Saturday, December 10, 2005


Along with 'sundry' one of my most favourite words. Anticipatory word. My wood-stove shop tells me today that they are all sold out of the woodstove I want, the factory can't keep up with the orders. People who never wanted to burn a matchstick in their lives now want to burn wood due to, yeah, oil - both price (now) and shortage (coming). So I'm feeling it. I do have an old old woodstove, Enterprise made it but the oven has no rack and it seeps ash in from its rusty corner. Plus no one seems able to cut wood to fit it and I may have to resort to what Doreen up village did and buy my own chain saw. What a sight that would be. Meanwhile, I'll make do and maybe shop further for one. I just want a little one.
I hear great things of something called a Russian oven which entails building an oven of ceramic blocks, thing is it heats your whole house on one log of wood. Expensive though. $5000 or $6000 and only one or two professionals who can build it on the entire east coast.
Reading Alan Bennett - 'Untold Stories', he has such a gift for writing, even though he struggles like the rest of us writers and writes everything long hand. Unlike me, ten years younger than him, he missed out on the whole technological transformation of the globe. Am I ever grateful that I got in under the wire. I absolutely adore the web, the internet, file exchange, digital cameras, ditto phones, palm pilots, printing my own photos and cards, email every day to friends, research and on and on. This has to remain in the public domain, like water, like education, like health care, like heritage sites, like old buildings and old forests, like child care and some of these are pipe dreams I know but we have to have all of it for us, the common folks. And I'd put same sex marriage in there too. What is up people's noses on that issue anyway?? I can never understand it. Ever. I get along better with my own sex and with gay men than I ever do with those mysterious beings of the opposite sex, apart from my brothers whom I sometimes don't understand either. Are men so simple really? Sex and food? That's it? It can't be.....tell me it ain't so....

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Gaia is shrugging off the war zones

I feel it, I can't describe it.
There is a resolution to the current mess.
Although I'm not pleased about the Canadian election.
I feel we're doin' quite fine here with our surplus and mini-scandals.
We're not torturing people so we can't be really bad.
But it feels like Iraq is going to be set free.
I know, it's hard to sort it all out because the lies are so brazen, the lies are so big that they almost sound believable. WE DON'T TORTURE!!!
It's a larf, it's all a larf.
But not for the recently bombed baby-corpses and their relatives.
Take care of your own messes, little George, there is so much kaka in your own bathroom, stop trying to clean up others. Out, out, brown spot!!
Writing writing writing.
Which means I'm back on the rock.
Back where my heart is, my hope is, my soul lives here permanently now. The body has to leave it now and again and earn some mini-dollars in Toronto.
Weather magnificent, 11 plus most days. Walks by the shore, looking at the bald eagles and of all things snow-lynxes.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Thanksgiving Weekend.

A time of evaluation and gratitude - and as I've been taught by the wise, giving thanks for all the things that don't cost money. The non-material.
(1)Canada - my beloved country of choice where I became all that was inside me.
(2)Universal health care
(5)All the facets of my soul yet unfolding.
(6)Friendships and my chosen families.
(10)The magic that is Newfoundland
(11)Walks by the lake
(12)The dog,Ansa, who found me.
And so much more, my cup runneth over.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Misplaced:Reward offered:My sense of Humour

I have to stop reading all my news fixes. I really do. I am getting skewed into something grim and pugnacious, wearing an intensity about life that is moulding my jaw into a forbidding clench. Making my conversations sprinkle and spit with rage against the cretinous spawn, DUI, operating the U.S. government.

I am nervous, like the hoary old analogy of the elephant and the mouse in bed together. The elephant rolls over and the mouse gets crushed. That's us poor Canadians, complete schizophrenics, on one hand loving when we get noticed (hey, the RCMP from Vancouver were first into New Orleans!)and grateful when we're not (hey, they never mentioned all the help we gave them after 9/11, who needs the idiots anyway, we like our low profile!) Reminds me of the relationship Ireland had with England when I was growing up. Always feeling less than, who needs them noticing us, oh cripes, they noticed us, watch out for a repeat of history!

Our water here is on the line as are our rich Alberta oil sands and our lumber. We monitor the elephant carefully. Is it moving over in the bed? Is the trumpeting getting louder?

Can one imagine a New Orleans happening in Canada, say even in our most disadvantaged black closest-to-a-ghetto area, the Jane Finch corridor here in Toronto? Informal poll, taken by me. A heartfelt "Never" from all, a few tears from some. "Never". "Oh thank God, never."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A post-carbon long emergency?

