The REDress Project

Red Dress Project 3

My red dress, hanging under the Weeping Willow tree
The REDress project, created by Métis artist Jaime Black, highlights the issue of the missing & murdered Indigenous women in Canada.

October 4th is a day to honor the lives of over 1000 Indigenous women tragically taken from their loved ones. It is also a day meant to raise awareness about the ongoing violence, at significantly higher rates toward Indigenous women and girls than any other demographic in Canada.

This effort was started by the Sisters In Spirit Vigil (SIS) organization and the Native Women’s Resource Centre in Toronto nine years ago, and includes support services for the family members of the missing and murdered women (#MMIW).

The group began in answer to the lack of resources through any government services and the continuing lack of public response on any meaningful scale.

Current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper outraged many when he said in an interview on the CBC last December,  that looking into this issue, particularly with a national inquiry was “not high on his government’s radar”.  To date, despite a later outright denial of what he said in that recorded video, his government has continued to do nothing about the issue.

In response, artist Jaime Black chose to highlight the issue with her project designed to represent the women with red dresses in a photo display that is being shown in various galleries across the country. In various interviews she said she would like people to hang their own red dresses wherever in their community or wear one on October 4th in solidarity for the women and their families.

The public can also participate in the honoring by attending various candlelight vigils in various cities and/or with a virtual candle online project:


Please see Jaime’s full story at

For more information about the Sisters in Spirit group, see:

Posted in Aboriginal Peoples, Life, Life & Death, Missing & Murdered Women, Photos | Tagged | 4 Comments


IMG_20150927_172818~4Gili T triplets

Pleasant aphrodisiac

Foreplay for duets


Yes! Shellfish allergies overcome. Gili Trawangan, September 27.

Posted in Haiku, Life, Lighter Side, love, Micro Poetry, Photos, Poetry | 5 Comments

Dark Wanderings


Bathrooms in the dark

You’ll soon learn in a flash

You’re never alone


Gili Trawangan, September 21

Posted in Haiku, Life, Lighter Side, Micro Poetry, Photos, Poetry | 10 Comments

Dear Dad, I’ll Be Okay & You Will Too ….. (and Thank You, Sweet Jesus for Skype)

So dad said, “You are so beautiful, I just can’t believe you couldn’t find someone in Vancouver, or Canada for that matter”.  And I said, “‘Cause, no one in Vancouver ever really saw me, and besides, I wasn’t looking”.

So, you were really sending a message – a stay-away message, he said.  I said, yup and it’s this: I ain’t interested in anyone, but if you want this, you’d better be prepared to work for it, ‘cause there is nothing easy about me.  At least, not anymore.

Well, as it turned out, the only guy in 15 years who has wanted to work on it at all, lives on another continent.  I’m going to see how real it is.

He’s just an ordinary guy on the face of it…. If you were to tick off just the basics, he might be said to be an electrician, a regular working guy who has kids, a house and the other investments.  You would say he is a biker at heart, but riding a Harley is an addiction that gets exercised only rarely now.  You might notice his tattoos, so bold and absolutely storied.  Those stories are histories of deep and mythical experiences and they embody his beliefs.

Dad would want me with a certain kind of look, a certain type of being… This electrician isn’t it – on the face of it.

It’s not even the tattoos, dad hasn’t seen those yet.  It’s the beard.  The big, bushy, hairy beard – and the hair – long hair that is tied back in a low pony tail.

“Do you think he’d ever clean that up a bit”?

“Yes, dad, he would, and if I want to, I could do whatever I want with it, but maybe I won’t want to.  Maybe that is what I want too”.

I saw those things that way too, at first.  I knew it was definitely a different look than what I’d normally gawk at twice, but there was something else.  There was a light, a spark of recognition.  I already knew he believed in things the way I did.  I knew I was going to be able to talk and talk about what matters – and we did. Thank you, geniuses, for Skype.

