“Happy Monday Lovers” by Sasha at her desk

Monday July 30, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
from @a_belovedgreen on Instagram

I bobbed in the water at Indian Arm
let my hair turn to seaweed
let me toes touch tadpoles
kissing the salt
kissing the sun
kissing you
oh the sweetness
of the dead man’s float

remember
remember
remember

Happy Monday from
the cove of the free
and the spot of the brave
uncomfortable conversations
trying to explain
land acknowledgements
these nations whispering
through our feet

remember remember
remember

I bob in the water at Indian Arm
drove her stretching elbow
swam under the freckle at
her wrist

“Go paint yourself” by Julia at her desk

Friday June 1, 2018
11:54pm
5 minutes
From a L’Oréal ad

Go paint yourself red and stand out in a field telling ghost stories
This is how you will terrify yourself into standing

Go paint yourself yellow and swim in the ocean like a giant bee
This is how you will see under the coral and into the sweet

I don’t know the rules to this game so I just made them up
I don’t know what painting yourself will do
Maybe make you feel like a real human
Humans are the only ones who can paint themselves
who can write poetry
who can throw things

We were built to throw things

I will go and paint myself the colour of a Louisville Slugger and then throw a hard ball across the grass
This will go over well
This is what we are meant to do with symbolism

Real humans muse about the throwing configuration of our arms
Of anything else we choose to launch

“only four corals spawn” by Julia at her desk

Sunday, February 25, 2018
10:16pm
5 minutes
Sea Sick
Alanna Mitchell

Did you know that coral is not a plant? Everybody thinks it’s a plant because of its size and the way it hangs out on ocean floors. Corals are not plants. Technically, they’re animals because they don’t produce their own food. They actually have mouths. I’m not a coral mouth expert so I can’t really say much about them, but I know they’re there because they capture food with their tentacle-like arms and then sweep it into them. They have been around for millions of years. Did you know that? I know a girl who is named Coral but I don’t think she was named after THE coral because she’s sort of the opposite of amazing. She’s the type of girl you just want to roll up in a dusty rug and toss off your 6 story balcony onto your mom’s boyfriend’s parking spot. I’ve never heard her talk about the ocean before. What a waste. Anyway, did you know that coral reefs rival old-growth forests in terms of how long they can live? I don’t blame you for not knowing that. I didn’t even know that and I’ve read EXTENSIVELY about corals.

“COLD PRESS BRIGHT” by Julia at the studio

Sunday October 1, 2017
6:22pm
5 minutes
from the EPSON box

Cold press bright
button baby button
we are living in pink
hues and baby blues
baby baby will you
want to watch me grow
another human inside
me and then love someone
you’ve never met
but always known
button baby button

Conversation paused
on the problem
Nobody has written down
the plan for us
the three of us
nobody knew there
would be three
unless you knew
without telling me

Bright press cold
button baby baby
witness this magic
of me carrying a
peice of us both
in my body tell
the ocean we are
ready to cross it
all three of us
rock and wave it
all the way to
the shore to save it
baby button baby

Letters written in
father to be cursive
and mamma to be
subversive
you tell the
jokes and I’ll
tell the truth
you tell the
jokes and I’ll
tell the truth
We have not
always wanted you
but you were baby
worth the change
my mind made

Also, there’s more to life than power, you know.” by Julia on F’s couch

Friday September 15, 2017
9:18pm
5 minutes
Vader’s Little Princess
Jeffrey Brown

lose control
whoosh
like the m-word-f-word wind
and how
trust
whoosh
like the tree does
not ready to blossom, okay, not yet,no rush, no problem, I’ll wait, look at me, I’m fine, one day I’ll be ready, all good, earth’s holding me up, rain’s stored in my guts, okay, no sweat, laid back relaxin all cool
give love
boom
like a cannon shooting as far as the eye can see
can’t see?
no problem, no issue, no need to panic, seeing isn’t everything, not all the time, not now
forgiveness
whoosh
like the m-word-f-word ocean
you wronged me, I’ll come
back, you’re sorry, I know I know
I know

“a seagull just horns his way in.” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday October 6, 2016
6:47am
5 minutes
twentytwowords.com

We went down to the water because the house had turned into an inferno that was trying to steal our souls. Those were your words. I think I called it Hell On Earth and you tweaked it so it would apply more to our situation as individuals and as atheists. Before we found a place to sit on the sand, you told me you needed a chocolate swirl or you were going to fucking kill somebody. I paid the little boy who was so proud to be working at his dad’s shoppe for the summer selling aggravated and overheated people their necessary fix. He smiled like this was the best job he would ever have the great pleasure of holding. But that little moron was so busy joking with the swarm of people also ready to fucking kill somebody that he didn’t give us a spoon. By then it was too late. You had already cried once. You sucked the top layer off, shoved the rest in my direction, and walked ahead of me, kicking the sand up at a seagull that had come to watch.

