Month: January 2015

A Time to Look Back On a Year and Look Forward To Another

DSCF1156 Above is a photo of an aging sign I took a picture of using the ‘sepia’ filter on my                        waterproof camera for an old-fashioned effect.

BLOG FOR TODAY:

Well, I went to a great poetry workshop today where a young man from Ottawa was talking about different ways to improve poetry and how to get people to relate to your poetry more.  I got a lot out of it, and while I was there I wrote the bones of the poem that follows today’s photo but I don’t know if I got it all right down pat.  He was saying that one of the things a poet needs to do is write the body, which he described as using all the five senses.  After some discussion/sharing, he had us write a poem from our choice of two prompts, the first being a challenge to write a poem where each line starts with “I remember” and the other being one about someone close to you and one of their body parts.  I’m sure a lot of people had some pretty racy body parts in mind, but I was moved to write what is sort of a true story about my Aunt Martha.  I won’t get too much further into it though, but instead I will let you read the poem and hope I did a good job of describing things to you.  As always, I look forward to anyone’s comments or feedback, positive or negative.

After the workshop, I met up with my ex-gf’s sister and mom and went out to a farmer’s market and then one of my favourite restaurants.  To anyone that lives in Edmonton or will go through Edmonton at some point, try to check out “Double Greeting Wonton House” it is so amazing.  Today I had my old standard, the #27 wonton soup, which was divine, but we also had deep fried chicken wings which had some great batter and flavouring on them.  I was extremely happy to gorge myself.  I have a cousin, who I have never gone to this place with, who lives in Ontario and was living in England for a number of years who still considers Double Greeting to be his favourite restaurant.

Aside from that, I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but I haven’t been writing a lot the past week or so.  I got a bit sick and picked up some cold and flu pills with acetaminophen in them and for the most part I have been sleeping too much for a whole week thinking I was sick.  It turns out that either I made an incredibly fast recovery after a week of being very sick or that the pills were making me feel as though I were sick and needed to stay in bed.  I stopped taking them and I feel practically 100% now.

It is a cold day in Edmonton today, when I woke up it was minus 23 and I expect it is at least that cold now.  I am really hoping to get to the pool tomorrow though and swim some lanes.  I am getting kind of out of shape right now after laying around for a whole week.  But I guess I will leave off at that.  I think if anyone reads my poem and is able to tell me what Drumheller is famous for other than coal mines and prisons, I would be more than happy to send them a free copy of one of my poetry books, their choice of “Poems From Inside Me” or “First White of Winter Poems”  just email me at viking3082000@yahoo.com and if you are the first to respond correctly I will mail you out a signed copy.  I think if anyone gets a look at the previous blog post the “Maggie” contest is also still open.  Best of luck and best wishes for 2015!!

This is a photo of my street.  It was much warmer than -23 this day!

 

Aunt Martha’s Eyes

 

 

In the hot, dry, used-up coal mine town

 

Known just as Drum for miles around,

 

 

My dear old Aunt Martha once lived in an old house

 

With my Uncle Joe, her common-law spouse

 

 

They had adopted a child and watched him grow

 

No one knows if he was mean or just terribly slow

 

 

I was just small and hadn’t known about such things at all

 

I never knew cousin Roger was nearly their destruction or fall

 

 

They both were so dear to me, those two tough old birds

 

They inspired me to write many poems and pages of words

 

 

I won’t ever forget one day in their car in that valley of dirt

 

I did something bad and I thought I would soon be hurt

 

 

I had dropped dear Aunt Martha’s car ashtray

 

And I was filled with fear at what she would do or say

 

 

For sure I imagined being hit or yelled at

 

But what really happened was nothing like that

 

 

My Dear old Aunt Martha said, ‘oh, it’s alright child’

 

And then she looked at me, hugged me and actually smiled

 

Those were the sweetest words ever spoken to me

 

Why I loved her so much was easy to see

 

 

Back then I had an old camera with the view finder on top

 

And the lens in the front, a gift from my pop

 

 

I tried to take Martha’s picture to save her face in my mind

 

One sacred image of one who was so kind

 

 

But I knew so little then I just took pictures of dirt

 

She passed not long after and the loss really hurt

 

 

The funny thing though was that in the buttons on my Dad’s chair

 

An image came to me of Martha’s eyes and silver hair

 

 

I would often sit down on it and stare until I could see

 

My Aunt Martha’s eyes looking back at me

 

 

A few years ago as I write this my Uncle Joe passed away

 

And we drove down to Drumheller on that sad day

 

 

We also went to visit Martha though she was in heaven

 

It seemed so strange to see she died in seventy-seven

 

 

I was just six but I still see those eyes

 

So beautiful, loving, caring and wise

 

 

And I think of her often when I make a mistake

 

Especially when things bigger than old ashtrays break

 

 

Leif Gregersen

 

January 3, 2015

Happy 2015 To All My Readers!

