Poetry Friday ~ “Gone”

A new one I wrote earlier this week. 


Something about the night
stirs the soul.
Something about strong cigarettes,
whiskey at the bottom of a glass,
ghostly glow off melting ice;
it’s 2:30 a.m.

Something in silence
trickles down.
Something in distant trains
leaving town
the way I always said I would
and they’re gone.

Something about listening to them go
conjures visions.
Something about curling smoke from lips,
another shot down,
another dream vanquished

Something in solitude
drips like magic.
Something in standing still
where I call home, eyes closed,
trains take a gypsy ghost
and she’s gone
for good.


Monday Musing ~ An excerpt from “Edge of Glory”

Well, I slept in today with it being a long weekend and hubby not having to get up for work. I figured instead of ranting and raving about the world’s problems today, I would take a break and post an excerpt from my current work in progress, “Edge of Glory.” Enjoy! 

Edge of Glory excerpt ~ from Chapter 1

Picture frames were swept from the walls and were left in piles of shards on the floors down the hallway of their little house. A box of photos was dumped across the living room. A Jack Daniel’s bottle sat half-empty on the bedside table in the bedroom where Lindsay’s clothes were in a pile before the closet. She was silent as she stuffed her clothes into a black duffel bag and set her black guitar case beside it near the front door.

With a sob, she took down a red photo album from on top of the bedroom dresser. Her fingers ran one last time over every photo, every love letter and every scrap of their life together. Their prom photos, gazing adoringly at one another. Rex leaning shirtless on his Trans-Am, his tattoo-covered skin well-tanned in the summer sun, cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other. Lindsay on stage, her noticeable red guitar and wild black hair. A group photo with their band and long-time best friends. Pictures dating back to middle school and the odd one from elementary grades. Inseparable then. Best friends and then the couple everyone thought would have been together forever. He could keep it. He could take it all back. She set it on the kitchen table where it couldn’t be missed, pulling her ring off her finger and setting it on top of all the broken dreams. No note. He didn’t deserve that much.

Four-thirty a.m. Lindsay didn’t dare think twice about leaving right then. She would have changed her mind and she knew it. She swallowed the pain clawing its way from somewhere inside.

A knock at the door interrupted her thoughts. With a tear-stained face and her voice hoarse from screaming, she answered the door wordlessly. A bigger girl with blond waves and cat’s eye glasses and wearing her PJs looked at Lindsay sympathetically.

“Hey,” the girl said sadly. “I got here as soon as I could.”

“Thanks, Jade,” Lindsay said. Devastation sent pain shooting through her stomach. She couldn’t think straight between the heart break and the whiskey.

Jade gave her a tight hug, holding her for a few moments longer than normal. “And to think we called you crazy for thinking Rex would ever cheat on you.”

“Surprise,” Lindsay said sarcastically. “I am not as crazy as I seem.”

“Oh I know,” Jade replied. “Are you ready? You can come stay with Sarah and me. As long as you need to, sweetie. We’re here for you. Sarah’s waiting at home. She’s breaking out the wine.”

Lindsay gave a small smirk. “Oh please. The bottle of Jack’s I started earlier tonight is almost done. Wine isn’t fucking strong enough for this.”

Jade nodded. “I understand.”

“Let’s go before he gets home. I don’t want to see him right now,” Lindsay said, running a hand through her hair.

“Of course. Car is running.”

Lindsay was taking nothing with her than her clothes, necessities, laptop, cell phone, and her guitar. Rex could deal with everything else.

The growls of his truck echoed from down the street as Lindsay put her stuff on the backseat. Lindsay let out a sigh and glanced at Jade, who nodded at her to get in. Lindsay climbed into the passenger seat. Jade shot Rex a dark glare before getting into the driver’s seat and pulling away from the house. Rex got out of the truck and tried to stop them, then stood there, watching the tail lights fade into the damage he had done. Lindsay didn’t even look in the rear view mirror.


Poetry Friday ~ George Strait Records

This summer found me yearning for days of old when I drove through my hometown on my honeymoon. It was strange to see at after almost 20 years of my absence. I grew up a small town girl and it took me a long time to embrace that side of me, though these days I find myself wanting more and more to get back to that part of my life. Getting back to who I was has gone as far as my best friend and I binge-listening to 90s country music with the inability to really believe that many of these songs are now 20 years old or more.

Hubby and I would love to someday get away from the city and find some solace.  We are trying to weave that into our future plans somehow. For now, though, it is the last long weekend of summer. I hope everyone has fun, stays safe, and please don’t drink and drive. 

And enjoy this throwback of a poem I wrote in August 2009 which strangely reflects how this summer has felt. 

