“the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue,” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday November 11, 2017
10:22pm
5 minutes
What The Living Do
Marie Howe

The sky’s a deep, headstrong blue and you’re walking away from me. It’s a big field, as far as we can see. I call after you and you look back and you smile. It’s like you can’t hear the panic in my voice. It’s like you don’t know that you’re leaving. I used to dream about a red-headed monster breaking windows. Now I dream about – … The colour of the sky. It’s there when I close my eyes. Even right now, I can conjure it.

“then laid bare.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday November 9, 2017
8:33am
5 minutes
The Task
Jane Hirschfield

This morning the sky was caramel
I dipped my finger in and tasted
sweet and sour
bitter and salty
I gulped and drank
and gorged
Please won’t this help me understand

I wept off the balcony
hoping my tears might bring Spring
Five more months
Five more months

Hallelujah
I said
The world broken
and laid bare
My hands covered in sunrise
My lips dripping fatigue

The sun understood my yearning
You do too

“being interviewed” by Sasha on the plane

Tuesday October 24, 2017
6:32pm
5 minutes
From a tweet

Miriam closes her eyes and prays. She would never tell anyone that she does this, a few times a day. It’s new for her and she holds new things close, a smooth black rock in her pocket. She would specify though, if she did tell you, that she isn’t praying to God. She prays to the sky, the colour of raspberry jam right now, sprawling wider than she’s ever seen. She wonders if Dad will still be alive when she gets there. She only brought a carry-on, even though she’s unsure how long she’ll stay. However long it takes. “Some things can’t be rushed,” Dad used to say when they’d be waiting for a calf to be born, clutching thermoses of hot peppermint tea, their breath dancing through the icy barn.

“Let’s walk together.” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday April 12, 2017
2:29pm
5 minutes
From the Walk to Fight Arthritis flyer

it is always raining here
we thought we’d get used to
having wet bones
we thought we’d get used to a dull sky, in perpetual erase
my mother has loved me vitamin d
from another province
her voice liquid sunshine in my ear when I wonder why my joints
feel heavy
we wake up to find that the webbing draped across our window
is not the kind that comes away
with wishing

“Alberta’s oil sands” by Julia on the 319


Thursday May 5, 2016
6:11pm
5 minutes
From the back of a pamphlet

Mauve and red and magenta and orange. Sky bright. Night hot. Night fear. Red blood pumping. Running. Running. Dreams interrupted. Sleep disrupted. Running. Running.
I want to go home where the fields were mine and where the sky guided me back. Nothing left now. No home. No fields. No fix. No fight. Night hot. Sky bright. Love out. Love in. Goodbyes painted flame. Least important importance stays behind. No one wins. Running. Running.

“that’s a dumb simile” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Thursday, September 3, 2015
11:32pm
5 minutes
overheard on the street

compare her to the sky and she’ll melt before your eyes
with a softness in her curl
a smile unbeknownst to her

Draw her like the sea and she’ll grow until she’s free
with a calmness in her song
wisdom there all along

Dance her like the sun and she’ll be your warmest one
with a lightness in her face
shining in the world’s embrace

Love her like the night and she’ll always hold you tight
with a mystery in her touch
radiant gold-speckled hush

“When, Finally and inevitably,” by Julia at Barb’s house in Vernon


Tuesday, September 1, 2015
5:28pm
5 minutes
Bits
Louis Taylor


I’ve seen the sun, he was locked away, hiding.
I whispered to him often, reminding him to take his time.
I said hello to him every morning, and I bowed my head down deep.
He didn’t want to come out.
He didn’t want to be my guide.
Sometimes facing the day is hard for everyone.
But he was there and I could tell that he needed to set himself free.
I knew because I had lived that way before.
I knew because revealing feels bad before it feels good.
I knew because in the shadows no one can see your smile, or the one you think you’re wearing.
Then after all my meditations and salutations and exaltations, I asked him quietly if I should go.
I leaned in close to catch it: he didn’t want to be left alone.

“friends to build your community” by Julia on Laura’s ottoman


Monday December 22, 2014
1:45am
5 minutes
from grooveshark.com


Like a kiss to build a dream on…
Said it best, didn’t he? Armstrong on the radio. Watch the sun burst–Burst? Yes, burst through the trees, sort of sweet force and…And? Excitement! Like a Sunday orange! Ahh the citric explosion. Burst, yes. Burst. And the dream? Which? To be built on a kiss? Armstrong? Yes, Armstrong. The dream was about the sun and the kiss was about the future. Oh. Yes, it really works, doesn’t it? I see it now, of course I do. It was enough in that moment to entice the whole movement. Dancing on clouds and pick pocketing tiny stars from the pretty night sky.

