Bella grooming

new camera purchased recently, Pentax DSLR, K10D, lens a k mount SMC Pentax 50mm f1.4 manual lens

one of the attractions of the Pentax DSLR cameras is the ability to use older Pentax lenses in Aperture Priority mode.  That old glass lives again.

Poem – Nothing to do with Zen

Nothing to do with Zen


This poem has nothing to do with Richard Brautigan

After the rain fell for a year
I began to notice puddles were nothing new.
You told me I would begin to realize these things.
I was feeling the great ache. A new version.
Upgradable to wisdom for a price.
Pray for us now and all the hours
until we reach a safe place.
The cat knows what that is.
When did I lose my last molecule of patience.
The snow was trying to be rain
And failing against my windshield.
we use words
to dissect our experience,
put distance and padding and forgetfulness
between ourselves and the present. We know.
We spent time figuring out the past —
     the outcome tax calculation
                the night before the filing deadline.
Counting. The annual
comedy fest evolves curiously.
You know what I mean.
A gurgle and a giggle and the pushing rush of all that
turned inside out

like your sweater that you rushed
to pull off,

the miracle of that everyday magic trick.
Strong hands and patient eyes.

And when the sun goes out
like an old light bulb when you switch it and it says gone

in a joke without a punch line. .
You nod like an old soldier in the front

     of an old fire    in an old chair
and the kitten attacks the dancing
fire flickers   on the black tile     before the fireplace
       in a home you knew.

So many obstacles, none of them
    created by anyone else.
Must be elves, no
          and not escaped midgets from the circus.
All my work.
    It is only love.

It is only joy and another roll
through the car wash for souls.
I have a coupon for two.


51 F as the January Thaw continues

thunder and lightning yesterday and rain overnight, this was taken at 9 am on January 8 2008

it is supposed to stay super mild for another few days

Georgian Bay ice may melt and at least part of it open up

Poem – Right Now I Call It Love

Right Now, I Call It Love


I think of you

And my wrist watch begins to howl

Like the last angry wolf

In a bad cartoon.

This is no cat and dog fight

With punctuation marks in

Dialogue balloons.


There is a pin and we are stuck.

You are going through a difficult time.

It feels like you are sailing an ocean cruiser

Through a tunnel

And I am running ahead stringing flash bulbs

That go off after you have passed.

My Australian crawl is improving daily.

You keep changing blindfolds.

Simplicity is a small town in Brazil.


I meditate, drink Diet Pepsi, say things

Behind the wheel of my car

That Theologians could not catalogue.

I miss you at night. I miss you

At the damnedest moments of the day.


It is a hobby few are cultivating.

When I understand everything

I will give it a new name.

Right now, I call it love.

Everything will be all right. 

My dogs tell me this.

They know everything.

My friend, the orange cat,

Knows them personally.


In an earlier life, I was his cat.

And he was a zen buddhist monk

Or the most beautiful woman

With red hair and I would watch

The men try to love her.



Poem – Apartment


Their first apartment or was it the second.
Montreal in 1949.
My mother looks at the photo.
It is 1995. The outside shot
My sister stopped playing
To look at the camera.

“That’s where we moved to,” my mother says.
“We didn’t have two sticks
of furniture to rub together.”

I look at her eyes looking at the photo.
“A table and two chairs. A bed and the crib.”
Her head shakes. She does not smile.
Holds the photo album on her lap.
Her wheelchair rolled up
to the good light.

Poem – The Can’t Story

The Can’t Story


It has come up many times.

A traditional story like the one

About me giving away my big sister’s tricycle

When I was three to a boy who asked for it.


My sister taking

the Red Cross swimming lessons.

Taking the tests for lifeguard.

Crying in the water,

Saying she can’t.

My mother, the Swedish Viking woman,

The lumberjack’s daughter,

Standing on the balcony spectator level

Leaning over the rail and using

The Norse battle voice

Pushing her will

Over the rail

Through the air

To my sister

In the water.


