Category Archives: Uncategorized

tregetour

This year, I’m writing poetry for every word tasting in November. I’m calling it Povember. Today, a roundel.

A tregetour is a trickster, a conjurer, a juggler; the word comes by way of French from Latin trans ‘across’ plus jactare ‘throw’, the same source as trajectory. And gnidge is a rare word from Scottish meaning ‘rub, squeeze, press’. Continue reading

fulgour

This is your time for fulgour. No need to think it vulgar; it’s fine to shine flagrantly. Raise your rays and enubilate yourself. Let those prone to heliotaxis hail a taxi or hop on the omnibus towards your nimbus. All will hallow your halo; all will be effusive about your effulgence. Continue reading

artophagous, creatophagous, euryphagous, lotophagous

And so at last the weekend for the weakened trundles towards us as a languid juggernaut. I will take my small cool folding computer and I will do a little work in the galleria of the art gallery, and then my eyes will dine on artistic creations: paintings, sculptures, architecture, and spectating humans. The latest exhibition in the gallery is by a noted European painter, famed for depictions of luxuriant corpulence. And then I will head home to rest, and in the morning we will load up a car and drive to visit family and have an almighty long-weekend feast consisting of… well, many people like to have “turkey and all the trimmings” but we’re going to be having “Chinese takeout” and “lots and lots of it” because it’s “easier.” And there will be wine, and after breaking bread and sharing meat I am very likely to lapse into syncope on a sofa for a time while nearby pre-teens plot the demolition of the universe.

I am, tl;dr, looking forward to an artophagous, creatophagous, euryphagous, lotophagous weekend. Continue reading

Chautauqua

Chautauqua. The ideal combination of chat and aqua (no, no, say it like “sha talk wa”). A landscape of ideas and memories, words and images, trees and water, kitchens and roads.

Hear me out. Continue reading

This fragile earth, our island home

190725_TO_720

I wrote this as a guest post for my dad’s column in the Cochrane Eagle.

I can see it out my window, but it’s another world. Continue reading

nyctinasty

Nyctinasties, according to John Ben Hill (in 1936), “are the most common nasties.” Like all nasties, they don’t care where what they’re reacting to comes from – that’s what sets them apart from tropics.

Ah, tropics! Who – or what – doesn’t love following the sun? I’ll tell you: these nasties don’t. They don’t care which direction the sun goes, as long as it goes away. That’s why they’re nyctinasty. During the day, everything’s lain flat, basking in the sun, but when night comes, the blades flip up. As Peter V. Minorsky said (just last year), “the vertical orientation of the blades … would be especially beneficial to flying nocturnal predators … whose modus operandi is death from above.” Continue reading

nesh

What would you do if you looked down on your page and saw hnecxian looking back up at you?

Would you sneeze? Would you flinch? Would you soften and fade back? Or would you be fascinated by this ink-insect?

You needn’t fear. Although you have just seen it looking back at you, snuffing and snorting and crisp and vexing, whether or not you softened, it has. Hnecxian is the Old English version of the word – in its infinitive verb form. The modern English form, verb, adjective, noun, and adverb, is nesh.

Which is more reminiscent of a bug after it has been squished. Or any other soft and perhaps unwelcome thing. Continue reading