XII Ways of Experiencing Time




A childish game of chance

With a roll of the dice

Your fortunes are blessed by ladders

And cursed by serpents.




The youthful day warming in radiant beams of energy

Prickly green blades tickling bare feet

Bumblebees buzzing their Honey Symphony

Serenading Mother’s enchanted roses

Who surrender sweet intoxicating potions to spellbound noses.




Swaying in protective arms

Gazing up into dark hazel eyes

Gold flecks sparking lightning bolts of recognition

My soul mate.




At my hooves

Forcing me forward in unwanted directions.

Fearing the stabbing pain of its teeth.



Running out

A warrior worn from a cancerous battle

Lays down his sword of strength and shield of will

“I just want to have a nice long nap”

Turning out the light with a kiss.

Goodnight Daddy.




Pointless wandering loss in dank underground blackness

Blind, cut off, suffocating

Familial miners digging for the healing surface

Knocking on walls. Can you hear our pain?




Encompassing all that was, is, and shall be

Existential thoughts, memories, and wishes of a lifetime

Will it burst?




Soaring in misty cloaks of imagination

Cresting mountains of creation

Swooping down valleys of lessons learned

Gliding over glistening waters of wisdom

Migrating across vast memories

In moments.




For class


Horseshoe Lake Road trapping the distracted traveller

In its deceptive web

Sucking out the life force from her best laid plans.




Colourful images painted in bits of black

Ebony lines undulating laughter, fear, loathing, and fantasy

Across an undefined white

Whispering dreams into countless possibilities.




Fighting what is immutable.

Forcing what was not meant for you.

Failing to accept your flaws.




By green lights of passion

All the way to your ultimate destiny.


Free Falls

Picture taken by friend E.M.

I found engaging in Free Falls the best way to get into the zone of writing. Read something for inspiration. Look at a photo. Hear a snippet of someone else’s conversation or suggest a character setting and problem and then for 5 to 10 minutes write like a fool. Do not edit, revise or worry about the best word right now. Just splat your brain down onto the page. If you are by yourself set a timer. At Haliburton School of the Arts  our instructor, Catherine Graham, read a passage  from Ralph Keyes’ The Courage to Write and then said Free Fall write for the next 10 minutes.

I thought about writing…I thought that writing felt selfish like time away from others.  I thought of mothers and how they can be very selfish about their own child. Mothers will put their child above all other children deserving or not, husbands, parents, friends and so on. Mothers are not cursed or shamed or questioned when they do this.  It is considered natural. No matter how destructive some of their choices are in putting their child first, society condones these very selfish acts and then calls it self-sacrificing…a virtuous act of motherhood. I thought I must treat my writing like my child.  I must put my writing above all other obligations, loves, passions etc in my life.  I should live  for writing. F or now I am not published as yet,  so I cannot claim to write to live.  Yes, I must do anything to live to write.

I will post my revised and edited piece about writing being my child soon.  Haven’t thought of a title for it yet.

When I am stuck  for writing now I go to my writer’s notebook and look for something to twig my interest or inspire me. Then I put on my online timer for 10 minutes.  On your mark get set go! Perhaps this photo will inspire me today…morning sun, reflecting lake, clouds drifting carrying away the dreams of the night, the ball of the sun skipping like a rock over smooth water…..Give it a try.  On your mark, get set, Free Fall!

A Nice Girl—A Monologue by Kathleen Clarke

A nice girl like me?

I don’t think

Your son is interested in

Nice girls like me.

He is attracted to Kay Slutterland.

Oh, Pardon my faux-pas….Sutherland.

Yes !….Kay.

All plunging neckline, bare belly and bossom bursting up out of an underwire prison.

That’s right. The Sutherland girl from the East side.

Please don’t take this the wrong way


Your son practically tattoos his eyes on her skin.

I hate to disappoint you but he barely glances my way.

I am not his type.  Yes, really.

I’ m trim. Neat. Polite.  I look glorious

In a knit-sweater and pleated skirt.

It’s true.

Ready for Church Picnics

And afternoons at the Racquet Club

of course.

