This famous poem by William Carlos Williams is imprinted on a wall in The Hague.
When I taught high school I used to ask my students to write their own poems using the Williams poem as inspiration. The Williams poem is said to be based on a note his wife left on the fridge for him. I asked my students to think of place where they might leave a note and what they would say.
Here is a sample I wrote for my students about a note left by me on student work ………
This is just to say
on your assignment
is for real
you probably thought
figure it out
but you plagiarized
and I am
than you think
Fifteen Dogs and Writing Poetry
Dancing in Shangri-la
Poetry and Teenagers
On September 15, 2012 I took photos of this Winnipeg Strike Mural on the south wall of the Whiskey Dix night club on Main Street. I captured the art work just in time because later that same month a wicked rain and wind storm ripped the vinyl mural from the wall and damaged it. The mural painted by Tom Andrich tells the story of perhaps the most memorable event in Winnipeg history, the strike of 1919. In May some 30,000 workers walked off the job because of poor working conditions and a lack of employment opportunities especially for World War I veterans. Union organizers wanted an eight-hour work day, collective bargaining and demanded employers pay a living wage. These are the strike leaders who were imprisoned. The woman is Helen Armstrong. Nicknamed Wild Woman of the West she was a union organizer who championed the cause of working women. Born in Toronto she moved to Winnipeg in 1905 and became the leader of the Women’s Labor League. Her leadership helped bring a minimum wage to Manitoba. During the Winnipeg Strike Helen organized kitchens to feed female strikers and harassed strike breakers who were crossing the picket line. She encouraged women to boycott stores where the workers were on strike and challenged them to join the men on strike. She was arrested and jailed for inciting people to strike, disorderly conduct and encouraging the abuse of strike breakers.
Winnipeg business owners organized a Citizen’s Committee of One Thousand to oppose the strikers. They blamed foreign immigrants for the strike and many were deported. The majority of the strikers however were British.On June 21, 1919, war veterans organized a parade to protest the arrest of labor leaders. They were also upset at the government edict that the labor movement newspaper could no longer be published. 6,000 people gathered in front of City Hall. When a streetcar, operated by strike breakers came by the protesters overturned it and set it on fire.The federal government had sent out the Royal North West Mounted Police to help put an end to the strike. Carrying clubs and firearms the North West Police charged into the crowd after the street car was overturned. They began to fire their weapons.June 21, 1919 became known as Bloody Saturday, because the North West Mounties killed two strikers, wounded thirty-four and made nearly a hundred arrests. The mural on Main Street has a portrait of one of the men who died. His name was Mike Sokolowski. After Bloody Saturday the strike organizers fearing more violence called the strike to a halt and the strikers went back to work on June 26th.
1000 Nails A Musical Mural
David Bowie in My Neighbourhood
“The merchants stepped into the modern era still carrying the weight of the yoke on their shoulders.”
That’s a line from the book Ru by Kim Thuy. I just finished reading her poetic and haunting novel about life in Vietnam and a family much like her own that immigrates to Canada. The book was a beautiful reminder of my own visit to Vietnam. Kim Thuy’s non-sequential narrative moves from one scene to another each describing a different time or event in her protagonist An Tinh’s life. Certain sentences in Ru seemed almost to have been written as captions for some of the photos I took in Vietnam.
“The women let the sadness grow in the chamber of their hearts. They were so weighed down by all their grief they couldn’t pull themselves up……bowed under the weight of their sorrow.”
“the little girl who was swallowed up by the sea after she lost her footing”
“I was born in the shadow of skies ………….. shot through with rockets and missles.”
“I was lucky enough to have parents who were able to hold their gaze steady”
“people are too preoccupied by their day-to-day survival to take the time to write their collective history”
“Aside from his mother’s teeth laquered black he had forgotten the faces of his parents.”
“He had slept in underground tunnels.”
“She mixed the pork with steaming rice in a blue and white bowl”
Hearing the Red River Valley in Hanoi
Sliding on the Sand
Filed under Books, vietnam
Meet Annie Moose and Brenda Longclaws. Their portrait is currently featured in the exhibit We Are On Treaty Land at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Annie was 113 when she died in 2007. She was an educator and the mother of 15 children, grandmother of 63, great grandmother of 214 and great, great grandmother of 80.
In this photo taken in 1996 by First Nations photographer Murray McKenzie, Annie poses with Brenda Longclaws, an assistant principal at Gordon Bell Collegiate.
Annie’s obituary in the Montreal Gazette quoted her as saying that she believed her longevity might have had something to do with her love for her family and her ability to take hardship in stride. Brenda Longclaws says, ” I like to get people smiling and see them in a good light.”
Annie and Brenda represent two very different generations of aboriginal women.
Other posts about We Are On Treaty Land………
What’s a Bandolier Bag?
Abstract and Frustrating
While visiting the All Saints Anglican Church at the corner of Osborne and Broadway here in Winnipeg I was surprised to find………
this banner with Chinese style lettering saying Hong Kong Veterans hanging from the church’s ceiling. I knew a regiment from Manitoba, The Winnipeg Grenadiers, had served in Hong Kong during World War II and that many Manitobans had been killed there when Japan attacked and captured Hong Kong. I also knew many more Winnipeg soldiers had died in Japanese prisoner of war camps.
Many Manitoba soldiers are buried in the Sai Wan War Cemetery in Hong Kong and it was a place I visited frequently during the six years I lived in Hong Kong.
I even wrote an article about the cemetery for the Winnipeg Free Press.
This plaque is on the wall at All Saints and pays tribute to individual members of the Winnipeg Grenadiers regiment that served in Hong Kong. I learned that for many decades after the war veterans of the Manitoba regiment got together for an annual memorial service and meal at All Saints Church.It was intriguing to find evidence of a connection between a church in my home city of Winnipeg, and a cemetery in Hong Kong, the city that was my home before I moved here.
Matching Macau and St. Boniface
Hong Kong Inspiration
The Amazing Race Canada- Where They SHOULD Have Gone in Hong Kong
Dave reading in a hammock in Fiji
The word hammockable (describing two trees that are the perfect distance apart between which a hammock can be hung) is not in the dictionary, but it should be. ― Dan Kieran
Dave getting his hammock ready for a night in the Borneo rainforest
An optimist is one who plants two acorns and buys a hammock -Jean De Lattre De Tassigny
Dave trying out a hammock in the home of a friend in Merida Mexico
While sleeping in a hammock……….. we remember why we are in love with life!― Mehmet Murat ildan
Dave in a hammock in Monteverde Costa Rica
You should spend ten minutes everyday in a hammock unless you are too busy. Then you should spend an hour. Seth Haber
Visiting a Teacher in Borneo
Mayan Human Sacrifice- Just a Hollywood Myth?