Poetry on the Patio

Poetry on the Patio
How we began...

imageJuly 2012. It was a bright and sunny morning (as opposed to a dark and stormy night) on the patio at the home of Doris Daley. Neal Whitman, a poet from California was visiting and she had invited friends over who were either writers, poets or dabblers in the former to hear Neal share some of his work - primarily haiku which he had taken to a whole new level. Each person was invited to share a poem they had written themselves. Some shared from their vast body of work, while others read a poem they had written with fear and trembling the night before. Some just listened. It was a wonderful morning of laughter and tears, coffee, cake and creativity. I wanted more! And the library has a patio of its own...
After a few discussions I convinced Doris to facilitate a monthly meeeting of those interested in writing poetry. We called it Poetry on the Patio, although we have met on the patio only a few times due to our uncooperative Alberta weather. Spring (rain), Summer (more rain) Fall (too cold), Winter (too much snow). So, mostly we are Poetry by the Fireplace.


We each bring 3 poems:

  • a poem by a dead poet,
  • a poem by a still living poet
  • and one we have written.
  • and we eat cake!

We have found that the best formula for us is for Doris to send us a photo and we use that as the inspiration to write a poem in any style we prefer. We did try picking a style (acrostic, haiku, found poetry) but that was a bit restrictive. The photos work well as they provide a broad platform from which to leap. So, in the following collection of original works that have come out of the group we have included the photo that was the source. 

The Downton Abbey Photo (November 2015)

Mrs Padmore (An Acrostic by Doris Daley)

Make the puddings
Roast the goose
Sugar the plums
Polish the silver
Attack the copper kettles
Decorate the parlour
Mull the wine.
Oh Mrs Padmore. My dear Mrs Hughes. How you
Rushed, refurbished, rubbed, renovated, repaired, rinsed and roasted. While I
Exhausted from it all, swill eggnog out of a carton.

Downton Abbey (Della Dickie)

In the abbey below
The Help know their places
Unless they are paged
They don't show their faces.

The Butlers, Housekeepers
Valets and Maids
All work very hard
For wages they're paid.

But some can be sly
Some take a nip
Some never stop
Their One-Up-Man-Ship.

There's love and there's hate
There's sorrow and woe
Romance and intrigue
In theAbbey below.
In the Abbey above
The Family dwell
And not far away,
The Countess as well

All Lords and Ladies
 Dressed very fine
They eat on bone china
Use crystal for wine.

This family has problems
As most families do
With rebellious daughters
And estate problems too.

There's mystery and murder
Hatred and love
This too, is present
In the Family above.

Each week we are drawn 
To the rich and their powers
Their troubles and woes
So we forget about ours.

I myself find
I get very crabby
If I miss an episode
of Downton Abbey.

Wealthy  (Marika D'Ailly)

What do I have in front of me
Evening dresses -tuxedos, opulence to see
A picture of a perfect family
Lights and glitter in front of a Christmas tree
The real world however lies in wait
Has to expree itself at a later date
Yours truly plays reluctantly the part
   with misgivings in her heart.

 Downton Abbey                                                 Jan Burney
Upper classes rule the day
Position in society secure
Staunchly carrying on
Through thick and thin
Adorned in all their splendour
Impervious to change are the
Ruling classes
Stiff upper lip and all that.
Do they manage this lifestyle
On their own?
Without a doubt
Not so polished would they be as
Self-reliant they are not.
Their perfect poise is supplied by
An army of servants
Invisibly carrying out their tasks
Safely below stairs.

Fashion Faux Pas Photo (October 2015)

 Worst Dressed List  (Jan Burney)
What were they thinking when they got dressed?
Outrageous outfits, created to impress.
Red boots and corsets and sleeveless shirts
Suits with sneakers and lime green skirts
The crowning glory – big hair that’s teased
Designer labels on every piece.
Really, is this how they want to portray
Eighties fashion- they’ll look back in dismay.
Surely we didn’t look as bad as that!
Style ruled as a matter of fact!
Especially as we were so impassioned,
Dedicated followers of up-to-date fashion.”
Let’s be honest, I feel we must
In any decade some trends are a bust.
Sartorial elegance may be the game
To not look foolish should be the aim.
Haiku (Jan Burney)
A colourful flock
Perched on the Upper West Side
Specks in the City
Full Fashion (Della Dickie)
I think the styles today are neat...
If you are under twenty;
With shapely legs and a body trim
Your admirers are plenty.

