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Curling

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Curling rocks, lined up for play in the hack (Image: Pixabay)

Curling

In the hack and grip your rock
crouch and graceful glide precise
eyes on broom across the sheet
send the stone along the ice.

But you can’t hit everything—
need to keep the four-rock rule.
Play it cagey—make the tick
learned in Weagle curling school.

Skip is yelling from the house
to the sweepers, “Hurry hard!”
Rock is light and slowing fast
comes to rest, a perfect guard.

Rival stone sits in the rings
they would dearly love to steal.
“Throw a bullet,” is the call,
“sweep it clean, we want to peel.”

Now the house is getting full
rocks in twelve-foot, four-foot, eight
try the double, watch the jam
need to throw a lot of weight!

It’s our hammer and last rock
draw to button a clear shot
sweep for line and watch it curl
–
it looks easy, but it’s not!

© 2011 by V. Nesdoly

It’s the week of the Brier — a week-long curling bonspiel that pits men’s rinks from Canada’s provinces and territories against each other.

If there’s one game I love to watch it’s curling. I love the fact that there’s athleticism and strategy involved (curling has been called ‘chess on ice’). I love it that ordinary men and women (moms, teachers, accountants, chiropractors, golf-green-keepers, pharmacists) from small-town Canada get to be in the spotlight. I enjoy the pace of the game, and the way it’s televised so that you can see the look on the players’ faces, watch the progress of the rock along the ice,  and  see those great shots replayed. It has taken lot of self-discipline for me to get anything done this week (with three games a day and each several hours long… good thing I have a knitting project on the go!).

I wrote the ditty, above, several years ago while watching a Scotties (women’s) or  Brier (men’s tournament). It uses a a bit of the game’s vocabulary (and is a re-post).

In case you’re interested, here’s a glossary of Canadian curling lingo (Canadian Curling Federation).

The video below features the top ten curling shots from a few years ago at one of the Canadian spiels that was played to help select Canada’s men’s and women’s rinks for the 2010 Olympics (where the Canadian men’s rink [Kevin Martin] won gold and the women’s [Cheryl Bernard, shown in the still shot below] won the women’s silver).

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Poetry+Friday+TagThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by the multi-talented Michelle Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty.

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21 Comments

Posted by on March 10, 2017 in Poetry Friday, Re-post

 

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Converting to Childhood

“Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven…'” Matthew 18:2,3.

When Holly, host of Spiritual Journey Thursday, mentioned that she was intending to write about CHILDLIKENESS in her SJT post today, I immediately thought of what Jesus said in Matthew 18. I also remembered a poem I wrote a few years ago. “Converting to Childhood” has some of my ideas of what Jesus may have meant when he talked to his disciples about being converted and becoming as little children. What do you think He meant?

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“… Daddy is nearby.”

Converting to Childhood

Jesus: “… unless you are converted and become as little children
you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3

You lose sophistication and veneer
and become clear
sing, skip and play
easily laugh and cry
then fall asleep without a care
for Daddy is nearby.

No longer do you worry
about whether there will be
food to eat, clothes to wear
how to get from here to there.

You’re malleable clay again
learning your family’s ways and graces.
And once again you fit
into small places.

© 2007 by V. Nesdoly
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Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

Join us each week for Spiritual Journey Thursday

This poem is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

 

 

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“Flag” on Canada Day

Today is Canada’s 148th birthday. And this year our flag turns 50!

I’m celebrating by reposting my poem “Flag,” written a few years ago.

One of Vancouver’s downtown hotels sported a gigantic Canadian flag during the 2010 Olympics. It helped  foster the Canadian spirit which infected  the streets of Vancouver during those fabulous weeks. (Photo © 2010 by V. Nesdoly)

Flag

National flag of Canada
two by length and one by width, red
containing in its center a white square
the width of the flag
with a single red maple leaf
centered therein”
*
flies majestic since 1965
over town squares
by cenotaphs and schools
from Cape Spear, Newfoundland
to Beaver Creek, Yukon
Alert, Nunavut
to Middle Island, Ontario.

Proudly raised at Olympics
wrapping the grim coffins of soldiers
feted on Canada Day
marched in to the skirl of bagpipes November 11th
this silk-screened symbol
stitches together
our experience and destiny
sea to sea to sea.

When so plentiful at home you no longer see
till it’s reincarnated into jester caps
umbrellas and wind socks
painted on faces, stamped on T-shirts
decaled onto mugs and beaver pens

abroad even one
grabs your homesickness
like the initials of a sweetheart.
Meet someone with your flag stitched on his pack
and you know he’ll understand Tim Horton’s
hockey, Z that rhymes with “bed”
loonies, toonies, Bruce Cockburn, Diana Krall
Cirque du Soliel, CBC, Air Canad, O Canada.
Sorry, but great is it to have found someone
who speaks your own language, eh?

© 2008 by Violet Nesdoly

* Official description of the flag taken from the Public Works and Government Services Canada website.

The Canadian flag had a 40-year gestation. Read the story of its birth HERE.

The first flag was stitched together by Joan O’Malley, daughter of Ken Donovan, who Prime Minister Pearson asked to provide prototypes of the new design for a meeting with the premiers with just a few hours’ notice. The story is HERE.

 

 
 

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Canadian Rivers

Our poetry group is part of the Abbotsford Arts Council meet and mingle event at Mill Lake Park on Saturday afternoon. We’ll even be giving a short poetry reading.

Because Canada Day is just around the corner I was reminded of and have decided to read a couple of Canadian poems that I wrote a few years ago. One that I’ve been practicing is “Canadian Rivers.”

I’ve posted it on the blog before but I’m re-posting it today, along with a recording of it. Maybe it will whet your appetite to discover some of our beautiful Canadian rivers for yourself!

