90 Winters: A Poem

October 27, 2017 at 5:12 pm (Biographical, Commentary, History, Life, Obituaries, Personal essays, Poetry) (, , , )

90 Winters: A Poem

The Medicine Man Chief of the Blackfoot Nation smoked his pipe
and looked out across the distant prairies at the distant hills
He then began his tale,
90 winters ago
Gitche Manitou sent a wise soul into this world
The same month that talking motion pictures were born
Al Jolson had said, “Wait a minute… you ain’t heard nothing yet”
A few weeks later a baby uttered his first cries under the vast blue dome of an Alberta prairie sky
A child who learned to read when he was 3 years old
Reading the Bible and Shakespeare and Charles Dickens was his fare
When he was 4, his father went away from the farm to work,
that same winter his mother took ill with scarlet fever
And he was raised that winter by a Cree First Nations Medicine woman
She taught him the power of herbs and roots
and how to heal using them
He started his public schooling at the age of 5
in a one room schoolhouse
called Elba
a school built in 1914
on the 100th anniversary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s 1st exile
his exile to the island of Elba
In 1936 at the age of 9
George had determined that Adolf Hitler
was a bad person
so he was going to build himself an airplane
and fly over to Berlin Germany
and bump him off
like Saint George slaying the evil dragon

He built himself an airplane all right
a Wright Brothers style aircraft
much to his family’s and farm neighbours’ amazement
He wisely sat on the very back seat of the plane
as the plane’s navigator
while his elder brother sat in the front seat of the plane
as the pilot
That way if their lift-off was unsuccessful
as they took off the hill over the
Rosebud Creek valley
and the plane landed in the creek
it would be his elder brother who wound up first in the Creek
George wisely reasoned
while he George would have time to jump off the back seat
before the plane landed in the Creek

Well the plane never made it to Germany
not even to Newfoundland
not even as far as the Alberta-Saskatchewan border
but George’s elder brother Tom
certainly enjoyed a very close up look of Rosebud Creek
right in the creek
as George wisely determined after take-off that the plane
wouldn’t reach its destination
so George wisely jumped off the back seat
as the plane made it to the ground
heading straight for the creek
with pilot Tom in the front seat
cursing and swearing
and prophetically foretelling
the language and dialogue
on most TV programs in
the early 21st Century

The 4-Minute mile was not broken by Roger Bannister
at the 1954 British Empire Games in Vancouver
but by George on that day in 1936
as he sought to escape
his dripping wet and deeply agitated elder brother
who chased after him from the creek

George reached the safety of his parents’ house in time.

In the early 1940s as a teenager, George studied palaeontology under the great palaeontologist Dr. Charles Mortram Sternberg in the Red Deer River Badlands
In the mid-1940s, he studied Science and Engineering at Mount Royal College in Calgary
In the late ’40s and early ’50s,
he studied History and English Literature at the University of Alberta
He finally settled on becoming a teacher
passing on his knowledge and wisdom to future generations of children
In the 1960s at Sherwood Heights Junior High School
he and his students built small rockets
that went soaring high into the skies
above that place of Alberta suburbia known as Sherwood Park
A sight that startled many Sherwood Park residents
who thought they were under Soviet missile attack

The principal of the school instructed George not to build
rockets that soared so high
Among George’s students was future astronomer and physicist
Dr. Paul Hickson
who pioneered work in the reflecting mercury liquid telescope

Among George’s students in the ’70s was future palaeontologist Michael Caldwell
who discovered the world’s first fossil of a flying snake in Israel

In the late ’80s George retired from active teaching
and was hired by the Alberta Department of Education
to give training workshops
to beginning Science teachers

In the ’90s, George began painting pictures
and mastered that medium
In the early 21st Century, George
began research for a 3-volume history of Western Canada
that he was going to write
In June of 2010, he was half-way through the 2nd volume of his 3-volume history of Western Canada
when he died from cancer.

90 winters ago, this man was born.

-A poem written by Christopher
Friday October 27th 2017
on what would have been
his father George’s
90th birthday.

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Mountains Blue: A Poem

June 5, 2016 at 7:01 pm (History, Nature, Poetry) (, , )

Mountains Blue: A Poem

Mountains blue
lakes so green
a national park so clean
This is Banff
jewel of the Alberta Rockies
Not far Lake Louise
where British singer Vera Lynn
The songstress of World War II
longed to dance on its silvery banks
And not far from that
Castle Mountain
once called Eisenhower
after World War II
It stands a solid rock
much like that great general
There is Tunnel Mountain
and Mount Rundle
and Cascade Mountain
whose majestic beauty
cascades in view
down the street
of Banff Avenue
There is Banff Hot Springs
and gondola rides
In winter, Banff is
post card Christmas village
come alive
There is Lake Minnewanka
a glacial lake at park’s east end
There is Moraine Lake
and the Valley of the Ten Peaks
south of Lake Louise
whose beauty graces $20 bills
in this Land of the Maple Leaf
Mountains blue
lakes so green
Banff one of Mother Nature’s jewels
waiting to be seen
-A poem written by Christopher
Sunday June 5th 2016

 

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Haiku About Cold November Evenings

November 4, 2015 at 8:29 pm (Life, Nature, Poetry) (, , , )

Haiku About Cold November Evenings

They chill to the bone
coats and scarves snug one tightly
seek warmth by fireside

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The Pumpkin Patch Chainsaw Massacre

October 18, 2014 at 7:56 pm (Horror, Poetry) (, , , , )

