mother dirt

is a caressive down,

she has no sense of


mother air is

a lofty brow

she feels no need

for anonymity.

mother sea,

mother to me,

is a wanton curl



mother fire,

funeral pyre,

licks away at all our


mothers four,

mothers before

the Time of Men

and the Time of War;

weep they do not,

for they are assured

of their lot;

and their children will

always come as


lost are we, then,

the true and the ‘free’

taxing our mothers for


judge and rile,

flail and pile, we

shall never understand

the truth of the



Battle Mediation II

If you asked me what the sun looked like on that morning, I would not be able to conjure my memory. I do remember watching that sunrise, writing about it on my scraproll of paper; my name and three words, ‘Today is Here’ I etched into the dock I was sitting on. For more substance, I guess. I remember the hoarse honking of the geese, throwing in their towels again, leaving us poor mortals to the cold, dark confusion of winter. Or at least, it had been that way for us.

We shunned each season; were never satisfied with what the dawn brought. We were never in love. Never in hope or humor. Our machinery had done this to us. Devices had become so small and portable we never put them down. These methodically excised our emotions until even children were hard pressed to cry. If it was still within us to feel, we didn’t know it. Most of us, anyway.

The din of a thousand geese surrounded my ears, the sound of the Seraphim leaving us behind. Laughing on high at our folly.

It was not simply their usual flight, this time. I realized this incessant herald signaled a final leaving.  I can tell you what the sun did not look like when parallel, obsidian clouds began to cross it out. For a time before this, our race had come to understand why we must care for the space around us. But, frustrated with the whims of nature, we broke our viny bonds time and again with arrogant brain power and determination. Each time, we wondered at our agony.  “Today is Here”.

I spoke aloud, now, to the clearest of waters under my feet. A bravely solid fog had been pretending it might rain all along, but was receding into a heavy inkstamp against the treeline. One of the last. Nothing much still lived here, in the waters or otherwise. The colours of Autumn had multiplied over generations of variegated pollution and some leaves seemed to glow with the neon of my youth. I glanced at my canoe. Coming here had been a stopover for sleep on a long supplies run. Two others were with me, camping somewhere within my radius. We had been shocked to see one cabin still standing, however skeletally. We covered the holes in the walls and hid our food inside. The polar grizzlies could be about as late as December, hibernation becoming obsolete in these warming days.

I could hear the sonerant bombing and shooting in the distance. Though it had not reached this place, yet, it was continuous and its overwhelming vibrations rippled the water. The water never rested anymore.  We had become nomadic just five years before this day, taking to our feet and to the water, running for our lives from the ever expanding despair of civilization. 

Battle Meditation

there is a sun,

a supernova heart

pulsing with all

its eternity above

infinitesimal mornings;

days that never end.


watching it peel

back the exclusionist

fogs, the silent

steams tracing

the lips of the

lake with is mist

fingers, a touch

without the heaviness

of love.


a full cloud of it

set against the bays —

standing staid and

obstinate, pretends

it will continue its

ready matrix;


for all, its solidity.


it cannot

stop the sun from rising,

from changing its cloudy

nature to the simpler,

iconic invisibility of day.


there is a sun, rising

to the challenge of a


clear blue sky; the

goosey gargling in

the distance, and the

last of the sweet

to-whits ,


making their

angular way

to the beginning of

itall; to the promise of



before my eyes, the

brilliant crystal glitter

of frost encases wood;

another player, this time

glass pretending to be



a fish reaches

for the receding

mist and, not to be

outdone, the water

never rests.


there is a sun,

a supernova sigh

lighting my day,

warming my hands

and my brow,

inspiring this litany,

this necessary tedium

of writing it out —


just in case


someone asks me, one

day, what the sun

was like in the morning,

what the mists did

and what Autumn

sounded like,




she sleeps,

no worries on
her brow; no
garbage days or
grocery lists;
tanks of gas or

who reminded whom
to do what, where,
when or

she sleeps,

little toes twitching,
tickling the
palm of my hand.

the smallness of her
back between you
and I; between
mother and father,

between then and
now; her breath
dividing and uniting

each exhale a

she sleeps.

Six A.M., Seven months, Eight more years

And then maybe I’ll rest a little, when I send her away to a Concordia language camp (excellent idea, parents of mine). We had a sick little baby last night; puking and screaming. It’s happened enough times now that I thought we had a food allergy issue but, upon closer inspection, it seems to only happen at night when she is not interested in winding down. There could be reflux at work, but the internet has sold me on that affliction…and I’m not really interested in bringing it up to GossipDoc, as she will just quickly prescribe something and tell us about a vacation she is going on and who is incompetent these days in her field. Even though she was ignorant of the Happiest Baby on the Block saying, and I quote, “I’m supposed to read all those things, but I don’t feel like it heh heh.’

