Category Archives: Writing Collections

a library in process holding collection of my writing projects including expository essays, articles for counter-culture magazine, sudden fiction and freeverse poetry – organized by form or collection

Suez Canal Transit Dossier and Musings

Queen Mary ahead in the mist – the ships make caravans with cruisers / liners in front of containers and fuelers

+ Suez Transit Dossier and Musings +

If i was crafty and timely, woulda shared these snaps a few weeks when Ever Given was blocking up the flow of the Suez Canal (yeah you saw this…) i had/have a lot to say about it all and well, lot of more important things to do (nursery school!) so just didn’t get to it, but today is now, so: 

up early to note the transit – takes most of a day to work through / and yes the desert is chilly

Quick annotations:

  • Suez isn’t “squared off” with tidy concrete walls and locks
  • Was dug mostly by hand/buckets
  • Ships assemble caravans at either end and go very slow
  • Winds are weird (really) which makes mishaps not shocking and coordination important.
  • Don’t start with the Egyptian pilots!

Let’s begin our transit in the “staging area”… (note captions and annotations)

Ships assemble at anchor in Gulf Suez at tip of Red Sea (see also Gulf of Aqaba) and then are organized into caravans / quite enjoyed the sound the anchor chain dropping and reeling back up

Local Traffic amongst the behemoths 

Importantly, the canal is active with local ferries darting back and forth between lumbering giants. The sides are so close you can wave to folks (of course i did) and the ships in-front/behind are also so close and don’t have brakes.

Ferries time departures to slip between the ships, looking like likely collisions and almost comical variations in scale
Ferry loading up (i think East Qantara Ferryboat or the West Qantara Ferry – regardless, wave hello (they did)

Continue reading Suez Canal Transit Dossier and Musings

Memo: Regarding Personal Archeology (for starters)

Sent to a friend who was feeling confused about how to get started archiving and documenting one’s own creative life ~ shared here for edification – sorta for business-y types i suppose

In brief: Gotta just start… choose the things which are important to you and interesting about you, but make this easy by “meta documenting” your documentation. 

what may look like *too much* and clutter-y is really a delightful afternoon or 3 of discovering and contextualizing your projects and life

Ergo: Regarding personal archeology… Rather than feeling sh!tty, start by doing the *easy things* to chronicle the things you’ve pulled off this last bunch of years.

i.e.

  • List of all the speaking engagements you’ve done
  • List of all the events you planned/ wrangled/ coordinated/ hosted
  • List of speaking gigs you rocked
  • List of all the media, tv appearances/ news write-ups List of all the publications/articles you are in or wrote etc
  • List of all the jobs/positions you held

Then you can start to chronicle/ archive the particular artifacts from each of the above as available.

You might fall into a very nice rhythm – practical meditation in a way.

Turn off the TV, put on the music and space out with yourself and you’re fascinating history.

These kinds of things are good mental exercise but also I put forth somehow “important” and future *you* will be grateful for present day *you* for doing so.

Of course some examples at my website #NotAPlug Let me know if you require further encouragement or advice.

Haiku: Graves & Trains

Graves & Trains

Rubbing faded kanji

From mossy tilted Edo graves

Shinkansen shooshes past

I picked you flowers (painting & poem)

Gravelly Beach, 2005, oil on canvas, Dave Olson

Picked you some flowers while I was out

Placed in a vase, slightly chipped

Perhaps you and the blooms will enjoy the view

I’ll be outside chopping wood

Waiting, not Riding

Waiting for a train
Alone amongst a billion
Just to pass by, not to ride

No where to go
But to my healing room.
Not the Darjeeling Limited
but moreorless the same
sweet lime or milk chai
your choice, 6 Rp
Moreorless.

Train rolls by
I jump a tuktuk
He drops me off
Somewhere wrong.

Watercolours & oil pastels, Trippunithura, Kerala, India, 2016 (thank you Dr. Veena)

In process / tea cup for watercolours
Tuk tuk in general direction
Station from bench

Haiku – *unconfidential* kokoro postcard (variations)

Often, a poem comes out fully-formed, fiddling and remixing only dulls the knife, sometimes however, variations are eager to come out to shine light in another corner: Lonely, Joyful, Melancholy, Mysterious.

