Sunday, March 19, 2023

Property Management

A camelia was tried in this spot but was shaded by a small fir I trimmed to look like a ball on a stick. After moving the camellia closer to the house (where it thrives to this day), I planted a spiky conifer in its place.

When my neighbour wanted to get rid of the false cypress between our properties, I took it with the idea that I would plant it where the conifer stood. I moved the conifer to a spot amidst the heather, which it looked good with but, because it was on a slope and never held the water I gave it (transplanted during the heat dome summer of 2021), it failed. To help the false cypress, I cut down the fir, eventually feeding its pieces to the pizza oven (built during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic).

In the fall after the heat dome I planted the snowdrops and crocuses you see pictured up top, and some narcissus. That's where things stand today.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Unpicked Nosegay

These light purple crocuses come up with the snowdrops and move about from year to year, always in bunches.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Magic Ingredients

Of all the trades working on the new building at Kingsway and Glen, it is the ironworkers who look like they're having the most fun. A diverse group, most of them appear to be in their twenties and are the only onsite trade with a woman in their group. And yes, she is a force. A leader among them.

Not sure if it was the onsite Indigenous presence that had my view of the rebar (above) as a wingless Thunderbird, but that's what it looked like (to me). Would a building be any stronger if its columns were supported by Thunderbird? You would think.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

A First Draft

A friend took this picture. Someone I have known for a very long time, and hadn't seen for a very long time, too. She is in Paris, visiting her cousin, and next week she will visit her daughter, who is studying in England. She shared with me some questions the picture brought to mind, and I asked if she could send a higher-resolution version, toward its poem. And so it was.


for Tarek



there was rest in the rising

their breakfast made, his lunch

packed and him with it


the dishes waiting until

he’d made his way up the hill

out of sight


from the window she’d watch him

her hands clasped, her chin

atop them


the waddle of his body

she thinks, tired already

too early, too soon


now she waits

until she knows he’s gone

as if he were still working


still walking to work

still “with us,” as his sister says

of those who are no longer


this is the rest, she thinks

the better part of resting

when everything else is waiting

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Just the Thought of Taking This Guy In At the End of Summer

Some of us take in our statuary at the end of summer. Not me. Think I'm up to a quarter century with this guy in the garden full-time. Whatever's leaching out of him is good for the lilac.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Trauma Fantasy

The United States is reporting a run on one of its banks. Not since the 2008 collapse of Washington Mutual (then the country's largest savings and loan association) has there been a run like this.

Today's run is on the Silicon Valley Bank, and the current POTUS is doing everything he can to restore confidence, assuring depositors that their savings are safe, and that the federal government guarantees it.

If we get a running chance at the end of the world (as we know it), it will include line-ups at the bank. Line-ups at the bank and cars driving past with all sorts of stuff tied to their roofs.

Suddenly we'll see more than the usual amount of police cars on the road. Most of them will be moving faster, though some of them slower, their drivers looking us in the eye as they pass.

Soon enough, the three or four scruffily-dressed men who gather at the corner at 5pm will turn into eight or nine men, and then one day, if not the next day, twenty of them, half of whom will walk into the liquor store, disarm the owner (U.S. version), and take what they want.

From that day on, no more police cars, only military vehicles. And just when we're getting used to the uniforms, a change. No more insignias, no more flag, just scruffy soldiers, like the men on the corner, who sit around drinking all day, getting angrier, polishing the guns they took from the liquor store.