George Strait Records

When lights go down
leaving street lamps, neon palm trees
fading out the moon,
when day jobs are through
let’s throw on an old
George Strait record or two.
I’ll meet you where poems collide.
Is it midnight where you’re at?
Does the old dirt road still wind
through trees and brush?

All day I’ve been thinking about
how to escape this arrogant city,
scowling faces, concrete places,
not my place to fall…

There must be more than what
lingers in my coffee cup
when the noon break ends
there’s another toilet to be cleaned.
The witch-haired lady says
there’s no garbage bags,
that floor is mud-covered again.
What do you do here anyways?

I ponder much the same
these days…

So when this no good day ends
I’ll meet you where
black top meets dirt.
Out by wildflowers, great pines
I drive,
hair undone, windows down,
remember the days of me
before I moved into the city;
flowers in my hair, barefooted
down the dirt road with you,
pollen and petals dancing,
intricately weaving words,
don’t mean a thing.
Got that old George Strait song loud.
I look forward to seeing
your face tonight.

Throw on the cassette next,
we’ll sing
Fool Hearted Memory and
Ocean Front Property.
The moon over head greets, smiling wide.

Your face, a lovely sight to see
as the crimson sun sinks low.
I’d be home all alone
if it weren’t for your phone call
saying bring some of your
George Strait records,
we’ll walk down the old dirt road,
the wine should be finer
after waiting all week.

I tell you friend, a drinker I’m not,
but in the city some days
I sure wouldn’t mind…

So as the moon rises high,
stardust settles, grab that old blanket,
down by the river we’ll go.
Stretched out on the grass,
crickets singing, petals rustling,
midnight butterflies fluttering happy.
That old moon stands
in the purple night sky.
This day is through,
all I need is you
and an old George Strait
record or two.


Monday Musings ~ Voting for what matters

About two weeks ago I was at a One Bad Son concert when their lead singer, Shane Volk, touched on the Canadian federal election before breaking out into their hit single “It Ain’t Right”.

“I wouldn’t trust these guys to put gas in my car but we have to trust one to run the country?” 

I think many Canadians feel his sentiment after all these years under Stephen Harper and wondering which politician we can really put our voter’s faith into. Change is in the wind with Oct. 19 fast approaching. It looks like this election will be similar to the Alberta provincial election, where many voters tossed the infamous PC’s to the curb by voting in the NDP with a taste of spite, marching to the voting stations with a sense of vengeance.

It is hard to not vote blindly out of spite, especially when the current Prime Minister has angered so many Canadians. Terrorism, Bill C-51, the economy and oil pipelines are at the forefront of this election’s issues.

The issue I am focussing on is domestic violence. I have ranted time and time again about Harper’s disregard for victims of abuse especially given that a monster like Graham James was pardoned, only to be convicted on more sex abuse charges, only for the judge to announce she was giving him a lesser sentence due to the fact that James had already done time for previous crimes.

To be blunt, it was the stupidest thing I have heard in a while. A Victims’ Bill of Rights was introduced which really only felt like Harper was trying to appease us until we shut up, even though it really changed nothing. Pot heads can still get longer jail terms than sex offenders. Back in June this year, James was sentenced to two years in prison for molesting yet another kid back in the 90s. Those two years are being added to the five he is currently serving from the Theo Fleury and Todd Holt charges.

For destroying so many lives, he is sure being let off easy and we have Harper’s “tough on crime” stance to thank for that. “Tough on crime” is Harper talk for feeding into the overhyped war on drugs in which he sends pot heads to jail to make it look like he is doing something.

So I am watching this issue carefully in this election and it will play a big factor into who I vote for. For those who are curious what the parties are promising when it comes to domestic violence, here is what I could dig out of their campaign promises so far:


Nothing promised so far in this area but we clearly see Harper’s history. Actions speak louder than words on how much of a priority this is for him.

While campaigning in Ottawa, he said the Conservatives “implemented a series of initiatives to improve safety for aboriginal women, including giving police more investigative tools and providing more money for prevention services.” (CTV News)

He added:

“We also brought in a series of criminal justice reforms to make sure there are serious penalties for those who commit violence against women, obviously commit violence more generally.”


“My priority is to end violence against women. We must take meaningful and significant action to address the violence being faced by our sisters, mothers and daughters across Canada.” —Tom Mulcair (NDP Facebook page)

  • Restore the Shelter Enhancement Program. The Conservatives so nicely scrapped this program. Mulcair has promised to bring it back. (More info on this program: http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/ab/hoprfias/hoprfias_006.cfm)
  • Call an inquiry into the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women
  • Helping women fleeing violence find a new place to call home


  • Nothing yet, but sent an email inquiring about their plans for the justice system. Will update when I hear something.


  • Repeal all the government’s criminal laws creating mandatory minimum sentences.
  • Increase penalties for domestic violence and ensure protection for the victims and survivors of domestic violence. (National Post Aug 2, 2015)


Poetry Friday ~ Within Walls

There’s no such thing
as home;
haunted shambles,
words spat in circles,
pictures on fire,
and the years simply
pass by.