“She lives by the sea” by Sasha at the table on Monkland


Monday September 26, 2016
7:49pm
5 minutes
wordvancouver.ca

The old woman lives by the sea in a house on a cliff, painted yellow and purple. When it storms, the walls of the house shake and the old woman bundles herself in sweaters. The black and white photographs fall off the walls and she sweeps up the broken glass and places them back on their hooks. The old woman makes herself a pot of Lady Grey tea and adds a sugar cube and a splash of cream. She sits in her corduroy chair with her dog, Mimi, in her lap. She tells Mimi stories about when she was a girl, and when she travelled to Paris, and when she fell in love, and when she found a sword under a willow tree.

“She lives by the sea” by Julia at her dining table


Monday September 26, 2016
6:47am
5 minutes
wordvancouver.ca

I didn’t plan to bury the hatchet so far away from where it did all its chopping
One day the tide pulled me out and I let it
Whispered my goodbyes to the tracks I had laid
Told them all how nice it has been to be trailing
And blew some buoyant kisses to the way things used to sound
when I held up a traveler’s old home to my ears
after she had abandoned it for something bigger
the rocky waves eased me into a place that I could sleep in
Ones I didn’t intend to dream or marry
The saline dresses the top of my lip and I introduce my tongue to the ridges
all the folds it has been missing
And now I belong here
by the sea
because the wind carried me over
and I let it

“where the water is still” by Sasha at the kitchen counter


Thursday July 7, 2016
11:39pm
5 minutes
Cranes and Egrets
Marlene Cookshaw


“When you swim far out, way out past the break, past where the waves are tall as houses, the water is still…” Granny eats a piece of honeydew, the juice dripping down her chin. She wipes it with the back of her hand. “You have to be very brave to swim out that far, you have to be bigger than you are… Fifteen or sixteen. It takes strength of mind an’ body, you see, an’ something else, too…” At this time of night her accent gets thick. “You need the determination, the power that comes along with really believing in yourself.” She swats at a mosquito. “I used to spend hours and hours out there, in the still water, thinking up what might happen. I’m more of a future person than a past person. Past people, they’re more apt to get all depressive. Future people? Like me? Anxiety… But on the still water, floating on my back an’ my front an’ treading water – just calm.”

“where the water is still” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday July 7, 2016 at Starbucks
6:59am
5 minutes
Cranes and Egrets
Marlene Cookshaw


I will meet you there at our favourite spot
the one where we feel like we’re in our own little world
early in the morning before the rest of the ones who need the sun
even see it
where the water is still
where the sail boats line up so perfectly
camping on the ocean
When you need to remember why we chose each other
when you need to feel big in your smallness
I will
I will always.
I will meet you there
at our favourite spot
where the moments feel full
and little ducks rest on rocks
the one where we’re one
with each other
and with the sky

“We were two ships in the night” by Sasha on her porch


Wednesday April 20, 2016
10:43pm
5 minutes
Capsized
You+Me


We were two ships in the night for twenty nine nights too long and then I lost you. The unnamed cousin of the Bermuda Triangle, you must’ve been swept up in a wave or a gust of wind, powerful and smelling of seaweed and broken bottles.

I looked for you, sails ragged and ropes broken, but only found a lantern and a tree stump. Remains of something that was once so precious, so present, so tangible.

I call to you sometimes, in my sleep. At least that’s what my lover says, brow furrowed.

“A single breast winking,” by Julia on her couch


Monday February 29, 2016
11:32pm
5 minutes
FWD FWD
Robin Evans


In the shadow of chaos she emerges from her pain, long enough to sit up straight and shake off her darkest parts. Sinking in grungy bathwater, reeking of self hate and self punishment, she lets out a wail, a song of her finned underwater comrades. She is touching ocean floor and stratosphere. She is marking both sides of this earth so she can find her place in between them again.
Her mouth is opened and sound falls out like one last hope-one last plea. She is begging herself to save herself: No muskets, no smoke, no hugs, no rope.

“provides clear directions” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, January 30, 2016
1:24pm
5 minutes
theatlantic.com

When I tell you where my heart lives, I draw a map of its outline in the sand with an arrow pointing straight through it toward the ocean. I say, find me here when I am lost, find me here when you are.
You can rest easy knowing that I will never need you to buy me expensive things. Give me seashells and messages in a bottle. Give me soft splash and softer footprints. Give me calm winds and driftwood walking sticks. I will lay myself bare so you don’t have to go hunting for me. I will be as naked as the full moon making love to the night, and on my skin, a thousand Xs marked to remind you that you’ve found me.

