Tuesday, 8 December 2015


Is the Dalai Lama optimistic, she asked,
or just woefully naive
We are sipping green tea at her favourite
teahouse and all I can think
Is how much I want a Grande Macchiato
from Starbucks
And how disappointed in me she would be
if she knew...

Well, I counter, wondering if she thinks of me
as being naive or even optimistic
Amused, or maybe bemused, to hear her say
rapidly, no way, not either.
What then? You're a realist, she scoffs...
Do you even believe in the Dalai Lama?

Stung, I am surprised at how I must present,
especially to this one, who I thought knew me
And the me she knows, is quite different from
the me I think of myself as...
The ever-hopeful, even-somewhat-naive-when-
I-should-know-better after all these years
That one—I must be giving off quite a different vibe

I try for lightness, ask her how could anyone not
believe in the Dalai Lama?
Wouldn't that be a little like not believing in Buicks?
She looks at me, clearly perplexed.
Ah, a reference too dated for one as young as this
neophyte...I change it up
Ask her, wouldn't it be a little like not believing in
your iPhone, or American Idol
Now she is looking at me pityingly...oh God...

She tells me patiently she gets it...of course iPhones
exist , so the Dalai Lama must also
But American Idol -- does that still come on?
We both have a good laugh over that...my bad.

Just how cynical do you think I am, I cannot resist
asking her, it seems.
She frowns as if giving my question careful consideration
Then asks me if I really do not intend to ever march
for peace again
Her face is so open, her hope so vivid.
I had forgotten the last time we marched,
how discouraged I was at the low turnout,
and how the bombing in Afghanistan continued unabated,
sending four young men home in flag-draped boxes, that very same day.
I had probably said some pretty harsh things...
And I probably meant them...after all, I'd been marching
for peace and nuclear disarmament for decades
Lots of the time it did feel futile
However, being faced with her hopeful face, and the
prospect of dashing her future
I found myself angry. Angry at myself. How dare I take away
her youthful exuberance and hope?

I do remember, I told her.
A tired old lady's words that shouldn't count
for everything...or anything.
I do think peace is within our grasp but I also believe we
need people like you
Young energetic people who won't give up on the idea,
who keep marching, and agitating, and saying no to war,
voting in better governments, insisting on better everything.

Suddenly she was grinning and caught me mid-sentence
What? I asked her.
There, she said. That's the you I remember. I want her back.
Do you think she's available? And right then, I knew...
She'd just be on hiatus...she's back and she's going nowhere
but forward.
Let's march.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Book Planner to take away self publishing pain

I took this short webinar from Joel Friedlander and was easily convinced to become a charter member of his latest offering "Book Planner". This is not Friedlander's first publishing rodeo. He knows his way around is all I'm saying and his advice is sound, so I had no qualms about accepting his excellent offer and advice.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015



Besides being artistically
brilliant were you also
hugely insane?
I can't help wondering this
because of some of the things
you managed to pull off ...
Like your self-portrait
when you drew yourself
holding a reflecting globe
holding a reflecting globe
 - talk about something
schizoid,  or split.

And then this one,
with your one hand
drawing the other
drawing the other
drawing the other
and so on - over and over
And not clumsily in the least.

There's not a miscue or a wrong
line anywhere; it's very convincing
as if you're doing it in real time
Were you? I wish you were
still around to ask ...

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Mornings are
she can't sell
herself first gear
before the sun's
full up and has
a theory
that coffee,
fresh ground
doesn't kick
in until after

Her buddy from
the back lane
sneaks through
the trees there,
past the
school's yard
then her's,
crowded with
a stealth
of demons.

He catches
her unaware
even though
she knows
he's coming.
He always
but still has
the ability
to scare
the bejesus
out of her,
and leave
her trembling
long after.

Saturday, 26 September 2015


Coming late to the party indeed...this poet aspirant is right now touring the eastern seaboard and trying to have meet ups (some of them Mod-Povian) as I go. This is my third term as an enrollee, first time as a CTA. My educational and employment background(s) are equally complicated and checkered and I have been known to say that I'm a recently retired mental health consumer but the longer I manage to stay out of the bin, the less recent it becomes (and that's a really good thing, trust me).