In this case, (my) familiar themes of un-confidential love letters on postcards mailed from foreign places and glanced by – or maybe sadly not glanced – by personnel along the way who (may) add their pathos to the journey. 

One version of this (do you care to guess which?) will go on the reverse of the post box at Farmer Mac’s goat farm – Perhaps another painting will follow… and then a postcard a photograph of the painting mailed to the post box and so on. Always be remixing. 

No pardons for redundancies, variations on a theme require riffs on the same blues.

Do you care to posit which your prefer? 

Annotations: Regarding Japanese-inspired Poetry

Consider the words
Write them once, only –
In a single inky sweep
On tactile paper
Then add a flower
Close the book
For now

&/or do none of the above

(from summer 2018 Moleskine accordion notebook “when everything changed”)

Poem: How Shall We Fill This Vessel? (excerpt for Sheila + Kemp, 10 year)

“How Shall We Fill This Vessel?”

(excerpt of poem – written by me – read at Kemp and Sheila’s wedding vow ceremony)

really unrelated snap, as it goes a tea shack in Sri Lanka

Now, all is deliciously possible
A present to savour
A history to grow
A future to whittle
To any possible shape

So,
How shall we fill this vessel?

Devoid of cynicism and ego,
Jealousy or restraint
With rambunctious affection
In all possible forms
To manifest and articulate
Unabashed tactile Love.

Shall we fill with endless notes
Of spontaneous jazz and
Distant gazes from close range?
Slow dances to quick songs
Languid mornings following
Smouldering nights?

Celebration of the commonplace?
Anticipation of usual happenstance?
Easy banter about nuanced topics?
On verandahs and gazebos a like
Replete with warm drinks
And cool touch?

With fond hellos and
Infrequent goodbyes
As we seek nowhere to go
Desire no escape
In darkness and rain
All yearnings were sent away

Marrow and soul
Now have a purpose, a place
A place to dwell
With you, always
As together we fill
This vessel
Full.

– daveo, Pokhara, Nepal 2017
(photo: Sri Lanka, 2018)

Poem: post office closed (again)

Poem: post office closed (again)

Post office closed
(again)
You’ll need another
day to know
you are loved
by a lost poet
without a watch

Pub: “Varley’s Vancouver” – Megaphone (Vancouver), Jan. 2012

Pub: “Varley’s Vancouver” – Megaphone (Vancouver), Jan. 2012, cover

“Varley’s Vancouver – Discovering the City’s Artistic Heart in Frederick Varley’s Past” Freed Weed feature column by Dave Olson in Megaphone Magazine, January 27, 2012

Pub: “Varley’s Vancouver” – Megaphone (Vancouver), Jan. 2012, masthead

Pub: “Varley’s Vancouver” – Megaphone (Vancouver), Jan. 2012, article part 1

Pub: “Varley’s Vancouver” – Megaphone (Vancouver), Jan. 2012, article part 2

Pub: “Flying High” (collage art and interview) – RainZine (Vancouver), Summer 2010

Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Summer 2010, cover

“Flying High”(collage art) and “Who is this DaveO Guy Anyhow?” (interview) in Rain Zine (Radical Art in Nature) Summer, 2010

Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Summer 2010, Kris Krug photo essay
Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Summer 2010, Dave Olson interview by Anita Olson
Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Summer 2010, “Flying High” collage art by Dave Olson
Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Summer 2010, DVD mixed media
Pub: RainZine (Vancouver) / Summer 2010, back cover

See also: Let it Rain ~ “Flying High” boardgame-inspired art & interview in DIY Zine

Pub: “Let’s Get Lost” – Megaphone (Vancouver), June 2010

Pub: “Let’s Get Lost” – Megaphone (Vancouver), June 2010, cover

“Let’s Get Lost – Exploring Vancouver’s Counter-Culture Landmarks,” Freed Weed feature column by Dave Olson in Megaphone Magazine, June 11, 2010

Pub: “Let’s Get Lost” – Megaphone (Vancouver), June 2010, masthead
Pub: “Let’s Get Lost” – Megaphone (Vancouver), June 2010, article
See also: Freed Weed ~ “Exploring Vancouver’s counter-culture landmarks” in Megaphone mag