Hello faithful readers and supporters of my work. You’re out there, right? I do love you. Four new poem links are up on the Words page. You can find links to Coloured Pencils and F 150 on the Shambles site, Lessons We Didn’t Learn with The Minison Project, and Faithful Jelly Donut Pt. 2 (For Dennis Lee) on the brand new Two Fingers Lit Mag site. Thanks to all the publishers who are continuing to support my efforts. I did get two rejection letters this week, but no biggie. In fact, I’m still thrilled because my daughter, Evelyn, got an acceptance to Norther Otter Press Vol. 2 for a piece of art she created. That’s pretty cool. I also got an ARC of Jaime Dill’s upcoming book, I Remember Us, a rewind on love’s memory (Cardigan Press). I’m doing some review work and after reading the first poem, I’m in love already. I can’t say much more at this point, but when it hits the shelves, you gotta get it. Stay well, my friends.
I misread a sub notice on Friday night for Ongoing magazine, and instead of creating a musical piece in response to the post, I wrote a poem. My bad. Anyway, I’m quite pleased with the result, called Band Class, and it can be found on my Words page. Having been a band teacher for a number of years in three different schools (Havelock-Belmont PS, Confederation PS, and Kenner Intermediate School), there were struggles and there were failures. There were also many, many successes and fun times at Kiwanis Music Festivals and joint concerts with choirs from Kawartha Heights PS, South Monaghan PS, and Lakefield Intermediate and Secondary School. I always told the students that learning to play an instrument was a doorway to the world and an opening to lifetime friendships.
I was handed a trombone by Mr. Dunscomb at Windfields Jr. High more than a few years ago (although I had been playing a brass instrument for years by that time) and while I strayed over the years to tenor horn, I did eventually return to trombone, where I now reside. Because of music, I have met thousands of wonderful people, played and sung across Canada (ON, NF, PQ, AB, BC), in the US (MI, NY, CA, IL) , England, New Zealand, and Bermuda. I’ve played at Toronto Blue Jays’ games, a Toronto Argonauts’ game, and two Toronto Maple Leafs’ games. I’ve played for the Queen and met Prince Philip (well, he came close to me while he spoke with the bandmaster). Heather actually road an elevator with HRH at that Duke of Edinburg Award function in Toronto when he held the door for her.
I’m no virtuoso and I don’t practise near enough but that hasn’t stopped the experiences. My sincere hope is that some of those students have taken my advice and kept at it and they, too, are experiencing the opportunities that music can provide.
Today, my latest published piece is live to the world (Minison Zine Issue 6 XOXO: Love Letters). Dreams is on p13. Thanks to The Minison Project for supporting my work. This latest issue is beautifully laid out and features some great visual work and concise poetry (read all about their version of the classic sonnet and give one a try yourself).
Also, on my Words page is Saturday Morning Drive, my newest piece written only yesterday. It pretty much speaks for itself.
I trust you are enjoying your Family Day weekend.
Thanks to Col. Fred Waters for the inspiration tonight for a brand new piece which can now be found on my Words page. Evelyn (@thegirlwhopaddles) and I were out tonight making some deliveries for Scouts when we caught sight of a barred owl sitting on a tree along Mt. Pleasant Road. Of course, as soon as I shouted (inside the truck) “OWL!” it flew away. Seriously. But, for that few seconds, it was pretty cool to see. Such neat birds.
Yeah, Mondays can be hard. Y’know, getting back into the routine of getting up earlier, packing a lunch (which my lovely wife makes for me each day…don’t @ me), and actually dressing in real clothes to go out in public. I woke up today and checked my email. I know there is a debate about checking email first thing in the morning, but I do it anyway because sometimes there is personal mail and not just junk. I woke up today to an acceptance letter, which set my whole day on a great path. Then, upon arriving home after work, I found another acceptance letter. This is totally a first for me, two acceptances in the same day. How’s that for #MondayMotivation? Sometimes I look at what I’ve written and think, ugh… Other times I’m quite happy with the way the words flow and how the poem feels. I’m proud of these two poems and thrilled that both of these different pieces found homes with The Minison Project (which is a totally new format of poetry for me) and with 433. I’ll keep you posted when they appear online.
While I have been posting links to published poems, I’ve been negligent in not posting new poems that are ready for you, good reader, to peruse. So, I will attempt to keep updating this site with work. Today, you will find Lost, Winter Evening, and Friends on Facebook. As always, I’d love to get your feedback on my writing. Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the contact form on the page. Thanks again for visiting and supporting my work.
Hello friends and supporters. Two new poems of mine are live to the world and can be reached via my Words tab. Coming soon, I’ll have a brand new Zine available for either your reading pleasure or paper airplane making. Up to you, really. Down the road, my poem, Long List, a response to not making the CBC’s poetry contest long list will be published in the brand new Cardigan Press anthology. So looking forward to that. In the mean time, you can still order copies of the 1st issue of Norther Otter Journal from their site. All links to each journal are on the the Words page. Please support these small journals as they share our writing with the world.
Every day is now Family Day. With families spending much more time together these days due to COVID-19 isolation, we may find ourselves complaining more about our siblings and kids. But we should be thankful for the blessings of family. They are usually our first friends, and may be our last friends. Enjoy this time together because life will move on and we will be apart once again for longer than we are together. As much as we want to be with others, we will miss these days. Play games, make art, create music, read together, go for walks, watch the birds, teach each other, and enjoy each other’s presence. You won’t regret it.
Another trip to Haliburton Scout Reserve (HSR) is in the books. Tents are dry and packed, shelters stored, sleeping bags washed, dishes and pots are clean and have been put away until our next camp. This year we had the privilege of hosting members of the 1st Sittingbourne Salvation Army Scouts from England. It was a camp of many firsts.
Over the seven days, we had rain, thunderstorms, cold nights, bright sunshine, laughs, great times around the campfire, filling meals, good conversations, and many learned new skills that will make us better Scouts moving forward. Getting ready for this camp and cleaning up seemed to take longer than the camp itself, and it probably did. But in the end, the effort was totally worthwhile.
If you’re a Scouter who hasn’t taken your Scouts to HSR or on a camp longer than a weekend, what are you waiting for? It will be a memorable time for everyone.
We all know the song about Mondays and rainy days getting people down. I agree with Mondays and don’t know many people who really like that day. But rainy days don’t really get me down from an emotional standpoint. More like, rainy days slow me down and make me want to take it easy; to sit and watch the rain fall.
Some of my favourite time was spent on the porch of the Lodge at Camp Madawaska, cup of coffee in my hand, watching the rain making uncountable splashes into Lake Victoria. Sometimes it was a gently rain, welcome after a hot day. Sometimes it was sheets of pounding rain that were driven across the lake by hurricane-like gusts.
Rainy days at camp are slow days, reflecting days, peaceful days. Yes, I’ve paddled in the rain, hiked in the rain, slept in the rain. But mostly, I like doing nothing in the rain. On rainy days, I keep the coffee or tea water hot, read a book, play cards, chat with friends, swap favourite camp stories, reflect on life. That’s what rainy days were made for.
They tell us to not drive as fast when it rains, that we need to be more aware of our surroundings. I agree because life is like that too. When it rains, slow down and become more aware of your surroundings, especially the people in your life. Don’t let rainy days get you down. Let them help you remember what’s important.