But I've seen sights, I must admit,
That makes me sympathize
With folks in patterned leggings
That show their bulging thighs.

Their tight and clingy poly tops
Show each and every pound.
Instead of looking cute and chic
They look quite short and round.

Now who am I to criticize?
I'm an old wrinkled senior
With many extra pounds to spare
(I do wish I was leaner).

But going shopping is a chore
There's little left to buy
That isn't for the ypoungsters
Unless the price is high.

So if you see me on the street
Looking well-endowed
With poly shirt and leggings
Please don't laugh out loud.

What are you thinking? (Doris Daley)
Women! Sisters! Enough already.
Halt. You should be
Arrested for
Taking your 
Artistic expression to such
Extremes. Fashion is one thing. But here's the sitch. It's me who has to look at
Out in public where
Under-accessorized, under bejewelled women like me wear
Heavy sweaters and Birkenstocks - well
I get it. You're hip and I'm
Not. But
Know this: Kids get sick. Cell phones conk out. Storms blow in. Dogs throw up. Cows get out. Fan belts blow.
Impress the people in my world with your purple bustier, frilly tutu, red stillettos and
Neoprene leopard leggins and see what happens when you get this text:
"Grain truck broke down. Hurry. Need you in barley field ASAP."

The bored kids in the classroom photo (September 2015)

Math Sucks (Doris Daley)
Mr Perry, is it too much to ask for your hair to catch on fire?
At the very least, couldn't Lucy
Throw up or a fire truck show up or
Harry the Hazard blow up
Something in the school lab?
Unit vectors and undefined slopes and
Compound fractions are concrete examples of why
Kids like us
Stare out the window, dreaming of Karl Yastrzemski coming up to bat. 

 In the good old days. (Jan Burney)
 It was not like this in the good old days
Or so my Grandparents tell me
All crammed in a room, where knowledge could bloom
In the schoolhouse sitting out on the prairie.
They were there to learn all that they could
So their future would be so much brighter
To get off the farm, live a life of charm
Where the weather won`t always fight ya.
They were keen and eager, so they sat
Eyes glued to the teacher up front
Backs up straight and hair in braids
Neither minds nor pencils were blunt.
Oh the things that they learned and never forgot
From their brains these facts they can hasten
Living out on the plain, how many inches of rain
Fall each year in the Amazon basin.
Continents, countries and capital cities
All recited with great precision
Times tables by rote, still they gloat
About how they can do long division.
Names of explorers far and wide
They`ll tell you all of the stories
Of Magellan and Drake, of Columbus`s mistake
That garnered him all sorts of glories.
Many facts they know and can call to mind
From history and science they flout
But tell them you`ll skype, or an e mail you`ll type
They`ve no idea what you`re talking about!

Time Drags On (Della Dickie)
I sit here at my front row desk trying to stay awake
One more boring word from her is all that it will take
To put me into dreamland. I shift my thoughts elsewhere;
I'm stuck with a teacher who cannot teach; it simply isn't fair
It's hard enough to learn a subject so subjective
But monotone monotony is very ineffective.
Droning on and on she goes...The lesson is sooo boring.
I can hear my best friend Rob behind and he's very softly snoring.
I can't restrain a little laugh but it sounds like an explosion!
Teacher turns her eyes on me and they stay like they are frozen.
An eerie silence fills the room. My face is turning red.
I s-s-stutter an apology. Teacher shakes her head.
The tedious reading resumes again. I try hard not to doze.
We'll clear the room in two seconds flat when the classroom change bell goes.

 Acrostic Pumpkin Poem (Della Dickie)
Perfectly Ripe
Under the vine
Must be harvested
Pies so divine
Kindly slice it 
Ice cream on top
Now, after seconds, I'd better stop.

The 24 combines harvesting in a large field photo (August 2015)

Harvesting (Doris Daley)

Here on the prairies, oblivious to the TSX, senate wrecks, operating loans, aching bones, oil prices or the Chinese crisis, July always turns to
August. And sunburned men in UFA caps, with
Rolled up sleeves and names like
Vern and Roy and Harold (not a Jayson or an Ethan in the lot) get up one morning, check the moisture content, roll the dice.
Start their engines. Seize the day.
Take up where dad and grandpa and great grandpa left off.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then
Nothing says "carpe diem" in early fall like this flock of New Holland
Geese, rumbling south in a V.

