1994: Taking Flight

1994 we got the job, now we are Jets we sing that song from West Side Story and go out for sushi by way of research   the friend who arrived on my doorstep from russia, with her fiance has stayed, married, run out of patience with immigration hoops, and needs a job her logic has…

1992: Regime Change

1992 stumbles and missteps degree in hand job in another far land fell apart the chris columbus of our enterprise mistook the impact of his pitch hired too many teachers for the clientele delivered by his english language salesmen last on, first off, i am no longer wanted on the voyage. did cristobal’s crew master do…

1989: Image and Reality

it’s 1989 i’ve become accustomed to the song of cicadas in the patio the nightly drop of avocados morning’s race to get my share before pirate rats taste them all; accustomed to flipping fruit to find toothmarks in the hide and never a glimpse of fur or tail.   i’ve grown used to the softness…

1988: Para Empezar

it was 1988 the morning after a thunderstorm that washed part of the mountainside down i caught my first sight of Ajijic. my plane arrived late, and the first i knew of Mexico was rich tropical air, and then, the white-painted waists of roadside trees in the heavy, sub-tropical night. i woke in a room…

Day 26: Blessing Song

when i first came to the city, my fear rode on my back cities don’t love indians.  but i didn’t know better than to walk everywhere, because i could. and i began to admit there was life all around me, from the first crack of dandelion leaves up in march, through the stubborn winter song…

Day 23: Billie, Under the Moon

how do ceremonies work? what magic might be proper, i do not know, except that once, billie asked her aunties for advice about her heartache. billie on the cusp of nineteen, the moon something near full and trailing up into the opening in the sky, velvet shadows cast in heavy island grass. the quiz came from…

Day 13:Ucluelet, Her Sea Cans

once upon the wild coast, before we turned back we stopped in ucluelet, whipped by rain and there, inside linked sea cans, the ocean denizens of barkley sound, of clayoquot sound of rocks and shoals around the town, tankbound lay in shallow water. touch them, know them, listen to fond stories of this seastar or…

Day 10:1491

my brother calls we talk about 1491, the book about how it may well have been here before the migrants came now labelled explorers, let’s be clear they were often soldiers displaced. spain had ended the moorish centuries young men surplus to army needs, might find passage to something new. we talk about porous borders,…

Day 7: Writing with Mo

my niece has poetry homework, so we sit in the observation dome car, downstairs where the biggest windows show a river ‘write about that?’ and we forge a haiku about sounds we can only see. then she points out how the river is like the rays in their petting zoo water tank, leaping as zoo…

Day 4: Cannery Tour

Cannery Tour charlie meets us at the skytrain somewhere out in richmond’s kanji forests drives us to the shore, his wife and sons and we fly kites, walk driftwood speak of waitangi, how andrea’s homeland builds on that treaty how, here on the salish sea, history is a wave a long time coming in to…

Day 3: Runner

Day 3: Runner  who can remember the point? it is the name that eludes me, memory siding with musqueam unconcerned with which british subject far from home dabbed this bit of geography with his tag; the point is all beacon, named or not. runners pass by, inbound outbound, rotationally correct. every one who passes reminds…

Day One: What i Look Like in the Morning

Happy National Poetry Month. Here’s a poem: What I Look Like In the Morning gold for gold, sea and sky muscle across coal harbour view i look, like a muzzy-eyed heiress: nobody died for this?