Tag Archives: Walt Whitman

(Poetic Farewell to) Ole Dead Gramps – Postcard #72

(Poetic Farewell to) Ole Dead Gramps

Paying poetic respects to recently deceased Grandpa in a rainforest with Walt Whitman, Charles Baudelaire, Chief Dan George and original works inspired by the globe rambling, oddly charming, big fish – while official funeral happening elsewhere. Originally recorded: May 13, 2006

Sit on a tree by the river: (Poetic Farewell to) Ole Dead Gramps – Postcard #72 (83MB stereo 192 mp3 1:00:05)

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Spieling at a Wedding ~ Artifacts from Sheila/Kemp’s Nuptials

Kemp Edmonds convinced his fiancé Sheila that i’d be a fine candidate to quasi-officiate their wedding. I was promised beer and they provided a wee bit of guidance as to fave themes, songs, writers.

I combined their thoughts with my style and go-to authors and penned some musings which sandwiched the nice magistrate lady Barb doing the secular ritual required by written law. I dry-cleaned my pin-striped, thrift-store suit and i wore my Florsheim wing-tips i scored in exchange for some impromptu consulting at a e-comm conference – these shoes are so fancy, they are stored in cloth bags.

Here is a photo by Lyndsay London for the record and a pretty close transcription of my spiel:

Dearest assembled

Together, tonight, we add to the heritage of this hall – we bask in the memories of those who celebrated here before – and briefly consider the years to come – while we gather to celebrate these two lovely friends – raise our voice in support for the decision they’ve made – and offer our gentle help for their future years.

As for us, we’ll always have tonight to combine us in our affection for this couple – Kemp and Sheila {in case you are at the wrong wedding} Together, we’ll always have their good cheer to bind us. Kemp and Sheila, you are are part of us all now. 

To the parents, siblings, aunties, especially the uncles and cousins galore – this is a celebration of your contributions to their lives. Congratulations to you all and though they’ll hardly have a chance to say it amidst the whirlwind, i *suspect* they are most grateful to each of you for coming. 

When expressing feelings for dearest soulmate, we humans are prone to metaphor ~ equating the vastness of our love to grains of sand, or the stars deeper deeper still crowding the universe.

Or even the most stoic drifts to comparisons of love to *uniqueness* – evoking images of trembling snow flakes each allegedly unique {note: they aren’t}, or splashy heroic feats like climbing mountains, fording fjords, or having giant structures built as tokens of affection – whether they be Taj Mahals or surrounded by white picket fences. 

But I propose that it’s not the quantity that matters – rather love is best gauged by its quality – the degree in which you savour each moment – the long walks in glorious parks, visiting family for sunday suppers, adventures to countries you’ve never considered where you’ll wander late night in twisty cobbled lanes when’re beloved have meandered, scampered and observed for centuries – clutching hands, believing, knowing, trusting that their love was the deepest uniquest, vastest of any love ever. 

Representing Lebanon, Gibran lays it down thusly: 

Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.

But if you love and must needs have, let these be your desires:

to melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night

to know the pain of too much tenderness

to be wounded by your own understanding of love;

and to bleed willingly and joyfully 

to wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

to rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;

to return hem at eventide with gratitude;

and then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in

your heart and a song of praise upon your lips

Indeed! But your love will show its true quality in the tough times life heaves at us all – from time to time. This pressures can be akin to the earth squeezing hidden pockets of carbon in scattered mountains and trenches so precisely that the create glimmering breadcrumbs beneath the surface – aching to reveal themselves to sun and eye to reach full their potential. 

Sometimes the years we wish to hurry by are the ones that look back upon so fondly – aged with the wisdom and fortitude gained when all looked so rough.

Meanwhile in Paris in the 1700s Jean Jacques Rousseau was thinking the *same thing* – about and loving when the living ain’t easy:

“If our pleasures could be described, there simplicity would appear ridiculous; our walks, tete a tete outside the city 

where i spent my last 8 or 10 sous on little suppers at the open window at which we say opposite watch other on two low chairs pace upon a trunk which filled up the breadth of the window niche. 

Who could describe the charms of these meals at which the dishes consisted of nothing more than a quatern loaf of bread, a few cherries a morsel of chess and half a pint of wine which we shared between us – Friendship, confidence, intimacy, tranquility of mind, how delicious are your seasonings!”

