“They’ll be able to describe it” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday March 24, 2020
10:49pm
5 minutes
Teaching a Child the Art of Confession
David Shumate

We will be able to describe these strange limbo weeks
one day
In the future
When things are (aren’t) back to normal

My father says that the data shows that after a big event
People want things to return to how they were
They don’t want change
They want their coffee back
Their subway to the office back
Their Tuesday game night back

On the radio today
The broadcaster says that the funeral homes in Italy
Can’t keep up with the bodies
They are sending them to an ice rink
I gasp
No one can gather to mourn
so priests are holding rites online
But many seniors don’t have the Internet

From the corner of the back deck where I get reception
I speak to my sister
A world away
Three hours away
In the city

She says that they’ve run out of some fruit
some greens
And won’t be able to get stuff delivered until Friday

I make a mental note to update our inventory spreadsheet
Today we ate four eggs
Kale stalks
Green onions
Cilantro
Three pieces of bread
Avocado
Millet
Corn
One can of black beans
Dried mango
I must be forgetting something

The call keeps cutting out so I find myself
shouting into the melting birch forest
“I can’t stop thinking about that the babies and kids are safe!”
Something barks or howls in the distance
I turn around to look

“The spring is compressed” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday March 20, 2020
10:08pm
5 minutes
A Brief Lecture on Door Closers
Clemens Starck

The spring is coming
This is optimism in the shape of buds on the pinky’s of trees
temptation of the thaw in my chest as I flirt with a step on yawning ice

The pussywillows sway as the phoebes sing
Sun speaking a brave prayer as she opens her mouth wide
This is the light that encircles us all

I unpack weeks worth of groceries into the droning fridge
Spinach and oranges
Apples and cheddar cheese
Bread and half a mango
Tofu and a jar of red lentil soup from the freezer back home

Nadeem starts a fire in the wood stove
The roar catching in my heart as it lets down
As it feels the quiet in ventricles and chasms

Mom sent an email about ticks
And how we shouldn’t go walking in the woods or let
Lola crawl in the tall grass 

Especially as it gets warmer
Trading vigilances
Swapping one worry for another

This is the light that encircles us all

“You will be very welcome” by Sasha on the comfy chair

Sunday March 15, 2020
1:43pm
5 minutes
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum

You will take yourself to the quiet of the centre of the forest.
You will tell yourself that you’re sorry for all the times you betrayed the quiet knowing in the space below your heart, the space around your heart, the pearl in the cavern of your heart.
You will drink from the well where your mother drank when she was ripping stickers from the life she thought she’d sewed. We never know. We really never know.

You will wait for dusk and greet him with a kiss.
You will paint your face with the colours of the sunset, relish in the dusty pink and cool grey.
Wink the happy birthday song, even though it isn’t your birthday, but it will be, and why not.

“Supposing the force of gravity in any similar medium” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday March 11, 2020
10:35am
5 minutes
Newton’s Principia: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
Sir Isaac Newton

The force of two hands pushing against each other
the friction of opposing desires colliding in the space between voices
shouting
The quiet of lust
The staccato of fear as it snakes and shimmies through the waterways
of the city
the country
the continent
the world

A daffodil sits on my kitchen table having opened overnight
How did she do it?
The light through the stained glass window
Lola eating a circle of banana
and then scrunching her nose as she smiles
Salve on my scared heart

What does your scared heart
tell you as you wash your hands?
Those twenty seconds of suds and warmth
a chasm between the possible panic
or possible breath
or possible love sent out to
the lonely
the vulnerable
the sick
the grieving
the ones who plug their ears and
pop their bottles

My scared heart tells me that
this is a time for slowing down
For phone calls and hot baths
and warm water in blue mugs

My scared heart tells me
it was only a matter of time
It is only a matter of time

 

“It is never too late” by Sasha on her living room floor

Saturday March 7, 2020
7:40am
5 minutes
Quote by George Elliot

It is never too late to change your mind
I write this in the bottom margin of my journal page
over and over again
a call to myself from a pay phone on the side of a
strange highway
driving fast
the trees turn into a thick brush painting

day after day I write

It is never too late to change your mind

and sometimes I think that I’m not writing
it for myself or
I’m not only writing it for myself

I’m writing it for you

like drawing a hot bath
dripping in six drops of eucalyptus
three drops of lavender
a quarter cup epsom salts
the perfect gift

My horoscope said to write it all down
if I want it to happen

That’s what I do here

Write and share and
wonder what dear heart
might be reading
these tired words
these lazy wonderings
these pen carvings
fingertip songs

It is never too late to change your mind

“I can’t tell you” by Sasha on her couch

Monday March 2, 2020
11:09am
5 minutes
For my friend who told me don’t celebrate the dead
Andrea Potos

I can’t tell you of the gulf between the dream and the dream
where the tide mixes with the blood and the maybes and the almosts
A new language born of how we build our own pipe cleaner world
How is the imperative
That’s what no one tells you

