The Little City - August/September 2018

I first came upon it a few weeks ago ─ barely visible from a distance and unidentifiable.  It kind of telegraphed a sense of order, just enough to pique curiosity. 

Like so many things on The Spit, it was worth the trek along the sand, pebble, rubble beach in my clip-slippery bike shoes to get there. You don’t have to go that way.  It’s just that my curiosity drove me onward without considering less complicated alternatives. I was already on the beach below the newest incarnation of the Magnificent Pile trying to get a shot of it from the lake side when I received the ‘telegraph’.

And then:

I left this tucked into the back, facing the rubble cliff:

Here it is, a little easier to read:

26 August 2018

A swan pair flies
He’s in front, honking to her.
Is it to make sure
she is still there?
She’s not answering from
her nearly
Or is it the other way ‘round?
She, then he?
And then there is you,
small city of wonder…
Oh, and another swan
alone this time,
the honking not quite
so confident.

As distractingly wonderful
as those three were,
you are here beside me,
a begin-again
harmonious high density

Ten days later:

For a moment I am transfixed by the encounter of this Google Earth likeness. I am a benevolent introspective giant here.  The impending sky, the juxtaposition of the rubble cliff and its meaning, with the orderly elegance of the vulnerable little city, and the promise that it might offer, all held in a single gaze.  A small shiver of recognition passes through me.


7 September 2018

Hello again, hello,
charming city of
with your perfect
value scale balance:
white to grey to black
back again.
You’ve grown so, and now
you have yourself
an orange brick

Keeping out
keeping in?

Perhaps a frame to show you off
to best advantage
its colour difference
and precision placement.

‘Ah, you cannot know the
answer’ says the pen. ‘You
can only guess and spill my ink
with your speculation.’
‘You’re wrong.’ I say ‘It’s only play.’

Some days I love not knowing

Also on this day, the tower builder arrived and was instantly hard at work and keenly focused just down the way.  The temptation to approach was huge.  But I knew that knowing would change everything.  And so,

07 September 2018

I thought I was
my commitment to
Today is a little shaky.
The pen is sniggering
at my distress.
The builder is over there as
I sit safe-distanced
by the little city here.
Shall I leave this note page
here or there?
There, would only be
a sort-of half
Is there such a thing?

I visited the little city again the other day.  It has developed urban sprawl with low-rise additions at its periphery. Still charming. And yet somehow its magical intimate ambush eroded with this suburbs hint toward real-city evolution. There it was, a nudge toward the commonplace world I inhabit and me, deeply reluctant to leave enchantment behind.

Until next time. 

The Stealth Art Collective

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While We Were Absent

Just before my long hiatus I received this beautiful image "Poem in Ice" taken January 1, 2015 from Kris Ito.  It makes perfect timing for a small digression from 'The Magnificent Pile'  and a perfect bridge, for beginning again.  Thanks Kris!

January 1, 2015 © Kris Ito

January 1, 2015 © Kris Ito

Here it is in October 2014,  freshly written and left at my favourite talk-to-The-Spit site – below the lighthouse, a little over the rubble cliff edge.


To The Leslie Street Spit,

Almost mid-October now (I’m glad all your notes have gone – too much to read!)
Thanksgiving weekend to be more accurate.
No matter the amount of wiping, your surfaces
still bleed the ink.  It’s just too cold for the dew to
release on this breath-visible morning.

It felt imperative today, absolutely appropriate, to
thank you for your existence, your magic,
your small-gap revelation of the universe,
a little like Oz, not the sham of him. It’s the glimpse
behind the curtain…a moment so brief, it can be
easily missed.

Creative spirit and instinct mingle here. I’ve not seen it
so clearly anywhere else before.  I love you for this
and for all you draw from the natural world, from
the human world, from me and the pen.
You are indeed a temenos, a holy place, in the best
possible sense.

Thank you for the slim edge that you are, where the
natural and the deconstructed built worlds dance –
and the monarchs, this morning, so many exquisitely
beautiful monarchs.

With profound appreciation,
                               the pen and the camera and me



'til soon.

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