A Haihu (Sheelagh Matthews)

Like superheroes they roll,
these kings of the crop
Country comfort gone.

Harvest Time (Jan Burney)

H ail, the
Alien Invasion!
Resources stripped from the land
Vulnerable we wait
Supposing our annihilation
To be imminent, but
Ignored are we
Monsters like these
Eat only wheat annually.

Yes, You Can Grow Corn in Black Diamond (Della Dickie)

In our south facing garden
Where it's sheltered and warm
Grow 12 leafy stalks
Holding fat cobs of corn

They stand tall and regal
With tassels adorned.
The time's finally here
To harvest this corn.

We'll pluck off the cobs,
Their leaves will be shorn.
The water is boiling
Now slide in the corn

Get your plate ready
Salt andpepper is norm
A knife and some butter
To enhance the corn

You honestly feel
You could eat up a storm
Okay it is ready!
It's time to eat corn!

Munch on these cobs
Your mouth is transformed
You'll taste nothing better
Than this sweet juicy corn.

The Rollercoaster Photo (July 2015)

The Monster (Della Dickie)

Mike and Molly decided to go
to the calgary Stampede, the ol' dears.
Both were quite 'sporty' but had to admit
they were getting way up there in years.
They strolled by the tents and most of the rides,
played games never missing a mark,
They munched on some small. tasty donuts
and they listened to the loud Barkers' bark.

They spent time indoors with the arts and the crafts
for the sun was as hot as a toaster.
They Molly said, "Michael, before we go home,
let's try out the big roller coaster".
Mike, quite in shock, turned exceptionally pale,
his knees knocked together in fear.
He stared at her hard and primly said:
"You must be bonkers, my dear!"

"Oh Michael," she said, in a sweet coaxing voice,
"I've always wanted to try it."
So they went to the roller coaster booth
and purchased two tickets to ride it.
With short anxious breath they sat down in their seats
behind a long row of youngsters
Who were laughing and waiting, anticipating
the thrill of this long noisy monster.

The attendant made sure they were all buckled in,
 and then there was movement and noise
As it clicked and it rumbled and climbed a big slope,
Mike and Molly held fast to their poise.
Too quickly it seemed they were over the top
and heading down as fast as could be
The wind whipped their hair, took their breath quite away
as the youngsters were screaming with glee!

Our couple sat tensely and tried hard to smile
as the coaster again chugged and droned;
A much higher slope and the grumbles and groans
of the monster were much like their own.
Too soon, oh too soon, they were up at the top
and once more they were flying on down
Midst the screaming of kids and arms in the air
They all plummeted down to the ground!

A curve at the bottom threw everyone west,
then jolted them back to collide.
Mike yelled to Molly, "You're mumbling my dear."
"I've lost my top plate, " she replied.
Slowing, they coasted to where it began
and weakly stepped out with relief.
Molly reported about her lost teeth
and she called the big Monster 'a Thief'.

Somehow she knew that her plate was long gone
and she'd mumble until she replaced it.
They headed for home  -didn't talk much at all,
for a while she just couldn't embrace it.
Molly was sorry she'd suggested the ride
that caused them such horror and strife,
But secretly Mike was a most happy man
'cause he'd had the best time of his life.

Adrenalin (Doris Daley) 

At the time it seemed like a good idea.
Daring and dangerous, screaming and screeching
Roller coaster, shmoller coaster
Excitement is my middle name.
Now I'm in cardiac arrest.
And we haven't even
Looped the loop.
If I don't survive, please start my obit with these seven words:
Nearly made it. Died screaming. No regrets.

Rollercoaster Revisited (Jan Burney)

"Let's have some fun and go on a ride!"
So said my son, and me and my pride
Would not let my fear show on my face
To say no and back off would be a disgrace.

But I think my misgivings are not without cause
These rollercoasters are bound to have flaws
Operated by teens employed for the summer
Who look  like extras from "Dumb and Dumber."

With rails and cables and miles of track
So flimsy it looks as it twists there and back
"It's perfectly safe,' says my son, the kidder
But I know it was built by the bottom rung bidder.

If that thought alone does not give one pause
Or the sight of it, teetering as to the sky it soars
Then think of the names of these side show delights
They're enough to give anyone a case of the frights.

In Williamsburg, Virginia there is the Griffen
If you ever see it your back will stiffen
They sit ten across, row upon row
Through dizzying drops and water they go.

