Today is the last work day of the summer months for me. It’s been a strange, amazing, unexpected, inimitable summer. Rough and exquisite. I’m ending it with Seamus Heaney at my favourite public workplace with a great cup of coffee. The last poem in Heaney’s 1996 collection The Spirit Level is called “Postscript.” I ordered […]

On listening to pain

I have been thinking, for years, about pain. Trying to tell myself a story about it. Writing a novel about it. Every poem, every essay, every walk along the river, is a part of the conversation I’ve been having with it. I have known the wrenching pain of grief for loved ones, the positive but […]

Of Love and Opposites

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,

then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,

into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter,

and weep, […]

SADness and the Intuition of Peas

When I was a teenager, a not-very-intuitive psychologist I briefly saw thought I might have seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Perhaps I did, but if so it was the pea buried beneath twenty down quilts and twenty feather beds, and I did not at that life moment have the necessary stillness to discern or listen to […]

On the Given

When I first began this blog, I wrote my initial post on the topic of perishable gifts. I had a six-month-old and a nearly four-year-old. My posts were brief, with an emphasis on imperfection. Somehow I made time for them, then, when there was less time objectively speaking. Now I have more time, so expect […]

How to Expect in the Edmonton Journal

with my friend and co-conspirator, Jessica Hiemstra (left)

I’m so pleased with this piece on How to Expect What You’re Not Expecting by the Edmonton Journal‘s books columnist, Michael Hingston. Speaking with him about the book was a great pleasure, and I’m quite pleased with his representation of the book in this piece (not […]

On Charity and other Principles of Argument

Okay, this is for all of the poets out there sparring over negative reviews and negative reviews of negative reviews and the entrenchment of prejudice and power and the importance of the canon and whatever whatever (it matters, I know, it definitely matters, and we’ll need to come back to it, but can we just […]

A hope for the longest night

This year for me the winter solstice seems a significant marker, a waypoint on the path, a useful cognitive lever with which to flip the storyline–to say, hey, maybe the worst of the darkness has passed. Here’s hoping. For we must, always, keep hoping, no matter what–though there will always be reasons to stop.

To […]

Celebrating the publication…

The Great, Sublime Precariousness

I have written before–here and elsewhere–about fear of heights and the sublime, so I won’t go on at too great a length. But, in the spirit of this blog’s origins, I’ll say something about what I’m thinking today. Driving across the bridge over the North Saskatchewan this afternoon on my way to the college where […]