“Who wrote those poems?” by Julia at Parco della Zucca


Friday October 17,2014
3:18pm
5 minutes
Advanced Italian Grammar
Marcel Danesi


I might have been dreaming them. They seemed to fill my skin to the brim causing slight tremors and excessive use of metaphors. The sky was speaking directly to me and she was nudging me, trying to give me the answers without incriminating herself. She nodded. She winked. I couldn’t get the message because I was half listening and laugh-halfing and she gave up on me before I could say Ah, yes, I get it now. Laugh-halfing happens in between sleep and awake: a backwards place where the mind cannot meet up with the body. It tries, but wires get crossed and signals get lost. Sometimes I don’t hear the sky, I hear Nina Simone instead. But the body doesn’t know how to move. Just to describe movement with colours and poems.

“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 don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars, but I did.” By Julia at Urban Post


Friday, September 5, 2014 at http://urbanpost.ca/
5:33pm
5 minutes
How To Make Love In America
Sarah Nicole Prickett



I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars because I was too busy looking at him. He might have. That would have been nice in that moment if I wasn’t already overwhelmed by a beauty that I could name. That I could touch. That I could hold. I don’t remember if he told me to look up at the sky because I was too busy looking into the moment we created. He might have. That would have been nice if I didn’t already have plans to congratulate us on getting this far in the cold. Or in the rain. Or in the both. I do remember saying that I wanted my forever person to look just like him. I remember that part because it came from a place that I didn’t force. Or create. Or fix. I wanted my forever person to have his eyes. His smile. His eyebrow scar. I wanted my forever person to have the same mix of beard colours: brown, orange, white.

“the endless sky of Manitoba” by Sasha in the car on the 401


Monday Aug 4, 2014
2:46pm
5 minutes
a quote from Joe Lawther


The endless sky of Manitoba
Oh the endless sky of Manitoba
The endless sky of Manitoba
brings me closer to you

I’ve been gone for too long
Up in the Eastern cities
I’ve been gone for so long
I forget the smell of that sky

The endless sky of Manitoba
Oh the endless sky of Manitoba
The endless sky of Manitoba
brings me closer to you

I’m comin’ back this summer
Back to where I came from
Where the water’s clear as daybreak
And the people smile at you

The endless sky of Manitoba
Oh the endless sky of Manitoba
The endless sky of Manitoba
brings me closer to you

“mostly tiny sungrazing comets” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, July 16, 2014
11:46pm
5 minutes
from the Sun Wikipedia page


And we lay there in the grass, picking bushels of it out of the earth to sniff them, or to play them like flutes in the middle of the night. We waited for the sun to pop up again. We were waiting on its predictable rotation. The way we wait for a mother’s call, a friend’s best wishes when we’re near the death of someone close. We wait in the stillness gazing up at the sky, wishing for the night to retire gracefully to its bed so we could watch the warming of the sky take over. And we lay there in the grass, picking moments to kiss each others’ hands and necks and lips. We played those moments over and over again in our heads, recognizing the opportune times to touch one another not out of obligation but out of necessity. The orange was peeking up from beneath a distant hill as we wished.

“I don’t understand why I sleep all day” by Julia in the park


Saturday June 28 2014
5:27pm
5 minutes
No Rain
Blind Melon


Maybe because the rain doesn’t stop here or because waking up means having to plan something to eat. Maybe because the sounds of the wind coming in through the holes in the bedroom walls means that if it’s not okay in here, the one place where it’s supposed to be, then it most definitely is not okay out there.
Maybe because the ego is a sensitive and fragile organ and if it’s wounded, even mildly, it takes days and days to recuperate. Maybe because the skies are vast but filled with grey clouds and looking up at something so big and seeing it filled with something so sad is enough to keep anyone laying under the covers until the sun peeks out long enough to put on pants and go outside. Maybe because if I told you how I really felt you’d stay in the kitchen and I’d have no where else to hide if I wanted to stay behind a separating door. Maybe because I’m a bit broken and disappointed in myself after all the wrong choices I’ve made lately, or made ever, that having to face them in broad daylight feels too hard or too easy and I don’t know which one is worse. Maybe because I’m tired. It could be that simple. I sleep because I have to. Either that or I’m aware that being awake means having to try.

“Even if she is feeling like the scum of the earth” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday June 2, 2014
11:38pm
5 minutes
an Instagram photo

She told me herself she didn’t feel like herself when the rain fell and when her stomach fell
I heard her say it with a faint ringing in my ear
I heard her say it cause I saw her there in the mirror
She was alone and cold and a full-blown ally to the dark side, to the wrong side
She was something that I could only dream about
Or wish for
She told me herself she didn’t feel much like singing when the sun was out
She would be there, crouched in the mud, trying to taste her mistakes
Trying to make a waterfall from her eyes’ outpouring
The earth is a wet and cold place
I heard her say it with a faint longing in my bones
I heard her say it cause I was stuck there inside her ribcage when her heart started screaming
Take me away
Take me so far away from this
And the sky would open with her desperate kiss
And she would lay there holding on to the only thing she knew

