Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary. Often posting 1st drafts and editing in (almost) real time.

Month: March, 2014

Crown Island by Catherine Graham

crown island 1
I am surrounded by Crown Island,

a weave of rock and sand; the waves

lap against me, sizzling white strings.

crown island aa Read the rest of this entry »

Walt Whitman Bursts Into Song Concerning the Civic Debate over Jets at Toronto Island Airport

jets 42

Come said the Muse,

  Sing me a song no poet yet has chanted,

  Sing me the universal.


 In this broad earth of ours,

  Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,

  Enclosed and safe within its central heart,

  Nestles the seed perfection.

jet jet

  By every life a share or more or less,

  None born but it is born, conceal’d or unconceal’d the seed is waiting.

jets 1

  Lo! keen-eyed towering science,

  As from tall peaks the modern overlooking,

  Successive absolute fiats issuing.

jets 4

  Yet again, lo! the soul, above all science,

  For it has history gather’d like husks around the globe,

  For it the entire star-myriads roll through the sky.

jet montage 1

 In spiral routes by long detours,

  (As a much-tacking ship upon the sea,)

  For it the partial to the permanent flowing,

  For it the real to the ideal tends.

jet montage 2

  For it the mystic evolution,

  Not the right only justified, what we call evil also justified.

new three

 Forth from their masks, no matter what,

  From the huge festering trunk, from craft and guile and tears,

  Health to emerge and joy, joy universal.

jet montage 4

 Out of the bulk, the morbid and the shallow,

  Out of the bad majority, the varied countless frauds of men and states,

  Electric, antiseptic yet, cleaving, suffusing all,

  Only the good is universal.

jet montage 5

 Over the mountain-growths disease and sorrow,

  An uncaught bird is ever hovering, hovering,

  High in the purer, happier air.

jet montage 9

  From imperfection’s murkiest cloud,

  Darts always forth one ray of perfect light,

  One flash of heaven’s glory.

jet a new montage seven

  To fashion’s, custom’s discord,

  To the mad Babel-din, the deafening orgies,

  Soothing each lull a strain is heard, just heard,

  From some far shore the final chorus sounding.

jets 2

  O the blest eyes, the happy hearts,

  That see, that know the guiding thread so fine,

  Along the mighty labyrinth.

jets 11

Song of the Universal

Walt Whitman, from Book XVII: Birds of Passage, Leaves of Grass, Project Gutenberg

jets 7

Imagining Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892) addressing this issue,

I considered his thoughts pertaining to all matters,

expressed in his poetry.

jet 6

Archival, public domain photographs of Toronto Island found on Wikimedia Commons.

Images include:

Painting by Arthur Cox (1840 – 1917) Toronto from the Island, 1875 (Public Domain), Toronto Public Library


A 1907 postcard of a Toronto Ferry Company ferry crossing the bay from the city of Toronto to the Toronto Islands, (Public Domain) Halton Hill Public Library


Hanlan’s Point Hotel and Regatta, 1907, (Public Domain) photo: William James, City of Toronto Archives


Milkman, Toronto Islands, 1944, Public Domain


Photo of Main Street (below), Centre Island, Toronto, 1944, Souvenir Folder of Toronto Islands, Photogelatine Engraving, Ottawa, Ontario (Public Domain)


 The majority of Toronto residents living on Toronto Island were evacuated in the 1950s to make room for parkland. 


The source for the pterodactyl jet was a generic, uncredited image.




lullaby glullaby izlullaby jlullaby izsoftly so so



Soon a sun

Shall rise


and now

Leonard Cohen is singing

His shadow


and now

White winds

Cascade in waves

Against the windowpane


and now

It’s four

in the morning,

at the end

of December…


and now

Amazed and amused

We fall

Into a mirror,

Draining remaining

Precious drops

Of dark port rum


Clay vessels in the song

of a



Clay vessels in the shadow

of a



softly so solullaby lzlullaby izlullaby zlullaby-glullaby iz

lullaby pk

Lullaby on his most recent album Old Ideas


lullaby 2lullaby 3lullaby 4

Brume by Cristina Castello (translation Pierre L’Abbe)

and alwaysthe calling twoo

 The planet is a little outraged girl

With its days without dolls and its eyes without pupils

Her bundle awaits on a strange train platform

Next to millions of sadnesses without reply

A train that will carry to the tomb her gloveless heart

depth organnand seafaceand and french tunnel

A plucked nib on my chest, this is the world

Stone hole, empty gap

All the chalices converge on my blood

I am a fountain positioned to offer

But the wound passes through the mouth of the poem

Abandonment resists the sky

And rattles the soul of the earth.

Or perhaps, is God dead?

All abandoned


and textured doubleand old gold

Why do they, my eyes, look at them inside?

And why do they inside these beings look at my eyes?

No one but the Absolute answers.

Crystal and steel I am, but everyone sees the sword

And no one could imagine my crystals in shards

and cool depthsand alabasterand another sphere

I will resist in an armour of poetry

I will resist swinging from the murmur of the stars

I will resist perched on the peek of a blade of grass

Attached to this moon of snow sailing through the mists

Who stare at me from the branch of the tree, that they cradle.

I can still open my hands to Those about me

village woman xx

I will not die without seeing that in the bundle Christ sings

I will not die before the compass foretells an epiphany.

and loyoroand overlap

Cristina Castello is an Argentinian poet and journalist now living in France. Her work is committed to peace and beauty against all social injustices. Her poems are always a commitment to the dignity of life, beauty and freedom. They have been translated into several languages. Her books include, Soif, (L’Harmattan 2004); Orage, (Bod 2009),Ombre (Trames 2010) and “Le chant des sirènes” / “El canto de las sirenas” (Chemins de plume, 2012).

and where you are

Pierre L’Abbe is a Toronto translator, publisher, ebook designer and author of both poetry and short story collections.

and full scaleand thumbprint

Lao Tzu (again)

amoeba 5xxxxshadowy two

Music in the soul

amoeba 2x

can be heard

paper amoeba

by the universe.

amoeba 12amoeba 2x



Toast with Honey

street look

You walk home from the dance

Thinking of the girl you met

Wearing an orange dress

street 1

You wonder

If she would love you

If you tied yourself

With rope

To the wing

Of a small plane


A tree

street 2

Cars drive slowly crunching snow

You think of human pyramids


You see the tree on the horizon

& plan a filmic strategy

street 3

She spoke with an accent

Pronouncing the titles

Of paintings

By her favourite artist

Influenced by somebody


Following breakfast


Wooden spoon dripping honey

You foray out into the world:

Emergency investigation

At the library



Summoning the gods

of the Dewey Decimal System.

street 5

Last night the street was quiet with softly falling snow, not too cold, and it took me back to something that may or may not have happened.

I remembered being young & swirling ribbons of sticky, amber honey & trips to the library.

And walking home late at night considering both the terrible and the hopeful & being puzzled by the odd flash of invisible magic charging the air.

The NASA space photo used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

The goldfish found online, no photographer credited.

The street scene I snapped with my phone.

double oval