3o Dogs in 30 Days!

Hello All! And welcome to “30 Dogs in 30 Days!”

A compilation of dogs on Alberta Avenue. Roof, Rrroooof!

This month I have challenged myself to create a montage of 30 Alberta

Avenue dogs in 30 days. Some pictures will be accompanied by poems

and some will not. Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy them.


Ty 2                                             Ty and William


You are the smaller shadow walking beside me,

Your tags creating tinkling music to my ears,

More resounding than Beethoven

Bright as Clair de Lune

Your wagging tail, orchestrating a maestro’s furry baton

As we walk

You leading the music between us

Two companions. Two friends. Together.

Ty 4

Falling Into Life;… Without Warning

I am in my neighbourhood grocery store, and
I go to the line with my regular check-out clerk.
Today she looks drawn, thinner
We chat about the usual old stuff
The weather
“Will it ever warm up?”
Or conversely,
“Will it ever stop snowing?”
The price of gas
My face asks a question
“It’s my husband, he’s ill,” she says.
The words tumble out now,
fast and furious- worries and concerns about him- and then stop.
“Would you like carry-out with that?” she asks
Would I like carry-out?
I would like carry-out!
Carry out her husband’s illness and her pain and fear
That’s what I would like to see carried out!
Instead I say,
“No, no carry out, thank-you,”
“No carry out.”

If I Were A Trout

This morning I went swimming at Commonwealth Pool. The background music at the pool contains a lot of songs from the early Beetles, from the 60’s and 70’s. It’s like being young and living at home again. I join the solitary lane swimmers and pull against the water, moving from darkness to light as I swim through the dancing sun beams coming through the windows, and write this poem.

If I Were A Trout

When I swim up next to you

We two would swim the trail of the trout before us.

We fight our way upstream,

Between and over the water- smoothed rock paths

Reaching the air and flashing our rainbow tails,

Which glint in the luminous light- a tiny cameo of the heavenly rainbow.

We would pass by fires burning the forests

And swim through the reflected red in the water.

We stir the silt-filled earth, which flows shattered downstream,

As we careen over, through and past the elements.

Ignoring, destroying, changing- being changed.

The light illuminates,

The earth moves,

Water flows by,

Both joining and separating us.

Sunday Morning Singer


It’s Sunday morning on 112 Avenue

And we’re on our way to Church

We pass a teenage girl

Listening to her iPod and dancing in a bus shelter

It’s a silent pantomime of song, which only she hears

With her eyes closed and hands moving

I watch and inhale the beat.

God is looking on

Me, in my starched collar

She, in her mini skirt, dancing

My Sunday morning singer

God’s child.


New Friends

Last Tuesday, I attended the Annual Alberta Avenue Community League meeting and met some new people. One was involved with Arts on the Ave ( I was invited to their next meeting); the other two were a young couple, who had just moved into the Alberta Avenue area. It was so good meeting them. On the way home, I was thinking about the concept of new friends and came up with this poem.


New Friends

This is a red-letter day for me

I speak of friends in melody

This chorus of impunity, now sung amid community.

The robins and I battle it out

” New friends !” within my heart I shout

” New friends” – the echo finds us out

As joy within a tear.




May Your Heart Soar Today

May your heart soar today as we wait expectant

For the wash of new color to start slowly moving through the earth

This ice and mud iconography

This spiritual archaeology

This listening sound.

To once more stand beneath the wings of geese returning

Not unlike the wings of prayer

Touching the velvet source of all life

May your heart soar.

May you swim up next to the fishes

As the frozen pools are released

And finally break through to the surface.

Shiny and bright

So real, so divine, so you.

Remembering A Fellow Poet

This week a friend died of cancer. I remember her as a funny, creative person. She would push the tip of her nose and make a beeping noise which would always make her children smile. Death has a way of reminding us of our own mortality, of the shortness of life and of how precious life is.

I Will Remember You

Of all the choices taken, of all the verses sung

I will remember you in time,

When we became as one.

We walked along a solemn road, we two our steps together

One foot upon the other followed, despite the bitter weather.

And when I leave you, I’ll recall-

For if my heart should yield

I will still remember you- dancing in the field.

Greetings From the Bard

Welcome to the new Bard of the Avenue blog!

Guess who the one is without the beard?  (Maybe I shouldn't second guess my menopausal chin hair growth)

Guess who the one is without the beard? (Maybe I shouldn’t second guess my menopausal chin hair growth)

Thanks for joining me. This is a space for folks who love living in the 118 Avenue area in Edmonton, and especially for those who want to share their poetry.
I have two dogs and two garden gnomes, but more than two poems. We have awesome neighbours.
But ,when you envision where I live, don’t fill your head with majestic mountains or prairie fields. We are surrounded by Commonwealth Stadium and a fire hall, and sometimes overhead, just for interest, throw in a police or Global helicopter.
The “roar of the crowd” was formerly only a poetic image for me, but not now. I have sat on our swing in the backyard and listened during a football game. Sometimes I experience the sound from the stadium as a crashing wave of noise-filled air, a hot roar. Sometimes it sounds like a sigh and at other times the anguish of dispair, or the intense quiet or a collective holding of breath when the ball is airborn.
This is the Avenue. This is my home. This is one of the poems that it has inspired.

Alberta Avenue Audio
I sit on our backyard swing taking in the sounds of Alberta Avenue.
The high pitched demanding chirps of newly-hatched sparrows,
The screech, screech of the grocery carts, as the street nomads make their way to the Bottle Depot,
The automated lady-voice, coming from the P.A. system at the fire hall
Telling the firemen the latest disaster- followed by the shrill whine of the fire truck siren.
The steady basketball beat of my neighbour’s children and their ball.
The roar of the crowd from Commonwealth Stadium, when the Eskimos are winning and the almost perceptible sigh when they are not.
The music belting out from a boom box, as the man across the way fixes his truck, while listening to his favorite tunes.
The ringing of bells from the nearby Church.
This is the audio behind the story of a day in the life of Alberta Avenue.
A call to arms, a call to nature, a call to prayer-
All in my own backyard.