Ashby Days 1

I don’t recall the actual move from Cottage Road to our house on Royal Avenue. Maybe I was away at summer camp (that’s a whole blog post in itself). My Dad was tired of renting & was ready to build a family. The neighbourhood was working class Catholic. St Teresa’s Church down the street from us plus a Convent. My new school was Ashby School that went from kindergarten to grade VII.

Much large than Colby. I cannot remember a name of a single teacher though. We did have ‘visiting’ teachers who went from school to school teaching things like music, French, even mathematics. I missed my Cottage Road friends though & would visit them frequently. I did gradually make some nearby buddies.

Ashby School was a short walk from our house. Shorter if one cut through a field & a laneway. We would go through people’s yards often even though we were warned often not to trespass. There were older guys at this school so there was spot where they hung out to smoke. Some girls had reputations for putting out. My first ‘sex’ ed happened in the school yard here. 

Also some of my initial boy-to-boy contact happened about this time too. Very innocent looking, touching. One boy bragged about getting pubic hair & showed us. As a blond, what body hair I had was invisible, so I had nothing to show. I hadn’t hit my puberty growth spurt yet either & I remained under 5’5 until I left high-school.

I was always hounded by teachers & my parents for being lazy & not living up to my potential. I was an indifferent student getting average grades. Recess is a blur of tag, bullies & learning to swear. The school yard had a fair hill along Howie St so there was sledding in the winter.

One of my formative lessons in ‘talent’ was learned here. There was an annual city wide art contest that we were all encouraged to enter. There would be a ‘gallery’ in the school & the more realistic the picture were the better they were placed in the show. I was a colour & shape kid so always ended up being on the last row.

Lost in The Forest

I dig in my back yard

not a farmer tilling soil

to replenish the food supply

nor a picky gardener

putting the exact right plant

into the perfect alkaline soil 

for maximum growth


I dig

and shove in whatever 

selective only as to color

I know a bit about shade plants

but sometimes even then

I don’t care

let the plant do what it can

I’ve given it a spot 

keep weeds at bay for a few weeks


I dig deep enough

never deeper than needed


I come across 

sometimes bits of shale

rocks sand

once pieces of blue willow china


I dig 

I plant

I water but count on the sky father 

to provide rain

for his plant children

I dig 

I plant

I enjoy washing earth off my hands

cleaning my finger nails

I feel connected


I even feel connected 

through the concrete asphalt

on the 20th floor 

in the parking garage

it doesn’t matter

the force of this earth

reaches to me

I feel safe surrounded 

in touch


when I am in any forest

I feel alien 

unwelcome hunted haunted

wandering wondering 

where can I dig here

what can I plant

every Tuesday 2019

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton

August 8: Highland Arts Theatre: 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? 


Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors


Stratford Festival – The Crucible


The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C. 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s – sweet, eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


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