Monday, December 20, 2010
A great January whitemess stealthed over Cobourg at the speed of fog.
Things began getting flakey when children, bearing bellies of hot cereal, galloshed and gallumped, gimbled and gabbled, and jabberwalked to Central School on George Street.
It was as windless as the interior of a coffin. Each snowflake loitered in the air, rocking on molecular nanowaves. Moist warm helipads emerged from the mouths of children as flakes floated like ghostly punctuation marks, commas, colons, periods. The game was to lick out of airy nothing, the few fat flakes that would impact on the tongue like an exclamation point! Drunken trails in the snow along the streets followed their vocational pursuit of devouring weather in a single gulp.
There was the fascination of a bare naked hand, palm-up being held out for the white stuff; watching three flakes clinging to each other as they hand-landed and dissolved into a flat teardrop. One after another, singly and in small groups, the flakes hand-landed and instantly morphed into tears, draining down the length of a life line and dripping onto its fallen brethren at ground level. Faces full of smile and roseblush dripped with the debris of martyred flakes.
It was magic and guilt-free. Once upon a moment it was a flake all intricate with organic symmetry, then poof, it’s a teardrop in hand. No flake has ever been known to wail out in agony or thrash about as it immigrated from one state of being to another state of being. They assimilated from white to clear without protest. It was the kind of thing that inspires children to trace their routes back to the poem age, which invariably leads to the Imagine Nation. (The Imagine Nation is compelling and exhilarating because it is lawless)
Life is so Normal Rockwell at times. The school bell (((RANG))). Scampering leads to elbowing through the clogging on the school doorsteps, the thresholds where wild spirits of imaginationism are “civilized”; then the anxious soft-shoe shuffle begins as children distribute themselves to their homeroom holding cells governed by cranky teachers venting in the blackboard bungle.
The flakey fog continued outside the windows. At the very moment when fidgeting was about to become a disturbance issue, the bell rang for regress. Children tumbled down the wide stairs, white water rapids, hootin’, hollerin’ gallumphin’ and bumphin’ through the doors and into a schoolyard filled with white-sized imagination.
Off in the far corner of the schoolyard there was a spot of turbulence. The cry echoed across the yard. “Fight!” “FIGHT!” “FIGHT!” Children hurried and scurried to bear witness, uploading the dramatic seen into their biocomputers.
The bell (((RANG))).
Regress is over.
“I’ll see you on James Street after lunch, you dipschtick!”
“That’ll be your last date dorkhead.”
The exhaustless children returned to their holding cells to endure the remnants of the morning agenda, becoming more and more civilized. Yawn. They bloated on the excessive government-approved lore of history and geography. As the lessons wore on, breakfast became, like, so hrs&hrs ago. Noon stretched over ten hungry ten excruciating ten unbearable moments away. The bell (((RANG))). Children fled the building carelessly cocooned in muffler, mitts and misaligned buttoning of winter jackets.
It was a lickety-split lunch. Many moms were blind-sided by the wolfing at the kitchen table. “What’s the rush?” “Chew your food.” “Why so fast?” Dash to door. Mad scramble. Golly Galosh. Tangle of coat, muffler, toque, mitts, mitts, where’s the mitts? Hibernating in jacket pockets. “Bye mom, gotta go!” SwOOsh, galumph glosh.
Grievzi, Fig, Whopper, Rupe, were ploughing down the middle of Chapel Street leaving drunken furrows in the snow. The usual route to Central School for the Chapel Streeters is Buck Street, but not today, not when there is an unmellow drama expected to go down on James Street. Dorkhead vs Dipschtick.
Heading up Division Street, the exuberant spawn of post-war celebration, finally took notice of the abundant debris dropping from The Perfect Stealth Storm. Packing snow! The generosity of the snow gods was total. Snowballs that packed in moments. Never mind the 23,738 words for snow that the Inuit have – packing well in five seconds is all and exclusive. Packing snow. Impacting snow. High calibre custom fits for every mittened hand
Turning onto James Street, the boys were stunned to see, not a fight, but chaos, utter chaos. Twenty children or so were lobbing snowballs back and forth across the street. That stretch of street was an ammo dump. In fact, ammunition continued to float from the sky.
The Chapel Boys crouched down behind a 1958 Plymouth because its excessive fins provided a shield for incoming snowballs. It didn’t matter who was on the other side of the street. It wasn’t personal. They were targets because they were there. They were targets because they were children. Yes. Restricted to twelve and under. The street was an adult-free zone. It was also civilization-free.
It wasn’t long before the street was swarming with winter warriors. Children flowing down George Street to return to school suddenly took a left turn onto James to join the fracas and frolic.
Thod Wooosh! The snowball hits the windshield, shattering itself into shrapnel that hits two. Thod, thod, thud, thod, thish thod. The Plymouth took a pounding. Fig was a lousy shot so he was assigned to built the stockpile that fed us sharpshooters. Thwack! “Got him” Thwack thwack thwosh, “Gotcha back!”