The Gatekeeper, the Mantra and the Silver Star
These names seem tame for the rides they are.
Some recall monsters that lurk in the deep
Like Leviathan and Kracken, those you can keep.

There's Nitro, Tatsu and Millenium Force
That one is ranked #1 of course.
X2 and Intimidator 305
After which I'd be glad to still be alive.

Topthrill and Dragster and Kingka Ka
To ride some of these you'd have to go far
But I'm just here at Calloway Park
Supposedly riding this ride for a lark.

Its name is the Vortex - that has to be apt
Into I'm sure to be sucked and trapped.
So, I'll go around once and that will suffice
But to my horror, it does the darn loop twice!

So these death defying feats of engineering
You've probably concluded - I'm not cheering
I like my life, I think I should live it
Without the terrors rollercoasters give it.

Rollercoaster Acrostic (Jan Burney)

Rest in peace
On my tombstone
Let it say
Let it reflect the
Ease of my passing
Rather than
Crashing to earth
Organ donor card required
A bloodied twisted wreck
Such a violent way to go
Rest in Pieces?

The Donna Howell Sickles Cowby Boots Paintings (July 2015)

A Cowgirl Haiku (Sheelagh Matthews)

red is the colour
that can turn a cowboy's head
in my direction

red boots (Angela Simmons)

"feeling your oats,"
she says grin broader, wider
than troughs, on this busy day
kicking back in a chair
her legs a-resting on a post.

horses nose poked
into pails snorting
the tune of -over
the bucket, over the hill
her red cowboy boots
unscuffed, shiny.

"not oats" you grunt
like a cow chews cud
mid munch, your straw soaked
in spittle dangles from the corner
of your lips puckered, moist
and poised, pitch
fork in hand to the ready.

"just want to get to the muck,
pitch it out of the barn missy,
get to my own hitching post
before noon."

and you do. her smile
slightly dampened
by your grumble, and moan.

her red boots still shiny tho'.

Flying High (Della Dickie)

We all get our kicks whenever we can
Doing things that some others just don't understand.
I'm a city gril born so I'm naturally chicken
About sports that would make my stable heart quicken:
Like riding a bull who is trying to spill ya
And, once on the ground, is trying to kill ya;
Or those who wouldjump off a high mountain peak
With only a wing suit, their rapture to seek;
Or those who would ski out of bounds; take a chance
Of ending up dead is a huge avalanche.
No, those aren't for me, but I lately endeavoured
To not miss a big chance to do something clever
By accepting an offer to go for a flight
In a Tiger Moth bi-plane, so I said "Alright!"
So one sunny morning I squeezed in this craft
I was sitting up 'fore' while the pilot was 'aft'.
The roar of the motor as we taxied the strip
Was making my bottom lip quiver a bit.
In just a few moments we were up in the air
And I looked down below without even a care.
With the wind in my face and the sun on my head
I saw the gleam of the river and some barn roofs of red;
In fields cattle grazed who were just little specks
And I was completely in awe of each thing that came next.
The landscape was gorgeous, fresh, bright and green,
The smoky-blue rockies were backing the scene.
I felt like a bird, I felt high, I felt free,
And so very grateful for all I could see! 
With my adrenalin up it was time to come down
I was still flying as our craft bumped the ground.
When I look at the pictures I took on that flight
I still feel that uplifting joy and delight.

The signs all in one place photo ( April 2015)

Signs of the Times (Della Dickie)

There are signs to direct, caution, confuse,
inform, make you laugh; now here are a few

1. There is a sign in a bar - a most amusing sight
"Men's Washroom on the left cause Women are always right."

2. A road ad for Dairy Queen (It's a real 'catch-crop'):
"Children, keep screaming until Daddy stops."

3. A church I sign I saw I had to applaud...
"Whoever stole my air conditioner, you're gonna need it! God."

4. At a gas station and fishing store, "We have worms in the rear."
5. A road called "Weiner Cutoff" should warn men to keep clear.

6. Beside a rough highway on which you might venture
"Danger ahead -please remove dentures."

7. A park sign "Beware: Wild Animals/ Children"
Makes everyone wonder which ones are the villains?

8. Under some trees: "Birds poop each few minutes -
Stand there too long and you'll find yourself in it."

9. A sign in a gift shop sure serves its purpose:
"Children left unattended will be sold to the circus."

10. A redundant message for all of us, friends:  
Just outside a cemetery, a road sign...."Dead End."

11. Don't stick your elbow out too far,
It might go home in another car."

12. On a rural highway there is a sign that says,
"Emergency phone 200 kms ahead."

13. Some signs can throw you right off centre:
"Entrance only. Do not enter."

14. In the drought season there's a warning before us:
"Extreme Fire Hazard. Don't even fart in the forest."

15. "Stealing golf balls will not be excused
You'll be prosecuted and your balls removed."

