sampvilFor the summer I’m going back to the series of pieces mythologizing my growing up in Cape Breton. Check the Village Stories page for links previous pieces in this series posted in July/August 2014, July/August 2015


the  Bureau of Game and Fisheries

began a movement to replant the maples

around our village

‘The March of Afforestation’

was what they called it

to launch the March

they held a parade

down the main street to city hall

for some reason

they forgot to let us know

when the parade was going to happen

so the five of them marched alone

behind a the village band

alarming and annoying the merchants

who usually loved a good parade

there were no floats no clowns

just the brass band brassing away

with the officers

of the  Bureau of Game and Fisheries

walking behind holding up placards

that announced

‘The March of Afforestation’

the piles of flyers

all on recycled paper

they had brought to hand out

went unhanded out

the mayor was out for the day

the bishop waved

but wouldn’t allow the cathedral

to be drawn into the politics of ecology

one of the Game and Fisheries officials

sat on the curb and began to cry

he felt no one cared that the earth was dying

and no one gave a shit

he told his fellow officers to fuck off and die

and went back to his trailer

to watch TV for the rest of the day

the village band played

another couple of numbers

that echoed hollowly over the village square

the women coming to the well

were indifferent to the occasion

we children were at school

heard the distant echo of the brass band

while the teacher went over the day’s lessons

the echo of the distant music

made us sleepier than usual

I don’t recall what were were learning that day

after school we found

the streets littered with those flyers

that the Game and Fisheries officers

had left behind

the wind had caught them

and blown them around the streets

they were clinging to tree trunks car windows

like paper bugs

recycled paper bugs that is

I gathered nearly 200 to take home

to use the backs as paper

to write my essay

How The Moose Came From The Moon

03blue01This piece is a variation on the Moose Riding Academy It reflects something that happened, happens, all too frequently – outsiders make decisions to better the lives of people without bothering to talk to those people to find out what they might need or want. When they do take these people into the dialogue it’s often to teach them what is best not explore what might best. The ‘best’ they teach comes from education that works on ideals & not practicalities.03blue02I recall one of the industries that was started in Cape Breton relied on export transportation that wasn’t available & so after struggling a few years the costs made it impractical to continue. The locals were blamed for this, not the people who thought they were doing us such a great favour while getting great tax incentives that made them $ & leaving the locals to deal with toxic waste.

Here I have taken it to the extreme. An initiative that relied on no communication at all – the fact that the afforestation was happening wasn’t revealed to where it was happening. Printed materials scattered unproductively, brass without heart – noise that produces nothing. But clearly the people who thought this up got paid, as did the printers. I also love the paradox, or is irony, of flyers about afforestation being printed on recycled paper – news about replacing trees on paper made from trees that might never be replaced.


There is also a slight ripple of real memory as when I lived on east coast I often recycled paper – my dad’s company had forms printed on one side, blank of the other that became useless after a certain date; the same with Famous Players were I worked – so I would use those blank sides for rough drafts, even letter writing. I tossed the last of the Famous when I moved to TO.blue03Some things never change regardless of geography – here in Toronto the TTC set out to renovate, repair some subway stations without bothering to consult the people who lived there. One family was told they had to move out of their home of the last 30 years to make way for an expansion that was news even to their city councillor. Such is life.soon

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrbluepuff

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