Varley at Jericho

June 6, 2013

the two swimmers, heads bobbing way out there beyond the buoys

Varley solid after a bottle of red

with gaggle of glowing students

striving for direction and inspiration about how to go beyond

~ what is the level above?

when human and nature,

face and landscape  portrait

and treatment are lost ~

all forgotten in the sublime asymmetry


Vanderpant and his photos showing more than

just the realness – tell the story beyond the moment –

the river doesn’t stop after the shutter closes

where did the rivers without end begin?


Look closely across the inlet

and you can see where to wander to find the first drops of melting cascading over lichen and rock,

filters through alpine moss & gravel into a ravine, the

gullies collect the raw material

to begin the rivers which continue to flow until they find their end


Blackberries grow where Varley sat

Jericho now leisure-time activities

weddings for international industrialists


sandy for blue- haired lounger – leathery from routine

silhouette of grey and green, cypress to seymour


divots for Capilano and Lynn

the horseshoe toes slipping into the sound

the only clears for the sky


island and headlands

fjords and freshers

lighthouses & old growth anoint the end of land

give away to the space in between


higher now they climb

wooden pioneers drifted into the concrete and glass

cantilevered over cliffs craning

to see whats directly ahead.


the veranda hosted parties

fraternized student faculty

late conversations with wine

moving rugged frontier forms and

vocabularies of culture

not contrived, not crafted

but not wrestled,

– coaxed from the confluence of river, sea and land

sit with your tools

where were you when no one was here but beachcombers and

outliers and occasional picnicers

the ferries would carry you from Jericho to Ambleside, forays and for day of weekend holiday respite

how the tree became logs and people grow into the land and emerged after exploration and surrender – well affected

Dearest assembled,

Together, tonight, we add to the heritage of this hall – we bask in the memories of those who celebrated here before – and briefly consider the years to come – while we gather to celebrate these two lovely friends – raise our voice in support for the decision they’ve made – and offer our gentle help for their future years.

As for us, we’ll always have tonight to combine us in our affection for this couple – Kemp and Sheila {in case you are at the wrong wedding} Together, we’ll always have their good cheer to bind us. Kemp and Sheila, you are are part of us all now.

To the parents, siblings, aunties, especially the uncles and cousins galore – this is a celebration of your contributions to their lives. Congratulations to you all and though they’ll hardly have a chance to say it amidst the whirlwind, i *suspect* they are most grateful to each of you for coming.

When expressing feelings for dearest soulmate, we humans are prone to metaphor ~ equating the vastness of our love to grains of sand, or the stars deeper deeper still crowding the universe.

Or even the most stoic drifts to comparisons of love to *uniqueness* – evoking images of trembling snow flakes each allegedly unique {note: they aren’t}, or splashy heroic feats like climbing mountains, fording fjords, or having giant structures built as tokens of affection – whether they be Taj Mahals or surrounded by white picket fences.

But I propose that it’s not the quantity that matters – rather love is best gauged by its quality – the degree in which you savour each moment – the long walks in glorious parks, visiting family for sunday suppers, adventures to countries you’ve never considered where you’ll wander late night in twisty cobbled lanes when’re beloved have meandered, scampered and observed for centuries – clutching hands, believing, knowing, trusting that their love was the deepest uniquest, vastest of any love ever.

Representing Lebanon, Gibran lays it down thusly:

Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have, let these be your desires:

to melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night
to know the pain of too much tenderness
to be wounded by your own understanding of love;
and to bleed willingly and joyfully
to wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
to rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
to return hem at eventide with gratitude;
and then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in
your heart and a song of praise upon your lips

Indeed! But your love will show its true quality in the tough times life heaves at us all – from time to time. This pressures can be akin to the earth squeezing hidden pockets of carbon in scattered mountains and trenches so precisely that the create glimmering breadcrumbs beneath the surface – aching to reveal themselves to sun and eye to reach full their potential.

Sometimes the years we wish to hurry by are the ones that look back upon so fondly – aged with the wisdom and fortitude gained when all looked so rough.

Meanwhile in Paris in the 1700s Jean Jacques Rousseau was thinking the *same thing* – about and loving when the living ain’t easy:

“If our pleasures could be described, there simplicity would appear ridiculous; our walks, tete a tete outside the city

where i spent my last 8 or 10 sous on little suppers at the open window at which we say opposite watch other on two low chairs pace upon a trunk which filled up the breadth of the window niche.

