Archive for April, 2010

This was written about a non existant park in Calgary. I just remember walking out to the west end of the city and being blown away by view of the Rockies, majestic and cold in the distance. This was written to a person in Calgary and a literary dream and a wish for one of our walks and talks in an unreal but all too possible setting

I love walking with you in the old park out by the edge of the city. It used to be a part of a small country town, but now, it is indistinguishable from the rest of the urban sprawl which has grown out to enclose it like a flood.

The benches are still there however and the slight lean of the land still exposes the breathtaking view of a vast horizon filled with blue grey mountains seemingly planted to stop the mad rush of the prairies. Someone had planted trees here, apple and pear, maples and poplar, and they have grown over the many years since that time to become a small forest in a land ruled by grass.

You can still see the odd cowboy during the times of the year not given over to the stampede, but he is more likely to have a jeep or pickup than a horse, more likely to be older rather than younger, more likely to be affable than loner. The psyche of the city is still retained, and every bus boy fancies himself a cowboy or an oilman. The feel of the frontier, the gold rush, the gusher just around the corner remains in the peripheral vision of accountant and mechanic alike. “The deal” is somewhere to be had around here if we could just recognize it, and grab it, and, most importantly hang on.

But here, with you, the city cannot seep in. It is time for quiet. It is a place where the world slows to a stop. It is a place to admire the beauty of the Rockies and be astonished by their size, especially when you consider that they are a hundred miles away.

Last night we were 100 miles from the water, tonight it is 100 miles from the heights. Last night we were high up looking down, tonight on the ground looking up.. It all seems to come together here in this park. The forest and the plain, the mountain and the water, the quiet in the middle of noise, the peace in the midst of striving, the stillness in the center of a demand for forward motion.

These are the nights when I love this park the most. I am here with you and the feel of your hand in mine as we walk into the trees takes the day off my back. The calm of the bench and the beauty of the picture painted in front of us is accented by the feel of your head on my chest and my arm around your shoulder. I have time to think, to paint a picture in my imagination and colour it with words, to feel my dreams playing among the apple trees like butterflies in the summer. I can reach out and hold the tranquility, breathe it in like steam from the kettle. I can allow my soul to stop running and start living..

There are other souls in the park here with us, who smile as they walk by, or nod heads as if to apologize for disturbing the peace. They are here for the same reason we are, and they add to the feeling of the park. We are a painting of a feeling done in deep greens and steel greys, shadows and sunlight yellow dappled in the short grass.

I love walking with you in the old park out by the edge of the city.

One Last Waltz

April 29th, 2010

He came up to the assembly plant, with its’ abandoned look, and broken windows.

This had been the scene of so many bad memories, the months on the picket line in the cold and rain and snow, the arguing with plant guards who were just trying to do their job, the tears of hopelessness at night as the world seemed to crumble and a way of life passed them by.

He had broken a few of those windows himself, in anger and desperation, and now could see the construction rigs sitting in the extensive parking lot, waiting for tomorrow morning when this monstrosity would come down, and they would not mourn her one bit, not one second…

He moved to the door, and reaching though a broken pane of glass, opened the lock, held out his hand for her, and entered. She was plainly worried about this, and he came close, held her as he always did, brushed one gentle kiss onto her forehead and told her “One last look around before we condemn this place to hell”.

They walked to the changing area where they had shared a quick embrace before going to their separate stations every morning, past the cafeteria where they would have lunch together very rarely as they worked different stations in the plant, out to the paint shop where she had gone every day.

At times she had hated the repetition that the job demanded, but now she missed the security of the paycheck at the end of the week, the voices of her friends every morning, the bridge games on Saturday night with co-workers who had long since moved away. She would not miss the work, but she would miss them.

Out to the line where he had spend so many years on so many models putting the finishing touches on each car.

There was a light in between the hanging chains, and she pulled at his hand fearing a security guard who would think they came here to damage what was to be destroyed tomorrow morning. He assured her that any guard would be in the same position they were in and would understand completely.

They went towards the light, and coming around the corner she saw an assembly stand with the checkered tablecloth from their kitchen thrown over it.

Two chairs were stationed around the stand, raised on wooden boxes to provide a convenient height. On the table was the storm lantern from the garage, casting a yellow light on the two plates, the good silver from her mother, and the two lunch boxes they had carried every day, two cans of coke beside two wine glasses, and one red rose, her favourite.

He turned to her, and putting one finger under her chin, gently lifted her lips to his.

“This is the spot I was working when I first saw you, the day you did replacement work on this line. I have never forgotten that moment, and I never will. I am not sure whether I fell in love right at that second, or whether it took a minute or two to sink in, but I just knew that somehow we were meant to be together.”

“You have been with me through the thick and the thin, through three wonderful children who will never have to work in this hellhole, and one wonderful life that makes it all seem worthwhile.”

“I just wanted to come here one last time, to celebrate you, and the ceremony of our life that seemed so humdrum at the time, but was just the fabric on which you sewed the pattern of our love.”

“I adore you for each stitch and will continue to for the rest of my days”

As he reached out his hand and led her over to the table, soft music came over the crackly P.A. system, the waltz that they had danced to at their wedding. Now she realized how he knew the security guard would understand. It must be Johnson on duty tonight.

She reached over and held his hand very tightly, the steady support of her life, and looking up realized that he had turned hell into a palace just for her.

From Polyanna

April 29th, 2010

I read this in a letter I had written over a year ago and recognized the precursor to “One hundred miles away from water”. It is obviously the same dream in my head yet expressed differently

There is a hill on the edge of a mountain in a land of enchantment. The perfect place to sit and look into deep valleys and black rivers. The perfect place to reach out a hand and touch the soul of one you love.

Over the hill is an umbrella of animal clouds, elephants and crocodiles and who knows what that one is. They shade the hot sun for minutes at a time, playing hide and seek with the light, cooling the warm afternoon, bringing her closer each time.

If they look closely they can see the rivers leading down to the Mediterranean, although only glimpses of the vast sea can be viewed from this distance and it is only the great height that makes it visible at all.

From out of the backpack comes a small cold canteen with the ice that was inside this morning thawed but still cold. Snuggled up inside the towel, wrapped around the canteen, is a small bottle of champagne, kept cool by the thawing ice, and calm by the large towel. He pops the cap of the champagne as if it were a beer and pours half a glass of cold water and half a glass of champagne into the canteen’s drinking cup. Turning, he offers the mixture to her, while putting the towel around her shoulders, to cool them from the sun, and warm them against the afternoon wind that is beginning to flow down the sides of the mountain.

A smile from her is all it takes to warm him against the winds, and he waits until she has finished drinking before pouring himself some of the mixture.

It is not far back to the mountain retreat that she found on the internet, and charmed him into reserving, so they can afford to just relax and enjoy the view. It is every bit as spectacular as the waiter had promised, and appeared as deserted as he had described… The man deserved a big tip tonight, for while the tourists viewed old villages with tourist shops full of tourist goods, the lovers celebrated the land and the beauty and finding of each other.

They would walk back soon, but not quite yet….