“I don’t want to hear can’t.

You can.”


She did.

Poem – A Thousand Cars Honking

A Thousand Cars Honking


I know nothing about love.

Love knows nothing about me.

The cat washes his paw. Rubs behind his ear.

Stops bathing, looks at me.

He is tired of my secrets. They are not secrets.

They walk across my face

Like the cat crosses the garden, moonlight indifferent

The insects talking of their love.


In the workshop of my heart,

My muddled mind, my soul builds love with wire,

Wood, paper, iron and copper, the feather fallen

From the crow, the pup’s baby molar

Glued on top, I turn it upside down and hum.

It must be love. I add two more staples and take up

The sandpaper, rubbing it smoother, finding a way.


You tell me about love. Past and present.

The repetition of love. The tenderness of puzzles,

A round of hide and seek,

The tag and race, the colours of summer

In your voice, sudden coolness of summer rain. 

I hear the thunder booming coming closer. 


It is not like my hammer.

Tapping in a few new tacks to keep the cover

From slipping off too fast.  Gifts, small

And many, moments inside the day.


I see what I can see and watch for the rest

When my mind lets my heart run.


You are a kite and I want to be the wind.

It is all slow dance, the same music playing

In our heads. A thousand cars honking

Racing by, blinding us with their lights.


Keneally’s novel about Operation Rimau

Finished reading an outstanding novel of WWII called The Widow and Her Hero by Thomas Keneally (2007), which deals with the true life commando mission “Rimau” (Malay for tiger), made by Australian Special Forces and British troops against Japanese held Singapore. Great book, tragic mission and it appears over time that the facts behind the loss of the men was a high level command decision to sacrifice them. The story by Keneally looks at men’s heroism and the emotional evolution of the women who survive them. It is the story of a war time marriage, the mission, and the long life of the widow who over time learns more about her husband’s final mission and execution by the Japanese. It’s a great novel based on a tragic truth.

Wikipedia article on Operation Rimau.

Keneally is best known for the Booker Prize-winning Schindler’s Ark. He is one of my favourite authors.

Poem about my Mother’s Death on January 3, 1996

Way Past Midnight

I look at my hands by electric light.
They are becoming the dry wrinkled hands
of an old office man. Not yet my father’s hands
Not my mother’s
which became deflated as she almost made it to 80.
The wrinkles deep,
her skin on her wrists
paper thin
so fragile when they took the blood tests.
She would bruise like they had used a coal shovel on her
We should grow old in a big old house
surrounded by grandchildren
not in the white sheets of the fucking hospitals

I hate the thought of it.
sitting beside her as her breathing in the coma
shuddering slowing
more work for each breath
I sat in the ugly metal and vinyl padded chair
my hand under the sheet holding her leg below the knee
her good leg
not the left with the stroke twisted ankle
feeling the warmth of her in my hand
and the shudders of her breathing growing harder
and slower and slowing
to nothing
her mouth still open
the IV pump with saline and the other line morphine
I listened
and listened for another breath
then I walked around to look at her face
half turned from me
my hand brushing her hair
still brown, just a line or two of grey
then I sat back down in the chair
and put my hand back on her leg below the knee
and felt her warmth and it was quiet, January quiet
then I got ready to go find a nurse
to check for a pulse, a heartbeat, and to find neither sound,
just the shell still, three days short of her 80th birthday,
and then to tell me that
my mother was dead
and then the doctor who I had never seen before
came to tell me
that my mother was dead
for the second time
the doctor a young woman
younger than me
following her training
having put on the doctor face
with emotion tucked away
explained to me that my mother had passed away
I said, “I know. I was there.”
The nurses on the floor looked at me as I waited
for my sister to arrive
they looked at my face
my hands spread out held high
holding the metal doorframe of the room
so that the building would not explode
the metal was cool
and had no wrinkles.