Faster than Falling

You were at the park, two in the afternoon

sitting under Midas’ tree

when he shook the King’s neck

and made yellow rain around you


You laughed once and said stop

I’m trying to read

but he kept shaking

so your finger went in the air, warning him not to


Remember that game

when we were young and leaves were gold

arms to the sky, we caught them all

to build our make-believe thrones?


They say you lost touch

when you travelled through time

leaves are just leaves

sitting here, all you’ve outgrown

by Charlene Kwiatkowski


They shone just for me

I had the last two days off work and gloriously spent them in the Vancouver sun, seeing new parts of the city and old ones, sharing it with friends and also enjoying some time in the city alone.

My very short vacation has all too soon come to an end but it left me with a smile and a poem that loosely took its inspiration from this one:

The Orange by Wendy Cope

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave—
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park
This is peace and contentment. It’s new.

The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all my jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I’m glad I exist.

The first time I read this poem (many years ago now), it also left me with a smile – and still does whenever I re-read it. My version doesn’t rhyme, doesn’t have the same structure, nor does it talk about oranges, but I think the tone is kind of similar.

The City by Charlene Kwiatkowski

It’s October
and the city is getting ready
for Christmas
“Let it Snow” floats over the waters
of Coal Harbour
origin undetected
but finds me at a bench
saying no
I’m not ready for snow
I’m still playing fall,
the changing leaves
a metonym for the city
changing all around me
and I—

am letting it.
Coloured by its colours
moved by its movements
and the way it smiled at me
a new view
an old friend
a skytrain passenger flinging his arm back
for a rail and grabbing my nose instead
These rush hour accidents
these slow waltzes
in and out of connection
The sun lighting the mountains
turning their tall, Pacific faces
to mine without ridicule
for thinking that maybe, today,
they shone just for me.