Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Past, The Present, The Poet

A long time ago (trust me on this), I had a great boyhood chum. For the best part of seven or eight years, until I moved far way, we were almost inseparable. Then, about ten years ago, a fellow teacher brought a most marvellous CD to a professional development session. It was a CD that contained all, or at least most, of the phone numbers in Canada. In these days, approximately ten years later, when all of these things are so readily available on the internet, it no longer seems remarkable, but it sure as heck was then.

I knew that Nelson was living somewhere in Alberta and from that CD was able to find his address and phone number. I wrote, and he wrote — snail mail, mind you. Several years later, we spent several days with him and his wife in Jasper National Park and in Edmonton. After more than thirty years of separate experience and growth, we managed to get along quite well, and I'd like to spend more time with him before another three decades or even our lives elapse.

Anvilcloud and Nelson

Nelson and I are on top of the world at Whistlers Mountain in Jasper National Park. He's on the top of the rock. I, mostly bare-legged in my shorts, decided that I had ventured high enough on this hard and jaggedy-edged rock.

Nelson and I stay in sporadic touch. He is busy and finds writing to be a chore, so the emails are few and far between, but that is fine, for I still feel connected in some odd way.

That's my preamble to telling you about his sister, Doris. Although we have yet to renew acquaintance in the flesh, she does enjoy computers, and writing, and photography. Does she sound like a bit of a kindred spirit to the guy you know as AC? Well, that's being kind to me, for although we share some interests, her talents far surpass mine, and I don't say that in false modesty. She treats me to photos in her emails from time to time, and I am in awe ... at least when I am not in a jealous funk (just kidding).

Doris also writes poetry, very good poetry in my untutored opinion. She loves animals — always has. I can remember when she, Nelson, and I would attend kids meetings at the SPCA in Montreal. She sometimes combines her three passions: animals, poetry, and photography.

To the point, then: the other night, she sent me a link to a photo and a poem of hers that was published online by the Defenders of Wildlife. I presume that the name of the organization speaks for itself, so I will not explain further, and you have the link. If I can follow the lines here, the same organization has produced a child website, so to speak: Help Save Our Endangered Species. Their current concern is revealed right on the home page:

House Votes to Gut Endangered Species Act, Is the Senate Next?

Rep. Pombo's bill undermining many key protections of the ESA passed the House last September. The bill virtually eliminates the Act's habitat protection requirements, cuts wildlife experts out of the loop on key decisions, weakens the role of science, and makes it easier for greedy developers to dodge the Act's protections. The bill marks the first time the nation has retreated on its commitment to protect endangered plants and animals for future generations.

Beyond what the website says, because I am neither American nor particularly informed about the situation, I offer no political comment of my own, but it may be relevant information that some of you may wish to explore.

What I am getting to in my roundabout way is that Defenders of Wildlife has chosen to publish some of Doris'es work, a photo and a poem, on their site, and I want to share that with you and hope that you will go, have a look, and have a read. Perhaps, once you've read it you might consider returning here and posting an encouraging comment that Doris might just stop by to read.



mreddie said...

Had a somewhat similar incident happen. A friend from high school that I had not seen in about 40 years - one day his name came to me so strongly that I determined to try to look him up. I had his name and knew that he lived in Florida. In about 3 minutes on the web I had found him and gave him a call.

Since then we have spoken several times by phone and met once for a long conversation. Was good to catch up. Good post. ec

Gina said...

Both the photo and the poem are lovely.

Anonymous said...

Her words and the photo took my breath away.

Bonita said...

What a gift, to have Nelson's sister, Doris, part of our day's creative pursuits. I wish I could have walked with her, while she got the photo of the deer. Imagine, the quiet. Wish too, I could write poetry...

Meadow said...

OH! *That's* what this post was about?

Teehee. I'm just being a stinker. :)

Paul said...

I read some poety and think "Huh?" I read "The Sacred" and thought "Yes, that's it! I've had that feeling and experience."

PBS said...

That is a beautiful poem, and understandable. My Mom is a member of that organization and sometimes passes along their literature to me.

Anonymous said...


Seems the US is in meltdown mode, I am afraid to say, but what goes around comes around!
You canadians should please pardon our condition whilst we re-align our priorities, and our government. Stay tuned. Peace, lyle