“he fell like the rain,” by Julia at the Rivendell Cottage

Friday January 18, 2019
11:22pm
5 minutes
In The Beautiful Rain
Tony Hoagland

Her eyelids sank, heavy with dust
collected in the creases
So
many
damn
intricate
feelings
Sleep stretched out like a cat before her and she put her hand out to scratch under its chin
The night and all its bigger shadows
loomed in and around, sort of stalking
Her mouth a steady waterfall pointing ground-ward
He, on the other hand warmed up another cup of tea in the microwave
Flipped the pages of his book like punishment
Pushed the bed so far away
it
turned
into
the
couch

“Use your body to be the tent” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
8:42pm
5 minutes
Nest Filled
Kim Stafford

When the kettle boils
I make a cup of tea
too late for black but
I do it anyway

I sit down at my desk
and tonight that means
the kitchen table
sweet with rounded corners
the tea
and the table

my body becomes a tent
chair legs
and my legs
fingers typing
toes tapping
tea steaming
you on my mind
you in the bones of
so many of these poems

I’ve written three lines
of your birthday card

my heart hurt
sunrise to sunset
my heart hurt
the first year in
many that I haven’t
sung to you
written to you
loved you from close up
loving you from far away
is teaching me about
womanhood
courage
softness
time

Our language is this
five minute stories
I’ll set the timer
force myself to keep going
even though now
with this
then
with this
words don’t ever seem to be
enough
always seem to be too much

too little
too late

that always seems to be the problem

Snow falls outside the window

“I wish that we could talk about it” by Sasha at her desk


Monday April 17, 2017
11:46am
5 minutes
Someone Great
LCD Soundsystem

It’s the kind of morning that your mother
used to yawn about Laying in bed with a book
and a cold tea on the nightstand
The golf ball is in your throat again
but maybe this Earl Grey will wash it
down

It’s not a crisis of faith you hear yourself
say to your oldest friend It’s not anything
like that

“a new relationship to the vagina” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday March 25, 2015
9:41am
5 minutes
Vagina
Naomi Wolf


She mentions the book over pottery mugs of Earl Grey tea, cupped in our open palms. We’re perched in chairs that used to live in her parents house, smaller versions of their armchair grownup selves. She tells me that it’s changed her life, this book, and I trust her, this woman, and I promise myself that when I see it, I will buy it. I want a new relationship with my vagina, too.

The timer is running out of time because I’ve paused a bunch while writing this, feeling nervous, not wanting to overshare, but wanting to be very honest.

If you haven’t read Vagina by Naomi Wolf, please find someone to borrow it from, or buy it, or order it from the library. If you are a woman, this is for you. If you are a man, this is for you. If you are neither, this is also for you. No matter who you love or why you love them or what you have or what you don’t have, this book is for you.

It took me a long time to recognize the politics of my body. I want to understand them and I can’t simply from reading The Globe and Mail.

“She hasn’t been back since” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday November 27, 2014
9:12pm
5 minutes
Summer Dress
July Talk


When the crows call I think about the sun
Going down early now
Hardly been up for eight hours
Kind of like me
Listening to piano music
Drinking black tea
Hoping that the muse will return
Fingers crossed for sunshine
Fingers crossed for tender footed steps
Fingers crossed for a cougar sighting

“The realist canon” by Julia at her desk


Thursday October 23, 2014
1:14am
5 minutes
Realisms of Redress
Natalie Alvarez


saw that pretty little thing reading in the corner
the edges of her book tattered
the pages ripped and curled
she had a bookmark made out of a piece of toilet tissue
making me smile
knowing she likes to read in the bathroom
and why not?
why not read in the bathroom?
she wasn’t looking at anyone at all
not distracted for even a minute
the book was a good one
I couldn’t tell which one it was
the cover was a solid forrest green without any writing
but she didn’t stop even to sip her tea
probably purchased just to have something on her table
a place holder for the idea of multitasking
she was wearing a potato sack
or at least she could have been
I wasn’t looking at her outfit
I was busy trying to see inside her mind
wondering if she could see me seeing her
wondering if she was in fact so distracted by me
that she had to pretend to keep reading
to prevent herself from turning red
or if she was engrossed
in love
with the words on the page

“please take my advice” by Sasha on the 99 Bus


Wednesday October 8, 2014
5:56pm
5 minutes
from a man’s t-shirt

The tree outside my house is on fire
Yellow
Red
Glowing sunshine and change
The squirrel followed me here
This new (not so new) place
The squirrel stops and looks and runs and looks
The arbutus shakes my spirit like a tambourine
The arbutus sheds her bark like I wish I knew how
It’s cold in the morning
You light a fire
You flick the switch
You fill the kettle with water and I wait for it to boil
I curl my toes
Like bark
I breathe a sigh of relief that time is here
That now is here
That it’s October and sometimes I see familiar faces
You make my tea and you bring it to me while I try to meditate on the grey cushion
The tree outside my house teaches me about letting go
And the sage I burn teaches me about smoke
and longing
And you teach me about love
Every day
Every autumn
This
Our third one
We fall in Fall and in falling we open and in opening we live our fullest beauty.

