Me and My Bride!

Me and My Bride!

A friend wrote to me today and sent her greetings to ‘you and your bride’. Well, that delightful phrase set me thinking. Clare (my bride!) and I have known each other for 61 years and we have been married for 56 of them, 57 this Christmas. I often wonder how this wonderful woman has put up with me during all those years.

Mrs. Thomas Thomas, my good friend from the little village in Wales where my parents had their house, once told me about a friend of hers. That friend had been married for 35 years and had never had a quarrel or a fight with her husband. ‘There she goes,’ she told me one morning. ‘Never a fight with her husband. Bloody boring marriage, if you ask me.’

The point, I suppose, is that yes, there can be disagreements within a marriage, and doubts, and uncertainties, and questions about major decisions, and no, we don’t agree on everything? How could we? And one of the best parts about marriage, well, ours anyway, is agreeing to differ, and then making up again, as quickly as possible, after any disagreements.

Whatever, it is hard to argue against 61 years of togetherness and happiness. The secret formula? Clare’s – to learn my languages with me, to help me with my work, to lift me up when I am down. Mine – to love cooking for her, spoiling her, bringing her flowers, and trying to support her as she has supported me.

We have often led separate lives – Clare as a tennis player, a national gymnastics judge, a dedicated show secretary of the local kennel club, a show dog owner, groomer, and handler. Me – as a rugby player and coach, a researcher who has travelled frequently and visited important libraries in my field, a poet and short story writer who has taken and led workshops and writing groups.

We have also worked together at all levels. Each of my four graduate courses (MA, Toronto, 1967) demanded a paper every two weeks. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – paper #1. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday -paper #2. Saturday – rugby with U of T Blues or Toronto Irish. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – paper #3. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – paper #4.

I would sit in the kitchen and write the papers in longhand. Clare would sit at the other side of the table and type each page as I finished it. She did the editing too, when and where necessary. She also developed her computing skills faster than I did. Result: web pages, art work, design, photography, and several of my book covers. Our keys to success include team work, mutual assistance, deep caring and sharing, but separate paths, when and if we needed to take them.

So, there you have it. A swiftly-penned picture of me and my bride, or, as I call her, my better two-thirds. My life would have been very, very different without her. And don’t forget: behind every lucky man, there stands a wonderful woman.

Nos Sadwrn

Nos Sadwrn

Saturday today, just another Saturday. Took a morning whirlpool bath, had breakfast went shopping, then decided to post something. But post what? Anything.

Qui tacet consentire videtur – whatever that mans, and I am sure someone out there can help me. Life takes funny steps at my age, and forgetting things is one of them.

Ephemera – the title of the leading painting, shows a poem being half-obliterated by autumn leaves and early snow. Everything seems so ephemeral, so quick to pass by. As for me, I blossomed and flourished like a leaf on a tree, but now I wither, slowly, shrinking back into myself. Or is it just a version of my myself? To thine own self be true. So easy to say. But I am no more myself, I have become the fifth of the twelfth. Or, as Apollinaire, whoever he was, once wrote: je ne me sens plus la, moi-meme. Je suis le quinze de l’onzieme. Oh accents, accents, accents – you can’t find them when you need them and you can’t lose them without expensive elocution lessons. And even with those lessons, rhythm and accent come creeping back again, when least you expect them to.

Jyst nos Sadwrn arall yn – and maybe there’s someone out there who can sort that one out for me too. But in spite everything, I guess it’s anither day, another post, and a drop more water under the Mirabeau bridge as well as just another Saturday night. meanwhile – Odeur du temps, brin de bruyere – et souviens-toi que je t’attends

The Water Tower 7

The Water Tower 7

Lifted up, so close to the stars,
and even though we cannot see them
we know they are there,
looking down as we labour here below.

Are they sentient?
Do they smile on us, or frown?
Is our fate really up there, written in their ranks?
Or is it in our own hands to raise ourselves
up from the mud, to sail this frail bone-boat,
to make something out of nothing?

Fate? Destiny? The windmill’s sails
throwing us back down, into the mud,
or lifting us up to the stars?
Which is it to be? Such questions
are too deep for you and me.

Your work is in your paint,
mine in my words,
yet paintbrush and pen are guided, both,
by the hand that holds the artist’s hand.

Click here for Roger’s reading on Anchor.
The Water Tower 7

Geoff Slater – Painter

Roger Moore – Poet

A Moment of Joy

A Moment of Joy:

It’s always great when a friend actually reads one of my books and then writes to me to say how much he (in this case) enjoyed it. I quote: “I really enjoyed the concept of the image and writing. I’ve attached my favourite of the bunch. Audibly said “wow” when I read it.” It really makes my day (week, month, journey) worthwhile when someone reaches out and says ‘Wow!” Thank you, that certain someone. You shall remain anonymous for now, but your words will live on!

Click here for Roger’s reading on Anchor.
The Launch Pad

The Water Tower

The Water Tower

I took the e-file to Covey’s, the Printer on Prospect Street, Fredericton, on Monday. On Tuesday, Jared set up the files for printing, and I received the book on Thursday morning – nice and early. What an incredible turn around. The writing time-frame is interesting too. Geoff painted and posted. I wrote. The whole thing came together in less than a month. It just shows what inspiration, collaboration, and hard work can do. Here is a poem (# 17) from the book.

