Coco the Cat

I have been living in the Clearbrook area for one month now. On Canada Day, I celebrated my niece Angel's half-birthday, since she was born on Christmas Day. I gave her a single pink rose in a gold box in honor of her graduation from elementary school. It was also the one year anniversary of our international non-profit organization, which I founded last year on Canada Day.

Just yesterday, I adopted a cat that is part Persian, part Siamese. Her former owners couldn't keep her anymore, and I noticed their ad in the paper. I drove out to their house in the country, and met this wonderful feline, for an addition to my eclectic condo lifestyle. I live quite happily alone and thought I could use the company. Her name is Coco. Although we are still getting adjusted, I think it is going to be a good match.

Coco is a one person kind of cat, who is shy of children, and I have noticed typically hides under the bed. She sits and looks out of my balcony door over the neighborhood. The cool evening air is refreshing to us both, and suddenly I realize that I quite like having a friend with black furry ears.

My brother's mother-in-law is a German opera soprano, who teaches at TWU. She grew up in this area, and attended Mennonite Educational Institute (MEI) school while it was still in downtown Clearbrook. Their family backgrond was German Mennonite. She mentioned this to me last time we we at a family picnic. She met her husband there in grade seven, she said, and they went to high school together and years later married and now have two grown children.

When I attended their old German Mennonite church two blocks from here last Sunday night, there were pews of white haired elderly ladies and their husbands; everyone in the room seemed over seventy. They invited me in right away, and their hospitality was quite congenial. I think I will attend there in the evenings, if I don't mind the hymns.

You never know where you will find a friend--be it cat, grandma, or child.

Enjoy the new moon solstice,




"Madeira has been a stopping point since the 16th century for sailors wishing to take on board barrels of wine. Madeira wine is quite used to travelling around the world as this was the natural way of making it taste even better..."

My mother always referred to me fondly as Madeira when I was a child. I was small with large green eyes and white-blonde hair that she curled every morning. I think this was something about the 1970s, that girls all appeared in the classroom every morning in ringlets with starched blouses, wool skirts and patent leather shoes.

I have since learned 0f the wine, originating in the Madeira islands, from which vintage bottles can still be found dating as old as 1772.

There are five types of Madeira wine:

Sercial is made from white grapes grown at about 800 m or above. Younger wines can be served lightly chilled. Drink with consommé or as an accompaniment to light seafood and even sushi, served chilled at the end of a meal.

Verdelho grapes are white, grown at 400-600m and make medium-dry wine for drinking with meat. Good with light seafood.

Bual wine is rich and nutty, made from white grapes grown on terraces below 400m. Can be served as an alternative to port. Goes well with cheeses and desserts, especially toffee.

Malmsey is the most celebrated Madeira, is made from Malvasia grapes. A rich and robust wine with an appealing caramelised quality. Good as an after dinner digestive, perfect with chocolate mousse.

No name on the bottle brand: Tinta Negra Mole Madeira. This red grape occupies the biggest percentage of vineyards on the island. There are four styles, dry, medium dry, medium rich and rich. This Madeira comes as a 3 year old, 5 year old and 10 year old wine.

This island wine is rich in history, back from the days when sailors stopped to load barrels of this delicacy for the civilized world.

In modest temperance,


Spiritual Touch

The touch of a king
would condescend to heal;
if one was touched
one hundred times,
one would turn into a princess.

If you had loved
so dearly, the beloved:
the early sky, a dark jewel
in domes of foreign temples.

Their hands clasped,
knees tightly bent,
a burning sword
thrust between
the mind and soul;
and the deepened heart
will arise in the splendor
of modesty.

One million children
stand at the gates
of their straw village,
asking to be let through:
to where the golden bird
welcomes dawn,
the translucent orb of sun-star
crossing the sky
from morning to sunset;
I tend my mantra of gardens
just before dusk…

The glass of time, so fragile,
and cloven antelope hooves
upon the sand:
ghosts meant to clothe despair with
purity, the oils of acacia
and eucalyptus.

Glassy water
in the riverbed, too dry;
the speaking of the raven,
and unheard silence:
my memorized word
so clear and vibrant—
to a diseased room.

