Thursday, June 23, 2022

Mouse Eggs

Here is a link to excerpts from a long poem, "A Short History of Six Miles of the Trout River", I've worked on for forty years, on and off, with year long periods of being off. I think now would be a good time to finally complete the poem:

The second item is an essay, "Starting our from Vehicule Art", I wrote last fall. It's been published in a few places, including my book, The Green Archetypal Field of Poetry (Ekstasis Editions, 2022). Here is the link to the essay:

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Last day of spring, first day of summer 2022

Here is my garden over the last week or ten days, as seen on these last days of spring, 2022. 

In summer let the flowers bloom!

These are miniature irises

A bird bath is a great addition in any garden

A border of hostas I planted last fall have excelled my expectations!



On the left is a sumac that self-planted about two years ago

Foxglove I planted this spring, doing better than
foxglove planted two years ago

Monday, June 20, 2022

John Masefield on having a bird bath


I noticed there was a bird having a drink of water

Here is what poet John Masefield writes about having a bird bath:

    . . . I once had a bird-bath, which was used by many hundreds of birds, & gave great delight to them, & to others.

    It was a stone basin. There used to be a stone-mason at Bibury, just as you turn over the water out of Bibury to go to Cirencester. He used to make them, & had a ready sale for them.

    I had this for years, standing on an old tree-stump, but as far as I can recollect some accident knocked it to pieces: I think a big branch of a tree, or the tree itself, fell on it in a great gale which did fearful harm here about 16 or 17 years ago.

    If you fill your Bird Bath with water everyday, put near it, if you would care for it, a daily meal for the birds. Then (if you go to bed at all) you might wake up & hear them saying

    "Ouak, Ouak, & gogologk" & the rest of it.

    Birds are very punctual things, & expect punctuality in their friends.

                    --John Masefield, Letters to Reyna, Buchan & Enright, Publishers, 

                    London, 1983 (page 420)

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Garden at St. Philip's Anglican Church

It was June 14th, sunny and mild, and I was walking across the grounds at St. Philip's Anglican Church. 

I like this addition, added this year, if I had the room maybe
I'd build one of these circular gardens for herbs

Not the most aesthetic addition but "A" for effort and originality!

A pleasant place to sit and rest

They should leave the grass uncut here, it gives a country feeling
and avoids a too perfect feeling to the grounds

Sunday, June 12, 2022

The White Book

Here I am with Louis Dudek, not sure who took the photograph; it is 1993 
at the Loyola Campus of Concordia University, at the League of 
Canadian Poets' AGM, when Louis was made a life member of the
League (an organization he helped to found)



One day in the mid-1970s, Louis Dudek came to our graduate seminar with copies of his Collected Poems, (1971); "Does anyone want to buy a copy?" he asked; it was $5.00. I never had any money and passed on buying his Collected Poems, but a few months later I bought a second hand copy of Dudek's Atlantis at The Word Bookstore and I forgot about the Collected Poems of Louis Dudek. Over the intervening years I bought most of Louis' other books as they were published and around 1997, when the League of Canadian Poets AGM was held in Montreal, and I had nominated Louis for a life membership, I brought at least ten of his books with me to the AGM for him to sign. That was a bit much but Louis went along with it, we sat together, he signed his books, he gave his speech, and he left. He mentioned that one of the books of his that I had brought with me that evening had not been distributed, hang onto it, he said, it will be worth something one day, but I forget which book he was referring to. Like all good teachers, Louis was good with fatherly advice. He told me that my M.A. degree would get me a teaching job, and it did and that set me up financially and employment-wise for thirty-five years of my life. Then it was 2020, twenty years later, and I was at Stephanie Dudek's estate sale;  Stephanie was Louis' first wife and, although he died in 2001, many of his books were still stored at the Vendome Avenue home where he used to live. There were copies of Atlantis, in pristine condition, still unwrapped from when they were printed in the UK and shipped over to Montreal. I bought a few copies just for old time's sake and as I left I asked if they had any copies of Louis' Collected Poems; someone, I was told, had just bought all the copies they had, I was out of luck. And then, finally, I found a copy on Amazon; you don't often see Dudek's Collected Poems, 3,000 copies were printed but it didn't sell many copies when it was published and it wasn't widely reviewed. I finally found a used copy for sale by a book seller in Vancouver, for $10.00; I placed my order and a few days later received a phone call, the book was missing a page, did I still want to buy it? Of course I did. The price was reduced to the original $5.00 it had been in 1975 and my copy, a former library copy, was sent to me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Photographs of St. Michael the Archangel Church, Montreal

There is much that could be said about St. Michael the Archangel Church; it is unique in its design, its history, and it is still operating as a church. Here, I just want to give some photographs of the church, most of which I took in the early 2000s. If you stand on Mount Royal, in Mount Royal Cemetry, near the graves of Mordecai Richler or Boris Brott, you can see St. Michael's in the distance, it is a prominent feature on the Montreal landscape.

Rosette window above main entrance

St. Michael's Church on St. Viateur

Guido Nincheri must have felt like Michelangelo when he painted this

About this painting, Fr. Luke Callaghan wrote: 
The dreadful fall of the angels is ingeniously represented: from the four corners of the dome they are hurled into space studded with stars, stripped of their perfect beauty and their spiritual charm; their draperies, torn by the terrible cataclysm, reveal the animal hidden below. They are enveloped in flames that lick the base of the cornices of the arches and the vertical bands that support the dome.

The original statement in French:
La terrible chute des anges est ingénieusement représentée : des quatre coins du dôme ils sont projetés dans l'espace constellé d'étoiles, dépouillés de leur beauté parfaite et de leur charme spirituel ; leurs draperies, déchirées par le terrible cataclysme, révèlent l'animal caché en dessous. Ils sont enveloppés de flammes qui lèchent la base des corniches des arcs et les bandes verticales qui soutiennent le dôme.

I took the following photographs inside St. Michael's Church when it was open to visitors. 

That's my wife sitting in the pews...

That's me beside the young woman who was at the door
welcoming visitors to the church