My Staycation

This year I decided to enjoy the wonders of Alberta Avenue by having a Staycation.

Hope you enjoy my pics!

This is me floating in one of the many public pools open this summer.

What is happening with Commonwealth Rec Centre anyway?!

This is the third summer that it has been closed for some reason.

One must adapt I suppose.



After a cool dip, I grabbed something to read from our “Little Free Library.” John Sandford is a favorite summer reading author of mine featuring Lucas Davenport, the rule-breaking, poetry-loving detective.  

library pic stay

We are lucky to have so much wildlife on Alberta Avenue. Here I am with a rabbit and a moose.

rabbit stay

moose stay

A Staycation is a good time to smell the flowers.

Aaaah, lovely!


 This is me in an angelic pose. I’m in heaven on my Staycation.  


Alberta Avenue is a wonderful place to spend a Staycation.

However, watch out for the moose!


Talk to you later… and have a happy Staycation!





I had a fun time this past week wandering around AVEFEST 2015 on Alberta Avenue. There were parachute games, free food, nail whacking, more free food, water balloons, snakes and ladders, marshmallow creations, stilt walking and did I mention more free food!

Even Tinker Bell made an appearance, so it must have been magical.

And as our emcee often reminded us “It’s all free!”

Great job Aaron and April Au and your team!

There was also kite flying, which inspired this poem.

Just imagine…

Sky View

Sky View

 There is a song you bring to me

A melody of community

Of children laughing, playing fair

Of joy, Of love

From way up there

Tethered by a single thread

You blink and wink and nod your head

As seagulls wonder who you are

This tailed invader from afar


 The circle opens wide

One more child can step inside

You see in this euphoric sight

Abundant community taking flight!



Happened, On a Sea Can

Graffiti Art by AJA Louden ( used with permission) 118 Ave& 92 St.

Graffiti Art by AJA Louden ( used with permission) 118 Ave& 92 St.

It wasn’t in the scriptures, or on a kitchen scroll

But written on a sea can discovered on a stroll

A metal canvas painting—four words seen everywhere

“We Believe in 118” began this earnest prayer.

It’s written in graffiti art, it’s sprayed so faithfully

That we believe, don’t be deceived, it shouts in victory!

Graffiti commentary, this mural marking ground

In open air, the people stare, and gather all around

To look, to wish, to ponder  what aerosol proclaims

 “We believe in 118”

Remembering the names, of those who came before us

In whom this dream began “We Believe in 118” to that we say “Amen!”  

Who Turned the Lights Out?

With the closing of the City Centre Airport, building height restrictions are quickly changing in Edmonton’s downtown. This poem reflects my anxiety about what those changes may mean to Alberta Avenue.

Who turned the lights out?

Who turned the lights out?

I used to watch a sunset

It’s vanished over time

Somewhere behind a mountain range

Of brick and girder grime

This ever-growing skyscape

 A lego building prize

I’m left a lone reflection,

 on cookie cutter eyes.

I used to stand rejoicing

My heart filled with the sight

I used to watch a sunset,

‘till they turned out the light.



The Ave We Could Have

February is a time of reflection for me. This is when I plan and ponder the upcoming year. As I walked on Alberta Avenue one evening, these were my thoughts. 

The Ave We Could Have

The Ave We Could Have


I walk upon this winter path at night

Instead of stars, it’s lit by incandescent light

No noble moon, no pale nor mystery

Cement and stone define its history

No wildlife skitter across this barren path

Just castoff paper lay in frozen aftermath

I stand reflecting beside the tow away zone

And gaze into this future Ave unknown

A twinkling crystal ball, which makes the darkness fear

A journey now begun can take us anywhere.   


This November we had a sudden dump of snow, after which, a hawk began to visit our yard and eat the birds coming to our feeder. Even though we live in the city, nature still sometimes exerts itself in very hostile ways.




Sparrows mob our birdfeeder,

 as such,

brittle now with winter’s touch,

when into this idyllic scene

a hawk does suddenly careen

now one less sparrow to be seen,

a shadow in the light.

A King—he glides above his realm

this feather-laden banquet table

 reminding me life’s story’s made

of blood and bone and marrow.

Poetry for Kittens

Poetry for Kittens!

Poetry for Kittens!

We have new neighbours on Alberta Avenue, who have a delightful kitten who sits in the window, plays with the curtains and lays in the sun. When they leave the house I wondered, “what does he do all day?”

This is what I imagined…


I sit up here so loftily

Waiting for them to turn the key

My kingdom then is left to me

It’s poetry for kittens!

The dog’s tied up, more fun for me,

Knocking the ornaments from the tree

They crack and smash on the floor

Tee, hee

It’s poetry for kittens!

I’ve killed a mouse to impress the spouse

And put it inside the gingerbread house

 My people will love it—I’m into the souse

It’s poetry for kittens!

Ho, Ho, the fridge is not tightly closed

I push it open with furry repose

Turkey leftovers, I’ll have some of those

It’s poetry for kittens!

Someone left my laser toy on,

I’ll play with it ‘till early dawn

And find the catnip turns me on

It’s poetry for kittens!

I need no Frosty or Santa Claus to give this kitten a Christmas pause

Her nylons left out, I’ll shred with my claws

It’s poetry for kittens!

So when I’ve ate and played no end

Then shredded the pillows upon their bed

I’ll find a place to lay my head

It’s poetry for kittens!


Merry Christmas, Santa


On Christmas Eve

I awake early to the sound of cans and bottles tinkling

it is still dark,

but just outside our fence

where I have put the garbage for today’s pickup,

you grasp and feel

sensitive to a bottle or can thrown away.

I watch you move onto my neighbour’s garbage

with your bag of empties thrown over your shoulder

like a dark outline

of an early Santa Claus.

Abundant Communities

This spring, Alberta Avenue started the Abundant Communities Initiative. Here is a poem which I wrote about that.

 Abundant Communities 

We’re taking this opportunity

To create an abundant community

Whether teacher, lawyer, lion tamer or such,

Abundant Communities will get you in touch.

Your choir, so dour,

With a single voice,

P1020133 (1) (1)

90th Street, Edmonton

Abundant Communities will give you a choice.

Want company for walking your brand new pup?

Abundant Communities—

We will hook you up.

Sewing or gardening, or yogaing or more

Abundant Communities will give you the score.

We’re a gift to each other

It’s really quite true

When we get together

On the Avenue.


Check out Abundant Communities in the April and May 2014 editions of The Rat Creek Press

Left Behind

On the day of the K-Days parade, I was walking by our local fire hall on Norwood Boulevard, and out front sat an old Edmonton Fire Department fire truck. It was getting a tune-up before being driven in the parade. As I stood watching, the fire alarm went off, and all the firemen and the trucks took off—except of course, the old fire engine. After seeing that happen I wrote this poem.

Left Behind

The siren blared and you were off

Carrying your firemen into the unknown.

A false alarm

Maybe Mother left the oven on too long

The toaster shorted out and caught fire

Father fell asleep smoking and live ashes danced on the mattress

Back yard leaves burning, smouldered, then blew into the neighbour’s yard

Kitten up a tree.

Each time you left the station you never knew

Would it be something sad or serious

Or silly and benign?

Now you are a museum piece

Good for parades

or for going around Commonwealth Stadium when The Eskimos get a touchdown

Children get to sit in your driver’s seat and dream of being firefighters

You are shiny and clean now

Sparkling red

No longer streaked with the sweat and smoke of the life you were created for

Today’s sirens fade and only you are left behind.

photo 3