I saw him roll the possibility between his fingers
the hair of a forgotten song
turn it over and over
until it didn’t baffle with the same enthusiasm
That is how the dove sings to the reflection of herself
in the birdbath
in the garden

I saw him leave the body of light on the side of the road
tumbleweeds and stray cats circle
Pisces season

“I don’t make jokes.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday February 28, 2020
7:19am
5 minutes
From a quote by Will Rogers

Disappointment leaves wax on my favourite cashmere sweater
add it to the pile of things I need to Google to figure out

I sat with myself last night on the red couch in the basement apartment
closed my eyes and leaned back and said

”Why?!” It was very soap opera dramatic and alto whiney
so then I laughed at myself and what strange creatures we all really are

I unpack the bag of the things that I had packed carefully
Napkins and a yellow lighter and a small jar of butter to which

I’d added flaky salt
It’s a foreign city I’ve found myself in

Familiar house but foreign city
Missing a feeling missing a face missing a feeling of a face

“The stunning couple” by Sasha in the living room chair

Saturday February 22, 2020
11:53am
5 minutes
The Tree Sparrows
Joseph O. Legaspi

Comes in swearing and shaking
hollering and quaking and they are off
Stunning before they bust through the walls
Laughing and then what’s the other side of the coin
Fighting and then tales
You’re it
Fucking and then
Heads

it’s better in their imaginations
it’s better in real life
it’s better when they’ve drunk half a bottle
swallowed half a bottle
Don’t turn the light on
Don’t see the scars

Peacock feather dreams
A path they used to walk at the beginning
Before it all got blender spun
Favourite sweater out of the dryer
Shrunk to a shape that squeezes
asks too much

Stunning the other with their cuss words
and love moves the sound of a voice
pitter patter
waterfall
raging fury of fire
Mmhmm

They are off 

 

“like being naked with someone you haven’t been naked with” by Sasha on the plane

Sunday February 16, 2020
11:11am
5 minutes
Hot Pulse
J. Jill Robinson

Trust is a slippery fish that wriggles out of hands back into lake water
swims down to where the seaweed opens and closes
Finds a small “o” and swallows it and burps bubbles up
Face pressed against the float
breathe in the small pockets of air
upturn or downturn
Will he or won’t he break my tired heart?

The scales change colour and flake off
The mind says
This is always how it goes
Exhausted tune that the ears don’t even hear anymore
it’s so embedded and cozy in a down duvet
heavy limbs finally resting like they haven’t since
Before

Throw the line in far and fast
loaded the end of the rod with the finest bait
wide eyes
freshly sharpened wit
tears like seeds that sow
connection
some very strong one liners
playing with messy hands messy hair
looking down and then up and then down again
a promise collected on eyelashes
volleying and rolling and diving
with each
blink

The fish comes up to the surface and sucks on toes
Three times the size that she was before
Don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing
Deep throat
Gills ablaze
Tail tracing the shape of the timing
Folding irony over tenderness
kneading a dough of the very becoming

that births a perfect risk

“a performance of about two and a half hours” by Sasha on the couch

Tuesday February 11, 2020
10:02pm
5 minutes
Nibelung
Devon Code

Before you know the tension of this radical Wild West town
Grazed in it’s fire pastures and danced the waltz to the jingly piano songs
Raised a glass to your lover and their lover and the lover of the lover who doesn’t know their own loss of sight
(We hold him with stiff arms and narrate the colours and the faces as best we can)

Before you allow yourself to make up your mind about all of this
About me
(Strange speckles on my pants and hair messy and unwashed
A smirk of faith like peanut butter across my lips)
Ride a mare into the forest and see what the trees have to say
They are quiet today?
Listen from the place that you used to listen from before you had your heart broken
Listen from the place where children gasp and clap and cry
What do they have to tell you, dear heart?
Root systems feeling and telling and feeling the generational longitude and latitude
Braiding beliefs and twisting whatever it is your pearl of truth is

It’s noisy in the wrongdoing and rightdoing
It’s noisy where we clash and bang because none of us knows what the fuck we are doing
It’s noisy but we strain we stress we strain to hear the wisdom
in the way breath is when it’s still between us
when it’s night and the snow is starting
and the streetcar tumbles onward

“They should not be ordinary words” by Sasha in the kitchen

Monday February 10, 2020
9:21pm
5 minutes
What’s in a Name
Moez Surani

Try harder try better try more more more
Lift taller stand braver and quiet with the door
Go faster now slow down can you just simply “be”
Relaxxxx everything’s fine this isn’t about me

Self acceptance daring greatly breathe really deep
Laughter therapy let it out weep weep weep
Stay humble stay grounded stay open and free
Release your anger get present get happpppy

It’s okay that you’re scared and lonely and mad
It’s okay that you’re curious confused and sad
It’s okay that you’re unsure tired and tight
Release your jaw but there really isn’t a “right”

“The letter should be read out loud” by Sasha in front of the fire

Friday February 7, 2020
10:15pm
5 minutes
Anger, Boundaries & Safety
Joann S. Peterson

