Second Sight

snow leather

A flake of snow falls from the sky,

A crystal of water from heaven’s gate,

And the angelic white contrasts sharply

With the black of leather

As the flake lands upon my glove.

The simple elegance of lines and angles,

Vertices and sides, stand out in my mind

As a moment of magic.

But, by its very nature

A moment is only transitory.


Soon, the star of ice

That I hold in my glove,

Succumbs to the heat of me,

Escaping slowly through leather.

Slowly at first, but quickening every second,

The incubus begins to transform.

Tendrils are lost and tiny arms

Begin to puddle on my glove

Until all is lost, a spot of water.

As quickly as it arrived,

The magic is lost;

A moment never to return.

Within seconds though,

Another flake arrives

And the cycle begins anew.


This is the very nature of magic.

Transitory but unlimited

And the moments of mystery

Are guided by ourselves.

Their duration a test of our desire

As we get older, our worlds more severe,

It gets harder to find

The magic in our lives,

But it is not because

Magic does not exist.

It surrounds us at every turn,

Simply awaiting our attention.

Call it God, faith, life or dreams,

Magic exists but for the seeing.


Sometimes you just have to use

The eyes of the soul and spirit

Or a friend to point the way.

(Image is property of owner and is used here without permission but a little magic.)

Crème de Glace

So beautiful

So beautiful

Leaving the house to go to work,

I open my door to find

My world transformed.

Branches of the trees

Hang a little lower

In the cold morning air,

Suffering the burden

Of a coat transparent.

The rains of late evening

Have been transformed

As o’ernight mercury fell,

And the harsh rough bark

Gained a smooth icy coat,

Glimmers in the early light of day.


Droplets that formed

On branch tips and boughs

Are caught in tableaux,

Diamonds reaching out

To cut glace.

In the modest light of morn,

An explosion of stars

As branches dance

On the breeze,

And the horizon is littered

With silvers and golds

Of ice and leaves yet true.


An image in transition.

The day is a busy one.

As the run rises higher

And the ebon bark

Absorbs Helios’ glow,

The ice will melt;

Diamonds lost forever,

Stars fallen to earth.

And we’ll await

Another day,

Other magical illusions.

(Written 17 years ago, this seems appropriate today.)

Sunny Toronto – Part Four – Random

And then there are those photos that just refuse to be categorized in any way.



The building stands along the rue de la commune,

A sentinel on the waterfront of Montreal.

A few tourists walk by and the silence of morn

Is broken by the clack of cobblestones under the hooves

Of a horse pulling a caleche;

But the building is mute and observes.


It wears the marks of its hundred and fifty years

And hearkens back to Dickensian times.

The brick no longer white but stained

With the soot and rain of life in the city.

The windows are small, clouded irises

Through which pass the events of history.

The doors of the loading docks have been long painted shut

But the wood bears the scars of wagons poorly maneuvered.

She is a silent witness.


The wind blows ever so gently on an autumn’s morn

And the breeze passes the cracks and crevices

Of the wood and brick.

If you listen closely, you can just make out

The echoes of yesterday.

A foreman, en français, berates the workers

For being too careless with today’s papers

As they toss them into the backs of waiting wagons;

Threatening that the cost of bundles too damaged to sell

Will be deducted from their wages, mere pennies,

A meagre mouthful for the hungry families.


As your eyes scan up from the street

And you pass the windows,

You can see the signs of former residents.

Amongst the jumbled letters of words over words,

Signs painted over signs, you can still make out

The once proud letters of

Le Standard: toute la monde, tout le temps

A car drives by and the rhythmic beating

Of its wheels on the bricks echoes against the building;

Reviving the forgotten sounds of a printing press

Bringing the news to thousands of Montrealers.


Your eye continues skyward to a large bay window

On the top floor and you are startled by a reflection.

In the early morning sun, the light glints

Off dust-laden windows

And a spectre appears behind the panes.

Old Monsieur O’Toole, proprietor and publisher,

Still stands at his window, looking out over the river,

From his office and apartment above the presses.

The throb of the machines is a lullaby for the old man;

A mother’s heartbeat in the womb

Formed by the newspaper’s walls.

He smiles as he listens to the rantings of Gilles Garnier,

The foreman of the dock, remembering him

As an eager young lad who delivered the paper

For a much younger O’Toole

When Canada and The Standard were new.


These windows and this paper have been witness

To the founding of a nation,

Its history both ancient and new.

The presses have described the rhetoric of politicians,

George-Etienne, Wilfred and John A.,

Arguing the desirability of a union, a confederation.

It has announced the call to arms of Canadian boys

To fight for British guns in the fields of South Africa

And told of the death of a mighty monarch, la reine Victoria.

She has counted the bodies at Vimy Ridge

And, from these windows, has cried with joy

Of the end of the “war to end all wars”,

Only to weep at the start of the next one.

She called for calm on that infamous black Tuesday in October

And was instrumental in the programs to feed and clothe

The poor in its aftermath.


But now the building is silent,

A victim of post-war modernization;

A derelict in a sea of decay, the city fathers calling

For yet another committee to decide its fate.

A cloud crosses the sky, disturbing the light,

And O’Toole vanishes from the window.

The breeze dies and the Frankish rantings subside.

The presses have stopped and are long gone.

History proceeds.

Fading history clings tightly to the crumbling facade on Montreal's river front.

Fading history clings tightly to the crumbling facade on Montreal’s river front.

With the passage of time, Montreal's history fades into dust.

With the passage of time, Montreal’s history fades into dust.