Scarborough Milk Door, a Photo-poem by Catherine Raine with Recording by Sean McDermott

When soldiers returned to father the Boomers, this house had a miniature door for bottles to enter full and leave empty, waiting to turn opaque with cream again. After the rise of supermarkets, the portal changed to a window, six milky panes slap-spackled in the brick, intimate economies traded for plastic jugs, sloshing bags, and …

The Tapir’s Night Journey Downstream (Collage and Poem)

Response to the Tapir’s Night Journey Downstream Transitions define my body. Look how the current splashes my legs turquoise, the moon silks my chest, and wild solitude cools my nimbus to blue, white, and lavender. Behold the purple eye that guides my canoe down the Amazon, riding the night rapids in a dream of passages, …

Ice Peace: Prose Poem in Praise of Niagara Falls in Winter

Niagara Falls, you deliver glory and awe this winter! Heaped with white, long cracks scar your river-ice, a survivor of mythic battles: water versus freezing air, movement versus paralysis, and the struggle to break free, break through, break open. I love the edges of your ice banks, the borders of upheaval against which green swirling …

Barn Memory, Prose-Poem by Catherine Raine (2007)

I am a ruined barn, empty but smelling of ancient hay. I sit in a lost valley, no longer a shelter nor part of a living farm. I used to be warmer, to glow orange from lanterns on February mornings, to retain animal heat. Now my shadows fill in their outlines, brief flashes from the …

Laundry Meditation

On a washing day, I place the white basket on the patio table, move the line into position, and grab some single socks. As I administer the stability of clothespins, I relish the sun on my face and the breeze that moves the tall thistles and Queen Anne’s lace. My hands attach the socks, shirts, …

Think About the Pink Sink

A pink sink appeared on a neighbour’s lawn, and I took a picture of it. Two weeks later, some changes in the rejected basin’s appearance had occurred, and its new look inspired a short reflection. Pink Sink Reflection The weight of the pink basin is no match for the power of grass. It only takes …

Catherine’s “Life at the Roots” Poetry Reading (May 31st, 2014)

This poem enjoyed an open mic outing (my first) yesterday afternoon at the Urban Gallery. I am grateful to Brenda Clews for organizing the event and to Stewart Russell for making the recording! Life at the Roots By Catherine Raine (2013)  One fall day, I walk the ribbed bedrock of a dry creek. Between old …

The Name in the River: Photo-poem by Catherine

She kneels before the river, the ankles of her snow boots resting on the bench-edge. Beside her, The Lightning Thief, three mysteries, Brave, and a packet of cheese crackers make a small tower. Ignoring the crackers, she watches the deer who sniffs the air for danger before dipping its head in the river. She wants …

Trash Bunny’s Worst Christmas

Lost animal of Christmas past, with faded felt belly frozen in grief to the sidewalk. Floppy ears conceal eyes too ashamed to face the ashen depth of the fall.   Deprived of a sheltering black bag, she lies exposed, less than garbage. Discarded cords, old homework, and a Disney Store bag from 2007 press against …

Nijinsky Ballet Haunts Viewer

Even though it has been a century since Vaslav Nijinsky (1890-1950) danced in his prime, his artistic energy flows forward in time, crashing on the Four Season Centre’s stage in a wild wave of visionary brilliance. In fact, the stage holds but cannot fully contain John Neumeier’s Nijinksy, for I still carry the performance with …

Free Poetry Workshop Nourishes Creativity at Don Mills Library

I’m fresh home from an afternoon devoted to poetry! Facilitated by spoken word artist, Andrea Thompson, the workshop combined a writing exercise, performance, and discussion. Ms. Thompson had a warm, engaging presence that put me at ease, and I appreciated her genuine passion for poetry. To give us the flavor of her work, Andrea performed …

Beauty Never Dies at the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix Arizona (Journal Entry for May 3, 2012)

As I write on a slightly rickety table beside the snack cart, I’m enjoying the shade and moving shadows of a tall tree. The same waving branches that are making patterns on these pages recently hosted a rock pigeon, but it has flown away. I’m taking a rest after almost two hours of desert trail-walking. …

Shine Shine Shine! Grandmother Raine’s Gift

During my grandmother’s lifetime (1911-2008), she never owned a yoga mat or experienced a guided visualization led by a shaman at an Ontario spa. Nevertheless, Grandma was with me last May when the shaman asked me to close my eyes and descend deep into the earth, deep within deep, down to the cave of the …

“Invisible Twin” by Catherine Raine

After more than six years of service, I recently resigned from an organization which helps survivors of torture and war. It was a tough decision, and I’m going to miss my students a lot. I’d like to re-dedicate the following poem to them. I wrote it in 2007, and it was published in the Winter …

Jenny’s Purple Meadow

 Jenny’s Purple Meadow A few months ago Jenny asked me if the news of her cancer diagnosis had made me think about my own mortality. I said, “Sure it does. You’re a part of me.” She’ll always be a part of me, a precious patch of Jenny-ness that inspires and sustains me. When I visualize …

hot cheez doodles

Not long ago I read a passage from a 1989 journal which covered the summer before I went to Durham, England for a year. I was working in a local potato chip factory, an experience which inspired the following poem dated August 11: “You smell like a potato chip!” O mecca — hot cheez doodles …