Settled within walls
like ghosts
passing through an old house
but it’s not the same;
walls fallen down,
spider webs as old as time,
dust collected, elegant
upon broken glass.

A gypsy heart
belongs nowhere.
There was a time when
She’d do anything
for people who keep
stabbing old wounds
just to leave as if
scars were never there.
She is only a ghost to them,
settled within walls

Within haunted shambles,
words spat in circles,
pictures on fire,
dust collected, elegant,
and all she can see
are the years passing by.


Photo by Lavinia Thompson

Monday Musings ~ When the Cycle Circles Down

I remember cheap hotels and dark empty highways. Somewhere in the crevices of a little girl’s memories are terrifying nights and shattered glasses and brokenness. There is screaming and uncertainty and never knowing what she was coming home from school to. Stench of whiskey or beer, depending on how enraged he wanted to be that night. Headlights in the drive that induced a breathless fear like no other I have ever known since. Bruises on my mother’s skin. She was a stone wall built to last through storm after treacherous storm.

Those flashbacks don’t cross my mind too often anymore. But eleven years later, I know a trigger when I feel it coming on. Shaking hands. An anger so unbearable I want to break the first thing I see. Sudden crying. Rage. Pacing the floor like I am waiting on those damn headlights. Buildup of anxiety in spite of not being an anxious person.

I am watching my brother repeat the cycle, spinning circles endlessly and not even realizing the damage he is doing. After years of drugs and alcohol, he is spiralling and there is nothing anyone can do about it. He got into a fight with his girlfriend on our mother’s front lawn yesterday and later called our mom a dumb bitch when she confronted him on his escalating behaviour. After years of her doing everything for him, he is 32, jobless, lives between Mom and his girlfriend, and for some reason thinks the world owes him something, and often treats our mom like she too owes him everything.

If anyone remembers my rant about Mike Huckabee’s comments degrading single mothers a few years ago, you will know that I am incredibly protective of my mother. And if I got angry over some comments from an irrelevant old man, imagine my rage when I learned about my sibling’s behaviour. It was both infuriating and triggering. Conversations from over the years come to mind, in which I said multiple times that he has only been getting worse instead of better.

Domestic violence is called a cycle for a reason. It circles the stormy skies like vultures awaiting the kill. Even when it’s over, it reaches down into the next generation and poisons the children it impacted. Some choose to be better in spite of the toxic injection into their lives and some don’t. There comes a point where you have to stand up and ask for help and be better, do better. I had my moment almost six years ago in the midst of a suicidal episode while coming to grips with the sexual abuse I’d experienced as a kid. My brother was impacted in different yet equally as damaging ways and has been at this cross roads for a few years now. No matter what anyone does for him, he would rather pretend he doesn’t need help than admit he has been wrong. He goes through jobs faster than he goes through girls, though he has girls much more often than he does a job.

It took a few minutes after hearing about yesterday’s events to process what I felt. Slight irritation turned to familiar anger rather quickly. It has been a long time since I let a trigger get the best of me, but I did. Hands shaking. That destructive feeling I let take over. I grabbed the first glass within reach and threw it angrily at the kitchen floor. Sometimes the sound of shattering is satisfying, as much as I hate it. Then the crying started. Pacing the floor. Anxiety. Being so irate that the abuser could still reach into my life like this and still make me feel so helpless. And sad at the tragic mess my brother has become. Disappointment that the cycle isn’t over yet. Sometimes I sit back and wonder if it ever will be. Abuse and addiction has been tangled into my family for generations. It’s like it has become hereditary in the men.

But with a deep breath, I take a reminder that nothing lasts forever. At least that’s what I tell myself. It hurts to watch him spiral. He doesn’t see it like everyone else does. Until he does, there is no helping him. If he continues on this road, my brother will end up like my alcoholic uncle: alone, drunk all the time, and no one around because he damaged his entire family and pushed them all away.

In spite of standing up for him in the past and trying to be supportive and caring, I have had to do something I don’t like doing. I had to cut ties. We rarely talk as it is because he is toxic to be around. This is the same kid I used to play hockey on the creek with, spending hours out in the dirt piles playing, and the one who used to stand up to mom’s ex when things got bad. I don’t recognize him anymore. This is not who he is but this is what he has chosen.

And I choose to not have that in my life. Never again.



Caturday! Baby Albus

Welcome once again to Caturday. My apologies for the lack of Monday Musings and Poetry Friday this week. I am terrible at keeping this blog updated. For now, here is Baby Albus who is looking less baby-like every week. He was curled up on my house coat on my favourite chair when I came home on my lunch break yesterday. <3