Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

THE BURNING SEASON

My house is not mine anymore
It is a dwelling place for flames
My dreams are not mine anymore
They turn to ashes
and smoke
We took all we could take
with us;  a photo album
Father’s Gibson guitar –a few
books –a suitcase full
of clothes –we drove our
station wagon out of town

I ask you; “Does the Devil
have a heart? Does he piss out
fire and brimstone?”
On one side of the highway
green grass –on the other
side -a dark wall of desolation
rising up from the
violated land

All we have left is family
We bind together the chains
Of the people
How we gather our sorrows
breathing in the dust
chased by death that falls
from the sky
The life-giving lightning
deals in destruction
and pain -the burning season
is upon us all

I think of the apocalypse:
how the fiery breath from
God’s lips is moving through
the dry wooden trees
We feel betrayed by the years
we used to love
We used to drink and dance
We used to hear
the laughter of children
Now a wild wind carries
the seed of the holocaust
and throws it down
on our backs
What are we to do but
drive into the setting sun?

Forty thousand
without homes –they follow
the highway down the
spine of the land
to the shining towns of
the South
They go to the North –they are taken
into people’s homes
and given sanctuary

In the evening the camps
are full of firefighters
their skin black and shiny
drinking coffee
In the morning
They return to their work
moving the machinery
digging ditches  -taking axes
and shovels in hand
cutting through the bushes
Above the sky is full of
planes and helicopters
bringing water
Faces covered with scarves
The air is ripe and heavy
with corruption

Once the lakes and forests
were for hunting and fishing
The waters were clear and cold
The fields were full of
strawberries –dandelions grew
on the side of hills
The woods hid secrets
where grouse and small mice
lived –where the owl took
his meal
Now the trees that remain
look like skeleton bones
The trees that remain
sing a funereal song
:A black mass in a church
no man has inhabited

Oh, where will we go?
Where is the rain to wash
Away these memories?
When we return
what will we find?
When the burning season
is over we will feel that
same dream
We will forget and forgive
until after the winter snows
and the spring floods
and it begins again

 

Poem by Lorna Crozier

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/july-16-2017-the-sunday-edition-1.4201674/the-gods-didn-t-warn-us-a-poem-about-the-b-c-wildfires-1.4201678

This morning when I turned my radio on I heard  one of my favorite Canadian authors, Lorna Crozier, read her poem about wildfires. Later today someone read the poem during our Poetry and Pie session at the legion. We listened to Lorna’s frightening depiction of the relentless force of nature that is presently desecrating huge portions of our province.

During the late nineteen-eighties and early-nineties folks in the Fraser Lake area radiated an optimistic and even a joyous attitude. The earth was revolving around the sun, just as it should, and both the sawmill and the mine were spewing out raw materials to be distributed to corporations and consumers around the world.

The Fraser Lake Writer’s group was busy. We writers participated in monthly creative writing exercises, and somewhere along the line, we’d picked up some funding to publish an anthology entitled “Seasonings” (Some people assumed it was a cookbook but the word-processor on the cover should have belied that assumption. Although the salt and pepper shakers, seemingly spewing out letters of the alphabet into the word processor, may have added to the confusion…)

I’m sure Elaine, my friend and fellow writer, remembers the time consuming process of setting up the manuscript, printing, collating, cutting, folding, stapling etc. Her entire family (including the dog) had to put up with piles of paper meticulously stacked and stored on her living room furniture for weeks at a time.

Anyway, the following poem is one of my favorite writings published in our anthology. Joyce Fraser was (and still is) missed by many people in the community. She passed away shortly after moving to Prince George in the late nineteen-nineties.

POEM BY MY DEAR FRIEND JOYCE FRASER- WRITTEN FOR FRASER LAKE WRITERS GROUP IN 1990

TWO SIDES OF A COIN
PART 1

You nurture him so carefully
Provide the best of food,
Make sure his home surroundings
Reflect a happy mood.

Some pre-school education
And lots of care and love
And take him off to Sunday School
To learn of “Him” above.

You see he does his homework,
Rejoice at every “A”
Give him certain chores to do
And also time to play.

He is liked by all his colleagues,
And considered a good sport
Sometimes you get a word of praise
For the way he has been taught

In water sports he soon excelled.
Dives from the highest plank,
Now when his future seems assured
He goes and robs a bank.

PART 2
His childhood was pathetic,
Not even basic care,
His personal environment
Was emotionally bare.

His father was a criminal,
With no apparent skill,
His mother embraced alcohol
And frequently was “ill.”