I bumped into Kay and your son at the


In fact.

They were in the Poetry Section.

She had her head thrown back, eyes closed, and toes curled

And she was practically


as he stroked her with exhilarating and  pulsating words.

I was overcome with a dizzy sensation.

I had to…

Escape to the cookbook section.

He reads poetry so well.

Yes , the bundt cake comes from a recipe

I found there.

So delightful;  lemon poppy seed.

All proper and everything when coming for a visit

Mother always says.

This has been lovely.  Thank you.

And would you tell your son that his Poetry Book is overdue?

He could bring it to my place


Commitment to Write

Every Song Tells a Story by Randy Bachman

July 14th, 2013

Morning time. The house is quiet. Finally. I know it is important for me to write everyday and to carry a writer’s notebook wherever I go. Randy Bachman said his writer’s toolkit is the kids’ left over crayons and serviettes in the glove compartment of his car. He as a songwriter knows that inspiration will strike and if you don’t write it down then and there…you will forget it. So now I will carry a little notebook and pen in my purse. This is a good act of commitment to writing.

The other act of commitment is to decide a regular time to write. Some writer’s are morning writers and some are afternoon or evening writers. My creative time of day I have not yet decided. The necessity of making a living dictates that my time belongs to others from 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. I know in my work life I get creative at 4 p.m. when many people have left for the day. The building becomes quiet and all the crazy energy goes…I can think, put on the music I enjoy sans judgement or annoying others…and all resources are available… no waiting for the photocopier, printer etc. No interruptions except for the cleaning staff and then I feel like I am in their way. But we find our way to work around each other.

It seems I need my spaces to be free of busy energy from others. I can think and imagine. I can talk out loud or reread what I have written out loud without bothering anyone. So I think I need to find times in the day that are quiet…settled. I can breathe then more deeply. Create more freely. On weekends mornings are best. After two Keurig coffee’s and cereal, after the dog gets walked I can start. Weekdays will be a challenge. So many things to accomplish upon arrival at home.

But this is a commitment to writing. It is one of the things I must accomplish upon arriving home. Rituals are important. Maybe I will arrive home from work, have a cup of Maharaja Chai Oolong tea, walk the dog, start dinner and while it cooks, write. This is a possibility. Yes this is a commitment I can make.

Marjorie Keeps Her Own Counsel

Assignment #3- Dialogue by Kathleen Clarke

Marjorie Keeps Her Own Counsel

I can’t see the little darlins’.  But , oh, can I hear them. Here we go again.

 The tall white pines provide a blissful barrier for Marjorie’s eyes. This gives her some privacy to eavesdrop from her lodge balcony.

            “Toby, come!” the little girl says. A dog barks and rustles around in the bushes.

            She`s young and ‘geesus loud. Probably 4 years old. Who`s watching her? Careless. She could drown. Although , it might be more peaceful around here. Oh, that’s mean.  I’ll burn in hell for that one.


            Toby must be the dog. Why doesn’t the dog come over here? Rich people probably have an electric fence to shock the hell out of the dog. Awful. My Uncle Bob would have said that dog deserved a good case of lead poisoning. Farmers can be so cold.

            “Did you pee in there?”  the little girl asks.

            “Shut up!” says the boy. The dog keeps barking.

            Typical older brother.  I wish she and the dog would shut up too. Where’s her parents?… Don’t think about anyone but yourselves, rich arseholes. Yeah I travelled three hours up North so I can listen to your spoiled brat and obnoxious barking dog. The spoiled little princess will eventually disappoint you and run off with a motorcycle gang member and you’ll sink all your money into wrecking other people’s lives to save her now self –entitled rescue- me- Daddy spoiled ass. .. Only person that ever rescued me was me. We’d never go whining and crying back to our parents. We were taught to stand on our own two feet. ‘Course , maybe that’s why I ‘m alone.  Maybe if I was needy, like so many other women I see, I might have somebody to keep me company in my old age. Ah bastard ‘ d probably cheat on me anyway. God I gotta’ calm down. I’m on vacation.

