“Is it the beginning of a poem?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 28, 2019
10:02am
5 minutes
The Poet Always Carries A Notebook
Mary Oliver

Forest walk. Billy runs ahead. His back legs are starting to go. Happens to German Shepherds. He still runs like he means it. Runs like he’ll live forever. Ferns are shooting out in every direction. I forgot for awhile that it’s spring. Stream under the second bridge is rushing. Stop and close my eyes and breathe in the damp sweetness. Feel Billy’s nose at my fingertips. Start a poem today. Just start. Haven’t written in too long. Fixing the leaky roof. Volunteering at the shelter. Banality. Bathes. Cuddles with Billy and falling asleep.

“Roads here are nuts.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday March 7, 2019
5:40pm
5 minutes
From a text message

The cedars are telling me how
Step slow
Listen
Trust the roots

Moss on the undergrowth
Step slow
Eyelashes wet from dawn
Quiet like the beginning
and the end

In through the nose
and out through the mouth
Faith in the one foot
in front of the other

Surrender in the new
in the trusting
in the perfect
curve of the reach
of the fern

Rumi writes of the field
and it’s where I’m
going

I’ll meet you there

“I keep thinking about the night we spent in Rome” by Julia at her dining table


Friday August 26, 2016
6:50am
5 minutes
Super Sad True Love Story
Gary Shteyngart

I remember it like it was five minutes ago. You didn’t even want to go but I told you it was something to see. You were worried about not getting a good picture and I said Trust Me It Will Be Even Better. We stopped for pizza first and that put you in a better mood. It was thin crust and saucy and probably the best we’d ever had. You said it was too salty but you were just in a funk and I tried to wait it out. When we made it to the Colosseum, your face lit up like I knew it would. It’s Beautiful, you said, and you looked up starry eyed. There’s a peacefulness at night. Fewer people, but always someone. You wanted to get mad about the men selling the neon light sticks and the sound makers that shot way up in the air, changing colour on the way down, and making children go crazy with bright love but you couldn’t. You were very pleased even if you didn’t say it every ten seconds. I wanted to dip you low and kiss you under the night sky, our happy place in Rome.

“We’ll discuss some of the best” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, July 23, 2016
1:12am
5 minutes
vancouvertrails.com

On the walk home tonight you grabbed my hand so I wouldn’t tumble down the hill and told me you were seriously considering buying a camper van.
It was a nice moment.
I could tell you more about what I was thinking inside my head when you said it.
I could say that I wanted to know you forever right then and there. I could say I wasn’t sure all this time because I was convinced you would find a reason to leave me but then I was. And it felt different. It felt different than being weary of you. It felt different being so completely certain.
But I didn’t say any of those things. I smiled at you. I gripped your hand tighter. And I looked into your eyes with a deep sadness for all the moments before I doubted you. The moments before I doubted you could love me as much as I loved you and as much as I needed to be loved.
So I think that was enough.
I think that was all I needed to do.
And then we came home and baked some tortilla chips because why the fuck not.

“Junk Email Folder” by Sasha at Moksha Yoga Vancouver


Friday December 4, 2015
10:16pm
5 minutes
from an email account

I put on a blue sweater, stained with paint.

“I’m going for a walk with Toby,” I call to you, in your studio, earphones on. You likely can’t hear me, but as long as I’ve technically told you where I’m going, it won’t start a fight.

I put on Toby’s leash. I scratch his ear, the way he likes, using my nails, and he closes his eyes.

On the trail, I wonder about your mother and her dialysis. It’s the place my mind usually goes. I’ve never liked conflict, or unsaid anger, and your relationship is rife with both. I think about texting you, and even reach into my pocket to do it, but realize I’ve left my phone at home, likely on the back of the toilet.

I let Toby off his leash and he races after a squirrel. I laugh. It’s been awhile since I did that. I keep forgetting to take the Vitamin D drops.

“What can I do for you?” by Sasha on her couch


Monday March 2, 2015
10:21pm
5 minutes
From a Pattison subway ad

He sits too much.
He knows this is true.
He eats too many chocolate chip cookies.
Hard to resist.
Hard to resist.
Betty forwarded an email article about “Standing Desks”.
Maybe he should get one of those.
His doctor says he has high blood pressure.
No more egg yolks?
No more custard before bed?
He goes for a walk or two and then thinks:
I’d rather be sleeping.
He reads a few passages of the Bible…
(Betty highlighted them and tagged the pages with post it notes)
He decides he’s going to take Betty on a date to the Planetarium.
“Why would we look at fake stars when we can look at real ones?” She says.
He hadn’t thought of that.
Damn.
He takes Betty on a date to the park and he brings a blanket.
“Why did you bring this blanket? It’s going to get dirty!”
Betty drinks all of the hot chocolate.
“It’s cold,” she says.
It’s cloudy so they don’t see any real stars.
He kisses her, though.
That hadn’t happened in awhile.
A kiss that makes them both remember a time before the toilet seat being left up.
A kiss that keeps them warm, inside out.

“2 hours or longer” by Sasha in lecture


Tuesday January 27, 2015
12:30pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada cafe booklet

How to hold a stranger’s hand

Sitting on the bus
Minding your own headphones
You watch the rain make caterpillars
on the window.

A woman sits beside you
A purple poncho dripping droplets
on your leg

Disgruntled
you look
Sideways
You wonder if she’s crying or if she’s just your age
You cross the divide of leg touching

You take her hand

She pulls away but not
completely
She looks like a damp version of you
only a little in the future

Friend

The water’s calm
Or
Maybe it’s just the Bay
You sit on one of twelve big logs
You wonder if they’ve been here tripe the time
that you have

A man
walking a small dog
who barks at the gulls
He sits
Not near enough to reach
But near enough for you to know

You go to him
Five
Six steps

You take his hand

He smiles
He calls the name of his dog
loud enough for only you to hear

“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.