Saturday, March 27, 2021

Brava Sappers


Tis that time of year when the sugar shacks are producing liquid gold,

that ever so pure and sweet maple syrup, natures gift.

It is a long process with days and days of splying, gathering sap,

depending upon the weather. The temperature must be exact

and old timers are constantly checking the weather.

Too cold and trees shut down. Too warm and sap spoils quickly.

Collection is via buckets or hoses; we prefer buckets over plastic hoses

that must be sanitized regularly. Buckets are open to the elements

and what kid hasn’t drunk from one. Tis a right of passage.

I’ve worked a sugar camp for years and there is nothing so exhilarating

being in the bush, working until you collapse onto snow from exhaustion

with the widest smile upon your face and scent of maple syrup in the air.

Not only in the air but it permeates your clothing, that heavenly scent

inhaled by passerby’s in town who smile and nod. They know.

Unfortunately this year I can not participate and it saddens me so.

I relay weather updates hopefully ending with clear sky and warm temps

and silently moan wishing I was there. In my absence I was asked

to bake my secret Ginger Snaps. Spicy and moist, to keep the lads going.

And the lads kept at it, day and night, switching shifts,

even though the virus swept through the community,

those who returned followed strict protocol

until the weather turned dismal and soon buckets

were emptied and sadly the last was boiled off.

T’was a sad maple syrup season this year, weather and nature

battling about; friends kept sheltered, weather was dismal

and those die hards worked dawn to dusk to dawn

seeking to produce that glorious liquid gold.

O to those sappers, brava!

Friday, March 26, 2021

admiration - haiku


card playing barn owl

winks with such a passive face,

my admiration

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Spring awakes


First day of spring and dawn
brings light into the cabinet
filled with treasured heirlooms,
Wedgwood, Georgian silvers, ostrich egg

I have missed this glow,
living room bathed in sunshine
welcoming me to the day
and the task of overdue dusting

Soon the sun will shine higher
and leaves will shelter this view
but for now I shall relish this
and enjoy the awakening

Friday, March 12, 2021

Just a hug

 Tis been a year since I received a hug,

a hug, a simple physical emotion between two people

wrapping their arms around each other in celebration.

That celebration was my birthday.

This year there was no fine dining with dear-hearts,

no gathering of folk and friends,

just me, music, phone calls and e-mails.

The birthday cake was non-existent,

because the bakery was closed. Guess why.

It was replaced with a sliver of fine chocolate.

Kinda hard to light a candle in that.

I miss the humanity of celebration and I’m not alone.

If only we would respect each other by following rules.

I certainly do, at work I’m a designated essential service

or my job is. I’m there for employees though

I’d prefer to be elsewhere safe and sound.

But I’m there and find it difficult to remain hug-less

when a co-worker has just been diagnosed.

~sigh~ Tis so hard to deal with.

This may turn in to a rant, and I try not to here but

My message to the Covidiots is this,

STOP, just STOP!

Follow the rules. I’ve given up much of my emotional life,

as have my clan so why can’t you? It isn’t that hard.

And so my birthday continues with mixing pigments,

tuning into Motown, scribbling and finding an ooommmm.

for better days ahead.

Friday, March 05, 2021

Springs Arrival


I smell the arrival in the air,

it is the clarity, the freshness of still snow covered land

while sunbeams melt it thus so.

Grian rises in colour as he does when leaving us,

colours o the colours of peach, salmon and gold,

gifts to us from earth awaking.

Twilight descends later and as in the awaking

he bids adieu with colour, the background

silhouetting neighbours spruce and fir.

I see the arrival in the bunny trails

across the garden and drive

seeking out over-wintered shoots.

Tracks majically appear over night

playing ring around the rosie apple trees,

then on to follow shoveled paths.

When the dawning begins it hops off

to its home underneath the veranda,

it knows it will be safe til twilight.

I hear the arrival with birds on wing,

crows have returned from their country home

heralding the awakening.

Their bodies fly with lucidity

slowness of wing, there is no rush, no hurry,

to be about their business.

They seek out winter ravaged nests

ear-marking when mothers return to roost,

murderous aviators on the hunt.

Monday, March 01, 2021



twilight, when stars

begin to appear

I follow their birth yet

my eyes sense movement,

the shadow of an owl

glides over head,

not a wing beat, not a note

as it silently, stealthy

winds its way through

apple trees and onward

to the river