A Time to Look Back On a Year and Look Forward To Another

DSCF1156 Above is a photo of an aging sign I took a picture of using the ‘sepia’ filter on my                        waterproof camera for an old-fashioned effect.


Well, I went to a great poetry workshop today where a young man from Ottawa was talking about different ways to improve poetry and how to get people to relate to your poetry more.  I got a lot out of it, and while I was there I wrote the bones of the poem that follows today’s photo but I don’t know if I got it all right down pat.  He was saying that one of the things a poet needs to do is write the body, which he described as using all the five senses.  After some discussion/sharing, he had us write a poem from our choice of two prompts, the first being a challenge to write a poem where each line starts with “I remember” and the other being one about someone close to you and one of their body parts.  I’m sure a lot of people had some pretty racy body parts in mind, but I was moved to write what is sort of a true story about my Aunt Martha.  I won’t get too much further into it though, but instead I will let you read the poem and hope I did a good job of describing things to you.  As always, I look forward to anyone’s comments or feedback, positive or negative.

After the workshop, I met up with my ex-gf’s sister and mom and went out to a farmer’s market and then one of my favourite restaurants.  To anyone that lives in Edmonton or will go through Edmonton at some point, try to check out “Double Greeting Wonton House” it is so amazing.  Today I had my old standard, the #27 wonton soup, which was divine, but we also had deep fried chicken wings which had some great batter and flavouring on them.  I was extremely happy to gorge myself.  I have a cousin, who I have never gone to this place with, who lives in Ontario and was living in England for a number of years who still considers Double Greeting to be his favourite restaurant.

Aside from that, I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but I haven’t been writing a lot the past week or so.  I got a bit sick and picked up some cold and flu pills with acetaminophen in them and for the most part I have been sleeping too much for a whole week thinking I was sick.  It turns out that either I made an incredibly fast recovery after a week of being very sick or that the pills were making me feel as though I were sick and needed to stay in bed.  I stopped taking them and I feel practically 100% now.

It is a cold day in Edmonton today, when I woke up it was minus 23 and I expect it is at least that cold now.  I am really hoping to get to the pool tomorrow though and swim some lanes.  I am getting kind of out of shape right now after laying around for a whole week.  But I guess I will leave off at that.  I think if anyone reads my poem and is able to tell me what Drumheller is famous for other than coal mines and prisons, I would be more than happy to send them a free copy of one of my poetry books, their choice of “Poems From Inside Me” or “First White of Winter Poems”  just email me at viking3082000@yahoo.com and if you are the first to respond correctly I will mail you out a signed copy.  I think if anyone gets a look at the previous blog post the “Maggie” contest is also still open.  Best of luck and best wishes for 2015!!

This is a photo of my street.  It was much warmer than -23 this day!


Aunt Martha’s Eyes



In the hot, dry, used-up coal mine town


Known just as Drum for miles around,



My dear old Aunt Martha once lived in an old house


With my Uncle Joe, her common-law spouse



They had adopted a child and watched him grow


No one knows if he was mean or just terribly slow



I was just small and hadn’t known about such things at all


I never knew cousin Roger was nearly their destruction or fall



They both were so dear to me, those two tough old birds


They inspired me to write many poems and pages of words



I won’t ever forget one day in their car in that valley of dirt


I did something bad and I thought I would soon be hurt



I had dropped dear Aunt Martha’s car ashtray


And I was filled with fear at what she would do or say



For sure I imagined being hit or yelled at


But what really happened was nothing like that



My Dear old Aunt Martha said, ‘oh, it’s alright child’


And then she looked at me, hugged me and actually smiled


Those were the sweetest words ever spoken to me


Why I loved her so much was easy to see



Back then I had an old camera with the view finder on top


And the lens in the front, a gift from my pop



I tried to take Martha’s picture to save her face in my mind


One sacred image of one who was so kind



But I knew so little then I just took pictures of dirt


She passed not long after and the loss really hurt



The funny thing though was that in the buttons on my Dad’s chair


An image came to me of Martha’s eyes and silver hair



I would often sit down on it and stare until I could see


My Aunt Martha’s eyes looking back at me



A few years ago as I write this my Uncle Joe passed away


And we drove down to Drumheller on that sad day



We also went to visit Martha though she was in heaven


It seemed so strange to see she died in seventy-seven



I was just six but I still see those eyes


So beautiful, loving, caring and wise



And I think of her often when I make a mistake


Especially when things bigger than old ashtrays break



Leif Gregersen


January 3, 2015


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