Gordon Wood School

Earlier today I took the bus to Broadway and MacDonald to do errands. On the way back, because it was such a beautiful, sunny day,  I randomly got off the bus and walked around. I ended up at MacDonald and West 7th Ave. This part of the street dead-ends into a park behind General Gordon Elementary School. Walking down the street toward the fence, I could only see a park bench. I decided to sit for a bit and read; it wasn’t until I entered the grassy area that I discovered the one room schoolhouse.

I don’t know what it is , but there’s something about abandoned buildings that inspires me; I ditched the book and did some journal writing instead. When I got home, a Google search turned up some interesting facts about this old wood school:

  • the schoolhouse was built in 1913-1914
  • at one time, the Vancouver School Board (VSB) originally planned to retain and restore the old wood schoolhouse
  • since then, there has been talk that the VSB has slated it for demolition
  • various public groups, including Heritage Vancouver, have petitioned to save it

Blissfully unaware of its unknown future, I enjoyed journaling out in the fresh air, in its charming presence.

Already, I have doubts
strutting like patent
black crows
on the lawns of my
last reasons.

Already time is like nothing;
like a breath;
like a tear
banished by fingertips.
Already, there are no
boundaries;
no places for me
to hide.

The sun,
when it shines,
blinds my eyes;
but does not melt my heart.

This is the stage
where I made
entrances before;
this is the theatre
in which you yelled
“Fire!”

Past mistakes
past lives
past tenses

all come back to haunt me,

every time
we touch.

He often wondered why he was here; what possible mission could the higher sentient powers have in mind for him when they sent him among the humans. He hadn’t needed to leave his homeland to report back that humankind, either as a species or a philosophy, was unsavable; unstoppable in its obvious quest for self-destruction. He would be somewhere – sitting at one of the carrels in the public library near where the 900s began; or in a bistro coffee shop pretending to be still employed; or parked on a couch in the lobby of a random office building, acting as if he was waiting for someone – seeing only the familiar landscapes of Hecadia, nestled within its signature sylvan gaseous stratosphere. Then he would blink. And be banished earthbound once again.

So that I will not disturb you
while you sleep
someplace else,
I could not sleep
for remembering.

I send you telepathic messages;
I talk softly to myself
so no one can hear.
Dialogues
misplaced like pocket change.

Tears in your eyes
give me hope.
I am returned from Bedlam.

But by three,
the day is ironed flat.
Brain numb from folding laundry.
I promise myself strawberries.

Mirrors are my enemies
where memories of your face
overwrite images of my own.

I sit
in the early morning light,

and pretend we never met.

He’s still a child
in need,
and while he danced
upon her skin,

time stood
in silent runes.

Still
not healed,
the wounds
he left behind.

She travels
through a forest of backs
turned against her.

SFU Library at Harbour Centre

One of my clients used to rent office space in a building directly across from SFU Harbour Centre. Simon Fraser University has several campuses and buildings downtown. But ever since I caught a glimpse of a library through the large, front windows, I’ve wanted to check it out. So one day in May, I strode purposely toward a study space by the window and sat down on one of the stools. Using my pink psychedelic patterned Acme pen, writing by hand in a bound notebook, in amongst the laptops and computer stations made me feel a little like a Flickr Throwback Thursday picture. But I liked working in the Belzberg Library. It is on two levels. The second level houses non-circulating reference materials. Since my first visit in May when I took this photo, I’ve been back several times to work on one of personal writing projects.

The years have snowed me under
paranoia and tears;
left ice crystals embedded
in my heart;
misted over my eyes from seeing any possibilities.

I breathe again,
surrounded by a nest of days
that nurture me
until it is safe to fly.

I have no understanding
of how I came to be this way–
afraid of my own shadow
afraid you will murder me
a second time
with your inability
to see me as I am.

The pieces of the whole picture
are scattered across a table
fourteen years wide.

But the key
to the puzzle
lies in a blue room
bathed in early morning light

from which no one
gets out alive.

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