Mummy Wrappings

In the continuing pandemic lockdown I’ve been using some mornings to clean up & clean out the basement, which has become as cluttered with relics as an Egyptian tomb, only no mummies (yet). A repository of what is essentially junk saved for a rainy day. So donning a set of sweats dedicated to housework, & for the basement, a face mask to deal with the dust, I’ve been venturing down for an hour or two at a time.

Here are choice items that have been holding their own (as well as dust & cobwebs) for some time. These first are laundry room decor. This portrait of  H M Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) is by Salomon van Abbé. Yes, I did a bit of research. It was in the basement when we moved into the house over forty years ago. It was in the remains of frame & already water stained. There is probably a companion portrait of the King. These were found in nearly every school across Canada at the time. I remember a similar one of the current Queen in Sydney schools. Every class room had one.

Beside her is a paint-by-number I picked up, framed, at a yard sale. Paris? in the rain. At least Chez TonTon suggests Paris, as does the shape of the kiosk with the posters on it. I’m not sure of the horse-drawn cart in front of TonTon – it does suggest a time before autos. Where they getting a delivery of bread?

Under Paris is this marvellous velvet painting that I found on the street in Montreal in the late 90’s. I used to visit Montreal a week or so every summer for a bilingual AA round-up. Even though the painting is signed ‘Ramon’ (I think) it is clearly out of a painting sweatshop where ‘artists’ would go from one canvas to the next – one artist specialized in clouds, another in water ripples etc.

Finally, for this visit to the underbelly, I found this placemat. It was wrapped around some plumbing fixture & held in place with an elastic. I guess there was a mummy after all 🙂 I unwrapped the fixture & was happy I did. I love this prime example of late sixties graphics. Coarse fabric, no makers tags, & it washed up a treat. I had never seen it before but my partner had a very vague memory of it. The mummy was tossed but its wrappings were resurrected.

resurrected from the vaults – from October 1978 – I moved to Toronto in May 1978 – I was living in an apartment on Sherbourne near Isabella.

The Pause

the pause


not to reflect

but to hesitate

even here

where the cards are on the table

where it’s all below the belt

we use

the pause

for eyes to flash away

for eyes to consent 

even

after the rite of second glancing

after the facts of being here

there is

the pause

the fear

the guilt the frustration the fury

fury that descends to depression

depression that fears

the pause

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Climbing A Stairway To Christmas


The stairway landing has been come a landing runway for various festive bits over the years. The illumined snowman in front of the mirror is a year round feature. It gives enough light to the a very dark spot & makes it safer for anyone going up the stairs. The mirror reflects that light enough. The light web I picked up at Shoppers several years ago & allows for fun festive lights. It also remains up year round but gets its most use in December.

The rest of this stuff, I mean treasures, comes out only for the festive season. My partner is a Lord of the Rings/Merlin fan & his nieces etc sent these wizard figurines over the years. The tall skinny Santa is another relative gift. The disco bear was a gift from a friend many years ago. Scattered around are some plastic snowflakes – gift of a friend. Humpty Dumpty Is one of my Cape Breton pieces – I bought it from Humpty Dumpty chips – sending in several wrappers or bar codes, I think, plus postage charges. He balances, as is fitting, at the top of the mirror.

On the window ledge is a set of Red Rose ceramic miniature tea pots. I ordered this from Red Rose many years ago. Corporate take over there ended all such fun stuff. The Paris souvenir was a gift from a friend who went to, of all places, Paris. I don’t think Notre Dame, the Tower & the Arc are in scale to each other 🙂 I added it to the seasonal display. The police car is just for fun. The caroller is a tea candle holder. The sand castles where a fad many years ago & at one time had little flags which have since been washed out to sea.

 

Finally, suspended over all is the angel. A tree topper, too big for our tree, it comes from a friend’s store of childhood decorations – when he moved back to NS he took the bulk of his decorations that had been merged without ours butI kept this one as everyone needs a Christmas angel on high 🙂

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#JesuisCharlie / #IAmCharlie

It’s over a week since the executions in Paris. It was impossible not to watch at time but it was quickly easy to move on as the same talking heads asked the same questions and added nothing to the event other than their need to be paid to be heard. I can’t help but see the moments before the camera goes on when some make person darts away after making sure hair is right.

sink

fallen

It gets too easy to be distracted by the media frenzy around events as news crews shuffle around looking for the right back drops for their reports. I’ve written extensively in the past about the media manipulating the scene so I’m not going to go on about it here. As I say in one older piece – it’s hard for me to feel the religious sacredness of countries where queers like me can be put to death.

ribbon

culture’s come undone

I was shocked by the numbers of killed, the speed of the killers & what appears to be their reasoning. It brought to mind the firebombing of abortion clinics & killing of doctors in the USA. Their own home-grown terrorists – murderers who eluded police capture just as readily. They too thought they were in the right, that they had God on their side.

teeshirt

out of the blue

Events played out, almost predictably, resulting in new martyrs for both sides. Am I sounding cynical? All this search for an explanation is a smoke-screen & creates justification for deeper xenophobia. In the USA there is a move to ban hoodies because  they are an easy way to obscure the face – sunglasses next?

 

 

samples

 

Death in Paris

there’s been death in Paris

fervour for revenge

young men caught in the need

to teach a lesson

to set people right

to affirm a price must be paid

for not listening

for not respecting

while those that believe

what they believe

retreat

the young men are aberrations

even to them

their personal faith is the fault

not the faith itself

did they come from broken homes

is this a mother’s mental break down

another crime

caused by cultural neglect

now shifted to religious cant

or does it matter

as long as there is room

for the camera man

the probing host

and his teleprompter

we need the right pundit to explain all this

to make it even more compelling

to assign the right blame

all I know

is that it’s not my fault

I don’t even want to watch it unfold

I can’t blank out my TV screen

can’t chase away

the bottom of the screen scroll

can’t keep the cell-cam images

from spattering

my email’s page

it’s everywhere

the issue of respect

who has the right to demand it

you can’t cuss out a queer in public

you get shunned for sexist comments about women

but to mock another’s faith is death

what is freedom of speech

I’m afraid to start conversations

there is death in the news

again

that it happened

is the truth

the evidence is in front of my eyes

the damage done

I heard the the words said

that I can testify to

but I can’t account for why

why it happened

why what was said

even though I see the video footage

I don’t know what I’m seeing

one side interprets it to suit their own version

the other refutes

each equally self-serving

but what cannot be denied

is someone died

you can’t lie about that

you ask me what I saw

what I heard

then question my veracity

my truth becomes a matter of perception

slanted by my own personal judgments

I become someone incapable of telling the truth

so why bother telling it ever

it becomes so much more practical to lie

to spin reality

to suit the listener

so I’ve become a compulsive liar

how do I feel about that

who cares

no one is listening anyway

they ask how do you feel

while wondering who has texted them

the truth

all they care about

is how short your answer is

that you answer in a way

that doesn’t draw them any further

into your life

than the moment it takes to ask

then get the fuck out of there

before too much information gets revealed

they don’t want to be witnesses

they don’t want to rationalize away

your reality

so I learn to say the same thing back

how are you doing

rather than answer their question

because no one cares

there isn’t enough time

before the commercial break

not enough language

too many ways to spin the facts

and the facts seem to be these

there is no truth

there is death in the news

again

and that’s

no lie

ribbon

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