The ruffled azure dress

The ruffled azure dress

The ruffled azure dress you wear tonight
tempts my eyes and hands as moth to flame.

Running my palms down along your figure
I feel each seam slip past my fingers
like a railway car running over points,
or a cyclist crossing streetcar tracks.

Hands changing direction, each little skirt
rises, then falls, renewing modesty.

collective responsibility to the poor

I was shocked to hear the premier promoting support of the food bank on CBC this morning. Our collective responsibility to each other should be exercised through adequate and humane income support, not haphazard charity.

I would like the premier to explain why she thinks that food banks are an answer to anything other than a desperation wrought by the provincial government.

More half-baked and piecemeal programs mostly mean more jobs for bureaucrats. The answers are more straightforward than most want to believe: raise the rates (minimum wage, social assistance), build housing, include dental benefits in OHIP. Get on with it. The government’s so-called poverty reduction strategy is inadequate and unnecessarily complicated.

It’ll even be good for the economy: the rich save, the poor spend, they have no choice.

Keith Nunn, Toronto
published in the Toronto Star, Dec 6, 2014

Taggers are thieves, not artists

Moustache man utility box
The moustache man in happier days
Moustache man defaced
RIP moustache man. We’ll see if we can avenge you somehow.

Some people like to pretend that taggers are artists or are somehow simply protesting “The Man”. Horseshit. I’ve made my share of art and been part of more than a few protests. Ai Weiwei may have defaced historic Chinese vases with paint, but they were his. He didn’t go to another artist’s studio and steal or vandalize their work.

Taggers are thieves stealing our public spaces and sometimes destroying works of public art. The tagger BAS is a thief whose “work” I saw yesterday. My first reaction when I saw his theft above was to wish he* was present so I could kneecap him. I have since calmed myself into a more reasonable state. However, I remain convinced these taggers are thieves at best and gangsters at worst. I don’t know how long it took the artist here to create this work, but that time has been stolen from her or him and the enjoyment of this work has been stolen from the whole community.

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Living life and respecting limits

abilityI have been disabled for four weeks. I was hit hard by the flu and a series of opportunistic infections that followed it. This is likely a temporary situation, but one that has made me reflect on my life, and how I attach value to it.

My disability is minor compared to the challenges of some friends and acquaintances, but the reality of it has been sobering for me. I am not able to do any serious physical tasks. Sweeping and washing the kitchen floor wore me out for the day. I am bored in ways I am unused to. My house is a mess that I don’t like. Most of the things I do for fun or money, I can’t do. These things have defined my image of myself. I have had to rethink that. Age and a supportive family have made it easier to adjust, but it has not been fun.

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A Canoe for my Daughter

There is an ornament in my living room that visitors to our house notice right away. It rather dominates the room.

My daughter’s first canoe hangs over the couch.

I built that canoe for her in August and September of 2003. It is 10′ long and modelled on a very popular 15′ canoe by the world famous Chesnut Canoe Campany called the Ranger. I called it a Junior Ranger. For months I had searched the Internet and asked friends about a canoe that might be suitable for my daughter. I found nothing. Five years earlier, I had built a Chestnut Ranger for myself with Peter Gould and Kim Pressnail through a Toronto School Board course. I have found it to be a versatile boat and it seemed like a great fit for a kid if only the size could be reduced.

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