I already knew he believed like me mostly, because he’s also a writer whose gifted work I’d been a fan of for a long time.  He wears his heart out on his sleeve – just like you, dad.   I read all the words where he poured his soul onto the public landscape, a place where you have to be ready to absorb the shock of disdain or hold out hope for any word of praise and encouragement.  So, he’s brave too.  Like any of us who put ourselves out there.  Go ahead… write even a letter to the editor of your local paper and see what it feels like to have it published or ignored.

He’s also funny as hell.  I first saw it in his words when I could break out laughing at any line in his columns – that is, when he didn’t have me close to dripping in tears. He’s had me thinking deeply about issues I hadn’t given as much thought to as cursory sympathy over the years, and he’d got me incensed at the stupidity, selfishness, and just plain cruelty of humans.

He knew me too, in the same fashion.  He read all my work and learned the same basic facts about my world, but also some of my greatest concerns, desires, and fears.  He learned about my health issue(s), and the main reasons I have avoided relationships for all these several years.

Those points notwithstanding, what also led up to those years of solitude were the last two relationships of horrific standing.  I did a terrible job, back to back, of picking out someone I thought would know me, see me, love me and cherish me. The long story short is, they didn’t, and I have the scarred terrain to prove it.

Hey Dad –

You may have forgotten something quite obvious within the concern about my finding someone halfway around the world….

There is no way either of us can just run and shack up within months of meeting each other.

There is no way he can divest himself of his children, job and holdings overnight and run to Canada any more than I would be able to leave my child, dump my house, my health professionals, my entire life to run to said other continent.

I look at it as a pretty major built-in safety factor that none of my other relationships afforded me.  We have nothing but space and time to get to know each other.

I would think that would give you some comfort until, and if, the day he turns up for a proper chat with you.

I know what you were saying and why and I love you for it, but if I don’t get to meet him at some point, how will I know if all the conversations we’ve had to date are meaningful or not.

Love you too,


Yes, dad, I understand fully why you worry. I don’t blame you, and whoever heard of meeting someone like this?

Who says it’s possible to fall in love with the work of another writer, then sort of bear down on that writer, then bare yourself even more personally to that writer, then think falling in love that way could be possible?  How could any of this be reality of any genuine consequence?

But, in months and months of conversation, even from two separate continents, what we learned together was the depths of what we each believe in and care for.  We are able to articulate clearly what we want, need, and what we will not settle for less than, thanks to all those years of endured and survived diminished relationships.

Neither of us have any delusions of grandeur that our current days of wine and song are equal to the old days of youthful sass and sauce.  The days now are too short to play with coyness.

We’ve agreed upon what is important and we’ve learned how to navigate through each other’s fears and pains.  Anyone want to comment on how easy that little part of any relationship is?  So, believe me when I say, distance doesn’t make it any easier.

He has worked his ass off climbing over my mountains of insecurities, and I have struggled with clearing years of darkness from his eyes.  We see each other.  He likes to say we speak each other.

Yes, dad, I will make sure you have my full itinerary, all contact numbers, and yes, I have registered with the embassy.

No matter the results long term, we certainly couldn’t regret the long highway of loveliness we’ve created between us.  We certainly wouldn’t forget all the stretches of angst it took to get here. We couldn’t say it was all for nothing, because what we’ve shared so far couldn’t be called nothing by any stretch of the imagination – or fear.

Because, in the end, no matter what happens, whether it’s in the days leading up to our meeting or after, if we’re not meant to be, that’s all it is.  The real work will really begin if it turns out that we really are meant to be.  Holy crap – we will have some sorting out to do to get ourselves together, won’t we?

My life, our lives, are only ever a story in progress, we’ll just have to see what kind of chapter this will turn out to be.  No matter the outcome in that long run, I will always know I have had a taste of being genuinely cared for and cherished.  I have finally felt a devotion never given me before.  That knowledge will never leave my heart, even if he does.

And dad, I will always know you were the first man to cherish me, but just maybe, I have found another.  Just maybe I have found what you wished for me yourself for so many years.   I am going to see.