Certainly, your life with be laden with splendid times and the deepness of your love and patience will only be key when he spends 4x as much as you on a haircut – just know that he did it to look good for you. Or she comes home late saying she was listening to a friend’s problems when you know she just wanted to catch overtime. 

However wee, every day and every action adds to the quality of love – and polished with skill – the results are the head-spinning rewards of contented smiles and splendid leisure – so are you ready?

because the Red Hot Chili Peppers suggest:

the one to treasure the rest of your days is here

you’ve each finally found something perfect

so are you ready to show up for duty

serve this woman and honour her beauty?

will you agree to take this man into your world 

and be as one?

don’t answer me … While i represent the voice of the people, i don’t represent the law, as such, i’ll defer to my magisterial counterpart to tend to these particulars:


Kemp and Shiela, before we segue into a night of celebrations and feasting and who knows what else, i’ll share the thoughts of wandering – in American in the 1800’s – Walt WhitmanL

I have perceived that to be with those i like is enough,

to stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,

to be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh 

is enough

to pass among them or touch any one or rest my arm ever so lightly around neck for a moment

what is this then?

i do not ask any more delight, i swim in it as in a sea!

and i’ll continue for him with my dedication to you two: 

another Jericho beach sunset stroll after bread, cheese and wine picnic on a Indonesian sarong bought at a market on a sunny day

another main street quest for a surprise bottle of wine to remember that night on the island when you sat on a boulder not caring about algae and cold and held each other, and gazed and awed and wondered about the possibilities, dreaming of a future growing together 

or another snowed in cabin day, fireplace, hot place, and comparing passages and patterns – naps and snacks

another Saturday helping friends in need knowing you have more to give another night eager to be home together, the willingness for a late night drive home, the patience when someone hogs the beds 

another evening sharing knowledge with vigour and passion to return fulfilled – but ready for a kiss

another bus ride night to gather collaborate grow, challenge, learn, knowing that you’ll never stop progressing 

another lifetime of walking hand in hand side by side, not in front of, not behind, trusting, hoping, knowing believing that your love is endless – as you pause to count the stars like so many gems


Kemp and Sheila, i humbly invite you to grab hold of one another, gaze into one another’s eyes and Kemp its time to kiss to your (smoking hot) bride!

Now you two beloved turn around and meet your future as i have the pleasure of introducing you to the good people as the married couple, Sheila and Kemp Edmonds. Congratulations!

(Meta)Physical Conditions of the Environment – Postcard #46

Pod cover - Postcards from Gravelly Beach - Meta-physical environment

Taking a Remembrance Day respite to enjoy a conscious discussion with ‘Trigger’ at Vancouver’s New Amsterdam Cafe, Dave O listens to the consequences and conditions of space, in tangible and gestalt senses, and reviews the paradigm shifts of Vancouver’s downtown Eastside ‘four corners’ – once one of the grandest intersections in the British Empire.

Later, he wanders and reads Walt Whitman (When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d) and Gord Downie (from Coke Machine Glow) to bring it ’round home for this part #7 of the White Poppies for Remembrance series.

Cross the street for: (Meta)Physical Conditions of the Environment – Postcard #46 (18:47, 26MB, 128k mp3)

Music by:

  • Drive-by Truckers “World of Hurt” via KEXP
  • Beethoven Sonata #14
  • Unnamed spacey something by Merlin (and/or Jahwah) via HempenRoad soundtrack

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Whitman on the Windy Columbia – Postcard #28

Postcards from Gravelly Beach - Pens, Cards and Leather Satchel

A personal stirring moment, recorded for Grandpa, Robert Louis Stevenson (RIP) on the windy banks of the Columbia River featuring Walt Whitman’s “To You” – read whilst sitting under a weeping sage tree with toiling barges, endless trains and snowy Mt. Hood in the distance.

Watch the river roil for: Whitman on the Windy Columbia – Postcard #28 (4:27, 5MB, .mp3)
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Remembering Florida, Heading to Japan, Wandering with Walt – Postcard #2

Postcard from Gravelly Beach – Grey Canada Post box, white letters

Postcard #2 in which Dave reads from Gary Snyder’s “Left out in the Rain,” Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” and from original short story, “I Remember Florida.”

Prepare yourself for Remembering Florida, Heading to Japan, Wandering with Walt – Postcard #2 (10MB, 11:06, .mp3, stereo)

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