Posted by: This Is the Way It Is | December 18, 2014

After You Call

there are expectations
left unanswered;
questions caught
in my throat.

Loving you,
but in limbo.
Only a broken crystal ball,
and no tarot cards;

no future and no past.

Sirens wail
outside my window.
They come
to arrest
your memory.

To take away the only
proof I have
that you

were ever here.

Posted by: This Is the Way It Is | December 4, 2014

Picasso’s Blue

period cubes
of happiness slant
a cross-section of myself
as if I were pieces
of your voice.

This is love,
I tell myself.
Eyes isolated
in the middle
of my forehead;
three less fingers
than I started out with;
a heart that belongs
to someone else.

To look in the mirror,
I must slide my eyes
carefully past
the face that lies
to me
at odd angles;
green bleeding blue
they stare back
each day,
naked with denial.

All that is left
of me is grey
bared bone.

Posted by: This Is the Way It Is | November 30, 2014

Bouquet – Fragment 51

She was pleasantly surprised to return home mid-afternoon on a Saturday from a round of errands to find a huge bouquet of spring flowers blocking entrance to her apartment. The building manager, Debra immediately thought, must have let them in. After opening the door to her suite, her arms full of three bags of groceries, two suits and a dress and her mail that she had forgotten to collect yesterday, she carefully worked her way around the flowers leaning partially against the wall. When the bags and envelopes had been deposited on the kitchen counter and the dry cleaning hung temporarily in the front closet, she returned to the hallway to collect the bouquet.

Her step lighter than it had been since she had first gotten out of bed that morning, Debra felt her breath quicken and hope rise inside her like a helium balloon. But as she picked up the flowers, the cellophane crinkling enticingly at her touch, she noticed there was no card. In fact, it gradually registered, there was no identifying clue of any kind, not even the name of florist who had delivered them. While secret admirers were so appealing when watching chick flicks, Debra had to admit to herself that in real life not knowing who had sent the beautiful bouquet unnerved her just little.

Posted by: This Is the Way It Is | November 20, 2014

Fact of the Matter

is I am a prisoner
of all the sentiments
I cannot tell her.

We have had our battles,
she and I,
and every white flag and dove
I have brought to her door
have been ignored.

I want to reach out my hand
and find her there,
this mysterious
earth woman
shrouded in shifting time.

Time and time again
we speak
of inconsequential things–
the weather; a current event,
the cost of living,

while my real words,
buried heart deep,
remain unspoken.

Then, with a click,
she is gone.
I love you,
I say bravely,

to dead air.

Posted by: This Is the Way It Is | November 13, 2014


Vancouver East Side

Back lane Vancouver East Side

In the past, I’ve viewed success as a simple formula: figure out what it is I want to achieve; set a goal; make a list of the things needed to accomplish the goal; prioritize; work my way through the list. Success is completing the tasks at hand to reach the desired outcome.

Lately, I discovered that achieving success (no matter how we define it) is not a linear process. There are too many variables; changes of mood; forks in the road. I try to stay positive. Keep focussed on writing for clients, writing for me, attracting more clients, looking for work. I inch forward, generally moving in the right direction, yet progress is negligible.¬† Success is a ghost; I think I see something floating in the near distance, but I’m not exactly sure what it is.

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed a lot. The anniversary of my dad’s passing at the end of October and Christmas looming on the horizon aren’t helping. My mental health is not so healthy. I’m Old Rose (character in Titanic): “It was the ship of dreams to everyone else. To me it was a slave ship, taking me back to America in chains. Outwardly, I was everything a well brought up girl should be. Inside, I was screaming.” I don’t mind asking for help, but I don’t exactly know how to do this without giving myself away.

These days though, I’m satisfied if I get through my compulsory to-do-list of five priority items. My definition of success is a horse with blinkers – I get through the day by looking straight ahead.

Posted by: This Is the Way It Is | November 6, 2014

Boy Who Cried Wolf

He cannot breathe
the streets are too cold.

In time,
the sum of all his lies
still echo

until even I
don’t believe him any more.

The answers are there,
hidden in a lifetime
of passed mistakes;
past predictions.

In the not too distant future
black hair, brown eyes,
the gypsy will return;
I’ll listen to him play
his blue guitar
(and pretend this time he’ll stay
as he’s promised before)

while rain falls
on someone else’s roof.