What enchantment
shall I break to heal you?
O ebony soul, caught within
the prisons of deformity
and the sepulcher
of infertility and pain:

The kiss of wisdom
is a touch piece,
and the dying,
healed do ascend.


A gift from our country to yours: a heritage linked like stained glass...

To the monarch deep in thought.

O Canada,



Hunting The Unicorn

Legend has it that the young virgin is the only one who can tame the unicorn. "The gentle and pensive maiden has the power to tame the unicorn, selfless yet solitary, but always mysteriously beautiful..." In The Fleur-de-lis the unicorn is a reocurring theme, and the lion and the unicorn represented in the Canadian coat of arms speaks of two nations: the Lion traditionally represents England and the Unicorn, Scotland. So the country of Canada seems to be equated with Scotland in this manner. The two nations bow to each other in mythic love and dedication.

Ruth Pitter's biography by Don King is titled, Hunting the Unicorn, and her poetic accomplishment as a fellow of C.S. Lewis at Oxford makes her almost legendary, yet she is never mentioned by Lewis in a public way. She was so gifted she transcribed his own work into poetry including parts of Perelandra. She won the Queen's award for poetry, she never married, she wrote seveteen volumes of war-time poetry, and excelled in her craft.

When I started the section "Ode To Enchantment", it was with the English Ruth Pitter's Battersea Bridge in mind. She crossed the bridge quite frequently and wrote about it in her journal. Although I wrote by entire book of poetry without having read any of hers, I don't regret this choice, for now I read her comprehensive work with great satisfaction.

Is the poet a mythological type that can only be described as a unicorn? These furtive, shy creatures are seldom seen in the open. They hide in the shadows. They have much symbolism and antiquity to impart. When we search for poetry, are we Hunting the Unicorn? And will we ever find one to tame.




I, Emily, am writing about dimensions and layers on what it means to be a poet in the postmodern days of the internet, when everyone is still, in a medieval way, quite superstitious about how art is created using multimedia, when things just "appeared" online and the whole medium of publishing to a culture using photographs, words and sounds.

As a writer, I love the euphoria of creating something that looks and sounds unique, and yet symbolic and meaningful. The art of words fascinates me, and has since a very young age. I learned to read as a very young child and could read forty words by age two. I began writing poetry at age ten, and believe philosophy and art are always interconnected if we find meaning in words. This of course applies also to song writing, where theology is paramount: our songs ingrain the ideas of our philosophy into the heart.

In the realm of contemporary art, I have only in my late twenties, taken to photography. I was never a good photographer before that. As for the art form, I would like to say that time generally does not improve photographs, it only dates them. Therefore they are particularly relevant during the decade they were taken, and moreso if they can be made into prints and sold. Photography was once thought to compete with painting in its realism, in the early days of the camera.

Words are timeless and relevant in more than one generation. Words and writing is a generally free occupation: it does not cost a lot of money if you write in a paperless society. Most of my writing was written without paper, and only printed out in its very final form. Almost all of my poetry has been made available through a paperless form to my online audience for people to read and enjoy, either in websites or e-books. I always want my words to be finely crafted, each line to become a favorite quote in mind. When you are a wordsmith, never throw a horseshoe.

I have found over the last five years, since my first website, Voetelle drew a crowd of 600 people, that writing to an audience makes the work that much more secure, and is enjoyed by more than just yourself. My journey as a writer has not been an easy one, and as a photographer, even less so, from the early days of standing in the snow barefoot to get a good shot, or the denouncement to become a self-disciplined artist. Finally, now my work is beginning to sell, and my first solo art exhibit is coming up in September.

I grew up on a rigorous schedule of playing the piano until I was in university and was trained by a concert pianist with long red hair who reminds me of a medieval Elaine of sorts, painted as Waterhouse's The Lady of Shalott.

You can read more about the character based on the Waterhouse painting named Aurias, which was originally the name of an early Canadian 18th century clothing company, at my tapestry series, called the Lion and the Unicorn Tapestry Series' (now the Clay Road Tapestry).  
The short stories of 'The Portals' expands on the idea of the muse, and her purpose as a medieval model for a painting.

I am a solitary unicorn. What I have to say to society will probably mature as a writer's voice matures, but I have waited twenty years to publish my poetry, waiting for that unicorn and seeking to find the true voice.

I tend my mantra of gardens just before dusk...