The Ormsby Review

October 11, 2021

The Ormsby Review is a treasure house for anyone interested in books about British Columbia and written by British Columbians. A work of love and dedication by publisher and editor Richard Mackie, it attempts to review almost every book published in and by BC authors, covering history, fiction, poetry, and essays.

I was honoured that they reviewed my “Battleground: Grandview” last year, and I was privileged to be asked to write a review for them of Eric W. Sager’s “The Professor and the Plumber: Conversations About Equality and Inequality.” The review has just been published.

The Ormsby Review is well worth supporting and I encourage all my readers to add it to their reading (and hopefully donation) lists.

Image: Family Portrait

October 11, 2021

Poem: Salamander

October 11, 2021


A bright orange salamander silently slithers

the length of the soft-pink stone-chip wall,

making faster speed than I could in this heat.


I sit, staring, mesmerized by this costumed athlete,

this splendid natural explosion of colour,

this distraction from the dull monochrome of my life.


With a desperate reluctance, I crack open the velcro

ties that bind me to the lizard, drawing back my focus

to include my companion and the unfinished wine.


“Let’s review where we are,” she says. “Yes,

let’s do that,” I reply from a distance, forgetting

where we’ve been in this conversation and why.


She clears her throat and continues:  “You and I

seem to be headed nowhere, neh?”    She pauses,

examining me for confirmation.  Perhaps I nod.


“As a couple, I mean.  We have to come to terms

with that.  We have to face the true nature of our failure

you and I.  We are not meant to be, that’s the point.”


I say: “I see.”   I feel her eyes burning me, expecting more.

Across the street, the afternoon shoppers flow in and out

of department stores and groceries and fish merchants.


“Well?” she presses.  “Am I right?  What do you think?”

I sip the wine, close both my eyes, and imagine

the cool cave where the salamander rests.