Who could describe the charms of these meals at which the dishes consisted of nothing more than a quatern loaf of bread, a few cherries a morsel of chess and half a pint of wine which we shared between us – Friendship, confidence, intimacy, tranquility of mind, how delicious are your seasonings!”

Certainly, your life with be laden with splendid times and the deepness of your love and patience will only be key when he spends 4x as much as you on a haircut – just know that he did it to look good for you. Or she comes home late saying she was listening to a friend’s problems when you know she just wanted to catch overtime.

However wee, every day and every action adds to the quality of love – and polished with skill – the results are the head-spinning rewards of contented smiles and splendid leisure – so are you ready?

because the Red Hot Chili Peppers suggest:

the one to treasure the rest of your days is here
you’ve each finally found something perfect

so are you ready to show up for duty
serve this woman and honour her beauty?

will you agree to take this man into your world
and be as one?

don’t answer me … While i represent the voice of the people, i don’t represent the law, as such, i’ll defer to my magisterial counterpart to tend to these particulars:


Kemp and Sheila, before we segue into a night of celebrations and feasting and who knows what else, i’ll share the thoughts of wandering – in American in the 1800’s – Walt WhitmanL

I have perceived that to be with those i like is enough,
to stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,
to be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh
is enough

to pass among them or touch any one or rest my arm ever so lightly around neck for a moment
what is this then?
i do not ask any more delight, i swim in it as in a sea!

and i’ll continue for him with my dedication to you two:

another Jericho beach sunset stroll after bread, cheese and wine picnic on a Indonesian sarong bought at a market on a sunny day

another main street quest for a surprise bottle of wine to remember that night on the island when you sat on a boulder not caring about algae and cold and held each other, and gazed and awed and wondered about the possibilities, dreaming of a future growing together

or another snowed in cabin day, fireplace, hot place, and comparing passages and patterns – naps and snacks

another saturday helping friends in need knowing you have more to give another night eager to be home together, the willingness for a late night drive home, the patience when someone hogs the beds

another evening sharing knowledge with vigour and passion to return fulfilled – but ready for a kiss

another bus ride night to gather collaborate grow, challenge, learn, knowing that you’ll never stop progressing

another lifetime of walking hand in hand side by side, not in front of, not behind, trusting, hoping, knowing believing that your love is endless – as you pause to count the stars like so many gems


Kemp and Sheila, i humbly invite you to grab hold of one another, gaze into one another’s eyes and Kemp its time to kiss t your (smoking hot) bride!

Now you two beloved turn around and meet your future as i have the pleasure of introducing you to the good people as the married couple, Sheila and Kemp Edmonds. Congratulations!

Earliest Recollections

June 17, 2008

Lansing Michigan, 1973
eating macaroni & cheese
in a damp basement
while adults whispered
windows shivered
radio crackled
and i wondered why
the tornado was coming
and then my memory began

night lake diving

May 15, 2008

freshly skinny white

leaping from the storm

the 2AM moonlight

fractures with the impact

the rocks below 

clarified by the 

glacial melt

jagged but deep enough

for divers and explorers

escaping ennui and malaise


on the shore bobbing over rocks

shook freed from constraints

the absence reveals

no barriers for the lubricious and clumsy 

emerging from the cold

to stumble on the wretched shore

where bullets won’t start a fire

only tinder and a spark

is all i can stammer

Sailboats carving patterns

darters into waves which 

don’t seem to mind

Leaning over sideways

to control both power and time


Flocking into clusters

brushing past the buoys

like galaxies swirling 

spun by translucent kite-strings

Leaving tracers to catch a gaze


the stone mason

experiment invites 

me and strangers to rest awhile

only at lowtide when the waves release

a rusted boxspring fence and

gives way to me, the barnacles

and the bay of flashing darters 

handy for crabbing

May 15, 2008

The dock extends further

to make the crabs easier 

to capture

Waiting at Jericho

May 15, 2008

Green hulled sleeper

lulls along the darters

and sunnyday foghorn

Sailors waiting

papers aren’t order

sandwiches and waiting

waiting, watching

for the crackled word

we’re moving out

porch supper briefly

May 15, 2008

palm frond palypa

red snapper grill marked

smoking peppers 

rolled with twigs

buying the claw hammer in bucerias

i learned 2 spanish words in advance

the boy, 14-ish shaggy haired

“do you need nails?”

