Friday 30 May 2008

This Morning

In a section of their own called "Long Story Short" or dispersed among five other sections of a manuscript called Natural Causes--six Stan Still songs will go one way or the other. But's that for later, after I tell you about the potential tenants' revolt here in my apartment building.

Apparently what is happening is that my zealous pursuit of rock dove eradication has multiplied their presence on other people's balconies. The balcony straight north, for instance, presents a new skyline: pile of dung next to the barbecue.

Just now when I threw my bag of household garbage into the dumpster, I heard a voice coming from any of five half-open windows or balcony doors. "Hey buddy. Carry your share of the pigeon load, why don't you."

("Rock doves," some other voice yelled, correcting the first. "But I agree about the load.")

It's getting a bit tense. Anyone I meet on the stairs looks at me like I'm the sherrif or something. And all because I've kept my mornings free of rock doves and their cooing, so that I may better hear the busses idling loudly across the alley.

Saturday 24 May 2008

A Page of Family History

Neither my sister Susan nor I, browsing through some family histories last weekend, remembered knowing that our grandfather's parents and 3 siblings were buried in Regina. None of them had lived much of their lives there. But we found Robert and Mina (short for Jemima), the parents, with one of their sons, added 25 years later, buried right beside them.

Like all families, ours carries a number of oddities, too many to mention here (except for the tall guy named Shorty).

I've been thinking it might be fun to explore the stories, maybe give them to Stan Still, a character I've visited lately. I want to keep the garb of fiction in full swirl if do get at those stories--that a nod to my sense that maybe I was a tad too free with family stories in pieces in My Human Comedy.

Fiction or not, most them are rural in setting. I suppose I'd risk tripping on nostalgia or other forms of dogma if I or Stan went on and on about buns, roads, countertops--all of it coated with dust.

So the thing to do, maybe, is start at the gravestones, work back.

Saturday 17 May 2008

afternoon rock saturday dove

Barring catastrophe, this will be my last rock dove entry. I'm about to declare my place cured.

Still, earlier today I spotted--at an angle of about 100 degrees left of where I'm looking right now--a familiar shadow: rock dove 134b2, landing on my windowsill. He was scrawnier than I remember, twice as desperate. I gave him a split-second rest then shooed him away with a snip of my brand new scissors.

Time to roll back the netting for good or tomorrow.

Thursday 15 May 2008

back to the rock doves

This morning I'm feeling a tad exposed. Just washed my windows, for one thing. One of my sisters is dropping in tonight, for another (but that's a small one). I'm starting to dig into my Stan Still poems and songs--that must be the main thing.

Not quite. What exposes me most is the removal of anti-rock dove netting out on my balcony. Right now--prime mid-morning over the commerce of the alley, for the rock doves--I'm here at the keyboard, when I should be out there with my prod and my traps in case "Sylvia" or "Ben" happen by.

(I should explain: I'm the one who removed the netting so I can sit out there and my sister can.)

Every five minutes or so I go out and rattle a bucket around or knock over a broom. It's just one person, but I'm doing my bit.

Wednesday 7 May 2008

Hour and a Half to Game Time

During the forthcoming literary salon at Katherine Lawrence's house, Brenda Schmidt and I share the billing. There's talk of questions, something like Why and how do you use sports in your poems? or something like that.

To answer, I'll tell them about right now, when it's less than two hours to game time--the second outing of Love Story, the ball team made up of from 6 to 25 friends, workmates, kids, friends of kids, and others. (That reminds me, the buggers had better bring their ten bucks, their share of the cost of organizing this band of line drive and hard field artists.)

We won last night, but can we win tonight? Will those liners continue to elude the hands of would-be fielders? Will we make it through seven innings without serious injury (such as that broken nail Luba sustained up in Edmonton years ago, causing her to miss the rest of the season and part of the next)?

Carla, the librarian, who said today I'm pumped for tonight--will second base continue to serve as her personal dancefloor?

To find out, check tomorrow's post. For now, I'm going to pick up Tom at work--so far he's the slugger of the team--and head over to the diamond.

Monday 5 May 2008

Glove Story

Nothing starts summer for me like a game of backgammon while I wait for the sun to warm the balcony on my west side, which will happen in an hour (give or take a couple of weeks).

First ballgame tomorrow. Glove Story, is the name of the team. A collection of sons, fathers, young women, friends, spouses, and remnants of ballteams past. Looks like I'm the oldest on the squad, having already claimed infield work only, since I can no longer see home plate from deep right field.

And I'm looking forward to my rendezvous at a literary salon in Saskatoon with Brenda Schmidt, whose Cantos from Wolverine Creek has lately made it all the way to my inner chamber at bedtime. (It's a book of poems that will rock you in your tracks.)

But first, the balcony (unless I can get hold of Lucy to go throw some frisbee). I'll have to peel back the perimeter of my rock dove defenses.