16. "Honk if you love Jesus (on a church sign so trim)
"Text while driving if you want to meet Him."

17. Absolutely no trespassing. Violators will be shot
Survivors will be shot again." (Is that clear or not?)

18. "Notice: Thank you for noticing this notice
Your noticing of this notice has been noted."

19. This One-Way sign makes you come undone...
For it adds, "Good Luck figuring out which one."

20. Outside a Vet Clinic a message it sends
"Please neuter your pets, relatives and weird friends."

21. No Soccer allowed - but we have arranged
To let you play soccer on the Archery Range."

22. "Touching These Wires Causes Instant Death -
and a $200 fine nonetheless!"

23. On the Wicked Wok Restaurant - 'Dine with ease
No: we no see your cat - so do not ask please."

Confusion Corner (Angela Simmons)

confusion represents this corner of the universe
an art installation -where each sign offers advice,
caution, bumpy roads or is that an interantional sign
for voluptuous breats with ample nipples
or no bacon here, equestrian riders beware, or watch out for nessy
swimming nonchalantly on the waves heading south for the winter.

forget the smog that chokes us,
or men at work. yield or clutch the steering
wheel firmly, no left turns on the traffic circle,
no drives into the drink, and wear your mask
for goodness sake in pollution.

exit at 76 m.p.h. or leave clocked
at 800km anywhere. it won't take you to the moon,
and back, or back down to boom town
where the barricade will stop you dead
but, you can find a puzzle of bemusement
if you choose to "get it".

if its confusion, I've got it -
an art installation, I get it, not...

Good Luck (Doris Daley)

Good grief! Gadzooks! Holy GPS Batman! I am
Outfoxed and
Overwhelmed. My plan is this:
Drive 800 meters then peel off to the right on 76. I will watch out
  for ledges. I won't ride my horse down town. At the entrance to the
    dragon races, I will merge and turn
Under the circumstances, I think I might just
Circle the wagons, buy myself some time. Shoot the gap when I work up my nerve.
Keep moving. That's my strategy. Why? Cause life is a highway (uh uh uh); I want to ride it all night long. 

Signs (Jan Burney)

So this is where they ended up
All clustered side by side
Shouldn't they be sent all over
Spread out far and wide?

For everytime that someone asked
"God, please I need a sign,"
Who thought they'd all be in one place
That hardly seems divine.

Signs are meant to guide us on
To show us, "Here's the way"
Or "Here's the reply to your query"
The answer when we pray.

This mass of messages is confusing
Which one is meant for me?
I need my signs to be specific
One or two, no more than three.

Also, what if I don't find the place
Where the signs are congregating?
I may never know, where I'm to go
Which would be very irritating.

The hearts on lattes photo (February 2015)

Love,                                                     (Angela Simmons)
I speculate is more than two cups
of steamed milk, mixed
with caffeine streaked
across foam in the shape
of a heart-
            but much like a latte
            love is a temporary
            fix to the illusion of life
            in and out of love - wrapped
            into cozy, and sprinkled
            with grated chocolate

to kick-off the morning.
kick-in the noon, or kick start
evening romance - I muse

           more or less, I speculate
           love is impermanent like life.

Sweet Addictions (Della Dickie)

I admit to loving coffee;
I can't start the day without it.
A cup of tea at midday
Picks me up, no doubt about it!

A glass of wine pre-dinnertime
Makes me hungry for my food.
A mug of sweet, hot chocolate
Puts me in a happy mood.

These things are not a problem
Except where weight's concerned;
Bad habit, not addiction
Is what I have discerned.

I do have one addiction though
I need it all the time.
Don't want to do without it.
That's Al, my Valentine.

Coffee Couple (Jan Burney)

At first it was instant
Granules and water
Opposites attracting
Exploding in the mug
An addicting, chemical reaction
That was us.

Now, tastes have matured
High grade, whole roasted beans
Grinding required by our own hand
Then tamped into portafilter submission
Milk, steamed to 160º
Carefully poured over espresso
Froth, gently spooned on top
This is us
The perfect coffee couple.

