This is Kaleido!

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(In My Bard of the Avenue Costume)

Kaleido 2014 was a lot of fun, a colorful kaleidoscope of music, art and dance. It is wonderful to have a free family festival right here on Alberta Avenue. This is the poem that I wrote about Kaleido this year.

This is Kaleido!

Join me on a magical tour,

A kiss under the mistletoe and more

It’s the light in a child’s eyes, so bright

That it dims the fireworks in the night

This is Kaleido.

Fire dancers, stilt walkers arise

Big bugs crawl their way up buildings to the skies

The first bugs I’ve met who wave “good-bye”

This is Kaleido.

At Takwakin Village listen,

To the voices of the Elders,

See the twinkle in their eyes,

They hold the heartbeat of our beginnings

Their singing high and bright, or deep and low

This is Kaleido.

Watch for belly dancers, who shimmy

So shiny and bright

Their veils like the sails of a square rigger in flight.

Art creating wonderful

Challenging our view

Lanterns light the darkened night

Offering a clue.

Suspend your senses—

Imagine an origami horse,

Galloping down 118 Avenue, of course!

Let the music surround you

As you’re feeling the beat

Your senses are spinning and it comes out your feet.

We have a magician

Believe me, it’s true

He might have a trick up his sleeve;

Maybe two.

Breathe it in

Walk, remember.

For this great experiment of creating anew

Is made even greater with the presence of you.













Kaleido Saturday Snap Shots

Kaleido 2013 was a lot of fun. Colorful and lively. Here are three poetic impressions of what I saw on Saturday.

First Date

They pause in front of me, two smiling teenagers

Shyly holding hands

Torn between a rocking Cuban band,

And the performance artist, Spandy Andy.

I wonder if this is their first date.

As they separate-her hand flutters apart from his,

Like a bird gently released into flight

Her fingers look back as she lets go.

Behind them a middle-aged couple spontaneously starts dancing in the street,

In their own world

Their joy in the moment so real

That you want to reach out and grab it.

Shiny Objects

When in line at a bistro, a little girl shows me her new, sparkly, butterfly tattoo

She’s so proud of it.

The food line consists of my new friend with the tattoo, a policeman and, me, dressed in Shakespearian

garb. An ordinary Kaleido line-up.

Outside the restaurant, there is a drum circle, the drum beat is magnetic.

In the middle, a little boy, with a blue dolphin painted on his cheek,

is playing a triangle and dancing.

From the Nina Haggerty Centre emerges a youngster clutching his blue and green watercolor

painting, which he tells his dad  is “magic,” as he skips away with his arm in the air,

the painting fluttering in the breeze.

At the building’s corner, two human flies are waving at the kids below.

On a balcony, farther up the street,

Hojo is singing an old Monkees tune, ” I’m a Believer,” in acapella

A kite pokes its nose above the crowd,

As I watch a flash mob of “YMCA”

And two helicopters continue to circle above-adding to the cacophony of sound.


Three aboriginal Cree women,

sway and drum as they sing beautiful, breathy songs

about the women who went before them, and about their concern for Mother Earth.

Down the street, exotic belly dancers, encased in glittering fabrics and flashing jewelry,

enchant the onlookers with their finger cymbal playing,

while the crowd hoots its encouragement.

I turn and see Mary Rankin dancing up a storm with Spandy Andy,

as people make way, laughing and smiling.

This is the Kaleido view,

a view of Alberta Avenue filled with joy, acceptance and love-

and maybe a little magic.