Hot sunny days
Gave way to moist windless nights
Millions of minuscule droplets
Condensing on her skin
For the lucky to admire
In the soft early-dawn light
Tiny goosebumps like shimmering gems
The gentle morning breeze
Had dried some petals already
Creating silky duvet-covered pastel-coloured petals
Reminiscent of the fine hair on the nape of your neck
Your intoxicating perfume
Made me giddy
How to take it with me
Steal it until the end of time
A futile effort; my lungs filled
Sniffing repeatedly only made me light-headed
One last breath
Reaching the depths of my body
One more look
Imprinting every inch of my soul
I fear your colours
Will have long faded
And your petals floated to the ground
When I return
Alas too late to see you again
Some things you never forget…
At the edge of the Saint-Lawrence,
The shadow of Mont Royal at dusk,
Montreal’s skyline painted on the sky.
Bridges stretching over the river:
Mercier, Champlain, Jacques-Cartier.
Umbilical cords, life lines of every day;
Links to memories of our youth…
Where we learned to skip stones on the water
Under the watchful eye of my father.
Giant laker ships sailing by, steaming on
We’d jump when their horn blared, scared.
Cast a red and white spoon, treble-hooked,
Fishing for the biggest northern pike,
But settled for a colourful perch, or the crappie,
Hook, line and sinker swallowed forever;
Long walk home, fishing pole on our shoulders.
What could I say that wouldn’t fall short
Of describing your true beauty, softness, and elegance
Staring longer would only draw me further away from reality
Lost in thoughts, imagining, forgetting who, what, where we are
Nevertheless, for this fleeting moment, I found myself
Searching for words to describe a feeling, but failed
Some things better remain unsaid, some words unspoken
A thought came to mind as I walked away
I just kept going quietly
We both knew
I know, it’s not how the saying goes. “You can’t see the forest, for the trees,” is the more common expression. But I couldn’t help myself. With my lens at ground level, surrounded in red and white flowers reminiscent of the Canadian flag, among green leaves and stems, I realized I could no longer see the thicket of cedars a few feet beyond. I smiled and thought of this overused idiom, amused. I could no longer see the forest for the tulips…
An photo essay on vertical growth, stacking them up as high as we can…
Waikiki and its surroundings (Royal Hawaiian Hotel in pink).
Waikiki and its surroundings (Royal Hawaiian Hotel in pink).
Modern architecture. Shapes, geometry, symmetry, colours, lines of the city: a photographer’s candy store… From far and up close, we never lack for something to look at, to compose, to photograph. But soon enough it all starts to look the same, and losing sight of the forest for the trees becomes inevitable. The wide angle lens is never wide enough. Density and vertical expansion create vertigo. Noise, traffic, crowds moving at a dizzying pace; who has time to slow down? Who even knows to stop, take a breath, look around? We’re too busy.
Thankfully, a little distance provides a welcome relief from the constant din, from the incessant assault on the senses, numbing really. But to stack them up we must, to fit more and more of us in that same sought-after space. Growth is inevitable and must be embraced. Faster, faster, we go… Slower, slower, we get… but where?
Nature, beauty, solitude are my refuge. Where sounds and sights abound, senses are filled, yet where I can find a place just for me. Just to be… To discover… Thankful. Undisturbed. Quiet. Even just for a moment.
The stars are still visible in the lightening sky when I set off for a hike. Passed the floating bridge, I step off the trail into the wild prairie tall grass, shiny with giant drops of dew, and venture closer to the water. The white puffs my breath creates mirror the fog rising from the surface of the lake. The air is still. A bird chirps in the distance. A beaver slaps its tail in the water and swims off, only a few feet from me. A lonely merganser emerges from the fog, drifting. Deepening golden hues announce the imminent sunrise and the clouds shuffle over for a better view. A log—one half on land, the other submerged—provides the only seat I need for this show, just for me…
The sun has climbed high by the time I wake from my hypnotic trance, dazed, awed, enchanted, filled with joy, happy. The camper awakes to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and a smile. Morning. Unstacked. Life is good.
It’s really a matter of perspective, isn’t it?
Where round, round, we go, becomes
Down, down, we go.
We came up the staircase,
Emerging from the depths
Toward the light…
Hold on, keep going,
You can do it!
Right to the top,
One step at a time.
I watched the snow fall, softly, a curtain of large flakes slowly drifting down to the ground. The white comforter it created—thicker than a simple blanket—covered everything in such a way that sharp edges disappeared, dulled out by the few inches that covered them. The snow effectively acted like a low-pass filter, attenuating the high frequencies of the scenery.
I continued to watch from my front window for a while, then I took a look out back. Once more, the edges that could be seen only a few minutes ago had been dulled out; the gaps between the deck boards reduced to shallow curves barely perceptible in the gray light of the early morning. For a moment, the falling snow was transforming my familiar backyard into something new, different, almost surreal.
I scanned the whole view through the window and tried to follow individual snowflakes on their unique journey to the ground… and suddenly images of falling raindrops rushed to my mind… and I wondered if I could translate each flake into its corresponding drop, imagining this wintery scene turning into a warm summer shower. I could almost hear the sound of the rain as it hit the sunroom’s tin roof, the leaves on the trees, the blades of grass, and the wooden boards of the deck. I closed my eyes and could smell the rain…
The snow hadn’t slowed when I opened my eyes; I ran outside to listen. Try as I may, I could not hear the sound of the falling snowflakes. In fact, the thick white blanket muffled every sound as it grew thicker. I opened my mouth and tried to catch snowflakes on my tongue, just as I did when I was a kid. Content, I walked back inside and closed the door.
Flakes floating gently
Translated into raindrops
They melt on my tongue
Sharp, angular edges
Softened by thick, white blanket
Cold sound of silence
Rekindled by a snowfall
Waxing crescent moon
Basket in the evening air
Set to catch Venus