Category Archives: Postcards fr. Gravelly Beach

spoken word literature from an international smattering of literary stalwarts from the Russians to the Beats – plus some of my original work, usually recorded somewhere lovely with music and a bevvie

Remembrance Day with Vasco’s Bones – Postcard #63

Remembrance Day with Vasco's Bones

From an olden church and (otherwise vacant) cenotaph at Fort Cochin, Kerala, India, Dave O – acknowledging an extended medical and death related hiatus – discusses the local history of colonization by Portuguese explorers, Dutch traders, then British Raj in the context of the colonization leading to exploitation, conscription and war with no meaning to local populace. Plus the meaning of reparations and the conflict of peaceful resistance – evidenced my Mahatma Gandhi beach a stone’s throw away – contrasted with continued wars throughout the world, shadowed by disposable tourism, economic and racial caste systems.

Recorded Nov. 11, 2016, Released 11:11 Nov. 11, 2017

Gather Round for Remembrance Day with Vasco’s Bones – Postcard #63  (37:11, .mp3, 192k, 58MB, stereo)

Also of note: Vasco da Gama’s bones, black knee-high socks, French generational losses, siege of Leningrad, Churchill’s mishaps, lost human potential of engineers, poets and lovers, MacArthur’s folly, Australia’s vulnerability, the emergence of regions over nation-states, Brexit for British Columbia + Cascadia, Catalonia and Scottish successions, work of raising a child, trappings of hubris, death by disease and guns, aggressive use of intelligence, forethought and diplomacy, and unfiltered view of sacrifice and life.

Cover art photo: By Dave Olson at Fort Cochin, taken by Lomo Sardine can camera with expired B&W film.

Poetic Stories about Goalies – Postcard #62

Poetic Stories about Goalies

Poet Randall Maggs discusses his book “Night Work” about the troubled soul of legendary hockey goalie Terry Sawchuk plus the nuances of story-telling, conversations with goaltenders, Sawchuk’s Ukrainian heritage and convergence of history and hockey with host Dave Thorvald Olson at the Robson Square covered outdoor rink in Vancouver following a poetry reading promoted by publisher Brick Books.

Lace em up for Poetic Stories about Goalies – Postcard #62 (.mp3, 36:02, 33MB, stereo)

Episode cover art designed by Bread the Producer, photo by Dave O


Night Work – The Sawchuk Poems by Randall Maggs, published by Brick Books — includes links to reviews

Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems purchase via Amazon


From Hockey Hall of Fame by Dave

IMG_2746 IMG_2747 IMG_2748 IMG_2749

Special Thanks

Mike Vardy of Eventualism fame

Rob Cottingham and his cartoons: Noise to Signal

Kitty Lewis General Manager (corrected from audio) of Brick Books

Sean Cranbury of Books on the Radio podcast

Bread the Producer for audio mix and episode art

Maggs and Bachinsky, poets ~ Photo by Sean Cranbury

Music etc.

The Drive-by Truckers “Daddy Needs a Drink” live 2007-07-17 – World Cafe Live via

The Black Tories “Cleft Palette”

Various crowd recordings from 2010 Winter Olympics games

Interviewing poet Randall Maggs at robson square

More Mr. Maggs


An interview with Randall Maggs, the Sawchuk Poet

Randall Maggs Recipient of $25,000 Kobzar Literary Award for 2010

Cutting Down the Angles

In time for the Stanley Cup Finals, a Q&A with Randall Maggs, author of the first great book of hockey poetry.

Night Work – A Sawchuk Poem Video

Legends of Hockey Terry Sawchuk

Randall’s brother Darryl Maggs on

Randall Maggs’ Vancouver history:

“On the Vancouver question, that is my birthplace and, though I haven’t lived there in a long while, I still think of it as home. The Canucks are my team. Over the years I have travelled back to the city often to visit my relatives and family. My grandparents lived in South Burnaby off Kingsway pretty much all their adult lives, my grandfather being a millwright and playing an important role in building many of the lumber mills in and around the city. A couple of summers ago my mother and I were having lunch on a terrace on Granville Island and my mother pointed out the remnants of one of my grandfather’s mills. Even after his retirement he’d be called back in to solve a problem that university-trained engineers couldn’t handle. He’d give mill officials fits, scrambling up long ladders long past the age of 80. I attended grade school in South Burnaby, I think Strathmillan School. After her years of following my Air Force father back and forth across the country, my mother went home to live in Surrey and White Rock where she lives at present. My son has been living out there as much as in Newfoundland for most of the past dozen years, having done an MA in Piano Performance with Jane Coop at UBC and working on his PhD in the Arts and Sustainability with John Robinson at UBC.”