“grabbed by the notion” by Julia on the 505 going West


Tuesday, July 21, 2015
11:28pm
5 minutes
from a letter to a celebrity

I’m on the ocean
The waves are healing me
I’m looking deep
In the cave in my chest
I’m on the ocean
The water is curing me
I’m holding tight
To the magic underneath

I remember these words better than I remember my own address. They’ve been sung into my soul so many times that they’re practically mine, top to bottom. Grandma used to sing it to me before bed. She dreamed of the ocean, and taking me there to live with her. When Aunt Christina passed away, Grandma said she knew a place where I wouldn’t feel any pain. She asked Mom if I could go but Mom said, You’re not leaving me too, not now, not ever. And Grandma tried so long to get me there. I didn’t know how much Mom hated to be alone.

“Let me just say he did some pretty terrible things” by Sasha on Granville Island


Friday, June 12, 2015
6:13pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Valens

The gulls know things we don’t
Eternal foragers
Making friends to get what they want
The end of an ice cream cone
A piece of hot dog bun
A peanut
The gulls are the wise ones here
Calling for their friends with the abandon of the wild
Riding air
Kissing the water with feet like hands
The gulls see what we don’t see
A lotus between the cracks of concrete
A receipt from the deli with a prayer written on the back in pencil
A look between a mother and her babe when he goes too close
too far

“Dessert is an apricot tart” by Julia on her bed


Thursday May 21, 2015
11:40pm
5 minutes
SAVEUR magazine
issue 152


And happiness is a sailing ship
the ocean strong
the wind fair
gliding across the water
a beacon of hope
a sign of peace
we all tilt our strained chins to the earth
and we sigh
breathe out
that’s the final taste
that’s the summer sun warming up the frigid ground
And dessert is an apricot tart
the filling sweet
the pastry light
being passed around the after party
a moment of indulgence
a gesture of great care
we all throw our anchored heads back against the sofa
and we laugh

“Knowing they can’t touch us” by Sasha on the porch in Horseshoe Bay


Monday May 11, 2015
4:43pm
5 minutes
Breathe Easy
Rachel Sermanni


Bud’s got more to say now that the whales are singing. His hands are open and he isn’t hitting his head against the wall. “Don’t touch me, Molly. Don’t touch me,” he says, smiling. I massage his palms, the muscles harder than concrete. He spends his afternoons on the porch, overlooking the ocean. When he hears a whale he calls, “Songs! Songs!” He dances and I say, “careful not to get splinters!” He lifts his feet higher. When his mother comes home from work she says, “How was the day?” She pours herself a glass of white wine. She kisses Bud on the forehead and he wrinkles his nose.

“Welcome to the playground of the future” by Sasha in her bed


Sunday March 29, 2015
2:13pm
5 minutes
A TIFF kids TTC ad

When you care for me it’s like a wave crashing
Salt on my cheeks
Hair a little bit wet and a little bit greasy
The sound is gentler though
Water in the morning
A bit more still
I say “sorry” because you don’t want me to say “thank you”
because I need to say something
because it’s hard to just accept this unconditional love
Gulls circle
Tempting me towards awkward paranoia
Leading me down sand dunes that are riddled with
photographs
mixed tapes
black socks with holes in the toes
I want to cling to you like a barnacle
my desire calcifying on your chest
I want to swim next to your freedom like a dolphin
My fingers grazing the possibility of your soft wet skin

“Selfie?” by Julia on the train to Bologna


Sunday December 7, 2014
2:32pm
5 minutes
Overheard on a bridge in Venice

This man was selling SELFIE ARMS. Do you even know what those are? Ok, say you want to take a vacation and you’re all by yourself. Say you want a memory of you and the ocean but you don’t want to take the photo on your own cause it’ll look like you don’t have anyone else or that you got desperate and needed to see your face beside a landmark. There are contraptions you can buy, attach to your phone, and then, I don’t know, program it to take a photo in precisely the right amount of time for you to get ready, smile, wish you had someone there with you even though you’re happy you’re learning about independence and humility, and trusting your own instincts or whatever, and then think back to that ocean that you’ll be so damn happy you have a record of. They sell those now, you know?

“Deerskin or moose hide” by Sasha on the Gulf Islands ferry


Friday October 10, 2014
12:34pm
5 minutes
from firstpeopleofcanada.com

I ride my bike to the ocean
Into the ocean
Into a wave that should be surfed but is rolled on and rolled over
I see the starfish that you spoke of
We nod in mutual understanding
(She doesn’t pretend to know)
I’m pedalling like there’s a hill
But there isn’t
There’s salt
There’s coral
There’s a frequency of whale song
But the whale is hundreds of miles away

