Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

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.



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.

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]








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