The penny isn't dropping yet with many, many media types. So many pennies. The true cost of Katrina, the coming impact of Ophelia, the billions still being awarded to highway contracts (Do we have to scream RAIL, you idiots, RAIL, or would that alarm the motor-making corporations too much?)the millions of homeless, the AIDS crisis in Africa, I could go on and on and on. But I'll stop. I can only deal with me and my stuff. First on my agenda is a wind turbine on my hill in Newfoundland. Getting off the grid. I cannot install this fast enough. And meanwhile, we all go on, waiting for Black Tuesday, the coming apocalypse on the US Stock Market. Heating Oil and Natural Gas prices for the coming winter season? Will people die as a result of the frigid winter with no heat?
Perhaps this needs to become a blog of what I am doing in preparation for the coming Unrapture.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Equalization for all?

Post From Toronto On September 9th, 2005
I was reduced to tears by a picture of a putrid corpse floating publicly in fetid water in what used to be New Orleans. Such disregard for the dignity of a human being. So redolant of the current dictatorship and its policies. Utter and complete disdain for the suffering of Louisana and Iraq. BUT the upside may be around the corner, at the enormous cost of so many senselessly lost lives. I have a dim, but slowly brightening, hope that perhaps this will be the end of global terrorization by the current regime in the USA.

A Katrina march and occupation of a DC mall is planned for 9/11, Cindy continues to do her accountability tour. Gas prices are through the roof. And if one believes in Gaia as I do, that the earth is a self-healing entity unto itself, our global warming caused mainly in part by carbon emissions, will start to regress.

Yes, these are the end of the old days of endless shopping for one side of the world and hard-scrabble digging for food and water for the other, I firmly believe. But this is a good thing. We can no longer sustain our way of life on this poor over-heated, over-populated, mostly impoverished planet of ours.

The one percent who live in such obscene luxury and distance from reality are now made accountable for the death and destruction and torture suffered by so,so many. Back to the early days of small sustainable communities where we will all have our appointed tasks to contribute to the well being of the whole and material wealth is considered an abberration.

I must remember to keep hope as a small flickering light within even when all about me seems to have none. Gaia. Yes.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Justaposition of day to day living

In conversation with an American tourist and his wife travelling around Cape Spear, the most easterly point of North America.....He voted for Bush twice, but is beginning to have a wee bit of a doubt. Condemns Cindy Sheehan for "betraying" her son. He was a military man himself. Somehow I don't think this is the average American. I met a few at the beginning of July who travel through the USA all the time and everybody they talked to in casual conversation, and there were thousands, did not vote for the moron. They honestly felt the 2004 election was rigged from the get-go. No audit trail. And what is this Electoral College business anyway? Why don't they shift to the parliamentary system and put a ceiling on the amount you can spend in campaigning? Why isn't there a Question Period? No system is perfect. But some are more perfect than others and work for the people and not the corporations.

My back door is being replaced here and I look at the framework of the house, the very bones of it, so to speak, and am amazed at the simple way it was constructed. Built to last. The diagonal boards fitted tightly so nothing would warp or shift. The house stays perfectly straight and has for a very long time. I cannot imagine in a million years this safe dwelling being bombed beyond recognition and yet this is what is happening in Iraq on a daily basis. I contrast my life here with a report out of Baghdad, there were 1100 bodies admitted to the morgue yesterday, some destroyed beyond recognition. They were built to last too. And now they are piled one on top the other, over a hundred of them women, nearly all of them innocent bystanders. Bringing freedom to Iraq. Destruction and grief. I mentally put myself in their shoes, living in fear all the time, looking suspiciously at every one....imagining a bomb coming out of nowhere and taking my world away. It is unconscionable that we are visiting this horror on another country we have no business being in while sitting in comfort and security thousands of miles away.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

You go Cindy....

And go.....BUT.... Soemthing puzzles me. You are an extremely bright and articulate woman. If you do get a response from the petulant little cretin who is running your country what do you expect it to be? He has proven over and over that he cannot speak without coaching and hidden prompters in his underwear, he is incapable of compassion or even downright decency - calling you "mother" when he is older than you by a decade? Not even knowing your son's name when you met him? You expect reasons from this moron? All the reasons he ever needs are given by the corporations who are feeding off the dead bodies in Iraq, both the Americans, including your son, and the Iraqi mothers and children and other bystanding innocents. These people in your "elected" government are without conscience, Cindy, you will never pry the truth from their lips, they don't even know what the truth is. All they care about is the almighty dollar. Why is there not an impeachment? Why have all the media outlets been bought by the large corporations? News of you is not getting into the mainstream press. There are so few honest journalists, they all have their agendas now - whores of the interests of the few.
The world slides irretrievably into its morass of sludge, all of it toxic. Did you catch the news about Lake Ontario today? Our water will be undrinkable. Hong Kong is pulling all its money out of US and throwing it into Canada - the next oil reserve?
Is the world worth saving Cindy? This hopeless little place with so many starving and others, like your son, dying for greed.
I weep for all the US soldiers, I weep for the countless Iraqis who have died and the ones who suffer under the iron fist of the White House Cretin and his minions or should it be the other way round.
But my heart is with you, I applaud you, I praise your name.
You go Cindy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Crystallizing the ephemeral

