Friday, August 29, 2008


My friend Sarah and I used to take turns writing four-line stanzas of little poems for kids, just for fun. We'd often pass them back and forth via email when I was living in Halifax and she was in Victoria. This one is from the archives, and is unfinished (we didn't get very far) so add a verse, if you please.....

Under a rosebush,
on top of a slug
sat little Jemima
a lone ladybug.

The slug was quite slimy
but Jemima don't mind--
the slime held them together,
a gluish-like bind.

Through rains of November,
while winter winds blew,
under hot July sun,
nothing unstuck the glue.

And when Slug was down-hearted,
feeling sad, feeling blue
Jemima summoned her wits,
she knew just what to do....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Degrees of separation

Last week I had coffee with Michelle, a writer I just met, who happens to be someone with whom I have been otherwise unknowingly associated with for the past few years. Though she has not yet been published with the company I work for, we distribute her other published books to customers in the US. Further to that, her husband is an architect at a firm that Scott nearly took a position with last year, and also a friend of the principal designer at Meade Design Group which, incidently, I am doing contract work for right now. Even stranger, they lived in Boston during the same time period Scott lived there, and in Halifax during the same years I was attending Dalhousie University. They lived two blocks from my apartment. One of my instructors was their landlord. I finally met her at Ivan's studio opening party a few weeks ago and introduced myself.

Anyway, all these coincidences are not really the point of this post. It's the story of this writer's and this architect's meeting that had me dumbstruck.
When she was fourteen and living in Vancouver, she placed a classified ad in the international section of a newspaper. She wrote that she was looking for a pen-pal, someone to swap letters with about books, geography and any other matter of international conversation.
Somewhere in Argentina, a 17-year-old boy was scouring the classified ads for a second-hand drafting table. He happened to notice the pen-pal seeker's ad and decided to respond.
They never met in person until nine years of letter writing had elapsed. Nine years!
Then at 26, he had business in Chicago (and if you're going to Chicago, you might as well swing by Vancouver) and their first meeting was arranged. Since then, there have been brief periods of separation; once while Michelle was cycling across Canada and he was out of touch in the jungles of Bolivia and they had to phone her father to receive updates on each other's adventures (who may as well have been carrying out a stint on the Space Station, judging by all the astonishing footnotes in this tale).
And well, you know how it all eventually ends; a proposal, a wedding, a marriage.

Theirs is a story of soulmates if there ever was one. Which makes me think of my rope ladder, but I'll save that post for another day....

Friday, August 15, 2008

(having little to do with each other....)

Shotbolt, July 2008


I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth--
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches' broth--
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?--
If design govern in a thing so small.

-Robert Frost

Wednesday, August 6, 2008