I buy two cards
the same cards
at the bougie shop
that I hate to love

It’s these firsts
that make me smile
gasp
yawn
I’m tired of myself

I’ve run back and forth
to Lola several times tonight

her rosebud mouth finding
my rosebud nipple
matching puzzle
the gurgles and gasps
tiny snores and reaches
I stroke her soft hair
and wonder what I could’ve
possibly done in this life
or the last one
to deserve such  grace

I walk in the rain
trudging the same daily path
a ritual of cold fingers
chapped lips
lilting toes
breath a drum
cedars touching heaven
roots touching mine

“If the leaf stem is long” by Sasha on the couch

Thursday February 6, 2020
9:43pm
5 minutes
Tree Finder
May Theilgaard Watts

I will pick you flowers and weave the stems together
and make something beautiful something like you’ve never seen
so many colours come with spring
so many colours come with friendship
between two people
who have lived a lot of life
in colour
in friendship
in the backpack of April and May
so many things happen
when we’re planning other things

I’ll always see you as I met you
a different version of who you are
but the crass and the soft and the savage
all there still
and now
all there because you’ve needed them each
desperately
survival of the beautiful
survival of the innocent

“Trust the face of expansion” by Sasha on the living room floor

Wednesday February 5, 2020
10:22pm
5 minutes
The Power Of Intention
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Trust the face of expansion
Trust the open mouth of a new way portal taking you
back to yourself
back to the archangel who brought your spirit into
physical form
who told you riddle and
stuck a finger in your ear
and made you laugh until
you’re teeth ached like
ice cream
and chalkboards

Trust the signs
on the carpet in the strange hotel
that smells like bubble gum and has a rooftop
pool open all hours where no one has ever drowned
where you drink the mini bar pre mixed cocktails
and eat the small packet of nuts
and consider masturbation
but braid your hair instead

Trust the gas station attendant
who tells you to never chase a tornado
who gives you the best beef jerky you’ve ever had
who runs your credit card three times
and each time it’s declined
winks as though someone
might have your back

“You can see my baby’s heartbeat” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie

Wednesday January 29, 2020
11:33am
5 minutes
The Kingdom of God
Teddy Macker

I meet your heartbeat when I meet my own
hands on swollen belly
twenty weeks
twenty weeks of you

I shriek the whole way to the lab
I have to pee so bad
And your dad goes over speedbumps slowly
takes turns slowly
I scream
He tries to curb his laughter

My heart was racing in a way
I’d never known
Knowing you were there
but also doubting
I don’t do that anymore
When I know I know
You teach me that

”It’s your first” the technician says
and I nod and she says she always knows
Let’s me pee half way
Smiles
Having seen it all before

Tears on my cheeks as I meet your black and white image
on the screen
I know you in the ancient way that feet know ground
I know your sweetness
your grace
your eyebrow raise
knowing smile

Lola Moon
Nine months old
My life’s greatest joy
is being your mother
My life’s greatest work
is doing well by you
and failing you
and doing well by you again

“This is a test broadcast” by Sasha in her living room

Monday January 13, 2020
7:38am
5 minutes
from a text

I watch a grey squirrel scale a pillar that holds the house up
Ponder the swelling heart in my chest but not with my mind

with my fingers massaging the sinew between the ribs that
hold the quaking strange thing

think about the taste of your body peppery on my tongue
and when will it feel familiar when will it no longer feel so new

I used to count my blessings before bed
list ten things I was grateful for

but now I do it throughout the day
close my eyes and send gratefulness up to the clouds

and down to the roots
You are all ten things today

“The insufferable arrogance of humanity” by Sasha on her couch

Friday January 10, 2020
8:01am
5 minutes
Big Picture
A. Whitney Brown

Remember when I looked you in the eye and told you you were everything? Remember when I looked you in the eye and told you you were everything I wanted?Forget about a book deal forget about a play on a big stage with lots of eyes on it forget about a bakery, a restaurant, a food truck, sharing the nourishment of my heart with the world. Forget about activism and radio shows. Forget about a yard full of chickens and kids. Forget about all of that because you, you are the pearl at the top of the mountain buried in the moss and ice found with fingers that know the way home. Remember when I looked you in the eye and told you I was leaving because you being everything isn’t enough. You being everything is only the beginning but it’s not the end and the end is here and that is it’s own pregnant beginning. Funny how things unravel when you think you know.

“Brought their wives and children” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Wednesday January 1, 2020
8:00am
5 minutes
The Trial of Louis Riel
George R.D. Goulet

It’s a place beyond the edge of the concrete
the layers that will remain when
we’re all dead and gone
when something new is here
something no one knows is coming

It’s a place made of wires and rope
boulders and blocks
pipes and fallen electrical lines
Siding and bits of boats and planes

Children play on old car seats
telling each other stories from the time
before the Place was a place
blowing kisses to the ghost birds
that fly overhead in the black sky

Adults skip rocks over gasoline pools
pry water from pockets between the concrete
speak quietly of where they might find more food
Look to their young for hope when it fades
from their tired hearts
scrape muck from the bottoms of their boots
only to collect more and then scrape
and then more and then scrape

“I would like to say, in closing,” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Monday December 30, 2019
9:03pm
5 minutes
Malcolm X Speaks
Selected speeches and statements

I would like to say thank you to all the love spent and found,
returned and exchanged, felt and grieved, tossed and held.
I would like to say “yes” to all feeling feeling feeling feeling,
the tidal waves crashing over what I thought might happen,
how I thought I wanted things to go. God laughs the warm
sun laugh of a knowing wisdom, a brightness beyond bright.