The Pumpkin Patch Chainsaw Massacre

Nighttime falls
your skin crawls
because you’re in the Halloween Pumpkin Patch
with the date you fancied quite a catch
This is the 13th year of the Trembleton Farms Big Scary Event
you were so excited your dad’s car now has a dent
but you’ll worry about that after midnight
when werewolves howl and vampires bite
but for now you’ll enjoy the scary fun
as you chew on your hamburger bun
Ghosts and ghouls and witches too
jump from behind these gourds shouting boo
you jump and scream
your girl holds you like a dream
and then you notice a little trodden path
so you say to your better half
“Let’s go down here!”
She says, “Really dear?”
so you grab her hand
and say, “It’ll be grand!”.
And down and down you go
What lurks there… friend or foe?
It’s pretty dark
this walk in the park
what’s that you hear?
A noise so queer
Sounds like a chainsaw
cutting pumpkins raw
your knees start to shake
and your belly turns to fear
you look to the ground
and see a severed ear
What the Hell is going on?
Body parts strewn across the lawn
you’re still holding your girlfriend’s hand
in this field of bloodied sand
but then you discover that is all
and then your skin really starts to crawl
where’s the rest of her?
then you see the best of her.
Her lovely head sits astride a pole
her eyes have that fiery glow
you open your mouth to scream
your own head comes apart at the seam
but look on the bright side
as your head rolls on the bloodied tide
your father won’t kill you for the dent when you get home
as your tortured spirit seeks a place to roam.

– A Halloween poem
written by Christopher
Saturday October 18th
2014.

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Humourous Rhyming Haiku About The Unicorn

November 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm (Poetry) (, , , )

A horse with a horn

more pretty than foot with corn

this the Unicorn

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Haiku On The Death of Seamus Heaney

September 2, 2013 at 6:17 pm (Poetry) (, , , , , , , , , )

Bard Seamus Heaney
now joins Ireland’s great poets
in hills forever green

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Haiku I Wrote About Jesus

August 23, 2013 at 12:56 am (Poetry, Theology) (, , , , , , )

Haiku I Wrote About Jesus

Lord Jesus on Cross
his arms nailed but outstretched
Love embraces in pain

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The Old Violinist and The Old Dog

July 31, 2013 at 12:58 am (Poetry) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I first saw them a few nights ago

 

They were on the corner of Burrard and Alberni

 

as I rode by on the bus..

 

The dog lay with his head on the sidewalk

 

in peaceful contemplation

 

his eyes closed.

 

The old violinist was vigourously 

 

playing his violin.

 

What melody he played I do not know

 

for the bus windows were closed.

 

An old hippy walked by

 

shaking his head

 

as if to say,

 

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

 

or an old musician new music.

 

The music he played was obviously

 

pre-Woodstock

 

I figured.

 

Then last night as I walked up Robson Street

 

half-way up between Thurlow and Burrard

 

I saw them-

 

the old violinist

 

and the old dog.

 

The dog once again 

 

his head on the sidewalk

 

in peaceful contemplation.

 

I approached

 

and the melody touched my ears

 

like the softest velvet.

 

Never have I heard

 

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons played

 

so beautifully.

 

As a child,

 

my parents often took me to numerous symphony concerts.

 

I have listened to Vivaldi on radio and TV

 

and Galaxy satellite

 

and never have the beautiful Four Seasons

 

sounded so beautiful.

 

Vancouverites may not know it

 

but the streets of Vancouver are truly blessed 

 

as a master violinist sends his melodies

 

into the air 

 

before the Festival of Lights Fireworks

 

light up the night sky.

 

 

 

-A poem written by Christopher

 Sunday night

 July 28th 2013

 the night after the

 1st round of fireworks

 in the Vancouver Fireworks Festival

 Honda Celebration of Light

 Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Renfield’s Lottery Ticket Or Wagging The Dog Cerberus

July 24, 2013 at 12:50 am (Poetry, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Renfield found nothing wrong with his selection of lottery picks

but the combination caused Cerberus to cross the River Styx

and the result of Cerberus’ 3 heads abandoning their posts

would cause this planet Earth to be overrun with ghosts.

 

-A vampire novel poem

 written by Christopher

 during the Midnight Hour

 early Wednesday morning

 July 24th 2013

 when ghosts are out

 prowling about.

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Accordion Player On The Beach

July 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm (Poetry) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Accordion player on the beach
The beach has a crowd
but no one listens
The music he plays is good
And has melody
but he plays to no one there.

No one stands in front or around him
like they do other buskers on the beach.
He plays the accordion like a master
But it seems this world no longer has a place for master accordionists.

He finishes his tune
and is greeted with the sounds of silence.
He puts away his accordion 
and heads home.
No one notices.
No one cares.

In the trenches of World War I
the soldiers listened to the accordion player
offering a sweet melody and hope 
amidst the rumble of big guns
and the sounds of Hell.

“Oh let every good fellow now join in a song,
viva le pompier
Viva la viva viva l’amour…”

Long live love
they sing in French
to the accompaniment of accordion.
Long live love
they sing against the background of war.

Here on the beach
is sand not mud.
Here they lie in the sun
instead of huddled down
in the rain.
Here they cling to their iPods
and not to their guns.
Here are the sound of waves pounding the shore
and not the sound of guns pounding human flesh.

To every thing there is a season
and a time for every purpose under Heaven.
The accordion was an instrument that brought melody and hope
to those trapped in the midst 
of a great and terrible war.

No one listened to the accordionist 
on the beach last night.
But at least they weren’t listening to the sound of guns.

Everything has its give and take.

The guns are silent.
The accordion is now silent.

And on the beach other buskers prosper.
The rapper who sings crap.
The crapper who can’t rap.

So still the white dove sails
wondering where to rest in the sand
and the voice of the turtle is yet to be heard in the land.

-A poem written by Christopher
Sunday July 21st 2013.

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