Darkness

We are known by our faces in daylight

but our hearts show more clearly in darkness. – AMS

**

I had hope to find

Healing for all the broken,

Yet must I still hope?

-Jim Tse

**

Day by day I watch the stars pass me by without hope there seems to be no way out of this spiralling world my night terrors come to life every night without a dream in sight. – anonymous

**

Dear Melmo,

Don’t forget to brush your teeth, love yourself today. Not like yesterday! Eat and Drink! Have fun so when you’re down you can remember. Come back and read this. I love Mike. I love meat. Love UR self. It’s all good from now. Okay>

I said!! OK!!!??? – From Melmo

**

Today I feel scared

Only hoping to see that special someone next me who I like a lot and hope to meet someday. It’s been a long time since I seen u back at square. I am on the streets today and alone. Don’t think I will make it back soon to sis pad. Just another day, God gave me by his grace who I can fall in love with once again have a good day beautiful people. Sincerely, Conrad Tyson Bull

**

October 21st, 2011

Not a good day!

Lily Choy, the torturer and killer of Kolice Potts (4 years old) got away with a very mild sentence – again.

Your little soul cries out from Heaven,

R. Ostertag

Brian C. Hughes

Sacha M. Kahlil

Edmonton

**

November 26th, 2011

Today is the Memorial: The Holodomer”

For all the Ukrainians that were starved in 1932-33, millions that the world does not know about, under the Russian “Stalin” regime.

Millons that their fruit, wheat, bread, food, fish, etc, were taken from them; thanks to Stalin and Communist Russia.

Be glad that we live in Canada and know not of such horrific atrocities such as this in this century. Blessings.

– anonymous

**

I was a/ and am a 60’s Scoop Child (one of Aboriginal children adopted to various countries), a lot like Residential School Survivors … I came home to my Reservation long ago to find myself and heal, start to heal my traditions, culture, roots.

I grew up in the USA. Highschool, NYC! Was a good cultural upbringing, but missed what my heart and Red Path brought me home to! Since those years, in/out of Edmonton. Much change …

need more help for those that ask, homeless; programs, a friendly hello, not discriminate, … too much to say, yet Edmonton, reach out to us/those that ask for a smile. Help … sincerely. – Lee Desjarlais, aka Gloria Denechoon

**

Home

I was walking around the inner city for the past week, is this what my life has come to? Homelessness is awful! It’s been my life most of my life. I would like to be happy some day, someday before my chronic illness gets any worse.  Someday I’ll find my home!!

– Mel

**

I am a man of vision and insight.

I awoke …  My visions did not agree with what have seen in this world of so many possibilities.

I paint the things that I see and things that follow me. The spirits are great and grand, its human nature that’s so hard to understand. My views are my own, I will try make clear in sculpture and paint, carvings and more. So that one day all humans will understand, you all can’t keep doing the things that you do. Cause one day Mother Earth will punish you.

Remember you’s all guests on this land, so act accordingly! – anonymous

**

Today is European Culture Day! to celebrate those of our ancestors that came on foot* across the land from Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Italy etc, to build this beautiful city out of nothing, and that within a few years! How sad then to see that the children and grand-children of these brave people are treated like third rate offal in their own land.

They are refused jobs because the job will be given to an unqualified newcomer from a third-world country with possibly faux credentials, does not matter! He/She is “qualified” alone for being an immigrant from a 3rd world hell-hole.

How Sad! – a few hours ago, hundreds of police officers had to enforce the right of a group of 25-30 persons to express their right to free speech and pride in their ancestors and heritage! In less than 100 years Canada has morphed from a paradise into something like this.*^

Until today we thought onl,y North Korea, China and Cuba forbids free speech! Now we know otherwise! Oh Canada! Where is Our land?! – families Riley, Jones and Faber, from Edmonton, Vancouver, Halifax

* – an anonymous reader comments in the margin, “on foot from Ireland, not a chance”

*^ – AMS adds: I have many times heard just this same sentiment expressed – in the equivalent of the Block Capitals in which this post was originally written – by Aboriginal Canadians across the land. What is it we ask of Paradise?

**

it’s funny how in this city – that’s so big – one still finds themselves feeling alone, lonely  – T C Sutherland (followed by below)

**

Advice;

Good people are bad people who never get caught!

Why are we divided into groups? Blacks, whites, browns, we’re all the same. Screw Police brutality! UNITE! If we unite, then that’s a better game. Racism sucks, it’s like being hit by a hockey puck.

So screw our differences cause when we’re skinned down deep to the bone, we’re really not so different after all!!

Think about it judgemental craps! – Tiny Tiga

PS Love this City!

I write this cause I’m waiting for court. Let’s hope everything goes alright.

PPS stay out of trouble, or don’t get caught.

**

When I ride in the dark streets, trying to take pain easy, but time changes, love ages, best friend becomes strangers, if more ladies sat down and be ladies then more guys would sit down be gentlemen, but the question is that do we got the life settlement, example I will show you an element, the government don’t give f*** about us their still just selling it, while others believe in ‘em, times are dangerous when you don’t showing nothing to them, take the life away from l’il kid the street we believe that they will be armed but really they bringing more harm. Why we gott use violence with silencer, life is a movie, we see everything, but keeping to ourself while some will sell their soul, no matter what (? Sense?) that will come to me I’ll survive it through dark knights cause I got god with me.

