I Howl Instead of Saying “Hallelujah”

I Howl Instead of Saying “Hallelujah” 

This day, I want to talk to God

to say something beautiful or wise.

Instead, I imagine that I am a fox,

my own inner animal.

I am running through a dark forest at night

Snow dripping from the firs

There’s a silence so deep that I can feel it in my bones

I can only breathe in short gasps

My insides are screaming, blood pounding,

when I finally reach the top of a cliff

where a sliver of moon dimly lights my way.

I stand still and blink in the darkness.

Here, there is air and space and time and madness—and then I howl…

the air coming out as white as snow on a Bethlehem night.

But this night—I howl, instead of saying “Hallelujah”


Yesterday afternoon, many of us on Alberta Avenue were keeping watch for the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Aerobatic Team fly-by  and we were not disappointed. “Operation Inspiration” fly on!

Here they come!



Leaving rivers of Santa’s white whiskers behind


Sonic Boom

Hearts Bloom

Snowbirds embrace us all

As they fly 

Hope glinting through


Rivers of Santa’s white whiskers behind 

A gift

in the summer sky. 




With Love, From Edmonton

At 5 a.m. this morning, I am thinking of my daughter. She is an R.N. at one of the city hospitals in Edmonton and she is no stranger to 5 a.m. Work for her starts at 6:15. This poem in a pandemic, is for her and for all of our front line workers, who go to work daily, risking their lives for the rest of us.

Painting on Alberta Avenue by AJA Louden (used with permission)

With Love, From Edmonton

The door clicks behind you in the otherwise sleeping building,

You head for the LRT—another day.

A bus goes by with one soul on board headed into the dark of morning

where “It” waits, invisible.

The news shows a mass murder in Nova Scotia, a flood in Fort McMurray,

I try to turn down the knob on my trauma channel

Dial down the Red Zone.

Two chickadees on the feeder steady me.

Over my mound of potato chips, the cashier tells another COVID joke

The City guy comes by to pick up our blue bag

“Hey, thanks!” I yell.

“No problem, have a good day!” comes back to me.

Social distancing, blue bag distancing, chickadee distancing…

It’s all at a distance now.

Inhaling a global breath of wind,

I taste the air, feeling it deep in my lungs

Then exhale.

My pen skips along the page trying to explain,

trying to tell a tale of you.

At work, you are the soft voice that speaks of many things

Of patients and PPE

Of masks and methodologies

You, who glimpse the invisible.

Your phone vibrates

It’s another R.N. friend who is running a COVID testing site in B.C.

Your hands, dry as sandpaper, with all the washing,

Touch the screen—catching another Kitty video on your break.

Yet, at the end of the day, you create the Genesis of a song

Of fearless fighters in the rain

Of hope amid the pain

Diminished, yet more

We all want to sing your song

this Edmonton sing-a-long—of love.


(Mother’s Day 2020)




Grieve This Day on Golden Pond


Front Porch Memorial on Alberta Avenue

As I write this poem, days after the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus crash in Saskatchewan, my heart and all of the hearts here on Alberta Avenue, go out to those who are grieving today.

Grieve This Day on Golden Pond

“Prayers for Humboldt”

“Shattered Lives”

All signs of the times today

Grief unimaginable

Flying flags half-mast.

Yet, heart to heart and hand in hand

We reach around the World.

Green and yellow and golden threads embroider

this time, this day, this hour, now yours.

Your green lives in the prairie grasses,

Your yellow glows in the never-fading light

Bright yellow hair ruffled by a new wind,

Blows across this golden pond of ice

Forever binding us

Broncos strong.



Faces on a Wall


Hello everyone!

Welcome back to Bard of the Avenue.

When I took this picture; painted on the side of the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts and the Stollery Gallery on 118th. Avenue; I was struck by the silent, unmoving, unnaturalness of a rigid face, a face not in motion; not alive. I was intrigued by the idea of faces on a wall and I wrote this poem.

Faces on a Wall

Tell me a story, young faces of glory

An act on this brick stage.

Emoji stones faces, erases

A blink, a wink, a pout, a rage

Blow me a kiss- I miss.

Granite brow without wrinkles, or crinkles

The rain pouring down never falters – never alters

This page.




Ghost Bikes

IMG_8718Hello All!

I wanted to write a poem about the ghost bike which was placed at the intersection of 96th. Street and Norwood Blvd. in Edmonton last November. It stands as a stark reminder of the death of a city cyclist, killed in an early morning hit and run, and is the work of the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society.

If you want to find out more, you can go to the EBC site or ghostbikes.org, to see what is happening with ghost bikes around the world.  

Ghost Bikes

You rode into death on your bicycle.

Different, I wonder?

From getting old, everything slowing down

Breath, pulse, being

You rode into death on rubber tires.

A sudden slam ending

Like birth-entering with an explosion of light and noise and new dimension-

The wheels going round and round, then slowing down and stopping.

A determined hand, frozen,fallen,broken, brake.

Riding a white chariot to the stars.





Lashes, Forrest and Betty

Hello from Alberta Avenue, where I am finding more amazing dogs!

First up is another dog that I met at Kaleido.

Her name is Lashes and she is a sweetie.


Lashes- what a sweetie!

At the Eastwood off leash park I met Brendan, Forrest and Betty

FullSizeRender (76)

Brendan, Forrest and Betty


Beautiful Forrest


Betty is a bit of a scamp!

Forrest High Five

Brendan and Forrest give a high Five. Talk about talent!

Thanks for joining me in enjoying more dogs from Alberta Avenue

See you soon!





Romeo, Trouble and Nikka

Hello from Alberta Avenue, where we continue going to the dogs!

All three of these dogs are little tornados of energy and fun.

Two of today’s furry friends are called Romeo and Trouble.


Romeo(left) and Trouble (right)

These two adorable balls of fur would simply not stop moving!

Next we have Nikka.

Nikka 2

Excitable Nikka

Thanks for tuning in. Catch ya’ later!