It’s been a decade of learning through doing, of leaving and
finding, of searching and twisting, of laughing laughing laughing.
Thousands of miles lived in the palm of my hand, in the ache
of my heart broken (open), steps stepped across the desert
of longing, no matter how much abundance reigns (rains).

The mountains taught me about gravity, about letting go,
about touching the clouds, but not imaging that we ever
truly know their texture and their pull. The ocean taught
me about ebb and flow, about vulnerability and strength,
about the goodness and truth of salt water, of being washed,
return return return return.

“They did almost everything wrong” by Sasha at her kitchen counter

Sunday December 29, 2019
12:13pm
5 minutes
The Body
Bill Bryson

trapped beneath the floorboards
amidst mouse droppings and dust
mildew and

the secrets of socked feet

bare feet
treading heavy
treading light

morning feet in slippers
shuffling in slippers
with worn soles

dancing to Bruce Springsteen
Massive Attack
Kanye West
feet that know the tune
know the rhythm
know the rhyme

feet that rage and kick
toddler feet and father feet
the language of the toes
the vocabulary of a flex
a pop
a crunch

the bones of this house
have seen love sprout like dandelions
yellow and awake
the femur of this foundation
words in the ground below
stories in the veins
coursing towards
coursing away

A breath in the sigh
of winter
the lights turned off
the night kisses
pursed sleeping lips

“They all would be knocking back a few” by Sasha in her living room

Saturday December 28, 2019
3:43pm
5 minutes
The Right Stuff
Tom Wolfe

These months I find the soft liquid
goes down easy doesn’t require anything
but an open throat

Takes the edge off you say and I agree
all curves through no edge but in the
catch in the
throat

I had to hold tight to the rules that I’d written
we all do right
It wasn’t just me?

But now that the gooey centre is on the outside
spread between fingers and in the bellybutton
I find my hands
heart
open instead of closed

These months I savour the sweet burn
sat on the grey couch under the window
where the birds roost and leave
roost and leave

their red necks
craning back as we watch

“You can do the job when you’re in town” By Sasha on her couch

Thursday December 26, 2019
10:29am
5 minutes
Walking In A Winter Wonderland
You’ve got your heart on your sleeve again
I want it in your chest
nestled where it belongs
beside walls and blood
contained and safe

away from the traffic and mouths

I don’t know why the naked truth of it
scares me
Maybe it’s because I’m still not sure about
all of this this this
this tender
this spicy
this open wonder
open wound
here’s a feeling that hasn’t been felt
in a very long time

Maybe it always has
the Humpty Dumpty possibility
seeing it right there in arm’s reach
in another
Easier to keep distance than
the inward turn

Brene says that vulnerability
is courage and I know this
to be true but still the very
rawness the very smell of
bone is enough to
send me running

“The first was of Saint Gabriel” by Sasha at Bowmore

Saturday December 14, 2019
10:06pm
5 minutes
Courtesy
Hilaire Belloc

I write out the names of my guests in cursive
the penmanship I earned
fingers tattooed with black ink
a fountain pen spilling forth
the dreams of the daughters of Juniper

I write Hildegard
sing to the stars that don’t show their faces
in summer and glow only when it’s cold
I write Gabriel
messenger and mover
guiding and lifting up that which is weighted
that which is torn
I write Rumi
A true love I’ve never met
my favourite kind
mystic and healer
I write Maya
caged bird released
landing on the branches of the olive tree

I light the candles one by one
with the purple lighter I found in a puddle
ran my thumb over the rough edge
and gasped at the flame

“Something continues and” by Sasha in her living room

Wednesday December 11, 2019
9:14am
A Birthday
W.S. Merwin

My mother washes leeks in a filled kitchen sink
Roasts rainbow carrots in coconut oil with cumin seeds
She wipes the counter with diligence and attention
wringing out the cloth
fresh water

The kitchen is filled with winter light
the brightness of these generations gathered
My father is upstairs at his desk
crunching almonds
unsure about these two women who are so close
unsure of where he belongs in the puzzle
are there two pieces or three

I come on Sundays to be with them
their only child
they wanted me so desperately they paid thousands
to make sure I was born with their
ears and eye colour and sense of humour

My Mom was almost forty when she finally conceived
eight miscarriages over six years
“Don’t wait” she says now when I say
I think I might actually want kids after all
”Don’t wait”

My father comes down and we are laughing
I’m picking the good bits of crunchy skin off the chicken