– by Abdul A.K.A. No. Money.

**

every man has a way to betray the revolution

this is mine

– Leonard Cohen

**

Monday, February 18, 2013

Family Day, by PM Getty

Gone with the wind … Family Day? Not for us!

Until a decade ago, every day was Family Day for us!

Our family was fractured seven years ago. By the system!

Teenage son (never caused any trouble) dragged away from a middle-class home in the UK, one parent dragged over and dumped in Canada (against her will), then meanwhile “mature” boy left to fend for himself in the seedy underworld of London, UK, because he could not find his parents, their mortgage-free home in the outskirts of London occupied by squatters, their family history wiped out!

In 2008/2009, they “found” each other after a long search that involved Private Investigator agencies.

The gap is huge, the loss irreparable!

No “family day” for this family, Mr. Getty. Thank you anyway – you are a considerate gentleman and meant well!

No family day ever again for our family – a family fractured in pieces in three continents.

– The O. Khalil family, one in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, dumped against the will; one in Europe, stranded; on in the Near East.

The total wipe out!

**

AMS adds – Alberta Premier Don Getty established Family Day in 1989 – you can find a great description of the debate around that at Daveberta.ca

**

Love is faded, but I still care

Tomorrow still come, but you still weren’t there.

I love you, I’m scared. Please pull me through

Baby your gone. What do I do words write themselves

People watch and stare. They don’t see the truth

They don’t see what’s there. I love in happiness

I love in despair, I say goodbye because I (heart) u

Because you still aren’t there – John Stelfox

**

Hope all the plans for homes for homeless comes to a successful end. Thanks to the people with their help it’s good to be home in Edmonton with awesome friends and nice people. God bless,

Conrad Tyson Bull

**

I have this burden, and it really troubles me. I had this friend who lied to me. I almost killed myself when i was 21 years old. I’ve been homeless for 5, 6 years, i have no education, and everyday seems that i’ll suffering with disease. I’m a homosexual in love with a hansome Native man tall. I’ve experienced love and god’s good grace. I have a dream and a goal, i want someone. Who don’t want me no more. And now i live with silence you give me. For how long though? – anonymous

**

Dear Melmo,

Let’s call my dad. Miss the family.

Love, Melmo

**

My first love is Edmonton. Right now i am going to pick up my love at the Remand. I would not have met him if it weren’t for this beautiful city. – AC

**

Secrets deep down inside, courage to reveal

so old and aged little artifacts, the answers help me heal

secrets submerged, buried alive, covered but not treasure

distribute pain remorse guilt, so morbid, so sick, not pleasure.

Secrets of deception, starving, cheating, stealing and lying.

As I got crushed by grief, I am so tired of denying

being afraid and all alone, so cold, so dark, so stoned.

Absorb not to escape, to overcome, a craving beyond mental control

killing myself intentionally, self murder of the soul.

I surrender to survive, throw the dice for one last roll.

Each tragedy is a trigger, to rise with the smoke once again

anything but that downward maelstrom into oblivion.

Never knowing real sobriety, I love who I am today.

Either being locked up or out there with you.

It’s God’s plan for me to stay.

To forgive and trust myself with integrity and

contentment is a buzz

the more better I get, the more I realise how sick i was

I’m no longer in that oppressed spiral

where my intricate problems grew.

I found another way, another way through.

I need you in my life

the love we share is alive and yearning

Instead of writhing, torment, twist and turning,

Here is my heart, be careful it’s burning.

Now seeing my problems as opportunity to learn

growing stronger with sobriety is my only concern

still wanting that world where insanity rules,

I put down the weapon, and pick up the tools.

– Erica Cutknife, unfortunately detained

**

AMS adds: I lead a Writers’ Circle at The Learning Centre Literacy Association. My work with them was part of the inspiration for the Poem Catcher, as they taught me, over and over, how people, no matter our skills at expression, all have a desire to express ourselves, to be seen, known, accepted and loved.

For the 2012- 13 year, we took part in an exchange, between the Adult Learners at TLCLA, and women taking part in a Writing program through the Elizabeth Fry Society. These women, as Erica puts it, were “unfortunately detained,” and their reflections on the paths that brought them to prison deeply touched our Circle. Some of the imprisoned women asked to have their words posted into the Poem Catcher.

Erica was the first of these women to send me a poem. She passed away in August of 2013.

076-051sandhill360

**

Gathering Clouds

It started slowly,

The gathering of clouds.

So gradual at first,

you don’t notice they’re there.

That is, ‘til the temperature drops.

The first snow falls and you look out the window.

It dances in the dark

like the  black thoughts in your mind.

Walking through the night

with the cold seeping through,

you look off the bridge

and wonder:

Will anyone miss me,

if I miss the ice?

One hundred and fifty feet to the water.

– Amanda LeBlanc, November, 2014

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