The naked people running in the snow photo (January 2015)

Naked in the Snow   (Jan Burney)
As we sit by the fire
Hot toddies in hand
We dream of the beach
Of bikinis and sand.

Through winter we suffer
The cold and the dark
Can't wait for the
Warmer weather to start.

To deaden the pain
We move on to shots
Our sweaters feel scratchy
So off come the tops.

The tequila is flowing
We have a great thought.
Let's get naked
And frolic as we ought.

So out to the snow
We go hand in hand
Butt naked and carefree
We run through the....

Hold on just a minute
This is not the beach
It's freezing out here
With our clothes out of reach.

This was just not
A smart thing to do
Our fingers and toes
Have begun to turn blue.

Like other appendages
I could name them all
Our ears and our noses
And one hairy....chest.

As the alcohol fades
And sobriety returns
Our reasoning eludes us
As frostbite burns.

We see where we are
Where we've sallied forth
On the cold frozen tundra
In Canada, up north.

What were we thinking?
Get inside forthwith!
This is not the tropics.
Global warming's a myth.

January Dash (by Doris Daley)

Just the bare facts
Absolutely no wise cracks
No siree,
All you'll get from us. Officer
Running for safer grounds
Yelling like Norwegian wolf hounds
Dashing in birthday suited splendours
Aghast...and begging...we're first time offenders
Sir, nothing cheeky, no winter streaking spree, but
House is locked, and no pocket for the key.

Butt Naked (Angela Simmons)

butts bare
under grey sky
tickles snowm soft, silly
tucks, wobbles in flight away from hot spring.

needles and pins swallow
a  smooth singed skin
kindled by steam
explodes from scorched steam then
darts, dashes towards open blanket, arms outstretched.

Sam and Shirley's Daring Antic (Della Dickie)

Sam and Shirley, young romantics
Did achieve a daring antic
To satisfy, she did insist
An item on her Bucket List.

When a misty rain appeared
They both agreed the time was here,
Took off the clothes they were wearing;
Except for shoes, their bodies baring.

Laughing like they were insane
They ran into the misty rian.
Childlike, hand in hand they ran
A giggling, jiggling woman and man.

A mile they ran, who neded sun
No one around to see their fun
Except the cows out in the pasture
Then the rain came down much faster.

With raindrops pelting all around
They decided then to turn around
The breeze became a howling gale
Thunder, lightning and oh-no - hail.

No place where they could get inside.
Nowhere to hide their smarting hides.
The only thing that they could do
Was to see this stupid antic through.

So back they ran, endowments flapping,
Slipping, sliding, hailstones smacking,
Yelling OUCH, and screaming pain
She vowed they'd not do this again.

They finally reached their own front door
And in they fell upon the floor;
Battered, tattered, cold and blue,
Romance had out the window flew.

A hot bath laced with epsom salts
Calmed their body's hail assaults;
Wrapped in bathrobes warm and handy
They sipped on hot tea laced with brandy

And Shirley said, "Now I can scratch
That item from my list at last.
There's nowhere now I'd rather be - 
Let's brew anothr pot o' tea."

December 2014 -no photo (Christmas theme)

Don't Panic (by Della Dickie)

A few days left till Christmas
So many things to do
Gifts to buy, tarts to bake
But this is nothing new.

Each year my list is much the same
Buy turkey, paper, bows
Clean the house, put up the tree
Must buy one first I s'pose

The time it seems is running out
To decorate my home
But here I sit contentedly
Creating this Christmas poem.

God has given me so much
Loving family and friends 
Sharing love and friendship
Is all that matters in the end.

This special gift we all receive
Comes freely from above
We may, perhaps, run out of time
But we won't run out of love.

I never panic anymore
What gets done - gets done
The important thing on Christmas day
Is to celebrate the Son.

The cloud photos (November 2014)

Chinook (Haiku) Della Dickie

An arch of ragged cloud
A streaked eyelash in the sky
Blue pupil staring.

Clouds (by Della Dickie)

Clouds fly high across the sky, to chase an unknown foe
Streaks of light against the blue of autumn sky they flow
My thoughts fly too and soon my spirit soars up wild and free
Riding high upon the racing clouds in ecstasy.

Winter skies of leaden grey, shut out the warming sun
Looming low and sullen too, move slowly on and on
Formless clouds that bear down on my helpless state of mind
Producing total dullness and to weariness resigned.