I'm a Canadian originally from Scarborough, Ontario (lived a block from the famous Scarborough Bluffs) but lived in various parts of Canada before at last settling in Edmonton - Canada's most northern  provincial capital - at 53 degrees latitude, Albertans like to joke that we live on the lip of the Arctic Circle (at least this one does).

Married to the love of my life for almost half a century - we love to spend our time traveling now as much as possible - and he indulges my passion for writing and this trip we're on now is all about that ... I know how lucky I am.

I am really happy to be part of ModPo in general, and the CTA community in particular, and will try to be more of a presence as time goes on. Traveling and commenting has turned out to be a bit more difficult than I  thought it would be. Thanks for your interest Sean (your shirts are wonderful btw).

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Muse Musings

Bargaining with the muse proves to be
Many a poet's undoing
For harsh is she and blood her
Price, accepting nothing
Less, she'll flay your soul
Lay bare your thoughts
And still not



Sunday, 6 September 2015


She fell into the day, a pond filled with yesterday's
friends and loose teeth
Struggled to her feet stamping through old money
and a ripped skirt that didn't fit ever
Shrugged on her jeans wondering about her DNA
and her other genes and that bridge
And if the signals in that part of her brain's tower were
firing on all circuits or if that poor organ
Had gone on strike for good and all, or if she was
thinking of some other cells.

Monday, 31 August 2015


Autumn strokes the days,
gentles dusk with chill
And trees begin to don
their frocks fall-fine
Colour is preeminent;
ask maples, oaks, or
silver birches.

But the showiest of all,
the loveliest say some
Start slowly, barely
noticeable at first
As if lit from within,
the sumac glows
deep crimson,
like embers in a fire

It takes real frost
to spread the scarlet,
compliment the gentle tree,
blush it carmine to its roots.
When deep frost hits,
the sumacs breathe
collective sighs and then,
they are ablaze.

Fierce  flames
burn hot to the touch,
it seems; but only briefly,
like actual flames
cannot sustain for long
they're gone too soon.

A week, two at the most,
they fade to dullest wine,
their death's complete
And herald winter,
waiting in the wings.

Sun.Sept.7.2008 (revised August 31.2015)

Sunday, 21 June 2015


The woman holds
a basket woven from
spiders-web silk.
It's filled
with traditions
and she wanders
the sleeping city
trying to remember
the architecture
of love,
the customs
that combine
to make a life.
She feels close
to grasping
the notion,
but before
her mind
can get a fix—
it separates
and she is
left tremulous
with despair.

Monday, 15 June 2015


Alarming poems,
thirsty for gossip,
slink from Dante's
storm drains
Creep through
streets, dark
with secrets,
to where poets
famous, and not,
gather in salons.

They meet
to speak,
their tongues
bathed in bronze
cognac, keen
as razors.
Pretend to think
loftily, mouth
ideas of import.

Monday, 18 May 2015


Surprisingly, I find myself missing you these days
Me, who was almost relieved when you died
Although, bearing a back-pack filled with blood
and carrying a cup of your tears
I distracted myself for almost two years
Not wanting to put either down, nor spill a drop
on the ground

But, taking a stroll by the lake last night, noting
the ice skinning the surface.
An overwhelming feeling of loss lay over me
as geese veed  above,  headed south
Another winter's settling in and you're not here
but that's not all of it
Your grand-daughter's gone also, and with her,
the boys are gone too

Oh—you probably know, from where-ever you
watch—and I know that you do
They're not where you are, they still breathe
Do you know that she just doesn't want us in
their lives any more
It's going on three months since we've been
in touch, and yes, I'm dying a bit more
every day

Walking along the shore last night, I wanted
so much to talk to you
Realizing as I did, that what I really wanted was
for you to still be here
If you were, I'm quite sure, our girl would never
have done this thing that's she's doing
I don't think she could have been this cruel if
she knew you would know

I scanned the skies, emptied of geese, searching
for some sign of you, I think
Something to give me a hint, some suggestion -
some something to tell me
what I could do, what I should do, that might
make a difference, might get through
to my girl - help her see what she's doing,
what's happening to all of our lives
the longer this impasse goes on

Mom , I know that we didn't always see eye to eye—
an understatement to say the least
And this probably feels like I only want you because
I need something
But when did that ever happen?
Did I ever need anything from you?
Not that I'd admit, I don't think...
I learned to dislike you so much...alright, it was
close to hate by the end
Maybe this is the one good thing that will come
out of the estrangement...
I will find a way back to you.