I thought long and hard about the above title. A sentence that gathers up twenty or thirty randomly flying words and condenses them. Poetry does that too. Sometimes a short story.
The price of gas is now through the roof and going ever higher. Much depends on gas. Our energy, our way of life. The ephemeral for me has been just that, what are we all selling anyway? I sell accounting, income tax returns for people and corporations from the small to the middle class, a few upper income earners. That business will all collapse, along with the economy. People will say f*** income tax and if they owe will want to keep it, stockpile it. All I could think of today was selling that heap of metal that sits on my tarmac in Toronto, I had thought it a good idea to bring it to Newfounland last year, to assist in moving stuff around. Not a good idea, the thing gobbled up gas at an incredible rate and every trip had to be thought through as it cost so much. So I drove it back last May to sell and acquired a little Echo hatchback, another fine Toyota product which does everything and more. I have put long tables in there, beach umbrellas, one month of laundry, chairs. It doesn't even whimper and begs for more. 700 klicks and up for 40 litres of gas. I am not wallet-feeling the doubling of gas prices yet. But any soul who buys my van will. If I can sell it. If there is any one person out there who thinks oil prices will go down.
So what can I turn my hand to in these strange times. I live for the summer in a village that catches, processes and freights fish. Fish prices are going to sky rocket, the freight charges alone will take care of that. Why are not any of our better-thans in government not advocating the return of rail? The re-laying of track will provide jobs for one and huge environmental relief. These ever widening, and continuing creation, of new highways must stop. Can we not wake up? Is everyone as tired as I am? Where are the young voices, are they silenced? Is the drone in the White House even aware of what is happening to the American economy? Does he know about China, the new super power? Why aren't real people in power? We place the uber wealthy (our own Paul Martin, Tony Blair, Bertie Aherne, Danny Williams, all the Bushlets)in power and expect them to understand us poor joes, the working stiffs, the tiny-pensioned ones and our hard scrabble lives. How can they? Gas prices never worry them. The Smart car dealership was run out of Ireland, it was a big joke for the Celtic Tigerettes, they believe in their rights to their SUVs, Hummers and pool-length Jaguars now.
We are all asleep, right? This is just a bad dream. This is our way of life and nothing can touch it, right?
I'm looking at getting off the grid and knitting some blankets and cutting some wood for the winter.
It's crystal clear to me. Please wake up everyone!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A quieter day

Days without sun are "quiet" to me. The warmth of the sun is "noisy." People hit beaches, voices rise, colours more vivid. My favourite time out here is at sunset. I am uploading a picture to show one facet of our magnificent sunsets. I can't seem to stop taking pictures of our sunsets, they are different and the same.
I finally sorta finished the poem about my voice. I am still not happy with all of it, but very pleased with parts of it.
I have this fabulous deck being built by this incredible man. The deck, known as a "gallery" in Newfie lingo is six feet wide and thirty six feet long. It is not quite finished yet, but getting there within a few hours, I would say, just the curlicues being added, tops of posts. It is a simple deck, straight lines in keeping with the solid lines of the house. Even in its unfinished stages I could hardly keep myself off it. The water is more accessible, the trees more protective, the dog knows her spot already and can move a snout to between the rails to maintain a better bead on the road. The man who is building it is formed like the men my father knew. Men who instinctively know how to build a boat or tell you why your house is always damp or your car is spitting oil, the names of all your trees, the type of birds that fly in them and on and on. There aren't so many of them around now, they are dying off. We are all specialists, and I have an idea for another article, don't I. A world of specialists. We only know about our chosen fields. And more's the pity.
And here's the sorta finished version of the poem:
My Voice

Smothered in sounds of brothers and father,
Squeaking then squashed, lilting then lost
In a sudden shimmer of stage-light.
Rescued by a rugby-playing toy soldier.

Borne like a trophy to a distant land.
Emerging in a few scattered splutters,
Drowned by unshed tears and
The silken, soothing sibilance of whiskey.

Now buried deeper and deeper,
In the squalls of babies, the howls of adolescence.
Lost in the carping criticism
They became. Redeemed yet again

Flickering bravely in the love-light
Flaming stronger and stronger in a grandchild’s eyes.
My long-stilled voice,
Clearing its own throat.

Testing and teasing, not caring what’s pleasing,
Rising and falling, chanting and calling,
In still morning air and star struck nights
As it screams the truth in exultation. MM August 3rd, 2005

I didn't succeed in uploading, I will have to try again.

But is it poetry?

