Cars in the psyche

A few years ago, I wandered down to San Miguel de Allende, on the central high plateaus of Mexico, for a month-long creative non-fiction workshop led by California writer Steven Church. An inspiring … [Read more...]

Exploring places of unusual power

Recently I have been wandering the iconic interior ranch country of British Columbia through the words and photos of The Junction by John Schreiber. Subtitled 'Stories of Land and Place in the BC … [Read more...]

A moment in the company of ‘Mountains and Rivers’

As a writer who struggles with manuscripts that take years, even decades to form and reform, I am often attracted to works that share a similarly long gestation. Such is Gary Snyder's Mountains and … [Read more...]

Approaching new poetry: biases and hurdles

The other day I decided it was time to search out some new poetry. Here's the stack of contenders that await exploration beside my reading chair. My usual habit is to skim new books, pick a few … [Read more...]

Paying attention here and now

We know that there are many ways at arriving at the same truth. I was struck, recently, by an essay written by Canadian naturalist and artist Robert Bateman, in which he quoted the late media … [Read more...]

Catching the light

Every few years some aspiring provocateur takes a run at poetry. We poets, with barely our quill pens to protect us, quiver. Or not. The latest brave university professor to take a run at us is Mark … [Read more...]

Back from bot-land

I remember the innocent early days of computing when the one-person IT department of the college where I taught started to warn us about the dangers of contracting that strange new scourge, the … [Read more...]

Reconnecting with people and place

A short summer post today. Over the past few weeks, I refreshed the look of this site with some new photos by Victoria's Will Winter.  I hope you like the look.  Those of you who subscribe to the … [Read more...]

On the ground in Canada’s west

More meanderings in the muck of western Alberta. As I noted in other posts on Lodgepole country, the soil out here is typically deep beds of clay, topped by a thin turf of moss, needles, short … [Read more...]

From the ashes: looking down to discover the forest

Back in my old haunts last week, in the boggy bush around Lodgepole, Alberta, I passed through a swath of recently burned timber. In exploring natural areas, I am trying to train my eye to look down. … [Read more...]