Thursday, October 30, 2008

Karaoke in Autumn

Today's guest poet is Milena King, nee Westfall, aka my mischievous little sister. Ahem. I have warned her that she will likely receive many invitations for speaking engagements now that she has gone public with her writing.

If you like this one, you can find another of Milena's brilliant poems in the Comments section of this post. At that time, she was writing under the pen-name Gabriel, most likely to keep her talents hidden from the public eye for just a little bit longer.

Update 10/31/08: Milena has now named her poem Karaoke in Autumn. I've updated the title of this post to reflect this new name.

Update 11/03/08: Milena has submitted a photo of two of her offspring demonstrating the fine art of vocal entertainment. This talent must run in the family! I wonder, do they also write poetry?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Karaoke in Autumn

My fingers trace a path through four years of dust
Why did I forget?

I race down the stairs with my treasure
My heartbeat must be audible

Male connects with female, and the dead breathes new life

Static radiates from a blue screen
The tiny hairs on my cheeks stand to attention


I dedicate this to my loved ones
The beat resonates through the old house like a steam train

One more deep breath and I will be reborn
A more heartfelt tribute to Patsy, there has never been

Relax. Wait for applause.
Why am I alone?

Milena King

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

imaginary journey

You can go here whenever you need to think.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


words fall down

a child, sleepless, moves
from book to book, fending off
night terrors with compulsive
turning of the pages

each book falls down

striking the floor,
followed by footsteps,
thud thud thud
to the bookshelf
for another dose of word medicine

her eyes fall down

stealthily, but she catches them
propping them resolutely back up
on her words, forbidding
her body from becoming traitor,
selling out to a deceiving sleep

Rachel Westfall
October 28, 2008

Son of God?

This remarkable photo of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is on the CBC news website today. I have to admit I've never seen anything quite like it. I'm sorry I ever doubted the man. ;)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Poetic improv from the mischief makers

A new feature at The Waxing Moon: guest poetry! They said it, I wrote it down.... seriously, their play wasn't nearly as violent as it sounds. No tears were shed in the making of this poem.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
poetic improv from the mischief makers

this is the Ursie
who was crawling on the floor

this is the brother
who sat on her back
as she was crawling on the floor

this is the brother
who sat on her back
and gave her bottom a good hard smack
as she was crawling on the floor

this is the brother
who knocked her down
and made her hair into a crown
and sat on her back
and gave her bottom a good hard smack
as she was crawling on the floor

this is the brother
who dumped her on the couch
and she didn’t even say ouch
who knocked her down
and made her hair into a crown
and sat on her back
and gave her bottom a good hard smack
as she was crawling on the floor

Bela and Ursula Westfall
October 27, 2008

A heartfelt apology

In today's paper, Erich Stoll offered a full apology for his comment about buying votes with beer in Old Crow, Yukon. Thank you, Mr. Stoll, for your sincerity.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I apologize for my comments

Erich Stoll, Whitehorse Star, October 27, 2008

I would like to apologize for the stupid and hurtful comments made by myself regarding the people of Old Crow and Erik Nielsen. The comments were based on a story I had heard years ago which I know not to be true, and they were made in jest in casual conversation and never meant as an official statement.

These stupid and horrible comments are an example of the horrible things people can say in jest and which they do not mean and would never want showing up in a public newspaper. These comments should never have been printed in the Yukon News in the first place, but what’s done is done, and now it is a shame I will have to live with.

I want to offer my deepest apologies to the people of Old Crow, the family and memory of Erik Nielsen, Darrell Pasloski and his family and supporters, and to the Yukon Conservative Party and all its members. I did not mean to cause any of you any hurt or embarrassment.

Erich Stoll, Whitehorse

Thursday, October 23, 2008


As he runs up the stairs
birthday kite in hand
friends left far behind
in his excitement, their sounds
muffled at the bottom
of the stairwell

does he think of his daddy
for just a moment—pausing
with a vague feeling of unease

his thin blue windbreaker
ruffled slightly like a pale heron stranded
on a sandbar with winter coming

though he’s not sure why?

Rachel Westfall
October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


what we hungered for
was to be that first thought
upon waking, to be the name
that slides like sunlight,
the ash that glows
to ember at a glance

Rachel Westfall
October 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Public Service Announcement

I enjoy reading the Google search strings that bring people almost randomly to this blog.

This is to inform the person who was searching for "Darrell Pasloski sex tape" that I haven't got one here. Honestly.

