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Monday, September 24, 2012


after a lengthy time
on this planet I know
and call home
I gave it a try
and it doesn’t look so bad
born on the proper side
in positive initiatives
Northern Hemisphere
peace is all I have known
it was hard to understand
worldly unrest
excessive war profits
forced starvation
and devalued life
over here I had opportunity
and admired nature
sunrise to sunset
a full moon
sometimes hand in hand
now in senior years
my world is closing in
to local concerns
with blessed memories
in warm reflection

Friday, September 21, 2012


Plate Tectonics: Fault lines

Under our relationship –
maybe under every relationship –
lie inevitable fault lines, dormant,

some tiny, hardly worth mentioning,
others potentially catastrophic –

these lines imply no blame,
nobody’s “fault,” just cracks

in the fabric of the world we live in,
the way we live our lives,

the chaos of history.

Discrepancies of love, perhaps –

“too much, too little” – or remnants of the past,
defenses, denials, needs that shift,

feelings that tremble, causing tremors.

only dishes break

sometimes a heart,
or even the whole earth

taking us deep
into the ocean

of the unknown,

the seismic waves of loving.

                                                            Ellen S. Jaffe

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Spoken Word’s 2012-2013 Season Stirs Seven Emotions

SARNIA, ONTARIO (September 15, 2012) – Be it anger, fear, joy, disgust, sadness, contempt, or surprise, share your emotional tales during the official kick-off of Sarnia’s 2012-2013 Spoken Word season, Friday, September 28, from 8 to 10 p.m., at the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts, 127 Christina Street South, with spotlighted guest Melissa Upfold and her exhibit “Pathos (Woman, Fragmented).”
This FREE informal evening includes storytelling, humour, and poetry readings by local poets and storytellers. No pre-registration required.
            “We’re excited about our 13th season and our opening performance,” say Spoken Word co-hosts and local writers Debbie Okun Hill (president, The Ontario Poetry Society) and Ryan Gibbs (English professor, Lambton College). “Melissa stretches boundaries in her photography, writing, and art. We’re expecting her performance to explode with emotion.”
            As a former Sarnia resident now living in London, Upfold was a driving force behind numerous cultural activities including the local open mic AMP event and her own poetry e-zine variations which included contributors from across Canada.
Inspired by theme nights, new optional themes have also been scheduled for the rest of the season. As always, members of the public are invited to share their own works, read the works of a favorite writer, or just sit back and enjoy this open mic on the last Friday of every month, except July, August, and December. The March date has been moved up a week since Good Friday will fall on the last Friday of the month.  
Optional themes for the 2012-2013 season include
*Friday, September 28, 2012: The Seven Emotions: Anger, Fear, Joy, Disgust, Sadness,
 Contempt, and Surprise
*Friday, October 26, 2012: Ghastly Tales of Ghosts and Ghouls (Halloween costumes
*Friday, November 30, 2012: Stepping into the Past: Historical People and Places
*Friday, January 25, 2013: A Winter Wonderland of Snowflakes and Toboggan Rides
*Friday, February 22, 2013: Petals and Hearts: Words of Romance
*Friday, March 22, 2013: Rainbows of Multi-colours and Multi-cultures
*Friday, April 26, 2013: Poetic Surprises – April is Poetry Month
*Friday, May 31, 2013: Exploring the Animal Kingdom
*Friday, June 28, 2013: How I Plan to Spend My Summer Vacation
Spoken Word was first introduced by veteran writers Peggy Fletcher and Hope Morritt and later hosted by Susan Chamberlain (The Book Keeper), Ena Forbes (storyteller and past president of Sarnia Toastmasters), and Lois Nantais (local poet and adjunct professor of social science at Lambton College). Debbie Okun Hill has co-hosted the event for the past seven years, and Ryan Gibbs starts his sixth season.
This year’s seasonal kick-off is being held in conjunction with “Culture Days 2012,” the nation’s largest free weekend-long arts and culture celebration.
For further information about Sarnia’s Spoken Word, e-mail or call (519) 337-0507.




Friday, September 14, 2012


A Walk with Time

I walk alone on the road 

my eyes gaze at tree lined path

the sun starts to set, dusk is falling

lamp lights come on.


Calmness settles in my spirit

yet a somber mood befalls me

dusk is setting over tree tops

another day gone of my life

Once a young man, full of life

like a young tree with full branches

now an older man with wisdom

in the twilight of his years

My walk is done

 I reach the gate

night has come.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Timeless Times

the day is easy
my mind wanders
I think of our love
a past love
remote from today

I couldn’t wait to get home
light a candle
undress you in tease
play in silken hair
kisses to eternity
covers of pleasure
pillows that harbor
far too many secrets

now and then
I drift back
into loveable pleasures
never to forget
timeless times



as two as one
bound and bonded
for life

trust never failed
secrets kept in secrecy
secrecy kept in secret
fashion and style shared
thoughts and suitors abound

but stand back
when dispute arises
nuclear eruptions
accusations in jealousy
emotions burst and breach
a catfight to the end

then sisters
two as one
toast champagne


Canadian Breeze

far from strife
sunlit day
cottage ambience
lawn and hills
lush green
slow waves
lap a rowboat

foreign affairs
are exactly that
foreign affairs
my glass in nearly empty
this is a local affair
something I can solve

now and then
worldly problems
remain worldly problems



a vagrant
tried to fool me

stench and staleness
ragged clothes
unshaven face
out of style coal pile hat
open toed running shoes
filth encrusted pants
from waist to cuff
mismatched socks
and homeless stride

what gave him away?
an ergonomic squeegee
salon tan
blonde highlights
designer sunglasses
and new Rolex