Journey Across the Water

I went over to Vancouver this past weekend to visit family. The city was pretty overwhelming after the quiet and isolation of my little island home. I made a sort of poem of impressions:

On the other side
Funneling across the channel
Drop it off, arranged and prepaid
Mid-river bus glides to the curb
Spilling out Waterfront Station.

Drifting smoke tobacco and skunk
City chic sleek dressed in black
Ice cream bar five dollars
Pull on your high-heel gumboots.

Three hundred pound man
whistles by in a motorized wheelchair,
girlfriend on his knee.

Commissionaire at the courthouse
lends his phone book, old school.

Scavenger navigates his cart,
sporting a cap with no crown.


Unexpectedly on Howe Street,
there is Gosia.
"Fancy meeting you here!"
"Well, of course!"

The language of water.

Silent on the afternoon commute
sits a prince. Spiky Mohawk,
gold ring and leather satchel,
Medicine wheel and Doc Martens.
He rises.
"Driver, will you let me off on the other side?"


  1. onesmallstitch4:03 PM

    love the high-heeled gumboots. we used to call them SSI dancing slippers.

  2. You were probably too busy with family but it's too bad we couldn't get together for tea while you were in the Big Smoke!

    Love your impression poem. The city's noisy stinky kerfuffle must definitely be a shock to your gentle island system! (My sister from Haida Gwaii has the same problem.) Funny how it doesn't work the other way - when we city folk come to the islands we just go...ahhhh....

  3. oh wow,
    I was there with you

  4. Anonymous7:03 AM

    Did you know that according to two recent Yahoo reports, Vancouver was declared the most expensive city in North America to live in and the second most expensive city in the world to live in (based on the number of years of an average Vancouverite's yearly salary needed to buy an average priced home). Well, no surprise there. Vancouver is one of the Global Economy's more orgiastic experiments run amok. I like your poetic imagery Heather. You've captured the overwhelming beauty and Blade Runner horror that is today's Vancouver. I've always pictured her as a very boozy Marilyn Monroe in stilettos tipping ever-so precariously on the edge of the continent. Everybody is breathlessly waiting for her to fall into the big drink. Very glamorous and sort of sad. Jean-Pierre


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