cold

It All Once Seemed So Far Away

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Take a long look at this photo and then check out the one below

Leif Gregersen’s Blog

Well, I got on the phone with an old friend.  Actually, kind of more an old friend’s sister who I used to hang out with a lot in high school.  It was a nice chat because I find I share a lot in common with people I grew up with even though I haven’t lived in my home town in 25 years.  It’s been a long journey, but one more than worth it.  I would like to pause at this moment and tell people a little bit about what it means for me to be a writer.  Ever since I got serious about writing, when I published my first book, “Through The Withering Storm” my life has changed so much.  A whole new world of opportunity has opened to me.  There is a small reward here and there of a little money from writing, anywhere from over a thousand bucks for a magazine article I once wrote right down to the boon of being able to go out and sell even just one book when I’m having a hard time and having coffee money and such.  But the whole idea that I can sit down and carefully craft out a few sentences, make them into a few paragraphs, and over time turn them into printed pages that anyone in the world can access, is no small miracle.  I encourage anyone who reads this who doesn’t like to write to start with the simplest thing, which is what I did, keeping a journal.  A journal is more than a diary, it is a collection of pages where you put your thoughts, your hopes, lists of things you wish you could one day have, anything really.  Scrapbooks are good too, for putting things like concert tickets and movie receipts and such.  When I started writing, I kept a journal and I forced myself to write a full page each day, and then when I saw a movie I would write a full page of it and the same when I read a book.  I still have all of that stuff down in my basement, and one day if I have the courage I may look at it.  The very thought though, if I die tomorrow in some tragic accident, that there will be books in print and online that tell my story, that reach out and cry in a loud voice that I really was here, I really was a person.  The one person I would want most to read them would be my niece of course, then some of my friends and then anyone really.  It’s a magic thing.  I don’t want to say that everyone in the whole world should write a book, though that is definitely possible these days with small, print on demand publishers that can make you one copy (my local library has a printer that will print and bind one book for under $10) but just that everyone should make writing a part of their life.  There is so much joy in it, so many rewards.  But I will leave off at that.  As I get a larger following, I am going to have more contests for people to win my books signed and delivered to just about anywhere, so please keep reading and keep posting comments.  Even negative comments are more than welcome, they help a person keep grounded, focused and real.  As per usual, today’s poem is below the photo.

 

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Here is the difference on my very own street between summer and winter

 

Forty Three

 

As we grow older days slip by so fast

Our precious moments just don’t seem to last

The sweet blue eyes of our first newborn son

Give way to family battles fought not won

 

We love our kids but years soon fade on by

Sometimes we grow apart and don’t know why

As we get older part of us gets hard

We meet new people but stay on our guard

 

Love was so easy when we were just kids

But now those things our heart simply forbids

When I think of my first kiss so long ago

There was so many things I did not know

 

In school each hour took so long to go by

Now the days and months and years just fly

I never thought I would grow old so soon

But now I hear an old familiar tune

 

Words set to music that speak to my heart

I hear them and my soul is torn apart

A hymn I heard once at a funeral

I hear it and feel heaven’s final pull

 

Time must end for all of us on this Earth

The one thing guaranteed to us at birth

Hold each smile, each kiss deep inside of you

Keep the promise of heaven safe and true

 

Leif Gregersen

January 12, 2015

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.

BLOG FOR TODAY:

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