Often
The biggest predicament is when I can next walk barefoot

“a rebirth or maybe a leap” by Julia on the beach in Levanto


Monday September 22, 2014
12:20pm
5 minutes
from Jess’ email to her family

I wanted you to know (ocean air)
That I’m doing some growing
That I’m doing some growing but not away from you
In the distance of Here to There I have laid down tiny cut outs
Of my heart for you to follow
Trace back to me when you need
Or when you can’t sleep
If the letter written in my hand
The one I write for you (mountain springs)
Never reaches you
There will be another route
For you to find your way
Back to me
And this space has a fullness
Because I am making sure I water it
Swelling with the blood that pumps my joy to yours (sky eternal)
A tiny river that you can swim through
If the road around it gets too rough

“I won’t leave it this late again” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday August 23, 2014
2:46pm
5 minutes
In The Long Run
The Staves


I won’t leave it this late again.
The moon’s howling and the wind is glowing red.
I won’t be coming back again.
Your grin was like butterscotch and sand.
I won’t leave it this late again.
I’m sorry for all the bad I’ve done.
The mountains are screaming banshees.
The ocean is rough.
When we said goodbye, you wouldn’t look at me.
I thought maybe it meant something.
I thought maybe it meant that you weren’t who you said you were.
I thought maybe when we said goodbye
You would hold my pointer finger and aim it right where you hurt.
The sand is cold and the bugs are loud.
It was dark.
It is dark.
Darkness is the ghost of knowing what we know and keeping quiet.
Darkness is light
Dressed up
Or down.
Darkness is the universal shroud of grief
of knowing there’s so much still to do.

“founded in Cuba” by Sasha on the streetcar going East


Friday June 20, 2014
11:20am
5 minutes
from a sign at Queen and Abell St.

The ocean sounds like the sky, if you know what I mean… It looks like Bonita’s eyes, all bright and full. As soon as the sun rises, the waves catch her and hot damn it’s a beautiful sight, it’s a right overwhelming sight. Go down to the beach for that sunrise some time… Some time when you’ve been here long enough to feel settled in, settled in your heart. It’ll just be you and maybe Jose, the fish guy. You don’t even have to say anything to him, you can nod, or not nod, he won’t be offended. Find a spot on the sand and sink your toes in, bury them, that’s the real stuff right there, that’s the real stuff. You can actually see the sun moving. Did you know that? Yup. You close your eyes and it’s in a different place, it’s further up, it’s more awake.

“we chase our dreams deep under water” by Julia on her couch


Sunday December 22, 2013
7:52pm
5 minutes
Hold Me For Now
Skinny Bitches


There was a time when the days bled into each other and we could not hear the tide of the ocean because it felt like our insides were making the same sounds. We, the two of us, we’d dance until we were tired. In the kitchen. With a roast burning in the oven. We, the three of us, you, me, and life, would hold hands while we slept or touch bums when we weren’t. There was a time when your face was too bright to even look at, or when I wasn’t ready for a love so right, or both. When we’d get home early just to spend more time in bed laying at the ceiling and listening to The Beach Boys, or the hum of our ancient radiators. We could not hear the sirens of the road, the chaos of a slippery tree cracking because our love was telling us stories and we were desperately trying to listen. There was a time, as if assembled by a five year old, our pieces stuck together; to each other with glue, with gentleness, with strength.

“Maps of the sea floor” by Julia at Nova Era Bakery


Monday June 3, 2013
11:18am at Nova Era Bakery
5 minutes
National Geographic May 2013

A million seashells collecting light.
They dance and dance and dance.
With the whisper of tomorrow in each crevice-the hope that yesterday stays in its place-what do we hear when we listen? A lullaby? Some say the ocean but what is that really? Mother Crustacean looking for her babies? A verbal diagram of where to find pearls and other buried treasure? A map of the sea floor and who lives where and for how long?
They dance and dance and dance in the light-reflecting off the water top and into the sun like a pre-meditated thank you. They exist both here and now, there and here, then and there. They keep their mouths shut tight-so the poetry stays safe, so the magic doesn’t escape, so they can wait for an unsuspecting ear to hear the magnitude of where they came from. And they dance and dance and dance. They don’t apologize for taking up the morning with their beauty, they take their time and let the light absorb the way it should.

“What made us drift away?” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday January 23, 2013
11:35pm
5 minutes
The 100-Mile Diet
Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon


She thought that she could do it
Set sail from a port she knew by heart
Make it all the way to Thailand
She sailed alone
Starbird
Counting milky way gestures
Finding meaning in the waning moon
She ate tuna and peanut butter
When she ran out of potatoes and frozen peas
She sometimes spent days on end
Naked
That was a bonus
She docked only when she needed to see
Another human face
A high forehead to remind her of her sister
A white beard for her father
The smell of amber and rose to recollect
Her mother’s hands and voice
She’d use the calling card
Handed to her with pepper spray and a jack-knife
And call
Home
“Are you lonely?” they asked
“Yes…” she said
“No…” she said
“Is the ocean rough?” they asked
“No…” she said
“Sometimes…” she said