“First Sunday in May” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday April 20, 2014
10:23pm
5 minutes
Blue Cross Broad Street Run sign

The first Sunday in May is Penny’s fiftieth birthday. She’s going to take the ladies to the King Eddie for high tea. They are all going to dress their best, but in shades of Spring. Penny specified this on the invitations, which she wrote by hand and delivered in person, each with a single purple tulip. She invited twelve ladies in total but three had to decline due to previous plans, so there would be nine of them. She hasn’t done a birthday high tea since she was fifteen, and that was entirely pushed upon her by her mother. Funny, she thinks, that now, when it’s all said and done (said, “I’m sorry for causing you so much grief, Mother…” Done, the permanent move to Florida). Penny looks up the high tea menu on-line and decides that she’ll pay for the whole thing and though the ladies will try to stop her, they won’t. She’ll insist. At forty two dollars a person, Penny just couldn’t assume that each of the ladies would be willing to pay that for tiny sandwiches, Devonshire cream and buttermilk scones spread with elderberry jam. They wouldn’t drink champagne. They’d drink tea. Penny closes her eyes and tastes the Ceylon.

“safety matter to us” by Sasha on the Bathurst bus


Tuesday, February 11, 2014
1:07pm
5 minutes
TTC subway poster

Sometimes she becomes a sloth
She sits
Warm computer on her thighs
Cup of lukewarm tea on the windowsill behind her
And she travels
Via screen
To places she might not get to before she wins the lottery
Mostly other women’s kitchens
Mostly women with children and nice cameras and gardens with fresh herbs
She’s embracing her sloth-dom
She used to fight it
With the “rush” epidemic
With the “yes” curse
She used to fight it
With coffee
And chocolate
And bagels
Not today
Today she rubs her sloth-body
She slow roasts tomatoes with garlic and rosemary
She let’s the darkness of the setting sun
Pull the brightness from the room where she sits
Where she’s sat
And she let’s the couch hold her
Like a friend
She let’s the screen take her
to islands and mountains and risotto and dragonfruit

“one time” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday October 24, 2013
3:41pm
5 minutes
A piece of mail from Shoppers Drug Mart

Your cheeks are rhubarb, tart and pink. You’ve just come in from raking the leaves. “Want tea?” I shouldn’t even have to ask anymore. But I do. And you respond – “Yes”. The kettle howls and I find supreme satisfaction in steeping the dark bag, covering it with a small glass bowl so that it stays hot. I check my watch. I wait three minutes. I stretch my tight back as I wait. You’re running a bath. One time, many years ago, I told you that I hated you. Sometimes, when I stretch I hear myself saying those words, they are locked somewhere around the base of my spine. You slide your arms around my waist and smell the secret place where neck meets shoulder. “You smell good,” you say.

“with/without food” by Sasha at The Big Secret Theatre


Sunday, July 7, 2013 at The Big Secret Theatre
4:12pm
5 minutes
From the label on the vitamin C bottle

“Don’t drink this on an empty stomach,” Nathan says, picking at a scab on his elbow. “Obviously,” I say, but it’s not obvious. He brought it back from Thailand, and it comes in a jar with the kind of lid that has to be popped off, like on a can of cocoa, or paint. I didn’t ask for a gift like this. When he called at three in the morning my time and said, “What do you want me to bring you?” I thought we were in the sarong or jewellery realm. Not this. He didn’t kiss me when I picked him up at the airport. Maybe it’s because Matt was there. When I asked him about it later, he said, “Don’t get all weird on me,” so I figured I should drop it. He got a tattoo of a lotus flower. I hadn’t gotten up the courage to ask why. It didn’t look feminine, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s one of the most beautiful tattoos I’ve ever seen. I wish that he’d let me trace it for a whole night. He says, “I should get to work,” but he doesn’t have a job yet so I don’t know what that means. “Sure…” I say, glancing down at the tin of tea and back up at him. “Maybe you should wait for me to make it. I can show you the ropes,” Nathan grabs his backpack and his bike helmet. “Yeah, good idea. Why don’t you come over tomorrow night and we can make it together?” “Deal,” says Nathan, smacking me on the upper arm and squinting his eyes.

“Why is she following this river” by Sasha on the couch at Knowlton Lake


Saturday, December 29, 2012
5:12pm
5 minutes
Fool’s Bells
D’anna


This morning, mug of peppermint tea brewing, she decided to venture out rather than in. Usually she meditates and ruminates on trust and bank statements and reincarnation. Today she stepped into lined brown snow-boots and pulled on a parka that used to belong to her father. The sleeves were too long and the fur on the hood looked a little bit like a cat caught out in the rain but, it was her favourite. It was still snowing. A storm had come in off the Lake and was, perhaps, finally winding down. She closed the door quietly so as to not wake the sleeping Boyfriend. She began to walk, mug in mittened hand, steam rising ferociously towards the sky, and found herself at a small park that she would sometimes come to in the summer (when the apartment got unbearably hot) and swing for awhile to feel the breeze. Now, the swingset was covered in snow and the only visible sign of children playing was a tiny forgotten stripy mitten.