24 févr. 2011

Not in my backyard!

Inspired by an article in today's 24 Hours. 

Not in my backyard!
  So where?

They want to bring a homeless shelter
to St-Alban's church


Not in our backyard!
   the condo owners say
We've paid for a certain level of comfort
A certain standard of life.

Not in our backyard
  they say
This is not the right spot.
These homeless people
  they scare the young girls and the elderly.

Not in our backyard
It's the wrong place to put it.

So where?

They don't say

All the neighbourhoods
are "gentrifying"

Not in this backyard
Not in that one

So .... where?

Maybe we need to rethink
 how we can help
Maybe we need to take a look
  in our own backyards
and see what we can do
  to share our space
and see how we can find
between the condo owners
and the homeless.

Wondering wanderer

Have you ever wondered
wandering through the city?

Have you ever wandered
down the streets
and wondered at it all?

Have you ever wandered
wondering who lived here before?
Who built this?
What happened there?

I have wandered
and wondered
and asked myself
who? what? why? when?

Have you ever wondered
skating on the canal
wondered at the marvel of this work
wondered who cut those stones
who put them there?
Wondered at the sheer size of this work
at the daring of these men.
how many died for this?

Have you ever wandered
in the Byward Market
and wondered
how many people have walked
these streets before you?
What did they wear?
What did they buy?
Where did they live?

I do.

I have always wondered
wanted to know more
about these streets
these buildings
these stories.

And now my mind wanders
from now to then and back again
and images of old are superimposed
onto the streets of today.

5 févr. 2011


ring out through the sky
reverberating on buildings
the sound is deafening.
The sky is lit up
with strange flares
unnatural fires
reds   whites   and greens.

In the street, the girl walks
she smiles
barely winces.
She knows she is safe
in this land of ice
where the fireworks
announce the beginning
of a winter festival
and not
the death of loved ones.

2 févr. 2011

Look up!

Look up!
No, really, look up.
Over the store facades
over the shop windows
over the flashy signs

Up there
where modernity hasn't quite caught up yet
Up there
where the paint is peeling
where stone faces grimace down at us
  from a time almost forgotten
when buildings were decorated with care

Look up!
You may be surprised
to find sculpted wreaths
old names
  almost erased by time
a date
a window
   that's been blocked off

Look up!
There's a history right there
waiting to be seen

And then
look way up
to the glass towers
  looming above
the future
  looking down upon us
full of promise
  when the sun hits them just right

Look up!
You might learn something new
about this city
   you know so well.