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Sunday, December 22, 2013




In these nights of Orion
hunting the Great Bear,
glimmering in obsidian sky,
we tell stories of the old days.
Sleepless, we stir the fire,
re-tell our mothers’ stories,
our grandmothers’ legends
tales of earth, first mother,
made new in our own words.
Nameless longing prowls
Long wind howls
we warm ourselves with stories
fill our bellies, lighten the darkness. 

By Ellen S. Jaffe, from the chapbook Twelve Moons and Six More Poems, inspired by 12 deerskin paintings by Annie Mandlsohn which represent the months of the year.
The art and writing were influenced by shamanic teaching and practice.

Annie and Ellen would like to dedicate this poem to Volkmar (Peter) Hindrichs, who died December 17, 2013, in his 83rd year.
He loved music and the life of the spirit, and played the organ for many years at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hamilton.
Annie and her family are old friends of Volkmar and his family, and Ellen met him through Annie shortly before his death.
He liked this poem, which will be read at his memorial service and which fits this season of the darkest night and the return of the light..

Editor's note:  I knew Volkmar through the Lutheran Church where he played the organ and directed the choir for so many years.  Music was a great love of his as well as poetry and he often times asked me to send him some of my poetry which I was only too happy to do.

He will be sorely missed by his many friends at the church.  Tomorrow is his funeral service which which be at 11 a.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church  at Wilson and Hughson Streets in Hamilton, Ontario.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Seasonal Haiku

Morning light. Breathe in,
breathe out, a  new day opens.
Snow falls – one bird calls.

Ellen S. Jaffe

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Last night was the grand gala put on by Thanh Campbell on the 21st floor of the tower in Jackson Square.

What an amazing space that is.  The view would have been spectacular except for the falling and whirling of the snow. It was like a sheet of snow, obscuring our view.  One must have a card key to get to that floor so my escort and I were met downstairs near the security desk and sent up to the 21st floor. Thanh had arranged that our mutual friend Michael would walk with me due to the storm.We all live in the same building and not too far from Jackson Square. I found that very thoughtful of both Thanh and Michael. Not too often that a lady of my advanced years gets escorted to a gala event!

The snow had been falling non-stop from Friday night and as you can imagine, even with the snow ploughs out, it still was very slippery and the snow quite deep and difficult to walk through.  Mike held my arm on one side and I used my cane and together we made it!

I cannot speak highly enough of Mike as he made two separate trips just to get me there and back as he had another party to go to, before he could come to Thanh's book launch.

Thanh's event was very well organized and he has written a very interesting book.  The musicians were also very good and all were a little different in their approach to music.

Thanh Campbell - newly published author

Thanh Campbell

Part of the planned events for this gala, was to bring an unwrapped gift for children at the MacMaster Hospital and another part was to raise funds for City Kidz.

It started at 7 p.m. and ended at 12 midnight.

Mike walked me over for 7 p.m. and I stayed till 10 p.m.

Judy Marsales

This event was sponsored in part, by Judy Marsales.  I regret to say that I did not catch the names of the musicians.  They were all good, and I especially liked the young fellow who wrote a song about his grandparent.

As it was formal wear, I saw that several of the ladies had on long gowns and I myself wore formal clothing.  The men wore suits.  A very nice affair and I was glad to have been invited.

In order to purchase Thanh's new book, here are the particulars:

Telephone:  1-289-925-2169  for enquiries or  for enquiries via email.

Thanks for dropping by.  Congratulations to Thanh Campbell for organizing such a nice event to launch his book and to help others.  Sixty people were in attendance, which is amazing considering the weather outside.

Friday, December 13, 2013


My good friend David Haskins has had his marvellous book published.  Please take a moment and read the little blurb below and consider purchasing this for your own pleasure or to give as a gift.

This House is Condemned is equal parts elegy, portraiture and exploration of a live lived at the edge of Lake Ontario. In prose both hard-hitting and heart-felt, David Haskins writes essays of immigrating to Canada and building his life as a teacher and writer. Currents of poetry run through the book, which is as touched with humour as it is with sadness. He writes of indestructible garden forks, rafts that bear him away unexpectedly and of the loves that ebb and flow throughout a life. This House is Condemned is a powerful collection that picks the reader up and places them beside the author, walking along the shores of the lake.

The book is available for $17. from Wolsak & Wynn, 280 James Street North, Hamilton; your local independent bookstore; at Chapters/Indigo and; or plus shipping and HST on order from via the shopping cart; or email the author at if Hamilton area.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Since the Christmas season is fast approaching, I thought this might be appropriate for the time frame we are in.  Hope you enjoy it.  Gore Park is a downtown Hamilton park.

Christmas at Gore Park                                                

Twinkling lights on Gore Park trees
little children shout with glee
riding in miniature red train
I see them through my window pane.

Parents, grandparents, older siblings
shuffle feet to keep cold from nibbling
as the snow starts to whirl around
the little red train does its round

Faces all aglow from the cold
little children  a sight to behold
scarves wrapped around red faces
snowsuits and boots with laces

Fingers tingle in red mittens
hands and feet feel frost-bitten
Santa’s elves in North Pole
two are here playing their role

Christmas lights, falling snow
Happy faces, a bewitching hour.