“since I let myself think about” by Sasha in the bath

Sunday December 1, 2019
10:31pm
5 minutes
I Never Liked Your Friends
Alexandria Maillot
Sharks swim in the water in the place where I live
circling and hoping for fearless playmates
oh the sweet innocent oh the venom toed hope
of any variety of any shape of any texture of any taste

I can’t believe that I’ve jumped in again
swirling towards chaos or the rush of being desired
I don’t even know what it all looks like anymore

I hate how heartbreak has made me better
in every sense of the word
the b touches the e with softness and smoke
the two t’s are lovers that no one knows about
the e and the r parents to a new thing that has

never been born before
I hate how heartbreak looks good on me most days
and the jeans fit just so now
just so I can remember the time before the time
the time before the second hand caught up
the time before time

I ride the shark into the black and blue
the coral reef glows fluorescent
tension expels herself from my form
I am oh
I am oh
I am oh

“It begins from the heart.” By Sasha at Black River Farm

Sunday October 13, 2019
10:00am
5 minutes
From a quote by Shahla Khan

Here is the place where we held hands and hearts
where we wove futures and past and incanted the unborn
and the dead

Here is the place where we passed rings around a circle of song
taught in front of the wood stove
harmonies bending air between mouths of all the beloved ones
asked for witnesses in keeping us on the spiral path
mystery and possibility
leading us

Here

is the place where the sky was the blue of my father’s eyes
the earth the colour of home
a tent like a shady dream
we didn’t know we needed
the smell of goodness and grief
hope and healing
all the hours of dreaming
fighting scrawling spreadsheet poetry

Here is the place
where you climbed onto a horse’s back
the way you knew you needed to
her ribs leading you towards
the rhythm of your palms
on my chest
feeling the rise
the fall

Here is the place
that I’ve summoned
these long weeks
called up in my storm
like a lighthouse
held close when there
was nothing

this place
an eternal reminder
of the blessing
of a union marked in the stars
marked on the map of

This place

“We did all these things and more,” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday, Oct 11, 2019
7:28am
5 minutes
We Did
Brian Doyle
There were the seasons of planting the seeds
of good fortune and picking out the rocks from the
supple generous earth
sticky resilience
honey under fingernails
dirt on cheeks
There were phases of freezing toes
and shouting under a starless sky
Crescent moon asking for more more
more more more when she finally came
when she finally helped
New like the baby’s first glance
like the promise of spring
deep freeze full of bones and secrets
thought there was nothing left to say
but there always is
wisdom a crystal buried in the basement
growing every day
There were years of abundance
years of bushels of apples
sweet potato pies
rye bread in the oven
trading this for that
no need to pass bills between
trusted treasures
There were summers of black flies
zucchini’s the size of toddlers
lake swims and fires
snaking smoke to the
Seven Sisters
birch bark friendship bracelets
girls laughing

“I can’t help but reflect” by Sasha in her comfy chair

Sunday October 6, 2019
7:12am
5 minutes
from an email

You are looking everywhere for signs
Under the sink between the garbage bin and the compost pail
In the sky amongst the light pollution and almost there Milky Way
In the numbers on the houses where we live

The numbers of the clock when you think to look
The things we say
or don’t say
Numbers numbers numbers so many numbers
But it doesn’t add up
or if there’s a division
it’s hollow and stale

It’s become an obsession
this sign hunting
Your inner compass a rudder that you no longer trust
It’s lead you astray before but this time
things matter in a different kind of way

I humour your hunting
I nod when you tell me of something or other
I like signs too
But I don’t hold to them as the gospel
Clinging to the spindly tree in the middle of a hurricane
I don’t believe that they are the only marker
of progress
of love
of resonance

“This week just got ducking crazy” by Sasha in her kitchen

Friday October 4, 2019
8:21am
5 minutes
From a text message

Hello Friday
Tired eyes and hangnails ablaze
Hello end of the week
but does that really matter
now that each day has a similar

different shape
kaleidoscopic Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
and here we are

Hello Friday
Coffee breath and dirty diapers
Laundry forgotten in the machine
stinks of what could have been
freshness
Oh well
Crumbs from last night’s toast
on the counter
A mouse turd under the fridge
Oh well

Hello Friday
labors into the weekend
a good time an inch away
a good time here now
Oh
kay
The prospect of a good beat
a piece of nice cheese
baby laughter
It’s here
All of it
It’s here

Hello Friday
You’ve got your nice party pants on
Mmm hmm
you’re looking fiiiine

“in search of a taxi” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday September 30, 2019
9:38am
5 minutes
The Rage
Gene Kerrigan

I am calling up into the sky
magenta and teal
for a sign
a lightning bolt
a monarch across the freckles of the morning

this is the right thing
the bullseye arrow right to the
rose quartz
oh good grief

I’m doing the good good work
trimming the brush back
finding the path towards

Pele told me a long time ago
in the early morning
walking on lava
and seeing where the earth
opens pulses gasps

that I would be one of the ones
who has to find the diamond
carved by pressure
etched by time
strengthened by temperature
and pushing

