Poem – a slow glance

all of the snow

stares back and smiles at me as I wait for Spring

the five black squirrels feast at the bird feeder

beside the green cedars

the recycling box shines blue at the end of the driveway

I remember now, the bay is that colour in summer

a slow glance up from my bare feet on the sand

after the warm grass

after a lazy nap

Poem – Love in 10 easy lessons

love in 10 easy lessons

 – William J. Gibson –

in elementary school on Valentine’s Day

the girls giggled and the boys got red faces

and everyone was energized and shy and bold

and spinning in our seats

was it all fun and good or maybe there was more

I wonder were we scared that we might

not get any little red hearts

would be left out

shame on you, Hallmark

how much love flew round the classroom

scraps of red paper

traces of liking

faces with smiles

eyes hiding worry

waiting for the jokes to land

a life time of love songs and romantic movies

toy trains full of imitative emotion

learned behaviours and valiant attempts

to hide from the disappointments

the boredoms, the ache of breaking, roller coasters

of ecstasy and loathing, kisses and kicks,

little red hearts pieces glued back together

again and again, careful with those scissors

they are very sharp

hunting Lincoln’s handwritten documents

Fascinating article in the LA Times by P. J. Huffstutter about the historical detective hunt to find handwritten documents of Abraham Lincoln. Huffstutter goes on the road with history detectives as they check leads about new sources of Lincoln’s papers.

They found “an original of the so-called “ghost amendment”, a proposed but never ratified, 13th Amendment, which was an attempt to avoid the Civil War by making slavery permanently legal in the South.” This is only the second of 34 originals sent by Lincoln to governors to be found.
Some 11,000 pieces of paper in Lincoln’s handwriting have been found. The task has been made more difficult because immediately after his death, people went into public records and sought legal documents that Lincoln as a lawyer had filed over the 25 years of his legal career prior to his Presidency. They often clipped the signature from the documents. Members of the project have become experts in Lincoln’s handwriting.

The project began back in 1980. In 2000, the Lincoln Legal Papers were published on DVD, a collection of nearly 100,000 legal documents. The hunt for paper is now expanded beyond legal documents. A fascinating story of history and detective work.

Poem – Valentine’s Day Dream Preview

Valentine’s Day Dream Preview

– William J. Gibson –

you showed up in a dream again

unbidden I swear

may have to wrestle Sigmund to settle that one


I hope you found a way to trust a man

to open your heart to him

and by so doing forgive your father

for drinking himself to death when you were eleven


I don’t know much about much

but I know that when you do your best

and it isn’t good enough

the tournament schedule loses its shine


and all the rainy days make nothing grow

Poem – The Snow is too Damned White

The Snow is too Damned White

– William J. Gibson –

shovelling the snow

is a reminder of the deaths of January

both parents  went in this month


the snow is too damned white

the third and the nineteenth

are the days she died and he died

she four years after him


he walked out in the snow to get the newspaper

after fast shovelling the day before to make a walkway

for the public health nurse


she in the final coma in the hospital

her last words threatening  to punch a nurse in the nose

if she did not go get her husband


the snow is too damned white

to make up for the lack of sun

I am always glad to get out of January alive

Hog Bay Trestle bridge (gone since 1978)

Spanning the waters of Hog Bay, a great wooden trestle bridge was built in 1908 to carry the Canadian Pacific Railroad from grain elevators at Port McNicholl. 2141 feet long and 50 feet high, it was one of the longest wooden structures on the continent. The pine timbers were 8 feet by 16 feet and pilings of B.C. fir were 65 feet long. The builder was Mike McPeake of Port McNicholl. Patrolled by armed guards in both World Wars, this unique and handsome bridge was last used in 1971 and demolished in 1978.

The curious thing about this bridge is if you look at its location on the shore of Georgian Bay it is difficult to understand why it was needed. I would be interested in knowing why the line could not have been run a half kilometer wider to the west and avoided the water crossing. Someone or somehow the right to that land was not available. I hope to find out some day.

magic lantern slide – dogsled and snake charmer


snake charmer magic lantern slide

Originally uploaded by canuckshutterer (W.J. Gibson)

a few years ago I bought a set of glass magic lantern slides from an antique store….most are in a heavy glass strip with lead edges, four images to a strip. I believe these would have been entertainment in a wealthier home in the Victorian period…think early travel illustrations for home entertainment

photographed on a light table with a Nikon 5700 digicam on a tripod