 

Unnamed Alberta river seen from the air

The river in the photo (name unknown) meanders across the Alberta prairie between Lethbridge and Calgary. (Photo © 2007 by V. Nesdoly)

 

Canadian Rivers

Headwaters drip from snowy melt of mountain glaciers
gurgle down glistening rock faces in nameless rivulets.
Fed by rain and sibling trickles they become sinuous streams
adolescent-eager in descent, unafraid to dash against boulders
froth into canyons, course over rock beds till they reach the flat.

Mature and strong they gouge valleys, meander through meadows
nurture forests, bears and eagles, rejuvenate farms and hamlets
flow regal yet restless through villages and cities
under bridges and over tunnels
ever pressing on to an ocean destination.

The watermark of veins, arteries and capillaries on our maps
they carve their initials, scrawl their signatures
all over Canada: Snake, MacKenzie, Coppermine
Exploits, Hillsborough, Saint John, Margaree, Moisie
St. Lawrence, Red, Qu’Appelle, Athabasca, Cowichan…

Named by Indians and explorers for Indians and explorers
they inscribe the plot lines of our history
hide the gold and call the salmon
propel the ferries, carry the logs, barges and ships
pave thoroughfares for tugboats, speedboats, kayaks, canoes.

We settle beside them for their sustenance and beauty
feel betrayed when, with spring-fevered earthlust
their swift-flowing waters bite off chunks of our land.
Then we fear them, dredge them, soil them,
treat them, dyke them, dam them.

I have toe-squished the mud of the South Saskatchewan
pulled Jackfish from the North
been awed by the Hell’s Gate fierceness of the Fraser
spied loons and cormorants gulping fish in the Nicomekl
otters cavorting in the Serpentine

driven miles beside the Thompson
as it winked at me through clearings
admired the canyons carved by the Bulkley
dreamed the legends of the Kispiox
listened from a tent to the night secrets of the Skeena …

Oh for more lifetimes
to make all of them mine.

© 2007 by Violet Nesdoly

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday. It’s hosted this week by Carol at Carol’s Corner.
This poem was first published at Utmost Christian Writers Canadian site where it received honorable mention in 2007 Canadian Landscape Poetry Contest.
 

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October Fashion

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Morning wears crisp cotton and smoky tulle

October Fashion

Morning wears crisp cotton and smoky tulle
woven through with gold light.

North Shore mountains are sensibly dressed
in darkest denim, their tops
hidden, cozy under unrolling
bolts of blue- and grey-tinged fleece.

The park has thrown on a shawl
of embroidered leaves
in tangerine, scarlet, yellow
wine, olive.

Even dwarf cedar has accessorized
her sensible green bouclé
with red leaf appliqués
of delicate Japanese maple.

© 2004 Capper’s Magazine. Also published by Prairie Messenger in 2006

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This is a repost. I first posted “October Fashion”  here exactly five years ago today. I hope fall is treating you to her head-turning style wherever you are!

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday hosted today by the lovely Michelle Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Nature, Poetry Friday, Re-post

 

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Writing

Beach pea and daisy

Writing

Beside the path
that winds through my
waking and sleeping,
grow, like wild flowers,
scenes, insights, connections.
Some days I am too rushed
or distracted to see.
On others I am wiser,
live with the perception
that gathers a bouquet,
chooses one or two
to press
between the covers
of a book.

© 2004 by Violet Nesdoly

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Today’s poem “Writing” is reposted from a first appearance here in 2010. Sad to say, I haven’t been picking or pressing many of those wildflowers lately because I’ve been engrossed in something else. The poem “Writing” is part of it.

CalendarYou see, I’ve been studying Mark Coker’s style guide on how to format documents for Smashwords. (In case you’re not familiar, Smashwords is a website through which you can publish and sell your own ebooks.)

I’ve wanted to try my hand at this kind of self-publishing for a while and decided to make my guinea pig document a chapbook that I first published in 2004 called Calendar. After spending several weeks snatching moments here and there to work on my document, this Monday I nervously hit “Publish.”

Amazingly the process completed without a hitch! And so today I’d like to introduce you to the 2014 ebook edition of Calendar!

Poetry Friday LogoNow to see what the rest of the Poetry Friday ladies and gents have been up to, click over to Buffy’s Blog where the lovely Buffy Silverman is laying out this week’s  Poetry Friday fare.

 

 

 

 
 

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Guided

Guided

When confluence in the heavens
shone brighter than any illuminated text
they high-fived, then headed
to the mall for myrrh and frankincense
stopped by the bank for gold.

Whenever, on that dusty trek
needles of sand attacked
camels were crabby
thighs chafed, tailbones ached
eyes rose again to blue-white beam
that drew them like a magnet.

In Jerusalem when no one knew
about an infant king
heaven’s eye winked seeming to say
“Carry on boys.
There is a reason you’ve come all this way.”

The single-file Bethlehem street
led to a crescent of modest bungalows
but even here
their confidence never wavered
for their star hovered
over one.

And so they double-parked
jumped off those dusty camels
rummaged through sandy saddle bags for gifts
knocked on that humble door
with trembling anticipation.
Despite the unkingliness
of the whole business
faith never faltered
for God’s spotlight
had guided every step.

© 2011 by Violet Nesdoly

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The Christmas story is full of miracles. This star is one of them. I hope, this holiday season, that you are being wowed by a few wonders and miracles as well.

Poetry Friday LogoThis poem is a re-post. It  was first published here in December 2011. Today it is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted by Buffy Silverman at Buffy’s Blog.

 
22 Comments

Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Christmas, Poetry Friday, Re-post, Religious

 

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