“He straightened up, roaring” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday September 27, 2019
9:41pm
5 minutes
Surface Detail
Iain M. Banks

His strange hurting is not mine to hold alone now
one way of building the house brick by brick
choosing the funny and misshapen ones
the burnt ones choosing the faceless and the wild
When I first met him I felt his way and I didn’t like it
Too much too close to leery to curious too much too much
I am a softer kind of animal
When I met him for the second time I did like it
I was ready for the rumble then around that long table
ready for the way these waves would crash against
the side of reality and wish and trust and begin again

Now meeting him for the millionth time
my mind still isn’t made up and maybe it isn’t about the mind
maybe it isn’t even about the heart
a five letter word overused to the point of letting the blood out
maybe it is about the guts that circle around the centre of the body
the body knows the body doesn’t forget the body keeps a tally
of all the doings and undoings

Earthquake comes when we are least expecting
we are not the choosers of the timing of the bricks turning
to sand turning to ash turning to memory

“The pulsating life force energy in such children” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday September 25, 2019
9:10pm
5 minutes
The Relationship Garden
Jock McKeen & Bennet Wong

Oh you
finding the timbre of your voice
the waterfall from
high to low
cascade down and
oh we are in raspberries
fields and fields of
pursed lips
emphatic cough
bumblebee giggle

the strength of your miracle

body
I am in awe of
how you kick legs
curl toes
grab with the power
of a herd of buffalo
propel forward
and back
forward

right to the edge

Oh you
five months old today
thigh rolls and curiosity
squeals of blessing
holding the gaze of
your grandparents
and strangers
holding the fingers
of love

clutching and growing
learning about the many
faces

of beauty

“Your arms would eventually tire” by Sasha at the dining room table

Tuesday September 24, 2019
8:10am
5 minutes
The Purpose Driven Life
Rick Warren 

You’re done with the holding of the sun
and the moon

The Milky Way galaxy
dotting the path towards
forgiveness and understanding

You’re done
Your arms are tired and the light
of these celestial orbs is blinding
so up close so luminous

There’s been lots of talk
of choice
of feelings
of love
There’s been so much talk

Here’s what I’ve come to

maybe

We don’t choose our feelings
but we choose what we do with them

Do we flock to the ember
that whispers our name
in a voice that’s unknowns
and possibilities
Over there across the road
the horses buck and cry

Do we fan the flame
of knowing ourselves
in the way we wish to know

the other

in the way we wish
to be held in the glow
of the night sky

 

“I am weak willed when I want to be” by Sasha at the dining room table

Monday September 23, 2019
11:36am
5 minutes
The Doctor and the Soul
Dr. Victor E. Frankl

I am a weak willed wildebeest when I want to be
I will cave under the smallest pressure
under the legs of an unassuming ant
pressing downwards downwards
downwards towards the middle

I am the tallest turning trombone when I want to be
I will reach for the treetops
touch the cloud bellies
make a sound that the small bird flying
up above the rest hears and
she laughs laughs laughs

I am a contagious celebrator cuttlefish when I want to be
I will blow every horn and fill the balloons to the brim
dance a jig on the hour every hour
repeating the names of all the good cuttlefish
all the holy schools
repeating gratitude from the ground to the tip

 

“The person we think we are” By Sasha in the backyard

Sunday September 22, 2019
9:46am
5 minutes
The Art of Purposeful Being”
Philip Winkelmans MA

It’s okay that things end up different
than we imagined and that the

way is feels is liquid and leaning forwards and back
Fingerprints of sticky hearts and winding maybes
lead a path towards the little house by the maple and fir
I knock on the door

thinking that you’re in there
writing in a pen you’ve whittled since before we met

I knock on the door

and it opens a little
a mound of sand my toes could get used to
an acorn drops
time stops with the thud of thunder and sleep

Someone is sitting on the floor in the corner
eyes closed
Three geese fly overhead in the perfect “V”
that represents all holy trinities

Is it prayer?
Is it contemplation?
Is it remembering?

It isn’t you
I know that most certainly
They don’t have your fireworks or your
steady breath

“But in a poem we can do anything we want.” By Sasha at the dining room table

Friday, September 20, 2019
3:41pm
5 minutes
Since You Asked
Lawrence Raab
She thinks before she speaks
a practise she tries on before bed
washing her face and the day away
brushing her teeth
“I think before I speak” she spits
the bubbles down the drain
a small “c” of blood
turns to “j”
turns to “L”
She tries to listen with open ears
but often she finds herself
thinking thinking thinking thinking
”Sorry what did you say?”
What happens when she really hears
what he or he or she or they are saying?

”I listen with open ears” a mantra
on her breath
maybe if she says it enough
it will be true
it will be born
it will be as real as the
hangnail on her left ring finger
The path of the virtuous
Oh the weight of striving
She thinks before she speaks
She listens with open ears
She knows the joy and the suffering
of loving and being loved and
losing and being lost
and leaving and having left
and breathing into the heart
of the sound of what it is
to not know very much at all

“Today, they target” by Sasha at the dining room table on Oak Dr.