Posted in Blogging, Body Image, Life, love, Relationships, Storytelling, Wordpress, WPLongform, Writing | Tagged | 20 Comments

Deserted Dreams

red dunes behine 80 mile
Is there a mirage

More thoroughly untrue than

Red Australia


80 Mile Beach, Western Australia
With great gratitude to, RA
Posted in Haiku, Heaven, Life, Micro-Poetry, Writing Challenges | 10 Comments

Killer Words

Killer PenOf all the weapons

Used for slaying enemies

I will choose the BIC


Continuing the challenge to grow some Haiku creativity skillz
Image an RL original
Posted in Haiku, Life, Micro Poetry, Poetry, Writing Challenges | 10 Comments

The Color de Mon Amour

Red dancer - glowing

I used to wear red

For those days of look at me

But now, red wears me


Thanks for the amazing image from Red Dancer and thanks, friends for guiding me to further inspiration and the challenges of finding new ways to say something.
Posted in Haiku, Inspiration, Life, love, Micro Poetry, Photos, Poetry, Writing Challenges | 11 Comments

Love you, Miss you… Not Really…

Speaking softly with a false stick really effing hurts.

“Love you, miss you, I care, I’m listening, you matter”.

You matter, until what?

How is it that the very people who labor to use the power of words to sear their literary brilliance into the soul of another, often quite successfully, easily turn around in utter ignorance that their works of off-handed effort can also be taken to heart by anyone?

I love you; I miss you; I care about you; I’m listening; you are so special to me; I’d do anything for you; you matter.

I see these words used regularly, ‘normally’, by many in the world of blogs, story comments, Facebook notes, Twitter love,  in reply to their readers – certainly not all writers, but enough to see the consequences often enough.

I see how these words and phrases are used and it has come to drive me up the literary wall of frustration – and beyond the heart-break indignation sometimes expressed. It’s especially galling where the users are writers by profession or regularity in pastime. They should know about ‘the power of words’ better than anyone. They should be the ones defending the power of language.

Those who explain away those usages as just throw-away lines in the heat of their emotions or from the pinnacle of whatever uncontrolled enthusiasm have somehow managed to become some of the most clueless centers of their earth(ly selves).

Those sort of throw-away lines are not harmless whether they are tossed around in obliviousness or deliberately lobbed. To the uninitiated, they are bombs of hope or heartache. Some might say it’s one’s own choice in how to react, but I wonder…. who gets to decide that they get to be the testers of merit?

Readers are not just recipients of thoughts, they are real people who believe in words, who respect words, and yes, mostly they realize the power of words. They know words matter.

Our words are not just for titillation, or for creating magnetism to draw appreciation, adoration and viewing hits. The power of words is always about touching views, inner sight, hearts, and souls.

The irresponsible use them to assuage their ego-based itches and cuts. This level of self-service is fucking mind boggling (pardon my French, it’s Canadian, eh). (Sorry, France).

I have to ask, where is the honest to God respect for the power of words? Unless being a charlatan is the norm, since when should anyone, that you really don’t know, take for granted that words such as ‘I love you’ or ‘you matter’ or even ‘fuck off’ are a throw-away line of the most minimal meaning possible

Where’s the awareness of why one is doing whatever it is one is doing? It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to sit for a minute to ask, why am I going to do this or why does this matter?

Say what you mean and mean what you say – learned by many and usually the hard way, but oh, so worth the earn.

I know I reflected when I finished this post. My answer was, I do not understand why there is such emptiness coming from people who work so hard to carve out some attention to their views, and damn it all, I really enjoy a good rant now and then too.


Posted in Bloggers, Blogging, Life, Wordpress, Writing | 21 Comments

Beautiful Calm Driver

The Road Home Hubbards, NS

The Road Home
Hubbards, NS

Drives faster sideways

Than the speed of lover’s fights

Angels can’t keep up


Inspiration- Musician, Sia
Posted in Haiku, Life, Micro-Poetry, Photos, Poetry, Writing Challenges | 3 Comments

Mourning Light

Light through fog

Lawn, Newfoundland, 8/05/15

Sad pleas for comfort

Within poems, unanswered

Solace is within


For a friend…. looking for love in not the right places
Posted in Haiku, Micro Poetry, Photos, Poetry, Writing Challenges | 12 Comments