Monday, 13 April 2015


S.E.Ingraham was raised a block from the Scarborough Bluffs, in Ontario, Canada. She originally dreamt of being a queen when she grew up, albeit a queen who was also a writer. When Ingraham realized chances of her becoming queen were slight, she realized there were quite a number of other things she wanted to do and she started a list.

Scarborough Bluffs, Ontario, Canada (childhood and teens)
Edmonton, Alberta,Canada (adulthood and now)

She had a bucket list before bucket lists were fashionable; she's carried it around since before she was a teenager:

pretend to be crazy, become a sharp-shooter, become a model, drive a big rig for a living, work closely with kids, live in Paris, stay in a castle, meet James Bond, spend a night in Penn station, try to get arrested in a foreign country, work with  animals that need saving, ride an elephant, become an expert horse-woman, become published, live all over Canada, ride in a hot-air balloon, touch a killer whale, learn to fly-fish, stay on one of the Salt Spring Islands, work with one of the Canadian premiers , meet a star like Tom Jones, live in Provence...

Occasionally things get crossed off the list
and sometimes, rarely, but sometimes -
something gets added. She's pretty discrete about
what's been crossed off - would you be surprised
to learn it's over 90% of the list?

Sunday, 15 March 2015


Lately the plague of monkeys I keep in the blue hut
on the bridge of regrets
has been making an unholy racket every night by
rustling their dry nest bits
and making their chrrrr chrrrr chrrrr noises, the ones
they've been making since just after they were born.
A sweet  enough sound - but loud once they all get going.

They must be agitated because mostly they're silent
and it's just the African Grays out on the rotting deck
that can't keep their blasphemous mouths shut, who
I have to worry about
But as long as I keep a coverlet over the cage at night,
they're kind enough to be silent.

Now - it's both monkeys and parrots - some someone put
a huge tear in the bird cloth
and no matter how carefully I fix it over the cage, it
falls open every night
and I awake to one or both of them, squawking:
"fuck fuck fuck - hear me? hear me?  fuck fuck fuck".

Of course, I hear them - I'd have to be bloody deaf
to not hear them; even with earplugs I hear them.
And I'm sure everybody thinks I taught them the words
but I don't think so, or if I did, I don't remember.
I wish I could be shut of the whole lot but they're my
family, you can't just rid yourself of family
You have to keep family...that's the rules.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Gearing up for Found Poetry Review's April 2015...and other April Poetic Happenings

April promises to be super-crazy this year and I'm hoping to have this new blog up and running for all the fun I've signed on for...

Let's see...there's the aforementioned (in the title) Found Poetry Challenge...

There's the usual Poetic Asides Poem-A-Day Challenge that's always really fun and a great way to reconnect with poets I've written with for over half a decade, plus meet a whole new bunch of people.

Then locally, we help celebrate national poetry month (April is celebrated all over North America as such, and maybe other places as well, I not sure; it's something I need to check out) by holding the Edmonton Poetry Festival - a week of readings, workshops, performances ... just a fantastic celebration of all things poetic. We usually have guest poets that come from other parts of Canada, and sometimes from other parts of the world...every year there's a different theme and this year it's "Poetry Moves" - it will be interesting to see what that turns out to involve.


The sting from making excuses—over—
No more belonging to clubs of little consequence
Those that knock the wind from high hills,
collapsing kite strings, and hope.

Once forced to plant her feet wide and squarely,
like a pugilist's,
she dared them to try and drive over her,
to try to trample her dreams,
to smash images she'd created,
once she'd built bridges and towers.

Her architecture reflected the strength created
with hands made strong from kneading bread.