“There’s girls over there.” “Girls?” “And they’re throwing snowballs.” “But they’re girls!” The boys arm themselves each with three snowballs. CHARGE!!!! This is immediately followed by squeals, screams, screeches, and flailing arms softened with fluffy pink mitts. Took seconds to unload, then return to positions behind the Plymouth.
Snowballs were largely thrown willynelsony, every which way. Now and then a victory whoop went up when a rosey-cheeked face became intimate friends with a snowball. It was a special treat to hit someone on the back of the neck. The collateral pain came from the cold trickle down the spine.
The battle moved down James Street and onto the unblemished front lawn of Central School. It was a tossed salad of full frontal fun and frolic, wild abandonment of civilization, Lord of the Flies, meanwhile, the forces of civilization were uploading the scene from the window between the power grey pillars. Adults. Przt!
The bell (((RANG))).
The action stopped. Just like that. Scampering took hold, elbowing through the clogging on the school doorsteps, the thresholds where wild spirits of imaginationism are “civilized”; then the anxious soft-shoe shuffle begins …
What were once referred to as elementary school students were now relegated to waddling duck status. The warden of the school, and other back-up authorities, were picking out ducks from the incoming lines. Easy pickin’s. The culprits were a mess. The innocent largely neat and dry.
Twenty miscreants soaking in meltdown stood shloppy in the school foyer. They received a loud lesson supplemented with a passing reference to The Strap. This civilizing influence was seriously absorbed by the shloppy shloaking children whose jelly-bean tootsies marinated inside water-sogged boots.
A wet whispered voice from behind says, “Twenty of us, eight strap slaps each, the old fogie ain’t got it in him to swing his arm 160 times.”
And so it was. We were all left to marinate in the collateral damage of our frolic, and eventually grew up to become the best educated, most prosperous and free generation the world has ever know. Peace babe!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
It is in the small things we see it.
The child's first step,
as awesome as an earthquake
- - Anne Sexton
rest of poem here
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
--- Albert Camus
The Imagine Nation of the Peoples Republic of Poetry has received numerous reports from poets throughout the northern hemisphere who have been making out with their muses. Everywhere the poem is the same.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all,
Flowers in the summer
Fires in the fall!
--- Robert Louis Stevenson
The Organization of Oxygen Producing Services, Deciduous Division, has been putting on a dazzling display of unbridled multicolourfulism. Throughout Northumberland, sugardaddy maples dominate the catwalk hills with inflammatory, amatory, scarlet skirts.
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.
--- William Blake
The scientific community provides the botanical boilerplate explanation for this deciduous decadence, "It is the outcome of sap deprivation." It is the ‘golden load’ that spices the blonde fields and lawns once freckled with spring petal debris.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall.
--- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The fields have been shaved of grain, trees unburdened of fruit. Nature greened excessive overtime plumping and juicing up our 100-mile diets. All this autumn extravagance disguises an ugly reality -- the massive layoff of leaves by oxygen producers. "A portion of the earth’s lung has collapsed," announced the Concerned Utopians for Sustainable Verdancy, renown to have a lengthy record of sounding alarms without an exclamation point.
There is silence: the dead leaves
Fall and rustle and are still;
Beats no flail upon the sheaves,
Comes no murmur from the mill
--- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Children fling their exuberant bodies into the crispy clutter of backyard piles; strolling lovers permit a moment of childhoodlum, kicking leaves gathered along gutters. There is no empathy for the sensitivities of the newly unemployed leaves.
They gather on sidewalks outside newspaper offices, yet no editor or columnist abandons their daily dance with mediacrity to acknowledge the unemployed masses being swept down the street in the shape of breezes and whirlwinds.
Cobourg has no tolerance for the diversity of leaves that have lost their sustenance. Everywhere they are mulched and bagged and shipped off to concentration composts without so much as a da svidanya as we head into the cold governance of the One-Colour Regime.
Only poets have the words to describe this mass ingratitude of fall freckles from last week’s resplendent redheads.
The warm sun is falling, the bleak wind is wailing,
The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying,
And the Year
On the earth is her death-bed, in a shroud of leaves dead,
Come, Months, come away,
From November to May,
In your saddest array;
Follow the bier
Of the dead cold Year,
And make her grave green with tear on tear.
--- Percy Bysshe Shelley
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
Flying with the ricks…
The American Acclimatization Society in New York thought it a wonderful tribute to introduce North America with every bird mentioned in Shakespeare’s scripts. The Bard’s birds included more than 600 avian species. The hundred starlings released in 1890 are 200 million today. Moral: Poetic Licence should never be invoked by non-poets due to the danger of karmalized poetic injustice.
Of the shadowy elms
A tide-like darkness overwhelms
But the night is fair,
A warm, soft vapor fills the air,
And above, in the light
Of the star-lit night,
Swift birds of passage wing their flight
--- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
And not sing by my house all day;
Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.
So musical with feathered joy . . .
