Saturday 28 May 2016


I biked by this beauty an hour ago.

Anticipating my poet laureate gig in my hometown this summer I've been checking out boyhood material, most of it stored at memory's place. It's an easy list--what's still with me from my first ten years. 
I lived the next ten about a block from the hydrant. Taking the photo, my back's to the west entrance of Gardiner park, between Gardiner and Anderson. Our family house was 5 Anderson, second from the east end on the right. Original hydrants, now age 60, live themselves a lifetime. As I circled back on my bike to snap this one, I repeated a route I'd taken decades before. It could be these ten years I go into. (See Hillsdale Book.)
I notice that every poet laureate gig comes down to, it seems, what conditions of light have we lived through today. 
Even saying such a thing--that's the hometown talking.

Tuesday 24 May 2016

This Time Around Lake Wascana

When I saw that the legislature resembled a sphinx, I took a photo.

The body waits for its head. The head, in copper so bright, will shame the body.

For a while yet even the dome sits below the apex of a tower crane taking everything down. Not far away, a fountain.

Further south, outside the Mackenzie, we can feel Fafard's calf.

I remembered those photos of Stalinist architecture and thought about Leboldus, though they're not the same.

That brought me to the former City limits, since the fifties part of Hillsdale.

This black and white manhole on page 86 of Hillsdale Book seems to be have been replaced.

Signs said go make the tahini paste.

Go stew the rhubarb.

I sped home

and put my feet up.

Monday 16 May 2016

Day in the Day

People ask me, the poet laureate, what I do all day. Sometimes I'm hard-pressed to answer. "By 'day' do you mean the time before right now?" I said once.
But Giselle had dropped her monkey yesterday into the courtyard closed to all. Nothing spurs the poet laureate more than a grand-daughter in need.
I showed up early, morning traffic duking it out with lilacs. No sign of the monkey.
Yesterday, hearing the story from Giselle's mother, my daughter Emmaline, I hadn't absorbed the courtyard scene. I knew it generally as a grey, concrete pit where nothing grows or breathes or colours. 
I threw my poet laureate's weight around, activating first one circulation desk worker then a second. They initiated a two-pronged plan. I supervised. 
One, call maintenance. Two, security. Somehow, the five of us zeroed in on the monkey, in the hand of the maintenance guy, which re-appeared from a City of Regina garbage can on 12th Avenue. 
He wiped it off and handed it to me, with a "really sorry, really sorry."
Just another morning for the poet laureate. I tuned up three or four pages of a manuscript, planned events for Thursday night and Saturday afternoon.
And beyond: an idea to film the poet laureate's return to his home town in late July or least toss candy to kids during the parade (to be enjoyed from a vintage convertible, say a '65 Chev).
But job one was to hand over the monkey.