“Dice Sums” by Julia in the Writer’s Craft class at EDSS

Monday May 6, 2019
9:18am
5 minutes
from a math text book

I roll the dice and you are the answer
1+1= 2 and Beyonce said that so I think it’s good
I think she was right although she didn’t write that
She has a lot of people adding words here and there and
I believe in this gift. She employs 1+1+1+1+1 billion people
Thank You Beyonce. The sum of our rolling is you.

I roll the dice and the sum is you
Is me
I am the thing I want to roll the dice for-
I gamble on myself
I show up, I believe in miracles-and what if I’m the answer?
I might not wake up at 4am but I am still singing in my sleep
Last night I was swept up in the arms of a tree vine and I felt
like my whole life was added up in that
First breath+ last.

I am 1 part language
1 part body
1 part swear word
1 part teddy bear
Add me up
Roll the dice
See which me you get.

“nature acts.” By Julia on her couch

Friday February 15, 2016
11:26pm
From a quote by Voltaire

Nothing can be said most days. Body decides without meaning to and we hear the real truth anyway. What do you say when a tree calmly screams at you? Are there words? Are there instructions? What do say when the Big Dipper is so clear? Do you say that, The Big Dipper Is So Clear? Do you say say you’re sorry at a celebration of life memorial?

“somehow you are sacred,” by Julia on the 84

Wednesday December 12, 2018
3:54pm
5 minutes
The Third Treatise
Yara Farran

As I stand here mighty, bigger than you,
I feel the earth holding you up. When the sight of me existing without force
the way you sometimes don’t
makes you stop in your tracks, I see you then, and know you are good. This rain has marked its territory on my skin. I have married and left it now too many times to count. This is how I know about growing. About staying. About you.
Somehow, it is true, you are sacred even if you do not know the meaning of the word. And I know what it’s like to wait for my time to shoot upward; to shed my old season; to take the place of my mother.

“you should have asked me nicely” by Julia on the 4

Monday September 24, 2018
7:22pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 4 bus

A fallen chestnut narrowly misses the baby’s head I am in charge of protecgjng.
It comes directly after thinking how if a chestnut fell it would gash a chunk out of her head. Good thing that won’t happen. As if mother’s aren’t pushing their babies down chestnut tree lined streets. When it falls and bounces off the rim of the stroller instead of her it feels the way stopping an inch short of getting shat on buy a pigeon toremnting in the rafters feels.
All luck and karma and universal flow rolled up into a warning.

“And we created a hybrid,” by Julia on D’s chair

Monday August 27, 2018
1:38am
5 minutes
Poetry Is The Song Of The People
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Altogether in the forest
I remember us walking in a line linked like breakfast sausages
It wasn’t cold or I had on a good coat, I can’t exactly recall. But Illiah was wearing a red rope around his neck with a hangy medalian. a piece of wood with a stamp on it maybe.
and as we gathered around the mother tree, Jara started to sing and we all started to sing too. as if we knew the song. as if our bones were already in tune.I remember feeling like warm water was being poured over my head, cascading down and blanketing my spirit. I never wanted to leave. I never wanted to wake up.

“Important passages” by Sasha at her desk


Monday October 24, 2016
8:40am
5 minutes
Judaism
Jacob Neusner


there’s a bridge atop a tree atop a cliff
it creates a passage from one side to the other
only the brave and broken know where to find it
have hands and feet that know the knots to grip and
branches to swing up from
momentum will be a friend but not a guide
only the brave and broken know the intricacies of a
delicate and powerful tree climb
at the top of the cliff and up the tree
when you make it
you’ll gaze out over the pregnant horizon
you’ll see buildings and highways
gulls and sailboats
ant-sized people
before you cross the bridge
atop the tree
atop the cliff
before you cross from one side to the other
you take a breath
inhale
all the times you’ve kissed a face you love goodbye
all the groggy mornings
before water
all the moments
like this one
that you’ve dared to resist the urge to jump

“I FIND MYSELF SO INTERESTING” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, January 2, 2016
6:52pm
5 minutes
Mickey
Chelsea Martin


When I find myself I’m sitting with my back up against an old Arbutus tree, the bark peeling away to reveal bright gold skin. I am surprised by how old I look, not in the sense of stained teeth from too much tea or grey hairs salting the pepper, but in the way that my mother might notice all that I’ve gone through in the months she hasn’t seen me. “Look at those lines around your eyes,” she says. “Your life. Right there.”