Not for all pleasure fortune brings,
Would I such ecstasy destroy.
To where my bower hangs on high;
Come, and make thy calm retreat
Among green leaves and blossoms sweet.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
September 13, 2010, Wally Keeler addresses Cobourg Town Council as Committee of the Whole. The issue was damage done to the grounds of Victoria Park by Northumberland Ribfest and suggestions on how to prevent it.
Recommendations to prevent damage to the grounds of Victoria Park by Northumberland Ribfest.
If the event is to be staged in the same configuration as in 2010, then:
1. some form of ground cover must be placed under each cooking rig.
2. the grounds must be returned to the condition in which it was found
If the event is to be staged in Victoria Park, then:
1. park the cooking rigs along Queen St between McGill & Church, or
2. park the cooking rigs along McGill St south of Queen.
3. the grounds must be returned to the condition in which it was found
Ribfest attracted 30,000 visitors. This will grow in the coming near years. Do the people of Cobourg want Victoria Park to bear this burden at such expense? While other events leave a small foot print on the park, Ribfest leaves a bootprint. A large portion of the park is sealed off for six days, including the build & dismantling, thereby denying the full and free enjoyment of Victoria Park as a park.
1. The best location for Ribfest is the east pier.
2. More parking available around the entire harbour, than around Victoria Park.
3. hard surface for any spillage, expedites clean-up
4. speakers and amplifiers are turned south to the United States of America alleviating noise complaints from Cobourg residents north of Elgin.
5. continue the enriching legacy of the Rotary Club’s marvellous job along Cobourg’s harbourfront by utilizing an underused area of the harbour.
6. relieves Victoria Park of the burden of host.
7. an ‘exotic’ location where ribfesters are surrounded by water; the sense of a cruise ship. A cool breeze on a hot summer night.
8. spend funds enhancing the east pier, instead of paying for damage to Victoria Park.
9. it can handle the growth of popularity of Ribfest for years to come.
The Parks Board consider distributing the locus of various events into other parks in Cobourg; to ease the footprint made on Victoria Park. That the Parks Board develop a policy regarding MAJOR events that are likely to have an excessive impact on the park grounds.
The Town Council reaffirm that Victoria Park’s ‘constitutional’ legacy continues to be one of Free Access For All.
Go Green Together and Sustainable Cobourg teamed together to sponsor a 13 kilometer Bike For The Planet. Starting at the bandshell in Victoria Park, the bicyclistas rode along the waterfront bike path past the Cobourg Ecology Garden.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
The Town Council of Cobourg voted to name it's recently purchased harbour dredger after the Oscar winning actress, Marie Dressler. Councillor Dean McCaughey had given "some thought" to the name, and declared, "The Marie Dressler name means something in Cobourg, and I think it's an appropriate name."
Swooning for a dance partner, Councillor Bob Spooner was reported in Northumberland Today as saying that Councillor McCaughey, "...was looking for somebody old enough to remember Marie Dressler to second the motion, so that's how I ended up seconding the motion."
The mol flower power of the Council, Miriam Mutton, protested.
"The dredger is a workhorse of a vessel, a very large tool," she declared without irony.
"I really think it is almost inappropriate to attach Marie Dressler's name. I would like to see a much more elegant landmark to commemorate this woman"
And so the motion passed. The lesstosterone males voted in favour of Marie Dredger er, uh, Dressler, in hag-drag no less.
“I contend that every woman has the right to feel beautiful, no matter how scrambled her features, or how indifferent her features” -- Marie Dressler.
Marie ’Dredger’ Dressler is hoisted into dry dock and Cobourg Councillor Dean McCaughey, explains how the name came after “…some thought, being involved with boating.”
Really? Boating? Dredging? How dissimilar! Boats are curvaceous and sleek, whereas dredgers are notable for not sinking fast enough. Yep, that was “some thought.”
So Councillor McCoughey wrapped his “thought” in swaddling and brought it to Town Council, declaring, "The Marie Dressler name means something in Cobourg, and I think it's an appropriate name." This is indicative of an arrogance that insults participatory democracy.
Towns people should have been brought in on The Naming of Things.
Cobourg contains creative people. A call for names should have been put forth. A selection of ten or five names should have been presented for votes. Let Cobourg chose, rather than an I-can-do-it-all-by-my-important-self councillor. Thanks for consensus denial.
The lesstosterone males on town council appear to be gender-bent. They seem to see Dressler in drag. Look at the photo published in Northumberland Today; the dredger features a long nozzle between two round paddle wheels. Marie Dressler? How insultingly incongruous!
Furthermore, Marie Dressler, was some elegant dame, a Hollywood star, an Oscar winner, not a contender. Take a moment to think how Ms Dressler would reply to an invitation by the ‘Feel Good’ Town of Cobourg, all expenses paid, champagne bottle on a rope, to attend the official Launching Ceremony whereby they attach in perpetuity her honoured name to a bottom feeder that sucks.