“no just the hammer” 

learning the preferred Mexican term 

entirely different and dissonant

and unnecessary to the situation 

“you sold me tacks yesterday”

as though he’d care


considered like a bleeding toe

in a sandy crab pinch and attached 

to the words of nails and canvas

start of something

May 15, 2008

exquisite with the dignity of 

elegance and restraint

teasing out the extravagance

of innocence and youth

each time laughing at

super mini

mary paz

3 avocados

and sack of 

dark beers

mango, rollies

spreading change

taking three times to 

count it wrong

leaning forward now

May 15, 2008

you lean forward

thick blades arch and thrust

you collared to the clouds

dappling your supple shadows

graceful valleys

no secrets

only tales to distract


my constant gaze

and eager intentions

i’ve seen the pathway
tis cobbled rocky and twisted
arranged enough to confuse
and mislead
but it leads
to the finest lands
you’ve ever dreamed

if you manage to stand
and can navigate by orion
you’ll arrive in the bay
left by bandits, fishers and seers
where abundance and tranquillity await
so replenish your weighted mind
tired traveler
and soak in the nectar of another
delirious day

seems born to drive

January 21, 2008

My Ingersol Rand representative
seems to be
born to drive

“I’ll gain success
by making friends
with numbers,”
exclaimed in a backslide

sure a bit rough around the edges
and often high on LSD
air tools look more splendid
displayed in meaty catalogs

greasy prints, overalled
hauling backwards now
wailing down Granville
dodging cabs
playing chicken with buses
pylons flying
a mob soon gathers


Comfortably lonely, cabin porch
hard back book
foggy overslept hard back chair

backpack hangs on
a wooden peg
but for deja vu

trembling hands
loosening clothes
fingers slipping
underside the clasp

coarse canvas dream
and well oiled leather boots
with high arches
moving away from here

even before painting
the rooms onto a circus tent
the tall poles cantilevered
and kids with summer suntan lines
on open feet

saguaro sunset scenery
flash by in a clackety-thwack 16mm print
Grandpa coughing, me
jotting down unessentials,
collecting pottery along the way

the movement is key i recollect
while stopping still and
tucking my boots
under a hearty mantle
of foreboding calm

betwen night and light

October 8, 2007

the space between
night and light
when bats dive like
fiery planes

battles over borders
foggy lines on faded maps
drawn by someone else
away for reasons
forgotton, arbitrary

rusting wreckage
overgrown by by jungle vines
reclaiming tools of sadness
seeking a final vestige of dignity
from deathly, slow grip

woodpeckers clamoring
waking bats firebombing
until sunrise

Lk Crescent 2004

One way these tracks

October 8, 2007

One way these tracks
run directly into the elevator
then somehow into Mt. Hood

turning east
stopped by a wooden fence
with a dam behind
Columbia daunted
but roiling

stunted but strong yet
regressed to measures, velocity
and potential
the water spreads thinner then gold
every fiefdom wants its piece to bridge,
tame and dam

rocks and measurements
observe the folly
silt builds behind
water cools ahead
beyond memories
of what wasn’t left behind
of drowned villages
and artifacts uncovered
entombed and enshrined
only the tugboats come close

barge drifting
silos wait
trains slip past
Columbia slows

Waiting Only Twice a Day

October 8, 2007

Trying to say
kind words,
“surely room for all”
waiting on the 15 Cambie
amidst dig and cover
moving one truck
at a time
one sinkhole

the battle-ax reserves judgment
“she jumped the line”
and continues,
“and people may be left behind!”
in fresh tarred reflected heat

Wonder and gaze to avoid the disagreement
She chortles,
“You must never wait here –
before now”

noting the stop moves most days
edging around impending tunnels
i aim to say,
“i’ve stood at each stop twice –
each day” recalling drizzle, sun and hail
but missed the chance
when we all fit aboard

standing up already

March 30, 2007

standing up already
prepared for something
classified as an unlikely event

“in the unlikley event” suggesting a guffaw
in less official communication …

an owl might
watch even if
nothing to see but
ripples, clouds
& forgotten identity

Coastal Starlight
2 hours late
dropped into darkness
late after waiting

i could wait until tomorrow
but i’m ready to leave today

Nine dollars for small bottle
of California merlot
drinking into blackness
cabin eerie tranquil
knowing the commotion
inches below


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