Anyway, Bitty Button works herself up before I’ve even left the room because she knows it’s bedtime. I’ve been avidly reading a million mothers’ perspectives on sleep — that elusive reward. But it seems to me that she is just not wired to sleep all night. She’s certainly too busy during the day to eat well, so she needs to eat at night. The only solution offered is the dreaded Cry it Out monster. An evil invention of Western society, that is right there. I think it has created generations of self-indulgent humans, desperately spending their precious lives searching for something to fill the void they all have, never really finding the source. We don’t know why, but we know we can’t count on anyone but ourselves.

Cry it Out doesn’t work,’specially if you have a kid who knows you’re just downstairs, so who are you kidding? She also immediately flips over and turns around, pointing the UPSIDE DOWN FROWN at me and bombarding me with Don’t Leave Me rays. Is she manipulating me? Only if you apply her rudimentary ‘wants’ to adult definitions. I mean, needs and wants can’t possibly define themselves this early. She doesn’t chuckle to herself maniacally when I come to her call, she whimpers gratefully and wraps her little monkey feet around my arm.

We did set up the crib/playard though, and I’ll be putting her down for naps in there. No recalls on the Playard or Co-Sleeper in recent history, which is more than I can say for so many expensive cribs. Now that we’re starting to sign, showing her her own room and animals and whatnot can be a handy tool. My goal is to get her to light up when we go in there, like she does when she knows we’re going to the car now. ADVENTURES. (I know there’s a blog out there that’s been around longer than mine that uses caps to illustrate points. But I’ve been chastised for doing it just as long (in high school essays) and I won’t stop now. Also, I’d footnote this but I’m not getting a grade so, neener.)

The whole point of this post… oh yeah! Okay, so last night when we thought our baby had an ear infection because she was all hot and sweaty and screaming and pulling at her ear and puking all over the place, what did we do? We gave her a dose of Tempra, got her all dressed up and took her out into the pre-spring drizzle melting the snow in our backyard. I can feel the whole of Victorian England rolling around in the graves at this, but girlfriend doesn’t have a fever this morning and is perfectly fine. I know that when I feel terrible, I always seek out some water to make me feel better. A rainshower is the best, but a regular shower will do. And, sure enough, she forgot her turning tummy and turned her face up to the tiny pinpoints flitting about, trying to figure out where they was coming from.

I now have a doctor dilemma though. We’ve held onto GossipDoc simply because there are no doctors receiving new patients out here. We scoured through most concerns like schools and extracurriculars, ambulance response and summer attractions (to attract our family to us in the summer) but we didn’t think to see about pediatricians. I’d love to find a naturopath around here for checkups but none really specialize in children. I’ve considered telling GossipDoc my concerns, but I know she’d only fall all over her face apologizing and then spend the rest of her life telling everyone else what obnoxious parents we are to the most annoying baby. We’d take over the title from some others I’ve heard about, I’m sure. Any suggestions, four readers?

p.s. I read a post by an army mom who says, ‘come to find out they don’t even have a memory at six months, let alone a sense of time. They have no idea whether it’s day or night.’ WHAT? Let me introduce you to Rowan. She’ll tell you what time it is.

Like sands through the hourglass

When I think of this quote, I always see Keanu Reeves giving it as Ted Theodore Logan.

A resolution for 2010: treat my body as my temple and my mind as my greatest asset, because I have the luxury to do so. In other parts of the world, people have to exert maximum efforts in order to avoid starvation or violence against their person. I have been through a few harrowing experiences in my life, but only in comparison to the rest of my gilded life up to this point. We’re putting ourselves on a bit of a strict tether around here — more than we already need to because of the move. We’ll be eating mostly pulses and whatever vegetable is in season; kind of a modified version of the 100 Mile Challenge. We don’t care anymore if it sounds new age, or pious or backward or contrived to anyone. This is the time to figure out how you want to feel about life and the way you lived it. Time to take the plunge and just be as we are.

Winter food is influenced heavily by some unseen genetic force, coaxing us toward the hot, the braised, the stewed and the comfortable. Around you, the weather has locked the earth in stasis and trapped you along with it; thinking steadily about macaroni and cheese. I’ve not made that, because that would lead to a quick demise of my resolution. But I did make a squash and turnip gratin for one of our potlucks. That’s different, because I knew other people would eat it.