Well, I know it is "free verse". I got to thinking of my mother yesterday. I think of her most days, she has been dead since April 16th, 1971. A long time. She was fifty seven, had been ill with the effects of a malignant melanoma for six years. Having talked to other motherless wains, I don't think we ever get over a mother's death. I write some free verse now and again, but my writing basically is articles for a magazine every couple of weeks or so and the three novels I have written. Well, one completed, on 2/3 of the way there and one about 1/3.
So my poem about my mother is meant to be read aloud, in my voice. It sounds better than it reads, like most songs.

A Bit of Mutton

My mother told me many things,
When breathing deeply of the morning air
As we walked together to First Friday Mass
So our souls would be saved at the last minute.
No matter what we did in between.

Our Lord had promised this, you see.
If we made nine of these First Fridays in a row.
And we did. I don’t remember the masses
I remember our walking and talking
And how we would breathe together.

She would swing her arms and look to the still
Early sky. Breathe, she said, breathe.
It’s good to get the early oxygen into the blood
And leave all the men in the house behind us.
It’s a change for us women to be alone together.

She believed and carried me on the wings
Of her belief in Our Lady first and Our Lord second.
Until the great man behind the red curtain
Told her it was a sin to eat meat on Friday
Even though she was expecting her last.

She was forty-three then, saying she was thirty-nine
And had an irresistible craving for the meat.
She was outraged she told me, that this
Young pup of a priest could tell an aging
Expecting woman her soul was damned.

Forever, she said to me, in spite of the
Nine First Fridays, for eating a piece of meat.
She would burn in hell for all eternity.
How could he know, this young pup,
Of varicose veins and a tired swollen body?

Life is a terrible mystery, girleen,
I don’t know what to make of it at all
I just can’t make sense of him telling me that,
Me old enough to be his mother, that I was
Now damned and going to hell for a bit of mutton?

I got up and walked out of that box so I did.
I did not want the penance or the forgiveness
For this great sin. I walked all the way out the door
And came straight home this past Saturday
And I don’t know why I’m telling you all this.

MM - August 1st, 2005

For me, the poem captures the idiocy of the Catholic Church in Ireland at the time, the precious moments spent between the mother and daughter but most of all the spirit of my mother, dimly realizing something is drastically wrong here and entrusting this knowledge to her fourteen year old daughter. This could not have been shared with a man.

I am struggling with a poem about hearing one's own voice for the first time, shedding the voices of parents and children, siblings and lovers, partners and friends. It is coming together, I continue to work on it.

I have a fear of poetry, mine I mean, as so many people write really bad poetry and insist on giving it to one, not for a critique per se but applause. And the poetry is usually dreadful. And you don't know what to say to them. So I hesitate to offer it, but maybe on a blog someone willl see it and be honest with me.So over and out from The Rock, where each star hovers overhead in its own starlight and that airplane crash in Toronto seems far away, but miraculous nevertheless.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Thoughts from a foggy day on "The Rock"

And for those not "in the know" "The Rock" is Newfoundland where the real world is kept at bay. We like being forgotten. We were even forgotten by the Bushlet himself on the days after 9-11 when we took in all those hundreds of passengers from the planes left adrift and forlorn in the skies. We allowed them to land and housed the masses. The masses do not forget us, in fact they come back here to visit, year after year and in gratitude pay for a new gymnasium for the high school. Bushlet did not even deign to mention our kindnesses. We are grateful for this. We like being off the radar of the shakiest thumb in the west.

Which brings me to whatever is happening in Britain? Loads of lies and U.S. type cover-ups on the killing (8 bullets, people!) of an innocent. A Brazilian. What gives with the trigger happy coppers?

I just finished reading an article in an old New Yorker. Personalizing some of the army deaths - reactions of their families, their army buddies, even the morticians who prepped them for viewing. Which reminds me of the song "Willie McBride" which was written for a nineteen-year-old killed in the war to end all wars. WWI. At least he died for some tangible cause. Do the poor fallen soldiers know that they are dying for the rights of the rest of us to drive an even bigger SUV? Is anybody talking to the families of the women and children being massacred every day in Iraq? Are we personalizing these deaths?

And now I hear that Abu Grahib is more horrendous than what we saw in the photos. The videos are even worse. Torture and abuse of young boys and women. Seems Saddam himself did not sink to quite that level. And now the Rummy arm of the Bushlet deems them unsuitable for the rest of the world to view.

And 60% of the U.S. population in a poll think we are heading for WWIII . That might be the easier, softer way. For as I see it, we are running out of just about everything, oil, energy, food, weather. We had no icebergs in Newfoundland this late spring. First time ever. I flew over the North Pole two years ago and there wasn't much ice. But what do I know. A merely visual observation. But the Bushlet says global warming is not happening, no sirree bob. Hey George, where's the ice? Hiding in your pretzels is it?