Posted by: This Is the Way It Is | November 4, 2014

Look-Alikes, Felix and Bill

I’m not particularly fond of American comedies that make me laugh “at” rather than “with”; I tend to avoid those types of movies because I end up feeling manipulated and uncomfortable. So by the time Bill Murray appeared in The Razor’s Edge (1984), I had only seen a small handful of his films. This movie though was a remake of a Somerset Maugham novel I particularly liked – and it was playing at my dad’s theatre. Dad called it – he said Bill Murray was incredible as a dramatic actor; however, the critics wouldn’t see him that way and pan him for it.

As a result Lost in Translation (2003) wasn’t such a surprise to me as it might have been to other Bill Murray fans. But St. Vincent is a revelation. Murray’s performance truly moved me – I laughed, I cried, I held my breath when he falls to the floor, passed out. Combined with Melissa McCarthy’s understated portrayal of a shaky single mom trying to make sense of her upside-down world and Naomi Watts as a Russian strip club dancer who is pregnant, the story engaged me right from the moment we meet Maggie (McCarthy) meeting her next door neighbour Vincent (Murray) for the first time.

You’d have to be blind not to notice the similarities between About a Boy and St. Vincent (single, curmudgeon/self-absorbed male mentors a young boy from a single parent family). For me, St. Vincent carves its own path. The film possesses an organic charm that really entertained me while opening my eyes to a couple of potential life lessons I need to investigate further for my own quality of life and peace of mind. While I’m partial to movies that demonstrate how the main character has a change of heart, I don’t like being hit over the head with it. Vincent’s sea change is subtle: by the end of the story, he’s still the scallywag he always was, but something’s different. He’s a happier man; he’s journeyed somewhere worth charting.

And kudos to selecting a Persian cat that mirrors¬† Bill Murray’s facial expressions. Actually, the credits list two cats as playing Felix. So double kudos…the cheap movie Tuesday Oscar goes to Felix the cat.

Posted by: This Is the Way It Is | October 31, 2014

Camping Out – Fragment 50

The map was useless to her. North and south totally meaningless. The binoculars dangled from her right hand, arrested there on the way to around her neck. This was his idea, and she had told him that it was a bad one – she had no interest in camping out and was only happy outdoors if the outing had a maximum three-hour time limit. When she finally caught up to him, he smiled at her and jauntily inquired, “Where are we?” She gave him her I-don’t-know-little-girl-lost look, and then thrust the map at him more enthusiastically than she had intended. His look of surprise solicited a muttered “Sorry,” but secretly she was disappointed that he had been standing on the flatter part of the upward, winding trail.

Posted by: This Is the Way It Is | October 20, 2014

Anywhere is a Good Place for a Love Story

Anywhere is a good place for love to manifest itself. This past weekend I went back to sorting through the remainder of my mother’s recipes. I was again overwhelmed by memories. “Date Loaf” instantly brought to mind the time my little sister was sick on a weekend, and she wanted meat loaf. But my mother didn’t have the ingredients and had to wait for Monday in order to go shopping (the good old days when stores were closed Sunday). Once the meat loaf had been made, it turned out that what my sister meant was date loaf.

The recipes in her handwriting and the memories they evoke, make me feel alone, estranged from family, and like I’m wading through molasses. And yet, suddenly these same memories float up from the Sea of Love, bestowing buoyancy, possibility and strength.

Anywhere is a good place for the love story – my dining room table; down the back lane between Davie and Burnaby Streets where the autumn leaves are shouting in shades of rust, red and yellow; exchanging smiles with a stranger. I need to remember love is all around. Love is the connective tissue between me and sanity; me and reason; me and accomplishment.

In the past two and a half weeks, I’ve been on more job interviews than in the past two months. But now the possibilities have all disappeared; back to the silence of square one again. Right now, my life does not seem like the ideal place for a love story – more like a prison or a whirlpool or a patch of quicksand.

I try to remember this when I get impatient or upset or lose hope – love is stronger than defeat; the past; and darkness of any kind, mental or physical. Anywhere is a good place to be kind to myself.

Posted by: This Is the Way It Is | October 16, 2014

How Could You

not know
what my touches conveyed;
what the staccato notes
of my breath
against you chest meant;

where were you when I
for you?


Rain falls upon this city
like a woman weeping,
but snow can keep
its secrets–
silence lies worse
that words.

I know.

If you trace
the blue rivers of my veins,
you will discover

words I have not yet written.

How could you not know?

that an entire symphony
flows through my heart,

written only for you.

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