I have instead been working a lot with pearl and plain un-hulled barley, de puy lentils, lima beans, white kidney beans, aduki beans, red fife flour/shortcrust and puff pastries, every mushroom from every woods-floor (hen of the woods, shiitake, maitaki, boletus edifus, chanterelle and enoki), squashes, cruciferous veggies and local farm eggs (yolks like the neon orange ones from a Cadbury egg). The cost is approximately $40 a week for the two of us, but because I experiment a lot, we have to replace staples a little more quickly. Things like olive oil, sea salt, bulk spices/seasonings, balsamic vinegar, grapeseed oil (good for the under-eye area, by the way) and butter. Butter has vitamin A in it, plus it is delicious. And you can make your own for under four bucks.

I am finding it’s easy to live luxuriously for next to nothing, if your perception of luxury is altered. Reset to a closer version of ‘normal’ in the global context. The average North American home is 2500 square feet — 1300 feet more than the world’s average. Not that I’m in a hurry to give up my space, it’s just I’ve cleared a lot out of it. We’re keeping the books, though.

I look at/in a lot of books every day for various reasons. Jason has this book hanging around that his grandfather made about Charles Lindburgh. He was a famous abstract painter, but he had hobbies! I’m thinking about doing one of my own about pastry. Just to have around, you know, to look at. I think it’s imperative to read something from a physical book every day. I can’t tell you why I think it’s important, but it just seems to me that the less we do this, the more disconnected we become. I don’t think our brains are ready to leave history behind, as we are. To simply discount the lessons learned over millenia because we have come so far up above them. Are we so above literacy? There are still people around who can’t read. Shouldn’t we solve that dilemma before thinking up more sassy electronic toys to distract the general public with? On the one hand, I can’t believe the Nook (and others) took so long to be mass produced. On the other, I wonder why we aren’t allowed to pursue sustainable paper production with which to create physical books. Ones we can consider with many senses at once for generations to come.

We get ahead of ourselves in the west, I think. Our considerable capacity for knowledge and progress should be used solely in achieving the lofty goal of all BASIC human needs being met, for everyone. Right? Basic meaning food, clothing and shelter. Those are all things that can be quite costly. Exorbitant and even flippant sometimes in North America. Anyway, we had oatmeal for breakfast, and I’m having white beans boiled with rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper for lunch. With olive oil on it.

What are you wearing?

Here is a question I used to ask at least three people a day, just a few years ago. I have since donated over 80% of my wardrobe and footwear to various dropboxes and Goodwill ex-toggery stores. Except for my mustard yellow ankle boots, still embalmed in dried mud from an island Radiohead concert what seems like, eons ago. I can’t get rid of them, but they’re too big to be bronze-cast. It’s like I live in a land without time, where a person I’m around 24/7 is growing at Ludicrous Speed… and I’ve been sucked into her singular quantity time warp for awhile.

There is a video circulating of Anderson Cooper, ushering a boy who’d been hit by one cement block of a storm being thrown by looters in Port Au Prince. Not a lot of aid is getting into this city. Certainly not the obligatory ten dollars via text method that’s been going around. No phone company would send that money until all the bills had been paid first. The will to do something is a good sign though. We just haven’t decided what to do; not until we can find a reliable conduit to follow. Any suggestions would be welcome. Also, Haiti has been the poorest, most neglected nation for a long time now. I don’t think many of us were worrying about them then. Perhaps the most gauche gesture toward aid is the auctioning of celebrity Golden Globe gowns. How much is the auction house’s cut? Not even Meryl Streep could make the whole circus classy.

Anyway. There’s been a lot of baking around here with Red Fife flour and goat’s cream butter (which has this magic effect of making certain things taste deep fried. Like cookies.) Tarts and cookies and galettes and brown sugar shortbreads and whatnot. But the untimely melting of all snow around here, and the urge to unbutton the top of one’s jacket are signaling me that spring is not far off. So, it’s time to get back to humble basics. Lentils and poached eggs. Polenta and mushrooms. Braised kale, walnuts and quinoa. Maybe a squash.

Also, thankyou, to a friend of mine, who gifted me with a Pride and Prejudice cd and a sassy black elastic band notebook styled copy of Sense and Sensibility for Christmas this year. You are a keenly attuned gift giver.

My entire focus has shifted to the house we are moving to in three weeks. A complete blank slate upon which to graft and tend to a comfortable family rhythm. Much has gone into this decision, and we are all raring to go.