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Tricia McCallum is a Toronto freelance writer and also publishes fiction and poetry.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Gift of Donovan.

A frigid November day in Barrie, Ontario, 1967,

Wednesday, I remember;

We had just come from Novena Devotions.

Mark led me downtown to the town’s one record store,

“For a surprise,” he said.

The proprietor was in on this, I soon realized,

watching him head

to the stacks of wooden slots on the wall

and retrieve a 45 disc in its small paper sleeve.

The needle on the vinyl
dispensed a melody through the small shop,
And then Donovan’s innocent accented voice,

Colour sky havana lake
Colour sky rose carmethene
Alizarian crimson...

Next, the bewitching refrain,

Lord, kiss me once more
Fill me with song
Allah, kiss me once more
That I may, that I may…

Wear my love like heaven

Worlds, colours I had not yet heard of,

at the age of 15.

Yet, I sensed the magic of which he sang.

I went on to my life, Mark to his.

Not long after he died, still a young man,

never giving me the chance to thank him for his gifts that day,

for seeing me in a way I had never seen myself,

as a girl worthy of devotion,
for giving me,
in that dead-end town,
an impossibly beautiful song.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Be quiet: You’re talking.

Tell me something I don’t know.

That there are insects that can fly through the rain

without getting wet,

That Bing Crosby had the first tape recorder in America,

And Esther Williams hated the water.

That astronauts have the highest divorce rate,

Redheads need more anaesthetic than others,

Emily Dickinson didn’t leave her room for 12 years,

There's no word for art in the Tibetan language not associated with deity,

And Chinese doctors examine a patient’s tongue first.

Enlighten me.

Fill me with awe.

Share things incandescent.

Or stop talking.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

To a friend on leaving Eleuthera.

You’ve come to know her secrets,

The quiet recesses of her,

Where she tucks away her sea glass,

How her oleander smells after the rain.

You know the particular colour of light

That ladles itself across Cupid’s Cay at dusk,

The creak and sway of her cargo ships,

Loaded, inching their way into the harbour.

You know her tides, her impetuousness, her fury,

Her hundred shades of blues and greens,

The open smiles of her children,

The unadulterated solace of her.

You know her expectant sunrises,

her bittersweet setting suns, too,

The content in returning, weary,

Time and again,

to her open embrace.

All of this,

You take with you today,

The moments, the years with her that helped shape you,

And she will rest deep within you,

Intact, a part of all that you are,

For the remainder of your days.