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I use Koss SterophonesM-Audio MicroTrack IIM-Audio Solo audio interfaceGriffin iMic and Sony Microphone – in case you were wondering.

Vimy Ridge Diaries on Remembrance Day – Postcard # 61

Vimy Rdge Diaires

On Remembrance Day in sunny, brisk Vancouver, Ian Bell (fresh from a CBC appearance “On The Coast“) joins Dave to read from Grandpa Mark’s diaries written in the trenches in WW1 as a young Canadian. From the library steps with a flask of scotch, they reflect on the costs and motivations of war, importance of friendship and the ethereal experience of going “over the top” and facing the terror on the other side, plus anecdotes about capturing Germans soldiers and discourse on the importance of personal documentation to pass forward to generations.

Sit awhile for Vimy Ridge Diaries on Remembrance Day – Postcard # 61


Geoff Berner – Excerpts from “Maginot Line” Recorded live at the Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, BC, Feb. 28, 2009

Various artists (including piper Dave Ahl) – Recorded live at UBC Remembrance Day Ceremony, Nov. 11, 2009

Ian Bell reading from Grandpa Mark’s diaries

William Markle Pecover – Memory of Vimy Ridge

William Markle Pecover – On Being Bombed in Britain

Photo via CDN Veterans Affairs asks How Will you Remember? – Download Canadian historical war time photo and video packs, organized by theme and era, then remix and share via social networks.

Continue reading Vimy Ridge Diaries on Remembrance Day – Postcard # 61

Forests and Oceans Without End – Postcard # 60

From a forested pathway along the open Pacific between Tofino and Ucluelet, DaveO reads poetry from Gary Snyder’s Myths + Texts and Rip Rap plus essays about Wobblies, timber-jacks, logging camp culture, and giant trees from Beloved of the Sky then the words Siddhartha the Buddha spoke upon achieving enlightenment.

Strap on your boots for Forests and Oceans Without End – Postcard # 60″ (.mp3, 15:07, 14MB)

Forests and Oceans without end


William Elliott Whitmore – Gravel Road (William Elliott Whitmore – WikipediaWilliam Elliott Whitmore on MySpace)


Clayoquot Snapshots – a set on Flickr


Hitch a Thousand Miles to See a Friend – Postcard #56

Gary Snyder at Modern American Poetry (U. of Illinois)

Inventory of the Gary Snyder Papers (U.C. Davis)

I use Koss stereophones, MAudio Microtrack recorder & Solo interface and Sony mic – just saying.


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Owl Creek Limnology and Exploration – Postcard # 59

Dave O spiels forth about the exploration of rivers and lakes, the impetus for ventures and motivations for trade ~ augmented by autoharp songs by Larry Harper dreaming of floating the Colorado River down Glen Canyon ~ then freeverse – mostly from stumbling around Europa in 1992 – thinking about connectedness, lifespans of mysteries and reasons for peeking into the unknown with Trauben and Funboy providing guitar stylings whilst camping alongside Owl Creek in the British Columbia highlands.

Pull up a stump for Owl Creek Limnology and Exploration – Postcard # 59 (.mp3, 17:15, 14MB)

Owl Creek Limnology and Exploration

I use Koss stereophones, MAudio Microtrack recorder & Solo interface and Sony mic – just saying.


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Three Days and Eleven Dollars, Nov. 1991 – Postcard #58

By a campfire on Owl Creek, Dave reads an instructional guide to hitch-hiking about a November trip from South Carolina to Rhode Island with a series of tips including smiling, signs, watches, and going with the flow while Dan Funboy noodles on guitar.

Stick your thumb out for Three Days and Eleven Dollars, Nov. 1991 – Postcard #58 (.mp3, 10:20,10MB)

postcards from gravelly beach

Edited/Produced plus Album Art designed by Bread the Producer

Note to self: find snapshots from hitchhike (also White House sign)


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Arizona with Ole Gramps – Postcard #57

While summertime camping alongside Owl Creek and charging the recorder with the rays of the sun, Dave reads a short story written while on the road with ole dead Grandpa called So the Legends Go (.pdf) – a portrait of life one morning in Navajo Nation in 1987 – accompanied by adolescent observations and musings. Accompanied by Dan Funboy on guitar and solar-powered vaporizer.