Then come the wondrous clouds of spring, they feather, shift and curl
In the stunning April sky they flow, take shape and swirl
Then they darken, threaten rain, they rumble and they roar
I hold my face up to the sky; excited wanting more.

My summer skies are beautiful. Clouds so fluffy white
Float across the deep blue sky; a most delightful sight
I lay down on the fragrant grass and watch them drift and play
And I'm as peaceful as the sky; I love those summer days.

The seasons come, the seasons go and clouds reflect my mood
I need a blue sky, wind and clouds or else I sit and brood
I am a woman, Alberta born, who knows a sunny sky
Will lift my spirit like the wind and with the clouds I'll fly.

The Tomato photos (August 2014)


Shelling Peas
(by  Della Dickie, Aug. 11, 2014)
Out in the back yard
Sitting in the sun
Shelling garden peas
With my loving Mom
She could shell much faster
My hands were much too small
And she would often say
“Della, don’t you eat them all”.
I liked to hear the pop
When I opened one real slow
Inside there was a family
All lined up in a row
The sweet smell was so tempting
Tasting took its toll
Better in my mouth than
Added to the bowl
Boredom overtook me
Before the deed was done
But what a lovely memory
Shelling peas with Mom.

Time to Harvest

(by Della Dickie, August 11, 2014)
Be grateful for the garden
Just look at that sight
Abounding with veggies
All colours – all ripe
You’ve coaxed and you’ve coddled
You’ve watered with care
Now all you have sowed
Is awaiting you there
It’s now time to harvest
You pull them with ease
You wash and you bag
You can and you freeze
You pickle, you bake
No time for martinis
You ask the big question
Why did I plant zucchinis?
They grow to be giants
You cake ‘em you bake ‘em
You still have a mountain
Nobody will take ‘em
You give away loafs
You give away pickles
If only those zucchinis
were down to a trickle
But more monsters await
So you grind some more relish
And still there are more
This harvest is hellish.
So remember next year
Don’t plant the nightmares
Just wait because someone
Will  offer  you  theirs.

 To the tomato –a sonnet (Jan Burney)
All of summer is within this reddened orb
That clings precariously to the vine of life
Seeds and juice and pulp I will absorb
When this ripened beauty succumbs to the knife.
The perpetual sunshine of this summer season
So short its run, these treasured hundred days
Together with the rain that falls –such treason!
On this blessed plant bestows its rays.
But taste buds have tired of awaiting the flavoured bliss
The time has come to pluck and end the growing.
Appointed now is the hour to meet its fate.
From stalk to hand, it rises to meet my kiss.
This, the reaping that comes from all my sowing
O plump tomato, ready upon my plate.

An Acrostic (Doris Daley)
he truth of the matter is this:
n the Chart of Comestible Bliss
arket gardeners know
s romance crops go
here's om;ly one ripe, roma kiss.
rganic or heirloom, bartered or free
xpensive, importd, we all agree
urely a BL craves the kiss of a T.

The footballer photo (in honour of the 2014 World cup -June 2014)

Having a ball by Jan Burney

I am the champion of this game
But crowds don't chant and cheer my name.
For ninety minutes I command the pitch
Back and forward, without a glitch.

Where would they be if I declined
To follow their carefully planned design?
Because of me they score their goals
But do they praise me for my role?

I am never offside, nor am I hurt. 
I don't play "injured", rolling in the dirt.
I am supreme, the king of it all
Much better than a player, I am the ball.

Perfection by Peg Ainsley
Look how far you've come
The road behind
            Eating right
            Early get-ups
            Late wash cycles
            New jock strap
            Old socks
As far back as you can remember
Far into the horizon, your prep

Now...with precision
         with balance
         with expert aim
         and determination

You kick
           kick hard
           kick high
           kick straight
           kick ass

And this sucess will take you to the future
It will be there long after you wear suits

Take many pictures
Shoot video
Your grandkids can watch
For this height of the physical and mental
merging into perfection will pass.

And that's okay.

The Laundry Line Photo. The following poems are all acrostics based on a word that the photo brought to mind.
(August 2013)
by Cicily Fowlie

Bursting with color
Like parrots and peacocks
Under a clear blue sky
Ever in motion, ever going, never gone.

PRIMARY by Peg Ainsley

Pristine and clean is the bold against blue
Rising to fly, just like me and you
In the same space, yet all on our own
Making the best of the seeds that we've sewn.
All flap and flow in response to the breeze
Reaching our brightness yet higher than trees
Yes, we are colours- red green yellow blue and
we can make rainbows even though we are few...
by mixing together.

