,

and our seven months,


in the shedrow,

day in,

and day out,


if I’ll ever,

see them again…

People will tell you,

there are thousands,

of horses,

out there to love…

But Little Gem will,

quickly qualify that,

by adding,

Not every horse,

will love you back…

And that is how you know…

Speaking from,


the horses which,

love you back,

send their pictures,

and their feelings,

to the one,

they know,

is on,

the receiving end,

of the herd…

In case,

you’re wondering,

how you prepare,


for such a journey,

into the unknown,

you groom them,


and tell them,

you’ll always,

be there,

no matter where,

they are,

and if and when,

they’re ready,

you’ll find them,

and come for them,

no matter how far…

And when you tell,

a horse,

the truth,

they show,

they heard,

the core message,

by licking,


and yawning…

And then you know,

with that in mind,

they will keep you,


on the independent journey,

they have chosen,

for their own growth…


the horses,

send me,

their worries,

that a home,

won’t be ready,

for when their owner,

is finished with them…

I worry about that too,

but then I remember,

about horse time,

and that it knows,

so much more,

than we can ever say,

in words,

as it works,

its magic,


the scenes…

It’s raining,

it’s pouring,

the old man,

is snoring,

and that makes,

for exactly,

the kind,

of sloppy track,

some horses prefer,

to find,

their winning,


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