From the Ashes

I drove through a wildfire once.

Wrong place, wrong time, wrong wind.

Got caught between the path of twin smoke spirals,

A small town in the middle of nowhere,

Long since evacuated.

The firemen escorted us through,

Not sure how we landed in the middle of an inferno,

Unknowing.

The truth being that there aren’t enough people

To warn all the travelers,

Mark all the roads,

In those northern places.

It was like a moonscape,

Once we cleared the smoke.

Trees, land, sky,

Distilled down to whitened ash,

Nothing left to rise again.

Later, later, later

The moonscape remained

But at the edge

The fireweed rose up

A victory

And a warning.

IMG_9821A flag planted, A battlefield remembered

So much of the North rises and lives on tales of tragedy and destruction.


For slightly less tragedy and some destruction, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

Bitter and Sweet

I am allergic to raspberries.

For years, I did not understand this.

I thought that people enjoyed their bitter flavour,

The way they made mouths tingle and swell.

I thought it was normal to cringe as the succulent bubbles popped

And more of that sweet-bitter poison traced its way down my throat.

We could grow few other fruit,

But we could grow raspberries.

Thousand of raspberries in drinks,

In desserts,

In the half-rotten smell of their unpicked fruit,

Baked in the summer’s heat.

No-one could understand why I did not like them,

And so I determined the problem was me,

And the strange flavours only my mouth could find.

I am allergic to raspberries,

And I no longer have to try to find-

The sweet in the bitter.

IMG_9824Beautiful and bitter

It is hard to walk out of step with the world.


For more differences of taste, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

The Taste of History

They are the roses of the dead.

The air around them tastes of spice and stories, forgotten and half-remembered.

No teacup roses, here.

The soil is too poor, the winters too hard, for fragility.

False or true.

These roses grew on the skeletons of dead dreams-

On abandoned barns and half-buried homesteads-

The remaining flash of colour once people and settlement passed.

History is a living, breathing creature.

It worms its way through the scars on the landscape,

Burrows into the ocean’s flotsam,

Rises out of the scent of feral flowers.

Words are a poor substitute for the world that was-

To understand what has passed,

It is important to close one’s eyes,

And taste the stories of abandoned gardens.

IMG_9769A delicacy carrying a hundred years in its scent

The weight of the past has the strangest bearers.


For more interaction of the past and the present, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

By the Moon, By the Water

The world pulses.

Land, water, ice expand and contract.

Some within the sight of our lifetime, some within the sight of the mountains.

There is a beat to it, a constant refrain beneath the feet, at the tips of the fingers.

We caught the tide on our way to the island.

There are those that live in that in-between space,

Who stay when the water retreats and move when it returns.

It is another world, the intertidal,

The space of sometimes water, sometimes land.

Those within that space live by the constant dance between the moon and the earth,

The million partners in a larger dance.

In the dark, the trace of light creates a pathway across the waves.

Creates a point of measurement for those who lie beneath.

They chase the currents, find the pools and rocks,

Those who dwell in the breath of tides.

Lives measured by the space between the pull.

Pathways marked-

By the moon.

By the water.

IMG_2133Barnacles are an integral part of the dance

The intertidal is one of my favourite places to spend time. There are few things as beautiful or strange as the creatures who dwell within it.


For more zones of interface, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.