Help!

I need somebody(Help!) Not just anybody(Help!) You know I need someone(Help!) “Is that close enough?” Behind me, over my right shoulder, someone is being maneuvered into a spot for the table. I don’t look, continue drinking my late breakfast coffee, scrolling through the article about the Jay’s loss in Tampa on Thursday. “Yes, thank you.Continue reading “Help!”

Scatterlings of Africa

We are on the road to Phelamanga*Beneath a copper sky It was an inauspicious start to the day, my last in South Africa. The 8:00 am pickup was delayed until 8:30; not a problem, more relaxing for breakfast. Out in front of the hotel promptly, I began pacing in the sun as each minute tickedContinue reading “Scatterlings of Africa”

Downtown

Things will be great when you’reDowntownNo finer place for sure The Playground, a market only open on Saturdays, is listed among a number of sights to visit in Johannesburg. My South African colleagues were not aware of the place, asking me to be more precise about the location. When I showed the map, they classifiedContinue reading “Downtown”

Wild Thing

You make my heart sing There was an understated anticipation on the mini bus. We exchanged the obligatory polite hellos, names and where are you from questions. Gerald travelled 30 hours from his home in Seattle to arrive in Cape Town before making a last second decision to join this tour. Sean is originally fromContinue reading “Wild Thing”

5 Days in May

My accent gives me away. People then leap to the assumption I am American, which I quickly correct before they ask if this trip is my first time in the country. My response immediately induces a smile and the understandable question: “So how do you like South Africa so far”? With a sheepish grin IContinue reading “5 Days in May”

I got loaded

Last night. On a bottle of gin. Not really, but I savoured every ounce. KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, Flight number 692, Toronto to Amsterdam. First leg of a 24 hour journey to Johannesburg, South Africa. I noticed Bols Corenwyn – Aged Dutch Genever at the top of the spirits list on the menu as IContinue reading “I got loaded”

Waka* this way

The sun shone brightly On our daily morning walk The first day of spring Of flowers we now can talk Songs of birds, small tufts of green Signs of hope before unseen * a Japanese poem consisting of 31 syllables in 5 lines, with 5 syllables in the first and third lines, and 7 syllablesContinue reading “Waka* this way”

Stand by me

My Catholic elementary school was populated by a number of ethnic groups, situated in a working class neighbourhood on the east side of London, Ontario. St. Roberts had a history of being rough and it was not uncommon for fights to break out in the school yard amongst fellow students or with the rival protestantContinue reading “Stand by me”

Christmas Present

I remember my first Ukrainian Christmas. Olga and I were not married yet. Although I had met her parents earlier in the summer, visiting Toronto for a weekend, the occasion would be my initial introduction to Olga’s brother, Bohdan. For those unaware, Ukrainian Catholicism follows the Julian calendar meaning Christmas Eve is January 6 andContinue reading “Christmas Present”