Saturday, July 30, 2011


There's an explosion of hippies in our tiny town; festival-followers, musicians, crew and the like
We Barkerville workers are seasonal, but tolerated, the hippies, less so.
They swim naked in the river/smoke grass in public/pee on our lawns/leave garbage everywhere/make a noise

All this is true, but they are fun to watch, in their swirling skirts and outrageous hair-
and that's just the men-
I stare at this influx of people
My goodness she's beautiful, look at that kid, wow- a gorgeous man (so many gorgeous men!)
a strange reminder that this year, were I the type, I could make eyes at someone, follow them back to their tent
intoxicating thought, even if I am too chicken to try

I love to watch the festival kids
dancing to the bands with no self-consciousness at all
dirty feet and ragged hair
up past their bedtime
until they melt down and are carried away to sleep

And the music-
accordions fiddles guitars singers stand-up bass
We know we shouldn't, with our 8-show long weekend, but we dance
and stay up too late, and shout over the music 'til we are hoarse
Taking it all in, this explosion of noise and people and events

He says bring your clarinet. If I see you, I'll call you up to the stage and you can sit in
And so I will take it out of the theatre for the first time in months
packed in its case
race to the gig after our last show and hope to be seen
So that I can be a tiny part of this festival scene

Saturday, July 9, 2011

on the other hand...

there are clouds sitting like trolls on top of the mountains
no really, I haven't seen more than a teasing glimpse of sun for days on end
my very soul is damp
the Barkerville cat spends her days dreaming on our green-room couch
dreaming of warmth, of foxes, of whistle pigs ripe for the crunching
while outside the rain is sheeting down

bears really do lurk in the woods
and doubts like grizzlies growl and mutter
inside my mind from time to time
the age-old questions, even here:
what am I doing?
where do I fit in?
am I loved?

there are always dishes in the sink
and mud on the floor
and tiny biting bugs that wriggle their way through any screen
and almost no solitude

stand strong, feet firmly planted
and remember to take up as much space as you deserve
remember that joy has its flipside, sorrow
and that both are fleeting, but important
remember that there is no misfortune that cannot be made smaller
by sugar, fatty foods, friendship, music and sleep

there are bumps in the road, even here
and boredom and dirt and frustration
but that doesn't change the essentials
all the good things that are
this I know, deep down

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2 nights ago
an evening trip to a cold, cold lake
there were four of us racing behind trees to change into swimsuits
dashing towards the shadowed water
I was the first one to dive in
and the first one to scream
breath rasping inoutinout as my feet grew numb
but we all dared, more than once
and we have pictures to prove it

then a dusk drive to the middle of nowhere
a place where men once sought gold, built homes
where seven women were wives, storekeepers, whores
where now there is nothing
no ruined cabins, no half-buried treasures
just a fast, icy creek
secretive trees
the danger of bears
and a road becoming overgrown and narrow

If I walked further along
past where we stopped the car
past washouts and fallen trees and old tailing piles
would I walk into history
like those long-ago gold-seekers
so that one day someone would come to this place
and half-hear my voice
in the wind

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I fall in love with you slowly every year
reluctant to arrive here
in your lingering days of spring mud and roof-high snow drifts
you cannot win me over with the ocean
your mountains are no great things, your lakes are hidden away, not easily found

my love is slow-growing
no sudden thunderbolt-
a breath of utterly clean air
ragged clouds brushing treetops
abandoned gold-rush ghost towns
metal roof raindrops at 3am
the sight of a town at sunset
lifting my heart as I come home