Wednesday September 18, 2019
7:12am
5 minutes
Snapshot of a Lump
Kelli Russell Agodon

I didn’t think I’d be sat in the suburban dream
with manicured front lawns and dishwashers humming
with crickets and plush pillows
with beige carpets
beige table
beige couch

I wonder about learning a martial art
another language
(how would I choose which one?)
how to make croissants

how to learn to drive

Is that the only thing stopping me
from going to the woods for a few weeks
and howling the stains out
crying the confusion down to the
whittled tip?

Here I am
last night’s dreams on the coffee table
with the rattle and the book
the sun rising
towards all that is possible
etching light onto unknown

carving maybe on my toes

 

“You will find it” by Sasha on the couch on Oak Dr.

Tuesday September 17, 2019
6:01am
5 minutes
The Yak
Hilaire Belloc

You will find it somehow easier
than you imagined it would be
not that it’s easy but it’s easier

You don’t give advice in the offhand way
that you used to
You ask if it’s welcomed
You take off your shoes at the front door

You are tired of reading about
the end of the world
You are tired of questioning
your right to take up space

You walk by the water
with the sailboats skating across the horizon
You touch the fingertips of a tree
Make a joke with a hydrangea

You make dinner
make breakfast
make love
make amends

“Sorrows bring forth.” By Sasha on her couch

Saturday September 14, 2019
11:53am
5 minutes
Proverbs of Hell
William Blake

I wish the sorrow would subside with the bluejays
and knowing when they call that they are asking
for what they need

I dream in visions like the oracles before me
like the vision of this person that I would bring forth
knocking on the door of my heart
with her signature sweetness and presence

The sound of the rain against the window
is different here than there
and there’s space in that that I need
that I’ve asked for

there’s truth in knowing what you need
admitting it to yourself
amidst all the other successes and failures
wins and losses
amidst all the grey

“He shone with Heavenly Courtesy” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday September 13, 2019
3:34pm
5 minutes
Courtesy
Hilaire Belloc

Courtesy doesn’t mean what she thinks it means
what she learns it means to be treated well
See she was raised to believe that love looked
cock-eyed and dimpled
that trust was something that could be given
and then snatched back for keepsies

She doesn’t know what it is to be treated well
until she’s forty three and hiking along the trails
of the Pacific Northwest and eating pecans and
protein bars
and she’s tired and she’s lonely and she’s one
with the arbutus and the pines

She realizes that blisters and bloody toenails
and coyote calls and listening to the sounds
of the night are all her
treating herself well
treating herself with courtesy

“If ignorance is bliss” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday, September 12, 2019
5:07pm
5 minutes
The Benefits of Ignorance
Hal Sirowitz
If ignorance is bliss why then
I don’t want bliss
not in the form of head in the sand
fingers in the ears
not in the form of illusion dancing
in her opaque scarves
It’s been six weeks and all I crave
is protein and truth
seeing with the eyes of a woman
who has seen and been seen
as she knows is possible
as she knows is her birthright
Crunchy leaves underfoot
today on a walk in the neighbourhood
I found myself humming a song
that I taught myself in my dream last night
learned by heart on the strong back
of a premonition
that he only told me half the story
last night
Won’t admit fear where the spills are
where the stains are
won’t admit defeat
twirling his ring round and round
a quiet threat
I hum the song all the way back to the
garden and then I sit amongst the
butterflies and squirrels
the cone flowers and nasturtium
spicy open mouth
catching a taste
of what might be possible
I write him a letter in the major key
not to be predictable
not to be oppositional
but because the chord feels right
the timbre in my chest
my fingers playing imaginary keys
a new story
He loves me
that is why
don’t forget
It’s easier to know words
when they are put to music

“The courage that my mother had” by Sasha at the table upstairs

Tuesday September 10, 2019
12:25pm
5 minutes
The courage that my mother had
Edna St. Vincent Millay

My mother tells me that she
couldn’t have done what I’m doing

Not that anything is the same
Twenty-seven years between

what happened then
and what’s happening now

We speak of re-writing
of re-visioning

in a new tongue
built from rubble

and hope
I imagine a world in which

I do not need you
I do need you

Both are true
as this and that is

As faith and doubt are
love and rage

My mother’s courage
the bones that I build on

Flesh and sinew
teeth and tears

My mother’s courage
the rainbow prayer flags

strung up in the window
catching the wind

“I was so amazed” by Sasha in the garden

Saturday September 7, 2019
10:04am
5 minutes
Feasting
Elizabeth W. Garber

You give the credit away
clothes in the donation bin
shut it with a bang
and move on

Fill a closet up with new things
hope that the old things wear well
take good care of the old things
wonder when they’ll have holes

That credit is mine
thanks
I’ll know it as true
as the eyebrow scar
as true as the unknown

You’ll forget
that credit that’s mine
not owed but earned
I’ll try my best to remind you
Not overt
via a good song
via a deep breath
via letting go

