River Ontology

“Everything is holy!” Allen Ginsberg, 1956


Along this reach of the river, snow outlines
empty limbs of the cottonwood,
green spruce branches
are weighted by white clumps.
Midstream, a few rocks topped by snow
break the moving sheet of water.
From the current’s edge west to the forest
a meadow extends pure white. What is the purpose of a universe
that contains such beauty? When time and matter were one,
the location that was each potential future instant
did not float in a where. The primal speck of energy
was all the All needed to be. What, then, impelled existence
to abruptly form? I do not believe poverty is holy,
nor the act of parents who sell a child,
nor men and women preaching that a god
demands the murder of other people.
The panic of the middle-aged man who stops me on the sidewalk,
terrified because he has left his wallet on the bus
and no one will help him recover his ID, his money,
is abnormal, disturbed we call it,
hardly sacred. That which is designated “holy”
by those officially appointed to award the term
is intended to possess qualities that transcend
humans’ ability to attain them – virtues we can only worship
or try to emulate. Rather than venerate pain, or an alp,
though, let us stand up for our wholesome selves.
Let us accept that in the presence of
fields of snow that sparkle back at sun
a sensation of joy suffuses us, as in the June woods, too,
we might be overwhelmed by pleasure
at the trees’ gifts. Can we not acknowledge such sweet mysteries
or the entire cosmos, experience awe
at the body’s delights and weirdness
without kneeling? We have no way of confirming
angels feel rapturous in the divine presence
or if for them it isn’t just another day at work.
We do know a human possibility
is exaltation when we encounter the good. Let us praise
to and for ourselves
the best of ourselves,
the bend of the winter river.

Along the Bow River

George Webber index-030

~ George Webber

George Webber has been photographing the people and landscape of the Canadian west for over thirty years. He was inducted into The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1999. His books include Requiem, A World Within, People of The Blood, Last Call, In This Place and Prairie Gothic.

Famous Five

jude dillon famous five

~ Jude Dillon

Jude Dillon was born in Kingston, Ontario. He graduated in English from Queen’s and spent a few years as a news photographer, winning several awards. Jude also studied painting at the Alberta College of Art + Design. He has been published in magazines online and in print, throughout Canada, United States and Europe. Solitary walks, guitar playing and reading are distractions that inspire.

Making Hey While the Sun Shines

Pam Weber, Making Hey While the Sun Shines, 4 in x 7.5 in image, 14 in x 17 in framed

~ Pam Weber

Pam Weber is a gallery represented artist that has called Calgary home since moving here with her family in 1995. The evolution of Pam’s art has been influenced by the unique light and colourful landscape of Calgary and surrounding environs. www.pamweber.com.


She runs through forests trying not to get cut down
and cities trying not to suffocate
butterflies the oceans, dodging oil spills
paddles through the skies of toxic waste.
Then what a great relief to me
when I read your poetry
and saw she had found somewhere to hide.
And oh, I can see beauty is still surviving in this world.

She knows that she will tarnish in the info-light
bleach out underneath the corporate sheen
fade out in the how to be a millionaire
smudge out in the gloss of magazine
So what a much needed surprise, when I looked in your kind eyes
And saw she had found somewhere to shine
And oh, I can see beauty is still surviving in this world.

~ Anne Loree

Anne Loree is a Juno award winning songwriter and pioneer of the Calgary original music scene. She wrote the hit song “Insensitive”, recorded by Jann Arden, and has recently been pursuing watercolour art, tennis and music engineering. Listen to Anne’s music at www.anneloree.com