Image: Flower Offering

December 13, 2021

Emily Carr’s 150th Birthday

December 13, 2021


Western Forest, 1931

When I first came to Vancouver and visited the Art Gallery, I was astounded to see a room full of paintings by Emily Carr. They were a shock to me, vibrant in their blues and greens and browns, different from any works I had seen before: I didn’t understand them, and I didn’t care for them at all. Now, some forty-odd years later, while I still perhaps don’t understand them completely, I have grown to appreciate them — indeed, love them — both as local and global treasures.

Untitled, 1938

Today we celebrate what would have been her 150th birthday and we celebrate her ever-growing reputation.

Poem: Complaints Desk

December 13, 2021


She fumed

and fumed loud.


And as she

disabused me

of my place

in the human

race — given

my lineage

must be replete

with morons and

monkeys —

her otherwise neat

and clipped


was interlarded

with sailors’ slang

and potty talk,

and ended with

a red-faced



“Fair dinkum, gal,”

I replied,

smiling the smile

that’ll usually

sink ’em.


nothing.  I sighed

and completed

the refund

that would send

her away.


Thank God,

I’m stoned

all day.