PEGGED by Angela Simmons

Purposeful I cling rigid
Exploring the space between sky and green
Gripping my temporary charges, dutifully.

COTTON by Doris Daley

Come to the party, billow and blow
Out on the line do a dos-y-dos.
Turn to your partner, flutter and fly
Twirl with the breeze; bow to the sky.
Oh what a line dance, oh what a show
Nureyev-eat your heart out-it's the cotton-eyed Joe.

FEMA by Sheelagh Matthews

Fema camp T shirts
Each kind of dissenter gets their own colour
May I, please God, be wrong about this
All wrong.

PRETTY by Sheelagh Matthews

Pretty colours on my clothesline
Reaching for the sun
Energized by wind  power
Twist and flap about
Transformation imminent
Yesterday's grime
          a thing of a the past.

LAUNDRY LINE by Jan Burney

Long ago women spent
All day soaking, scrubbing, wringing and hanging
Until the chore was done.
Now we think we are so eco-nomic/conscious/friendly
Dryers abandoned
Rope strung up, we peg away
Yanking machine washed clothes in place
Labouring away like our pioneer sisters
Incapable of seeing the difference.
No, the luxury is not in the appliances
Easily, it is in having the choice.

Black and white photo of dancers: (March 2014)

BLACK AND WHITE by Doris Daley

Lost in time
And once upon a time,
Cheek to ckeek, we danced in Buenos Aires
Knowing we would go down in history
As Argentina's passion poster children.
never had lovers danced like us, never had
Dancers loved like us.
we left scorch marks on the pavement
Heating up the afternoon with flames of tango red, swirls of shimmering gold.
I didn't see it coming.
That last sunday you woud leave me for the green-eyed coffee server.
Esperanza is her name. I hope she makes you dance in black in white.

In the Heart of the New West by Jan Burney

In the heart of the New West
We jostle and rush
Down busy sidewalks
Joining the crush
Of briefcases and suits
The focus on toil
And money to be made
Off a barrel of oil.
Too busy to stop
And hear the song
To live is to work
All the day long.
But in Paris they’ve arrived
At a much better stage
After centuries of existence
From age to age
To the beat of the melody
From the iron and stone
In those that listen
It is felt to the bone
They do not ignore it
In La Belle France
For when music is playing
They rush not, and dance.

The musicians in a field photo: (April 2014)

My Next Life   by Doris Daley

When I die I want to be reincarnated.
             Not as stylish chatelaine,
             Queen of Heap or Queen of Spain,
              Chateaux in France I shall disdain
as over-rated.
When I die, please no grassy river banks.
             Nature's charms I shall eschew
             No need to soar in skies of blue
             Tempt me with an ocean view?
No thanks.
But rather, when I feel death's kiss,
             If second chance be good to me
             I'll come back as........the Key of D
             And live within your harmony.
What bliss!
Let joyful women's songs ring out!
             A lovely waltz, an Irish air
             Sing with gusto! Play with flair!
             When you make music, I'll be there.
Sing out!

Magic by Jan Burney
Witches conjuring spells
On mid- summer night’s eve
Could not this music make.
Picked, strummed, bowed
Fiddle delight and banjo joy
Lyrical laughter’s song.
What magic we create
When we have strings attached.    

The chairs by the lake photo: (May 2014)


 ADIRONDACK by Doris Daley (An acrostic)
After all was said and done,
Dreary relatives and casserole widows finally departed,
I went down to the dock with a drink.
Rye & 7 as usual.
Out of habit and out of sorts, I poured you one too, a
Napa Valley Pinot Noir, your favourite.
Dusk came.
An unexpected breeze fanned my cheek.
Cheers, Darling.
Keep near. Keep watch from wherever you are.

If I didn’t know better  by Jan Burney                                                                              
If I didn’t know better
This would be my dream
Tranquil, lapping water
Reflecting trees of green.
Modernised rustic cottage
Picture window views
Adironacks to laze in
Doing whatever I choose.
But because I do know better
My lakeside life would be
Cannonballing children
Screaming and scraped knees
Swim suits and towels strewn
Laundry and meals to do
Car doors slamming, music jamming
Friends just passing through.
Exhausted I would fall in bed
Wondering how is this a break?
Somehow this chaos is what I prefer
To sitting loveless, alone by a lake.

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