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Well, an entire year lay ahead of us and there are so many new chances and new ways to renew and enrich our lives.  Today’s poem focuses on love and renewing, which I think kind of go hand in hand.  My main plan for 2015 is to lose 20 pounds.  My Doctor said I should lose 60 but I have been trying to lose for some time and I only go up or down a couple of pounds.  I figure 20 is a much more realistic goal.  In high school I was 145 and incredibly fit, I ran for miles every day and played all kinds of sports, worked out and had a physically intensive job.  Now I still work out, but I seem to be locked into a weight of 250 pounds and it feels awful to a person who once was attractive and slim.  When I was younger, I was in a circle of friends that smoked and drank and didn’t play sports.  Some of my friends were nerdy and some even hated jocks, and for a while I felt the same way.  I was a bit of a peacenik for a while and I had the mistaken assumption that people only worked out and played sports to do violence to each other.  I learned many more reasons later, the two that especially stood out for me were the healthy feeling a person gets from pushing themselves to their limits, and the second was simply that I realized that athletic people have better sex, which was a major incentive to a teenager.  I never did have sex until I was nearly 21, and I was so glad I waited until I met someone I truly cared about, but ever since I was 17 I have wanted to keep myself fit physically and mentally.  I learned some interesting information about meditation, that it actually not only helps a person’s focus, but it also actually helps your brain regenerate old cells.  I am not 100% up to speed on the topic, but I want to research this more and I will write more about it then.

A couple of really great things have happened recently, one being that my niece came to Edmonton with my sister, another was that I had a message sent to me from a young woman I used to care very much about that she is alive and doing well.  Christmas was amazing this year, I got some incredibly thoughtful gifts and had a chance to give to some people in my family things they seemed to appreciate.

As you may know from the website name, I am and Edmonton writer from Alberta, Canada and we have had a terrible tragedy happen.  A case of domestic violence in the extreme has lead to the biggest mass murder in Edmonton’s history, 9 people dead, two of them children.  I feel a bit in shock that this happened, it wasn’t even in an economically depressed part of town like the one I live in where there is a high crime rate, it happened in some of our nicest suburbs.  It kind of makes me think back to when I grew up and the cliques that I heard of, young people who sold cocaine and did a lot of break and enter crimes.  I don’t know personally how I ever stayed out of jail myself.  As some may have read in my book, “Through The Withering Storm” (look up the link on my ‘books’ page) when I was younger I committed an assault in school and was arrested and assaulted the police officers that arrested me, but because of my mental illness I was never charged.  The closest I got to being in serious trouble was one time when I was 18 my Dad had me arrested for trespassing and I was taken to the RCMP detachment in St.Albert.  The only way I avoided being charged was by telling the policeman that if my Dad wanted to lay charges on me I would pursue charges of assault and child abuse and more on him and I was told quickly that I was free to go.  It was a really bad experience, I had to go and stay in a shelter and then a welfare hotel and soon after I ended up hitch-hiking to the West Coast.  I don’t have many regrets though, but I have a feeling that if I had ever been sent to jail I would have a lot of them.  Anyhow, as the day and time suggests, this is a much better time to be thankful for the new chances and opportunities the year 2015 has for us than to worry about things in the past no one can control.  Happy New Year everyone!  Please feel free to post feedback on anything you find here.  As usual, my poem for the day is below the following photo.  The first person who can message me at viking3082000@yahoo.com as to where “Maggie” is from wins a free poetry book which I will sign and mail right to your door.  Contest closes in one week.

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Maggie

 

Janine when I first looked at you

I thought perhaps it wasn’t true

 

No one could be so radiant and beautiful

You in your flying jacket, all leather and wool

 

Your soft, white skin and raven black hair

Made me stop and gawk and stare

 

At first I thought you and I would never meet

But somehow you were so lovely kind and sweet

 

You took a chance and walked up to where I sat

And I wanted to pounce on you like a feral cat

 

That first time we met and talked far into the night

I went home electrified with pure delight

 

I got your number, held it close to my heart

All life before was gone, you were my fresh start

 

 

Later something stole the love we had

Left me lonely, warped and sad

 

Inspiration hid from me then for quite a time

After I learned you were no longer mine

 

In two rhyming lines I now call to you

It’s not too late to start anew

 

I swear one day these words will pay the bills

And that in time there will again be thrills

 

Forty-three life’s not over yet

We were a perfect matching set

 

You with your little plane and me with my pen

Janine I need you back again

 

Kiss me deeply now as the midnight bell rings

Imagine all the joy the New Year will bring

 

This new dawn will bring love and hope

I need your love to survive, to cope

 

My darling please let me dedicate to you

The 15th millennium year by all that’s good and true

 

Come home with me now and never leave

Grant this two time loser one last reprieve

 

 

Leif Gregersen

January 1, 2015