Bath Bombs at Last

Putting bath-bomb enjoyment on hold for six months does not rate highly as an example of noteworthy sacrifice during a pandemic. However, from March to August of this year, it made me sad every time I saw the lovely non-violent bombs (a Christmas present from my sister-in-law) languishing in the bathroom cabinet. Without access to […]

Mechanics of Forgiveness (2019)

Neither smooth nor automatic, the mechanics of forgiveness clank fist-first into the soil broken by a rusty plow that moves so slowly it strains to finish the first row. Forgiveness is not a miracle. It is work to be done and redone as the seasons cycle. It requires the engagement of gears, calls for the […]

Thistle Seeds of Kindness (2020)

A single fluffy nipple detaches itself from the bed of its closely-nestled siblings and rises free to ride a forest updraft, sail the length of three trees, and land in the crook of a sister thistle. This flight so miraculous, so matter of fact, is the work of gossamer gliders that carry their freight of […]

Sidewalk Glacier (2019)

The slick gray humps — shadows of glorious glacial whales of old — have ebbed from cycles of freeze and thaw and rain to create islands of receding winter. From January to March, these masses have shrunk, slunk much lower to the edges of the sidewalk by the cemetery. Saturated with soot and exhaust, the […]

Ragged (2020)

What’s left of me is ragged lace, more absence than presence, gnawed upon but not consumed. I forbid you to pity me. If you impose sympathy with those I’m sorry for you eyes, wholesale disdain will meet your gaze. Instead, reach below O poor leaf! to ask yourself ‘Where am I torn?’ ‘Who would recognize […]

Farlinger Ravine Loop Poem (2017)

Meet me at Farlinger Ravine, Ravine west of Kennedy Road by the Dollarama, Dollarama that conceals the lost banks of Taylor Massey Creek, Creek that is witnessed from this rusty bridge. This bridge where I loll at the rail and examine, examine the sticky burrs on my mittens, mittens that spell “Love” on my knuckles, […]

Partly Frozen: Leaf’s Lament

A screen of ice has pinned my body to a puddle. Caught between the surface and the depths, my fluted edges have been numbed and blurred, robbing me of external definition. The blessed sun has melted my face to visibility, fooling casual viewers with its tawny cheer. In fact, the roots of my smile do […]

Celebrating the Seasons: Haikus by Ellen Jaffe in Response to Photographs by Catherine Raine

Tree branches, blue sky reflected in melting ice —   winter hieroglyphics. Fractal patterns, webs of connection, forest’s neurons awake. Branches stretching out over cold morning waves sunlight glints on stones. Bluebells in spring, spring into life, forest wakes in mute beauty. Reeds stand sentinel, green and straight against a wavy background — one moment […]

The Saint of the Lake (2017) with Recording by Sean Mc Dermott

The saint of the lake sits high in a sequoia that grows from an ait kissed by mild waves. Alone yet expansive, the art of silence presses the holy woman’s heart between two ferns, releasing notes of dried clover, cornflower, and marigold. Rain begins and the saint stirs, prays and praises the blesséd cover of […]

Highland Creek Park on a June Afternoon

Just behind Cedar Ridge Creative Centre, a steep switchback trail leads me to the west bank of Highland Creek, where tall grasses sway beside a sandy bank with cheerful stones below. As I continue along the narrow path beside the bank, I stop to photograph an elegant monarch butterfly before moving into deeper tree cover […]

Sample Chapter from Visualizations for Heartbreak: Words, Photographs, and Collages by Catherine Raine

Anguish Your anguish is a force, a separate soul that cries out for solace and remedy. Although I have some medicine for you, I cannot restore the beloved person who abandoned you without warning. Into this void, my voice may drop like a stone. It hurts to see you cry, face in your hands, unable […]