He learned at quite an early age,
Weakness invited scorn,
And developed ways of coping,
Thus, an angry youth was born.

Although he was intelligent,
He couldn’t fit in school
And acted out frustrations
By breaking every rule.

Along with other misfits,
Delinquents and the like,
He hung around and heard the songs
From the crowd around the mike.

Deep down beneath that hardened shell
A rhythm struck a chord,
And somewhere in that misfit’s heart
His first ambition soared.

“Hey man, just show me how that’s done,
I’ll come and sit nearby
If I could only play like that,
I’d really get a high.”

With addictive zeal he practiced,
And soon his very name
Was immediately synonymous
With talent and with fame.

But the hard times were remembered,
They could not be erased,
And so, among philanthropists,
His name was highly placed.

By now a famous Rock Star
With wealth beyond his dreams,
He proved that what a person is,
Is not always what he seems.

He never knew why life turned round,
Could find no one to thank,
But he always put up bail
For a youth who robbed a bank.

[Note: this poem always makes me cry]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night I had an abnormal experience which almost had me calling 911.

I had slept only a couple of hours when I awoke choking. That’s a fairly normal routine for me as I have post-nasal congestion quite often – especially while lying down. [Wish I was a horse – could sleep standing up.]

It was after I sat up that this burning sensation in my throat and down through my chest started in- it eased up periodically but my chest still hurt. An inner shaking – or quaking- fairly familiar for me when I’m fighting off symptoms of a cold or flu, added to the symptoms, which I thought might be a heart attack.

The soreness followed by waves of the burning sensation continued so I got up and checked my blood pressure on the monitor. The numbers were all over the place and when they registered three digits for both the bottom and top numbers, I swallowed half an aspirin and a blood pressure pill. After awhile the numbers improved and I felt a bit better – not great but better. I shut the window above my bed and decided I was going to survive the night. It was probably the flu.

I recalled having those same burning sensations one time while strolling through a field of daisies. I already knew that I was allergic to the white daisies that grew everywhere, so I had chalked it up to that.

I had also developed chronic fatigue syndrome shortly after we’d arranged moth balls around the roof of our house where some bats had made themselves at home.

But there were no daisies or moth balls anywhere near.

This morning I peeked outside and breathed in wood smoke fumes. I was aware that the fumes caused havoc with my sinuses. What I was inhaling seemed to irritate the same parts of me that had spazzed up so painfully last night.

Tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment. I will learn whether it had been a heart attack, the flu or merely a nasty reaction to wood smoke fumes.

ps. Turns out I’m fine as frog’s hair – musta been the smoke in the air.

FRASER LAKE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS -August 11th and August 12th 2017

The following is a link to our newly created website.

https://fraserlakefestival.com/

Fraser Lake Arts Festival 2017 is scheduled for August 11th and 12th.

On Friday evening August 11, there will be a musical/ dining event at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall -165 Chowsunket St- to kick-off this year’s event.

Opening ceremonies will be at 10 am on Saturday, August 12. Entrance to the festival grounds is along  highway frontage on east side of town.The art gallery, artists’ display tables, workshops and demos will be inside the spacious arena area of the Fraser Lake Recreation Complex. The stage and outdoor exhibits will be on the nearby soccer field area.

All Northern and North-Central BC Interior artists, artisans, photographers, fabric artists, potters, wood carvers etc. as well as First Nations artists and artisans, are invited to help make this year’s show even bigger & better! There will also be opportunities for artists to facilitate workshops and demos for both adults and children.

The Saturday evening concert with professional musicians will be onstage at White Swan Park (on the lakeside of town) There are a number of free pull-through campsites available at the park. No admission charge. Featured photograph of Lakeside Concert 2016 by Fern Ray-Weber.

We will also be inviting musicians, poets, vendors of homemade food, (with Food Safe) and other handcrafted goods to perform and/or set up in the outdoor area.

 

 

Tonight I came across this beautiful poem from Rumi.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”

“What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.”

“Do you know what you are?
You are a manuscript oƒ a divine letter.
You are a mirror reflecting a noble face.
This universe is not outside of you.
Look inside yourself;
everything that you want,
you are already that.”

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

“What you seek is seeking you.”

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”

“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”

“Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?”

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor…Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

“This is love: To fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”

Last Poem In April

LAST POEM IN APRIL

I think that poets should be heard
Who speak in syncopated words
They trim and twist each phrase they use
Trying hard to not abuse
The language that is their device
To convey thoughts which are precise.

I wish that those whose speech is wrought
With sentences containing naught
An idea or an aspiration
To capture my imagination
One thing I think would do the trick:
Recite for me a limerick!

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