Arizona with Ole Gramps – Postcard #57 (.mp3, 9:40, 9MB)


Edited/Produced and Album Art designed by Bread the Producer

Thanks to Chris Heuer for Solio solar powered charger

solio solar charger


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Dave Olson’s Library at
Twitter: @uncleweed

Hitch a Thousand Miles to See a Friend – Postcard #56

From Halfmoon Bay on Clayoquot Sound, Vancouver Island, Dave gives it up for zen poet hero Gary Snyder and recounts beat history from The Old Ways and logging culture from Myths and Texts plus poems about hitchhiking, girls, baths, clear-cuts and the Buddha – then finishes with original freeverse poetry about the transient experience called “Railyards Passing By.”

Hit the road to Hitch a Thousand Miles to See a Friend – Postcard #56 (.mp3, 29:04, 26MB)

Hitch a Thousand Mile to See a Friend



Clayoquot Snapshots – a set on Flickr

Gary Snyder at Modern American Poetry (U. of Illinois)

Inventory of the Gary Snyder Papers (U.C. Davis)

Gary Snyder, professor (email: gssnyder (at) ucdavis (dot) edu)


  • Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems (San Francisco: Four Seasons, 1969).
  • Myths and Texts (New York: New Directions, 1960,1978).
  • The Back Country (New York: New Directions, 1968).
  • Earth Household (New York: New Directions, 1969). [Prose]
  • Regarding Wave (New York: New Directions, 1970).
  • Turtle Island (New York: New Directions, 1974). [Pullitzer Prize]
  • The Old Ways (San Francisco: City Lights, 1977). [Prose]
  • Axe Handles (San Francisco: North Point, 1983).
  • He Who Hunted Birds in His Father’s Village (“the Dimensions of a Haida Myth”) (Bolinas, CA: Grey Fox, 1979). [Prose]
  • Passage Through India (San Francisco: Gray Fox, 1984).
  • Left Out in the Rain (San Francisco: North Point, 1988).
  • The Practice of the Wild (San Francisco: North Point, 1990). [Prose]
  • No Nature (New York: Pantheon, 1992)
  • A Place in Space (Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1995). [Prose]
  • Mountains and Rivers Without End (Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1996). [Bollingen Prize]
  • The Gary Snyder Reader (Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1999).

Note: your humble podcaster does not own the last 3 books on this list – hook a guy up ‘eh

gary snyder stamp

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Chronicling Interesting Boulders – Postcard #55

Alongside raging Lynn Creek, Dave remarks about boulders which are indeed interesting as the sign pointed out, then reads a haibun about books and statues on a curly maple shelf, and poems about buying hardware and fruit in Bucerias, mysterious curves and clouds, and solace for weary delirious travelers, while Wm. Lenker sings the traditional folksong Moonshiner (Rye Whiskey).

Perch yourself atop a rock for Chronicling Interesting Boulders – Postcard #55 (.mp3, 16:35, 15MB)

Chronicling Interesting Boulders

Read along:

Bivouacked with books (haibun)

Off the Brittany Seacoast (excerpt)

porch supper briefly

Mexican word for hammer and nails

the wrong change again

start of something

leaning forward now

i’ve seen the pathway (tired traveler)


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Library at
Via Postcards from Gravelly Beach
More pods Chillaxin’ Podcast Syndicate

Post-apocalyptic Skunks and Fevers – Postcard #54

From a skunk-scented perch along Mosquito Creek, Dave spiels about feverish dreams in a Mexican clinic, personal archeology, mirages about the Wonder Hotel, and reads verse about late trains, dammed rivers, watching ships, and men in white coats walking past.

Take your vitamins for Post-apocalyptic Skunks and Fevers – Postcard #54 (.mp3, 16:35, 15MB)

Post-apocalyptic Skunks and Fevers

Read along:

One way these tracks

night lake diving

Comfortably Lonely, Cabin Porch

Waiting at Jericho

Between night and light

Coastal Starlight 2 hours late


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