            “Mommy said no adventure pees. Pee in the house!” the girl says.

            “Shut up or I’ll shit on you!” the boy says.

          “I’m telling.”

            Nice language you polluting little dickwad. Maybe I’ll get five minutes peace from that kid and the blasted dog. It never comes when they call it. How can people with so much money be so stupid? Kids and dogs badly behaved.  Thank god I can close my balcony door. But I’m paying $200 a night for this place. I should get a discount.  Hope she stays inside.

            “William! Can I talk to you for a minute,” the father says.

            “Yeah,” says the boy.

            Finally, some parental supervision.  Now maybe I can enjoy some peace and quiet and watch those whatch-ma-call-its… oh yeah Goldfinches. They are so beautiful…

            “Toby! Come, Toby! Come, here!”

            Oh damn …

Keeping her own counsel, Marjorie gets up, goes inside, and slams the balcony door. Hard.


Introducing Batter Up Bess

Character Assignment # 2— Character
Introducing Batter Up Bess!
by Kathleen Clarke Haliburton School of Art Creative Writing Class July 2nd, 2013
“I’m cold,” she whispered.
“Well I’m hot. Put on more clothes,” Bill grumbled and drifted back to an untroubled and selfish sleep.
Freezing, Bess grasped in the dark searching for their wedding quilt. Mother had spent hours making it, embroidering rings of roses in the shapes of hearts. Bess realized it was probably on the floor on his side. Damn him. As she slipped on her fuzzy moccasins creeping around the bedroom with arthritic knees, she calculated in her head. 28 years times 365 nights not including leap years, round up to 30 ( hell might as well be 50) . That’s 10,850! “Selfish bastard,” she mumbled.
“Humph?,” he said. Then Bill turned to snore in a different key more obnoxious than the first.
10,850 nights of freezing to death. 10,850 nights of practically going deaf. Bess shook her head and wondered when the hate had begun. She used to hang on his every word, thrill at his physicality, and be in awe of his achievements. She just was happy pleasing him. This night Bess felt as if she was being taken over by something or someone new. The new Bess reached out and sharply jabbed at Bill in his self-centred chest.
“What’s the matter?” he said. He reached for his baseball bat.
“Give me that!” yelled Bess. She grabbed the bat and with new found strength bounded onto the bed like a gymnast.
“Bess, what the hell are you doing?” he said annoyed.
She raised the bat and Bill cowered. Bill cowered. She slammed the bat beside him and he jumped.
“Get out!” she screamed.
“What the …Who are you?” cried Bill.
“I‘m Batter Up Bess!” she declared. “Introducing your living nightmare …yeah, me, your wife who is going to put herself first for a change. Now get out. For the first time in 10,850 nights, I am going to get a warm, quiet good night’s sleep.”
“Now Bess is this about the dinner you burnt? I said it was okay, Sweetie” he said.
Batter Up Bess wound up the bat and Bill hightailed it out the door.
“Don’t let the door hit your selfish arse on the way out!” she laughed triumphantly.
Batter Up Bess dropped the bat on her side of the bed. She plopped down on both pillows gathering up her wedding quilt. And happily giggled herself to sleep.
The End

Creative Writing in Haliburton School of Arts, Ontario

Heather Lodge in Haliburton Highlands, Ontario

I just completed an exhilarating and intensive week of creative writing with an amazing group of creative writers from all over Ontario under the instruction of Catherine Graham, published poet in Canada and the UK. We received inspirational instruction  in the mornings and were given 90 minutes to create a piece to share in writer’s workshop.  I created 5 creative writing pieces that focussed on a good beginning, character development, dialogue, monologue and finally a poem..  I stayed at the wonderful Heather Lodge near Minden. The hosts Aaron and Connie were very kind and accommodating to my dietary needs. The beautiful scenery of the Haliburton Highlands with its multiple lakes, white water rapids, wildlife and verdant hills was perfect for delivering a creative ambiance in which to write. I will post my creative writing pieces now revised and edited with the advice of workshop members and Catherine Graham. I hope you enjoy them.