17

This year’s snow is not last year’s snow.
Tell me, if you know,
where did last year’s snowfall go?

These flowers you paint,
they are not last year’s flowers.

Time flows and the world renews itself.
It may seem the same, but it’s not.
Nor are you the same. How could you be?

You too have renewed yourself,
grown, like these flowers you paint,
these flowers that will wither and perish
to lie buried beneath fresh snow.

You cannot walk in the same river twice.
Nor can you paint the same flower
once it has withered and gone.
The flowers you paint can never be
the ones you painted before.

Click on this link for Roger’s reading on Anchor.
The Water Tower

Fundy Lines

Fundy Lines

I just received this. One of my best friends reading Fundy Lines along the Fundy Shore. Thank you so much.

The Messenger

Clarity is essential now:
the cycle of seasons,
the will and willingness to change.
Nothing can alter this flow:
rain and river, pond and sea,
the moon pull of the tide.

Each half-truth glimpsed
through the helmet’s slotted visor
as we charge in the lists,
knee against knee,
spear against spear,
knight against knight.

On the shore at the earth’s edge,
a new planet mapped in miniature:
each grain of sand, a speck of dust,
light upon the palm,
yet the whole beach, in unison,
weighing us up, weighting us down.

This world, immanent, renascent,
growing more solid
through its thinning veil of mist.

Freckled the water,
as the wild man sculls towards us,
over the waves, over the sand,
a fisher of what kind of men?

Was he without guilt,
he who cast that first stone?

The pond’s water-mask,
reconfigures in ever-widening circles
traveling who knows where
o lap at an unseen shore.

Light bends like a reed.
Liquid are the letters dancing,
distorted, on speckled waters
and the white sand undulating
under the rising waves.

Click here for Roger’s reading on Acorn.
The Messenger

Suite Ste. Luce

Suite Ste. Luce (1 & 2)

1

Black backed gulls,

nature’s alarm clocks,

waking the seaside

with their glaucous rattle.

High tide? Low tide?

We have drifted on our life raft

far from the grasping hands

of the city clocks.

Gulls dine on the beach.

Day’s rhythm all at sea.

2

6 am? 7 am? 8 am?

What do they mean?

The planet’s slow revolution?

This sun arc sketched in its stretch of sky?

Salt spray combing seaside fingers

through a young girl’s hair.

A man in a red boat, fishing.

Click here for Roger’s reading on Anchor.
Suite. Ste. Luce

House of Dreams

House of Dreams

1

The clematis unfolds

bruised purple on the porch.

Jazz piano:

beneath the black

and white hammers

of ivory keys,

old wounds crack open.

A flight of feathered notes:

this dead heart

sacrificed on the lawn.

I wash fresh stains

from my fingers

with the garden hose.

2

The evening stretches out

a shadow hand.

I feel my heart

squeezed like an orange

by long, dark fingers.

Somewhere,

the whitethroat

trills its guillotine

of vertical notes.

I flap my hands in the air.

They float there,

white butterflies,

amputated

in sunlight’s

net.

3

The light fails

fast, I hold up

shorn stumps

of flowers

for the night

wind to heal.

The pale magnolia

bleeds into summer:

white petals

melting on the lawn

like snow.

Sparrow sings

an afterlife

built of spring

branches.

4

Pressed between

the pages of my dream:

a lingering scent;

the death of last

year’s delphiniums;

the tall tree

toppled in the yard;

a crab apple flower;

a shard of grass

as brittle

as a bitter tongue

at winter’s

end.

5

A leaf lies down

in a broken

corner

and fills me

with a sudden silence.

I revise

our scrimshaw history

carving fresh tales

in the ivory

of new found bones.

6

A vixen

hunts for my heart.

She digs deep

at midnight

unearthing

the dry teeth

you buried

from my borrowed

head.

Click here to hear Roger read this poem on Anchor.
House of Dreams

Joy

Joy

Such joy in small things:
a task finished,
the old month ended,
a new month begun.

Such joy in the acorn:
a thought planted in the mind
and gradually growing,
root, trunk, and branch.

Such joy in those first green shoots
thrusting up from dead-leaf mold
to renew themselves, reborn –
as this year’s hollyhocks.

Such joy in the surge of spring birds:
robins marching on the lawn,
passerines and song birds returning,
ducks and geese at ice’s edge.

Such joy to reach out,
to stand beneath leafing boughs,
to watch beauty’s youthful feet
how they can dance to cheer ageing eyes.

Click here for Roger’s reading on Anchor.
Joy

Outreach

Outreach

It’s so easy to cast the tiniest
pebble into the tranquil pond.

Sit and watch the ripples spreading,
flowing outwards, touching unknown
shores with a smidgen of warmth,
a lapping of love.

Reaching out, from the center
to the periphery, not knowing
where the outreach is going,
but knowing that the effort is
never in vain if it helps someone’s
suffering, reduces their loneliness,
brings light to their lives,
and relieves their pain.

Bread cast upon the waters,
returned in great store,
three, five, seven, ten times
more than what you cast.

Your spider-web lines
thrown inwards and outwards
in a gesture of faith, hope,
and a charity chest of tenderness
to lighten a burden, to remove
the dark from another’s heart.

It’s so easy to select a pebble,
but who will throw that first stone?

Click here to hear Roger’s reading on Anchor.
Outreach