I keep that credit in
a hidden breast pocket
ready to pull out when needed
ready to wait for the
right time

One day
maybe I’ll thank you

giving credit away
earned over months and minutes
marked with sweat
visions of Athena

birthing a baby girl
bringing life into being

Poems can hold this
nestled in next to
credit
love?
what is sacred

“So close to the end of my childbearing life” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday September 3, 2019
7:32am
5 minutes
The Girl
Marie Howe

It was never a matter of if
it was only a matter of when
and the knock at the door started

months before we merged
magic and satisfaction
love and hope

the knock of your heart
on my heart

”let’s dance”
”it’s time”

Christmas time
three years ago
he told me he wanted
to have a baby together

He gave me a pacifier
and I behaved strangely

given that I’ve always known

It was the pacifier

Pacify
Placate
I don’t know
I was younger then
I didn’t know what I know now

I cried in the basement
of my parent’s house
the tree aglow two floors above

“and the words still ring true” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday September 1, 2019
2:00pm
5 minutes
From Christy Webb’s Directors Notes (Lungs)

washer cycle turns and tosses
colours run and blue becomes grey
the soap suds make a song like
one you used to sing to the neighbour’s child

rocking her to sleep
oh oh oh the feelings yeah

maybe you’re singing to her
maybe you’re singing to yourself
or the her in you
the loss and the loving
the beauty of giving over to the
universal smackdown
that doesn’t kick her/your ass
in the way that they tell the stories
like these

like yours

someone hopes you don’t hate her
and you don’t
and you do

the words that rings truest
are the ones that don’t come out
in the wash
hanging the years on the line
all colours mixed together

birthday cards and photographs
train rides and waterfalls
beach fires and promises made

under the same sky
as this one

“Am I able to follow the spirit of love” by Sasha in her new home

Friday August 30, 2019
11:04pm
5 minutes
Quote by M.C. Richards
“Welcome home,” I whisper
to my heart
Split like a pea
pod askew
small green orbs
on the refinished floor
sweet and tender
”You’re here now,” I say
My mother just having left
to drive across town
back to where she lives
Good to be in the same city again
It’s been too long
It’s the first night my daughter will sleep
in this house
brick by brick maybe we will
maybe we won’t
but we’ll try
God knows
we’ll try

“We need to withdraw from impatience” by Sasha in her bathroom

Wednesday August 28, 2019
12:35pm
5 minutes
Quote by Carol Antony

She asks him to be patient
new skin takes time to lose

the sheen of the burn
tender to the touch

He lunges towards distraction
tells himself it’s okay to want

what he wants
”Choice” is a marble

on both of their tongues
hidden in a cheek

a pocket
taken out when it’s just the two of them

Patience is a practise
that begs full surrender

maybe this is as far as they’ll go
She sits on the balcony

counts stars
Looks to the Pleiades for guidance

traces her way back
to him

When they find each other
they are weary

”I don’t need anything from you,” she says
He closes his eyes

“There must be something to worship.” By Sasha at her desk

Friday August 23, 2019
7:32am
5 minutes
Quote by Henry Miller

Deity on the corner holding herself accountable
chasing sunlight like a dog tail
braiding love with something red and soft
wrapping it around her shoulders
keeping herself warm
We hope for the best and when the worst comes
we let him in and have him at the table
He eats a big plate of pasta and meatballs
and forgets to put the toilet seat down
”It’s okay,” I say
and when he leaves I wipe the surfaces down
with vinegar and an old cut up T-shirt
Morning comes like a locomotive
Deity brushes her teeth and tells herself
that today will be a good day
”Today will be a very good day”

“Art making as a playful, life-supporting activity” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday August 20, 2019
7:31am
5 minutes
Quote by Joseph Zinker

I get in there and put the words on the page
At least I do that now
and then and tomorrow
I let it go and see where it takes me
I follow it
I listen
I catch the tail of inspiration
sometimes clumsy
sometimes sticky fingered
sometimes grasping
I throw it up to the Gods and see what rain comes down
see the colour of the water
see the flow of the rhythm

Fall fall fall free

These are noble things I think really
these are noble things

I count them on my fingers and toes
lying naked beside the truth
beside the moon

I count these noble things
noble truths
I hold them as I hold
you as I hold me as I
let go

“and eyesight a lying sense” by Sasha at her desk

Monday August 19, 2019
7:28pm
5 minutes
Lives Of The Eminent Philosophers
Diogenes Laertius

Slithering between the here and the then
the truth evades
shadow with no sun
I thought I knew you like
the freckles on my arm and that was
the lie that I told

Monday comes like a swan song
like a turning page and we are
re-writing what was written
re-imagining what was taken
kissing visions of how things
might’ve been goodbye

I hold tight to the belief
that the sky opens when she’s ready
that we don’t know what we don’t know
that we are doing our best
that love shatters

The morning the avalanche came
I said to you
“I trust you”
Your face eclipsed
I saw the crescent moon
illuminated
gaping