Archive for September, 2006

Uncle Floyd’s Fabulous Fruit Fiasco

September 28, 2006

OK, so it has been a while since I’ve exposed my all too patient and tolerant (and, largely, fictional) readers to a poem, so without further ado, I present you with…

Uncle Floyd’s Fabulous Fruit Fiasco

Allow me to regale,
you all with a tale,
of Eve, my Uncle and me.
It’s an odd one for sure,
and you may think it pure,
imagination, concoction, and lies.

Whatever the case,
I have a straight face,
as I remember the details and facts.
It begins quite simply,
and ends quite wimpily,
but between there are many strange acts.

It started with a notion,
the idea for a potion,
out behind our country home.
As my Uncle would say,
when you work with hay,
your mind’s got a penchant to roam.

He’d been pondering you see
’bout human destiny,
and all the stuff that’s packed into a gene.
What about the fruit, he thought,
they’ve got a lot
of potential that just isn’t seen.

Now he set out to read,
’bout the way to breed,
better apples and oranges and pears.
And then he realized,
that if capitalized,
he’d be richer than the bulls and the bears.

So he started to tinker,
and become quite a thinker,
on the subject of cutting and splicing.
If they got up to walk,
and perhaps even talk,
well then that was merely icing.

He began with an orange,
but that didn’t work,
because nothing rhymes with orange.

So he moved to the pear,
and as quick as he dare,
started to muck with its DNA.
But when that fruit glowed,
my Uncle was slowed,
and forced to consult with the FDA.

He pressed on despite,
all that government might,
hiding from the light of the day.
Very soon in our barn,
I could tell quite a yarn,
’bout all which was hid in that hay.

Quick as could be,
signs of life could one see,
all within the rind of a Bartlett.
It would glow with our touch,
and even moved I would vouch,
though my Uncle insists I had startled it.

Soon it was on to an apple,
as ideal as a sample,
as one could ever hope or dream.
It was simple but brilliant,
and even quite valiant,
at least that’s the way it would seem.

It played chess with me,
and what a memory,
of the conventions required of that game.
It would demand its moves,
by a series of glowing behooves,
such that I felt it was deserving a name.

It was a Macintosh in breed,
least that was the source of its seed.
And really, who would have believed.

Yeah, well, I’ll just leave it at that…

Sturm und Drang

September 26, 2006

I like to cycle. I ride for the pure pleasure of it, and will have none of this bicycle as transportation. Sure, you can use it to get places. But the best part of riding a bike is just riding, nowhere in particular, as hard as you can.

If you ride solely for transportation, up and down around Mile End or the Plateau or whatever university in this city you go to, then you miss a lot of the amazing places in (and more importantly, around) the city. There’s the mountain (a hill, I now realize after my summer travels…), of course, but the true character of this place is also shaped by the fact that it’s an island. There’s water everywhere when you get down off that hill. And where there’s water, there’s wind. The islands and bridges around the southern end of the island are my cycling “haunts”, if you will, and these days the winds of change are blowing around these parts.

The strength I built on warm sunny days is now tested against the elements. Yesterday I gritted into a hard 40 km wind with gusts up to 60 km, dodging falling trees and other associated detritus. It was madness. Out at “the point”, a breakwater at the end of the Lachine canal that divides the river from the marina (about a dozen clicks from downtown), the river was crashing against the rocks as clouds were rushing by overhead. Seagulls were landed, all lined up with their beaks pointed into the gale. And it was a gale, believe me. The ride home was glorious, pushed along for a while by the now turned around tailwind.

I’ve had a lot of peak experiences out and about on my bike this summer, but this was different. It was a reminder of how quickly things change. One sees trees that were green only weeks ago turned into bare sticks in a day or two of tempestuousness.

Today there was a little more of a chill in the air, and the wind still blew. I was out there, crossing back towards Nun’s Island from the south shore hammering into another 40-45 km wind. I could almost feel my front wheel lifting…And there was another seagull, not landed this time, but like me, twisting and twirling through the gale, keeping pace with my meager progress, half mocking and half encouraging. Sure, this was where he belonged, truly and completely, but in a way so did I.

It is another time of change, of storm and stress, and it is also getting to be time to put down the bike. That’s going to be extra hard this year…This summer it has saved my sanity and made me grow and change in so many unexpected ways.

Mountain

September 20, 2006

OK…I’ve been remiss with the travelogue and now it’s the damn fall equinox — summer’s really over. So, with that, I offer one more picture, symbolic of all the amazing mountain scenes I was witness to. It’s a cop out, but I want to move on to other things. Anybody have any good job ideas for unemployed historians? Just like climbing a mountain…


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