I find myself exceptionally interesting. We all think we just might be the most complex, nuanced, spicy creature in the herd. I sit down beside myself and don’t say anything. I take my hand and look at the palm – so known, so unknown.

“too damn cool” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday November 21, 2014
9:32pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Cool is the currency
Cool is liking that pink hat
Or… Is it?
Cool is
Cool is
Cool isn’t Celine Dion, he says
But when I was there
On the other side
The blonde haired dark skinned one
Low slung jeans
And sad eyes
Played My Heart Will Go On
With utter sincerity
Cool isn’t the painting above the toilet
Cool isn’t scrolling through your phone looking at picture of women in lingerie on Instagram
Cool is a judgement call
Cool is traded
Cool is coded
Cool is switched
Cool is that tree
Trees are cool
Effortless
Attachement (Roots)
Unattachment (Leaves)

“Detour 23” by Sasha on the porch at Knowlton Lake


Sunday Aug 3, 2014
3:11pm
5 minutes
from a Pembina Hwy sign

At Detour 23 I pull over and change Lenny’s diaper. He’s been wet since Detour 17 and screamed bloody murder for the last handful of miles. “What kinda mother are you?” Cody kept saying. “Go back there an’ do it! I’m driving!” Cody got a DUI last November. His favorite thing to do is drive. It’s made him a different kinda person… The kinda person you wouldn’t trust around a kitten or to make you breakfast. “He’s your kid!” Cody screamed. I will not get into this, I will not get into this, I will not get into this, I will not get into this… I close my eyes and imagine the Old Growth forests we’re driving towards. I imagine climbing into a tree, Lenny strapped to my bike, and living there for a very long time.

“experience learn hear” by Sasha on the dock at Knowlton Lake


Friday Aug 1, 2014
2:12pm
5 minutes
from an expired TPL card

The water is still (my heart is racing). The dragonflies dart (I sit still). Nature is funny (I’m less so). The trees are always changing (I am too).

We’re packing all of our things in boxes and duffle bags and backpacks (the loon calls her love). We’re going West to be near the mountains and the ocean (the lake will turn and turn and the sun will rise and set here, and there). We’re letting go of cards from Grade Seven and cookbooks from friends who are no longer friends (there’s a frog singing).

“Toronto had one film festival.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, October 5, 2013
1:43am
5 minutes
From an article in the VIA Rail Destinations magazine September/October 2013/

People are writing their secrets on the leaves of the big maple behind City Hall. It’s starting to turn, autumn sweeping her mysterious paintbrush across it. There’s a jar at the base of the tree, I put it there, filled with coloured pens. A plaque sits behind the jar, she made it, and reads, “Tell us your secrets.” She has curly, goddess penmanship and makes writing on wood with a Sharpie look like an ancient Japanese art form. We wait, perched in a chamber with an overlooking window. “Let’s stay for three days,” she says, sipping Earl Grey from a travel mug. The first person comes and reads the plaque and walks away. A couple, in somewhat matching plaid jackets, smiles at eachother. The each take a leaf, low down and write and wait, and write and wait. I trust this tree more than any person. He’s been listening to my secrets since before I was born.

“No, I promise” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at Starbucks
10:56am
5 minutes
Wild Mind
Natalie Goldberg


Last time I tried to write you a letter I fell asleep beside a candle and burned the entire left side of hair off. I woke up to the smell of it smoking and I was actually happy because I thought I was dying, or dead already, just waiting for my instructions in hell. Then when I realized I was fine, I was just half bald and burnt, I fell deeper. I suppose it’s clear that I’m not doing so well. I’ve felt a pit in my stomach for some time now, and I’m pretty sure it’s growing into a tree. Peach or pear, I’m not certain. It hurts though. It’s a very branchy tree, sort of poking into my side every time I move or sing. Sort of like the thing that only wants to exist as long as it’s the only thing I can feel. Sort of an only child, or youngest of 6 kind of tree. Anyway I’m writing you now because I wanted to tell you I won’t be writing again, or attempting to. I’ll just wait till you reply but I won’t be doing any more of the things like this where I have to access my inner…ouch. It’s that tree again…