Canadian Adventures

Part 1: Hat

A different light casts possibilities:
friendships blossom in a land of hats, and coats bloom, revitalised by an eco artist’s hand.

Life takes on a happy texture, when time is a backwards flowing river
and wheelchairs carry festival smiles upstream.

You knitted me a holiday;
altered my pattern and sold me some yarn.
Our stitches flew with rooks, walked with coyotes and laughed with friends.

Tangled by snowberry mountains
we slipped and cabled,
two together on a Golden adventure,
with maple motif and the prospect of bears.

Part 2: Boots

Yesterday, we defied road closed snow
to ski up mountains in regular boots,
Waving to impossibly long trains as they
snaked by, down spiral tunnels.

Today, We left downtown
to straddle snow blooms and boulders
and sink our feet and claw downhill
Where beavers creek and water falls.

We shared the road with acoustic coffee house yawns,
long lines of round nosed trucks and invisible hauliers.

Slowed by construction projects, brake checks and broken pine,
We left the highway, hungry for a cabined night in the red heart of the green forest,
tucked in like those illusive bears.

Part 3: Coat

Strutting with the wild things
The Canadian mountain me
Pretty hat, pretty coat, pretty Japanese pants,
An eco print queen bee!

Part 4: River

Vast rocky hollows emerald green,
From winter’s sleep there springs a dream
of summer, doused in scent of pine,
an artery unlocked by time.

Beneath its petticoats of snow,
this river heeds the call to flow
by elk and bear; it cracks the ice,
and journeys on through paradise.

Part 5: Lakes

Which God is to say if there is more beauty in alluvial blue water,
or in the vast Medicine word Lake exchanged between cousins?
I heard it in the soft shoe shuffle
as melting ice stacked and shifted,
and saw it in the striped tail of a disgruntled chipmunk.

Part 5: Death on Mount Robson

Travelling backwards, lost in time,
to a place where I was nine,
and drinking iced tea through a straw,
(the paper kind they had before)

Traced memories of a patriarch –
Three thousand metres to the top,
We mortals kept a lowly road
By Fraser River’s icy cold.

And past us, on the snow-packed trail
ran an officer tall and pale
On, up the hill, to where a soul
drew one last breath so icy cold.

A team worked hard for goodness’ sake
but soon he slept, no more to wake,
His still slight form was borne to base
by men in black with sorry face.

Great Robson’s might so drew us on
to Kinney Lake where we sat down
and made a raft from lichen green,
to sail our Easter eggs downstream.


This morning, market day smiles nestle
comfortably in the wrinkled chin of
Montane del Mattone.

Our morning ripens into red summer cherries,
generously ladled by women born
with sun on their faces.

Bitter rich coffee shots, in tiny cups,
are served with grace to travellers
who stumble confused tongues around
language reciprocated with indulgence.

Softened, we succumb to pick,
pluck and purchase a pretty posy –
sweet Sulmona confetti of sugared almond blooms

Ti amo

I’m so sorry I can’t be with you tonight
high in an Italian mountain wilderness
sipping red wine from glasses we found
in the dimly lit kitchen where we simmered
al dente spaghetti on a single electric ring
and licked the salt of olives from our hands.

Remember the first time? Holding hands
in the room where you are alone tonight;
warming our hands on the same electric ring
and listening to the sounds of the wilderness
as we enjoyed simple dishes, simmering
spaghetti, impatient and hungry for all we found?

I wonder, when you arrived, whether you found
the bed linen I washed with my hands
in the room next to the spaghetti simmering,
and made up the bed, comfortable for tonight,
safe from the strange mountain wilderness,
comforted by bolognese cooked on that single ring.

It might be some little while before you ring,
an hour’s difference disrupting rhythms, we found,
leaving us each dancing in our own wilderness,
unused to having so much space and time on our hands.
I wonder if you will want to talk much tonight?
after a day in the sun, bed made, spaghetti simmering.

Tomorrow, when you are properly settled, simmering
gently in the warmth of the medieval stones, ring
and we’ll swap stories; perhaps leave it tonight,
giving you time to reflect on whatever you have found,
gemstones and kernels to share, held in your hands
like a prayer in the Italian mountain wilderness.

By now you will be sleeping, unfamiliar wilderness
of Italian dream-scapes shifting and simmering,
heat taking leave of mountain stones, dear hands
perhaps reaching for mine, wanting to be held, ring
me in the morning, and tell me what you found,
but know in your heart, I am with you tonight.

Two dear hands in the wilderness
where tonight dreams are simmering,
ring in the morning, to tell me what you found.