I am the child of immigrants. My parents are children of immigrants, driven across the Atlantic by the hope, the dream of something better for themselves, their families.

My grandfather was a quarrier, holding the spike in one hand and driving the sixteen pound sledge with the other. Grandma was a weaver, weaving plaids at the woolen mill. They packed up four children and moved west from Scotland to Burnaby. The oldest child was left behind, the grandparents being unwilling to part from the whole family. The second oldest was left behind, too, resting quiet in a cemetery, lost to influenza at the age of two.

Paternal great-grandfather was an adventurer, born in Poland and always looking for the next thing. He took his three children to the US, immigrating to Canada through Chicago, leaving one daughter in New Jersey, enlisting his son in the Navy to keep him from being a “trouble maker”. He had a diamond mine in S. Africa, and I still have the piece of property he won in a poker game.

My paternal grandfather, from Galicia/Ukraine, changed his name to his new boss’ and went to Anyox, BC, where my father was born. It’s a ghost town now, the mine and buildings lost to rust and memories.

We are all from somewhere, and it saddens me that I often think of going back to Canada these days. Hard times, indeed.

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the dark





in skin




my eyes



the Rim




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Mothers’ Day

Mothers’ Day…

So many things to so many people. For some it’s the warmth of love, an embrace, a helping hand, support in the bad times and all of the things that make a mother.


For some, it will always be pain: of abandonment, of abuse, and a gaping wound that seems like it simply cannot heal.


my wish for you

is healing


and the sure knowledge that there are those of us out here

in the dark between the lights

that care



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Sailing Through


It cannot be rushed

cannot be



It will

engulf you

It will

leave you spent and floating


the waves


just when you think

you’ve learned

to swim


comes raging back

a storm

a gale

that takes


and strength





will find


you’ve learned

to sail










the price

of love




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It is an ocean
of longing
of feeling
Sometimes it recedes
and we lie,
catching our breath
seeing glimpses
of what it was like
to not grieve
it engulfs us
drowning us in the past
in our love
and loss.
even with wounds unhealed
that will never heal
we are borne away
on a strange tide
to an unfamiliar land,
to find our way.
And our past
is seen
through windows
in a house
we cannot
in a place
where we
are strangers
© 2017 TGL
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Chains of sadness

Have you ever been depressed? I’m not talking about one or two blue days. I’m talking about soul crushing depths of despair, in a hole so deep that the sun, even light is a myth. If not, you may be one of the people that sees, but doesn’t really see someone who is.

It’s easy to judge and give advice. “It’s all in your head.” “If you just see a doctor, you’ll be fine.” And there’s my personal favourite, “tough love”, as in: “I’m not going to talk to you until you get your act together and see someone,” punishing you for being sick. It’s as if they think that the depressed are stupid, or willful. They’re not. But until you’ve been in that dark, you just don’t know. You don’t know about feeling paralyzed about pretty much everything. Just getting out of bed and feeding yourself is an effort on those days when all you want to do is face the wall and sleep it all away. You feel like a burden on your friends, your family, because you feel like you’re a burden even to yourself. You don’t believe that you could possibly be loved or cared about, because you feel like you don’t deserve it. In that situation, it’s as impossible to call a doctor as it is for most of us to scale Mt. Everest.

Patience. This is what the depressed need. Love. Support. Just let them know you’re there, if they need to talk. And then really be there. Knowing that someone truly cares can help get them through a particularly bad patch. Ask them how you can help, but don’t be put off if there isn’t anything at the moment. Maybe make some easy food, to make sure they eat. Offer to make calls for them. Just be there. Don’t let a friend or family member slip through your fingers when you could, literally, save a life.

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Grief is a moving ocean

Our basement leaked in the last rain. I hadn’t noticed until today, when I started moving things around for a party we’re having. Of all the things that could have been damaged, all of the silly, frivolous things that could be easily parted with, the one thing that took damage was a box.

At first glance, I thought it might hold fabric, that I could throw into the wash or the trash, depending on the condition. But no. Out of everything it could be, it was a little box of things, belonging to my darling Steffan. He was my housemate, the little brother I’d never had, the girlfriend that stole my clothes, my sweet, fragile gay friend, who passed away of AIDS in 1994, at the unthinkably young age of 31. So much time gone by.

You would think, that after almost 23 years, that I’d be able to deal with a box of things rationally and dispassionately, but seeing his things, wet, his ID cards, his little statues, it was, somehow, like losing him all over again, sitting with him, holding his hand and breathing with him…until he didn’t anymore. And I am, for a moment’s time, drowned in the great wave of my grief, that ocean of sadness and tears.

I’ll be better, salvage what I can and move it to a higher, better spot, but oh, my Steffan, I miss you so much.

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