“Safety pocket” by Julia on the 506 going west


Wednesday March 5, 2014
10:33pm
5 minutes
the box of matches

She’s got that safety pocket that ooh will she or won’t she take off and rocket that if she does how far will she go to Jupiter and back to the very last row to the end of her dreams to the start of her screams to the depths of the water back to the barrel that shot her she’s got to she ought to stay back or she’ll rot you and then she can fly birdie high in the sky kissing every try and dying to die she’s got that safety stuff that guess what she’s doing and is it enough that party go hardy that coarse and the rough that mixture that tincture that pass pass puff puff

TJ & Sam by Sasha at the these five minutes: writer’s workout at the Fringe Creation Lab


Sunday February 2, 2014 at The Fringe Creation Lab
1:03pm
5 minutes
these five minutes: writer’s workout

TJ’s got her hands in her pockets like she’s some kinda cool kid, like she forget to lock the door. TJ blows bubbles with her gum and lets them bubbles pop on her own face and then she peels it off, bit by bit, and drops the gum balls on the carpet. When TJ makes a peanut butter sandwich she eats a spoonful of straight peanut butter, straight heart attack. She uses the same spoon for the sandwich. Who makes a sandwich with a spoon, anyway?!

Sam says nothing. He watches her and sometimes makes a small grunting sound. TJ has chosen to forget which sound means “good” and which sound means “bad”. TJ has disentangled herself from those words altogether. It’s all grey to her – the sky, the sidewalk, Sam’s hair, the snow.

“clean, soft” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday December 28, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
8:12pm
5 minutes
HandiBac tube

Like a baby’s face,like a sky’s blank slate, like a call in the wild, like a fresh wall of paint, I’m your sinner, you’re my saint.
I can’t cause these power outages to last longer.
I just keep seeing myself in the mirror and I know it’s clearer than it was before.
With the lights out I know, that my problems are gone, so I keep myself in the dark dark until I can understand my mark.
On the world.
Just a big splatter of poetry. I put on to you so you can see.
My life is a coiled up wire that is exposed and could explode into a million sparks of gold if I let it. If I’m not careful.
Clean minds like to clean mine, all my troubles go and into the black hole they blow.
I know I know. I can’t keep the image staying untarnished cause I just like finger smudging and floor rumbling.
They try, they try. But I’m alone most of the time and I can’t hear, what’s inside, I can’t hear all the pride I store away.
They try to keep my anger at bay.

“Never seen by waking eyes.” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday, April 16, 2013
12:29am
5 minutes
A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky
Lewis Carroll


Only a dream or a lullaby. One your grandmother sang you. One your mother’s best friend cried about the day you buried her. It was a lot of picking up the pieces, and trying to remember. Trying to turn photographs into living incarnations so the room didn’t feel so cold; so empty. We escaped, the rest of us. The ones left to grieve. Escaped only in some ways, trapped in all the others. You said something about butterflies and visions. She’d be in one of those, maybe, or in an ice cream cone, or a baby’s laugh. No one had taken the time to agree on what she’d be and in what sign you’d look for her. Your father wanted butterflies. Your baby sister wanted angels because that’s what she thought owls were. You didn’t know. You thought both would be fine, but there’s a reason you couldn’t fully see it. Your eyes saw it slightly, but your everything else, your soul, saw nothing of the like. Dark and thick. You tried to make it out, to explain to everyone with words what words could not explain. Not a lighthouse, like her best friend suggested. Not a dove or a miracle. Just the sky. Maybe all encompassing sky would be the right one.

“Never seen by waking eyes.” by Sasha on her living room floor


Tuesday, April 16, 2013
12:23am
5 minutes
A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky
Lewis Carroll


The sky was grey, heavy, carrying the weight of Spring, of all that’s coming. The ground was soft, moist, just under the surface all the seeds whispering their “good mornings”. The trees were budding, but you had to really look, tiny pokes of green smiling “almost”. The train lurched, stopped and starting as they do, the people swaying, holding onto the poles, stealing glances at strangers they think they know. The bananas in the bowl were more spotted then the day before, perhaps desiring to be turned into bread, or a smoothie, over the point of being peeled and eaten. The mug teetered near the edge of the table, green paisley, given as a gift, found at a garage sale, separated from it’s twins, it’s sisters, many years ago.

“white wine bottles” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, March 30, 2013
2:48am
5 minutes
The Toronto Star
PUZZLES Section
March 30, 2013


Cling clanging on the front porch, the wind chimes hum a dusty tune of almost summer. The pond at the edge of the lawn glimmers. Little flat, black stones surrounding the perimeter. Good for skipping, if the pond were big enough for it.
One rocking chair bouncing back and forth like a human had just got up, or a ghost that had never left. Windows are open, sheer curtains waving back and forth, having a small fight with the wind. The porch is lined with white wine bottles, all empty, long candles stuck in each neck. Victorian and cave-like. Good for when people come over and the banjo is brought out after midnight. The good old days. The days where water and sky would meet, shake hands, then become lovers right before your very eyes.
A shame to shield your face with a wide brimmed hat or sunglasses. Take it in, the chimes sound out. Let the moisture hit your cheeks and bounce down into your collar.