Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

Archive for April, 2021

ODE TO FRASER LAKE

(RECYCLED FROM ABOUT 20 YEARS AGO)

ODE TO FRASER LAKE

How do I love thee, O small town edged against the northern wilderness and bisected by grey pavement that stretches east and westward like well-chewed gum? Let me count thy ways:

THE LAKE: Its azure and indigo waters sparkle and splash whenever the wind blows. Silhouette shapes of ducks, geese and swans bob back and forth on the waves. Quiet surfaces reflect lush green leaves in summer, laced with crimson and gold in the fall. And in winter a solid mass of white with occasional dark flecks of children and dogs.

THE MOUNTAIN: Its protuberance along the highway indicates home to its travellers. The pine covered bulge behind the ball-field looms skyward like a prickly pillow. The town rests below with neatly folded sheets, blankets and towels for buildings.

The sprawling structure in the mountain’s shadow houses sheets of ice for curling and a larger rectangle for hockey and skating. The building hums with activity from October ‘til April. It then rests sedately, except for summer weddings when whole families dance the daylight hours away until the sun sets at 10 o’clock and the children are ready for bed.

THE PAST: In my mind’s eye I visualize First Nations people skimming across the water in spruce bark canoes or following the shoreline in cumbersome cottonwood dugouts laden with freshly netted salmon. Sometimes they are accompanied by white fur traders such as Simon Fraser, after whom the lake and the town were later named. At the turn of the twentieth century, large clinker built boats straggle in, filled to capacity with survey crews and supplies. These are followed by the first few hardy pioneers who have ridden in through the bush on the backs of horses.

Once when the Nechako River was high, a steam-powered sternwheeler from Fort George laden with trade goods made its way up the steep tributary to the lake, to triumphantly churn up the length and breadth of its waters. After the railroad came through, settlement grew upon the hillside, above what is now White Swan Park. For more than half a century, a sawmill cluttered the waterfront with booms of logs and stacks of lumber. In 1965 Fraser Lake became the chosen town-site for the Endako molybdenum mine. People swarmed in from all parts of the world to work. They helped construct a brand new community alongside the freshly-paved highway.

Guilt and Anxiety (musings from 2011- before I got REALLY old)

As I embark upon

The closing segment

Of life here on Earth

(Seventy-two years since birth)

My long awaited journey to

The birthplace of my Faith

Approaches

But

My concience reproaches

Husband’s recovered

From health issues

But if I really loved him

I’d stay home.

Although there’s money in the bank

And gas in the tank

Of our thirty-thousand dollar car

Money don’t go far…..

But

You can’t take it with you

And why would you want to?

Got a roof o’er our heads

We’re fairly well fed

Reasonably healthy

And

If we were wealthy

We’d have to pay that darn tax!

Might as well use up some slack

So

Off we go, my daughter and I

To Israel before I die.

Thirty-Nine Years Ago

At 2 pm on April 8th, 1982,
Thirty-nine years ago
I snuffed out
My love
The one whom I had created
I now cremated
Never to be found again

At her graveside
I paid homage to
Her gentle curves,
Her enticing scent
Which I’d thought
Was well worth
The money I’d spent
I’d swaddled and
Cradled her
Every waking moment
Since I was sixteen
A vulnerable teen

Now my health was
Deteriorating
And it was infuriating.
The one I had craved
Was in her grave
Along with all the other
Cigarette butts.

Fish For Breakfast

Every once in awhile
I’ll have fish for breakfast
and eggs for supper.
I’ll give into an urge
to buck the system;
the everyday rituals
imposed by the past.
I’ll set out my cutlery
with forks on the right
and knives on the left.
I’ll make square pizzas
and round meatloafs.
I’ll have tea in the morning
and coffee at night.
And sometimes;
once in a very long time,
I’ll have a fried bologna
sandwich.

THE TREES ARE ALIVE

The trees are alive with tiny bodies
Bobbing, flickering, fluttering
Pecking at dead leaves
Still hanging in there
Dozens more peck frantically
Amongst the mounds
Of last year’s crop
Rotting on the ground

There’s a woodpecker
Lured by a free meal.
Suet encased in wire
Hanging in the tree
He too breakfasts
Frantically

Why the hurry?
It’s snowing.
They wanna get home
Before lunch.

Photograph Albums

Old woman sits on
Her breakfast stool
Contemplating
Life
She’s outlived
Two husbands
Who gifted her
With children.
Beautiful children.
She has photographs
Of grandchildren
And great-grandchildren
Encased in albums.

So many albums.
Memories of
Love, friendship,
Fun in the sun,
Fun in winter
Animal encounters
Scenery.
Life has been
Good.

Now she has fallen
In love again
Life is wonderful.
Soon there will be

More photographs

In a brand new

Photograph album

My Feet

My feet move
All on their own
No brain to guide them
Just me alongside them
Left foot, right foot
Faster now,
There they go
Where to, I don’t know.
Like automatons, robots,
In sync, no stumbling
As they do
When I am in control.
I press the red button
My feet stop.
Reluctantly they
Follow the rest of me
Off the treadmill.

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