May 15, 2001

Words that shape the world.



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:

[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

My mother recited poetry to her children every night. We were many and she was one, so that she came to us all by sitting at the top of the stairs with her one book and her memory.

The one book contained the complete works of Robert Service. Her memory contained the wealth of libraries. At that hour and in that place she was our shining light in the darkness. It is the light one cannot forget, whatever the shadows.

Her days were filled with hard labor and cares, but for that one brief interlude when she became the poet's heart. She brought to us her humanity and her passion; we lay quiet in our beds, in gratitude and awe.

Poetry was a part of my childhood.

One of the poems I memorized as a child of five was "The Children's Hour" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall-stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old moustache as I am
Is not a match for you all?

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeons
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

The Atlantic Monthly; September 1860; "The Children's Hour," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ; Volume VI, No. 3; pages 354.


This poem was taught to me from my mother's memory, rather than from a book. It was her desire that I recite this poem at a children's recital; I imagine she wished to proudly display the fruit of her ambition. I, on the other hand, valued more the precious attention she paid me as we walked hand in hand with words. It was one of our many irreconcilable encounters.

I am stubborn.

I did not perform.

She is stubborn.

She taught me no more poems.

I taught myself to read.

My mother continued to recite poetry passionately and beautifully.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Flower and Leaf against the Boards
The Bleeding Heart

By the Easy Chair
by James Joyce

This day has been filled with the clank and clang of the neighbors earthly goods making their way up the metal ramp to the box of the moving van. Since we have been very careful to gather-back all borrowed items, I can comfortably ignore the process. My feelings about their exit from my world are shameful.
"The Teenager", who enjoys giving her parent's earthly belongings to anyone and everyone, enjoyed great popularity with these neighbors. She would find my attitude lacking in generosity. She and I will discuss this matter after she has been paying her own bills for a few years. Until then I shall avoid the subject.

4:22 PM DST
Temp: 18` C
Humidity: 45%
Wind: S 7 mph
Barometric:101.3 kPa

Sunrise 6:01 AM DST
Sunset 8:40 PM DST

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_blogging

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