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

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.