Monday, October 20, 2008

nameless II

his heart was stone, so he sank freely
and easily to the bottom. this place
he came to know intimately—

and he drew meaning from
the current, the glimmer of
gemstones and rusted cans

his heart was stone, so he played freely
with the minds of those who loved him, learning
the landscapes of their bodies with the
dispassionate touch of a surgeon

and his fingers danced on sinew
elegantly as if it were
the strings of a violin, and he
a virtuoso

Rachel Westfall
October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008


The well runs deep.

A world in its own right, stone walls
slick with unicellular inhabitants, accustomed
to the gloom and damp, untroubled
by echoes.

A world--

your descent began slowly at first
accelerating steadily, the air growing
thicker and more oppressive, the music
darker— you know

there’s no way to break your fall now.

And you no longer want to,
not really. There’s comfort
in being nestled in this dank quilt


Rachel Westfall
October 19, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

A story

Once there was a boy
who things happened to.
His mother could not raise him,
so his grandmother tried.
He was swept along
by the current. He was deeply loved
but he never knew it.

One day he woke as an adult,
dreaming within waking.
In this dream he learned
that he held his destiny
in his own hands, these hands
which had tilled earth and gardened,
had become worn with grief and worry,
but had never made
a single thing happen.

He saw the fragility of his destiny
and feared he would crush it,
his hands seemed so coarse-- so
he laid it tenderly
on a bed of lavender and turned his back,
afraid to watch it lying there
growing cold
naked and pale.

Rachel Westfall
October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October child

Like a sliver of aspen caught
by the rough breeze, there is a hint
of trouble in this child, a taste
of worry that just won’t ease. Yet

she is not afraid to run, and soon
she may fly, it seems, forgetting
momentarily what lurks in dark corners
breaking the hope of restful sleep.

Run, child, fly like the scattered leaves,
tossed by the uncharacteristic winds
of this changing world. You won’t
keep what you fear at bay forever,

but for now, the sun beats down, not
yet paled by the approaching deep
winter. The trees stretch their limbs
costumed for Halloween with rakish fingers,

laughing as they comb the sky.

Rachel Westfall
October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Because she'll only be six once

She was ready to try the school bus, her expression open,
body shifting towards its orange painted side
with the anticipation of a sunflower
catching the morning rays.

The bus pulled up, circled the corner and continued on by.
Her face fell. Her brother’s teasing adding
insult to injury; she could not think
of why the driver did not stop.

“Next time,” I said, “next time, we’ll flag him down, and he’ll know
you’re going with him today.” “Maybe this afternoon,”
she said, composing herself. “Maybe
this afternoon I can take
the bus home.”

At school, her classmates got off the bus and crowded around her,
Excited, drawing her in by the arm and saying, “I saw you!”
“Come,” they said, but she pressed against my bike
so they all stayed with her, a clutch of smiling
nest-mates reunited, waiting for the
irresistible sound of the bell.

Rachel Westfall
October 8, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

How she became a gardener

She reached up to the shelf
and took down the book, her eye caught
by the spiraling vine running up its spine.

She cracked the cover, her eyes lit
pupils widening with the dark of clear night,
liking what she saw, taking it in.

There were readers in her family,
many books, but gardeners, none. This book, though,
it drew a garden upon the landscape of her mind

a garden with bold stone courtyards, raised beds
arbours and trellises. This garden
had wild corners for the fey ones,

orderly beds for the lettuces. This garden
had a swing, soft in the shade of a weeping willow,
a tree to climb, rough bark to skin

the knees of the child who hid in her boughs,
knees to run a thumb over, then taste
a lick of metallic blood. This garden

was the dream that bridges books
with earth, that brought the existence
of the librarian’s daughter into the material plane.

Rachel Westfall
October 6, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bumper sticker

Available from the World Carfree Network; I'd love to see one of these on every Hummer!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

When the kids are in the bath

The Empress lies on her cushion
licking her front paw
elegantly, as the Emperor
looks on. His chin resting
on a blanket of soft velour, his eyes
close slowly
with a soft exhalation of breath.

This throne room was, minutes ago,
just the detritus
of a dismantled play fort, constructed
hastily from the soft parts
of the sofa and chair
as they sat bonily denuded,

abruptly exposed
but ever dignified, and now
doubly dignified
by the sudden
elevation in status
of their flesh

worthy of kings
and queens.

Rachel Westfall
October 1, 2008