Month: November 2014

Reflections Upon Approaching The Age of 100

Well, today has been a great day to say the least.  Last night I went out with my Dad and watched a movie that was based on a popular book called “The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”.  The movie was literally a non-stop laugh riot and I think in a way it made my Dad, who is only 23 years away from 100, feel good about himself.  The movie was Swedish and had a lot of subtitles, but much of it was in English.  It followed the adventures of an old man who had been put into a home for having the odd hobby of blowing up things, and I think I could best describe it as a Swedish Forrest Gump.  I thought it would be kind of cool to put in a photo of one of my best friends who is getting up there, but not quite near 100 yet either.  I used a black and white setting on my camera and I think it comes up with a pretty nice rendering of what Walter is like.

DSCF1014

Aside from all that, I sat down today and wrote a poem.  I have been having misgivings lately about putting poems up on this website, because in all reality, it doesn’t do me much good and although I get a lot of hits on this page, I don’t sell any books.  The fact of the matter is, in order to make any money off your writing, you need to get a following first and convince them that your writing is worthwhile (or so I hope it works that way).  After a couple more pictures which are in sharp contrast to each other (one is the winter skyline of Edmonton, and the other is of a shark I took a picture of in the aquarium in Hawaii), I will put my poem in for you to read.  Thanks for being a part of my website, I welcome any comments anyone would like to leave.

IMG_4366

IMG_7932

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cold Winter Nights Still Have Their Delights

 

Can it be; can it be true

That this very place will be my tomb

This, my warm writing room

Outside it’s so cold

Somehow the howl of the wind

Beckons my soul

I can see from my window

The shimmering curtains

Of deep winter lights

Off in the sky, that deep northern sky

I keep wondering why

It must blow so chill and so harsh

The snow, the snow, the shimmering snow

In the streetlight’s glow

Doesn’t it know

I will never go

From this place, the only place that I know

The snow, the snow being driven by wind

Finds me sealed inside

My furnace guarding me; keeping me warm

Free from all harm

But still there beckons a charm

That northern clime charm

Inside my chest beats a heart

That was made for this place from the start

That longs to make snow angels

Snowballs to throw

Ice castles to show

Get a toboggan or an inner tube

Get to a powdered-up hill and cruise and cruise

Inside my chest beats a heart

That was made for this place from the start

That needs to head to a mountain

See those grandiose sights and purely natural sounds

Those peaks that seem to not know any bounds

To take up my skiis and my hopes

To blast down their slopes

Run myself ragged and cold

Then hide away in some small bustling chalet

With all of my friends who come out on these days

Sip on some chocolate laced with a marshmallow floating

Look at the athletic young women and their young boyfriends gloating

Some say that this season makes all of us sad

Some say that down south there is more adventure to be had

Oceans to swim in and beaches to inspire

But I can’t leave this place, this place of which I never will tire

Or the warm wood-fired glow of gathering in front of the fire

Too much adventure, too much to be had

Too much to sit in the dark

Of my tomb

In my writing room

Writing more poems

Of things I wish I could do

 

 

Leif Gregersen

November 28, 2014

http://www.edmontonwriter.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Short Story Day

Well, it has been a creative day for me.  I have written a sonnet, a short story and a prose poem (which I am going to share with you just after this blog entry for today).  Today is the final lesson of my poetry course which I have really been enjoying.  In the past couple of days I have pushed my limits and gone out to read poetry at two public gatherings and it felt really good.  I also did something I don’t know if I will regret.  Last week I had this bright idea that if I went and purchased something nice for myself I would be motivated to get out and work to help pay it off and maybe even buy more stuff like it.  I ordered a $700 camera online and in the time it took to get here I decided I was going to take it back when I got it.  Then the box came and the idea of having a 200mm lens on a camera that took pictures with 24+ Megapixels and was brand new was just too much temptation, and I changed my mind and opened the box up.  I have to admit, it does take pretty good photos, there is one that I coached my roommate into taking with it that I think is worthwhile posting below.  That kind of picture quality with a good lens just makes the colours and tones so rich and alive.  I have one hope for my financial state of affairs for Christmas, I have sent off an article to a magazine called “Esprit De Corps” which is the official magazine of the Canadian Military.  The article was about an incredible story of courage and skill in soldiering which resulted in a stupendous victory for the UN Forces in the Korean Conflict.  It would be so cool if I could get that published for a few bucks.  Even if they just want to publish it though, I would be happy because the magazine has such esteem from a wide audience in Canada.

Going to the Rouge Poetry “Breath in Poetry Collective” was just great the other day.  This is the place I talked about in my “Tuesday Night” poem in the previous blog.  I was able to read three of my poems, enjoy being entertained by others and made some connections with fellow writers.  There was this one young girl who could only read one poem and then had to leave who was really interesting to talk to.  She was actually underage (no, I didn’t see her as a love interest) but recited an incredible poem for the lounge and was very interested in my own poetry.  She had also read a book that few people have the fortitude to get through, “Les Miserables”.  I think if a lot of young people are like her, old guys like me have to watch out, the next generation to come along just might surpass what mine can do.  Anyhow, I will post my new photo from my new camera below this and I hope you enjoy today’s poem!

DSC_0016

 

 

My Dream Girl

 

 

I miss you dream girl

That gentle smell of you maybe the most

You were a bit of a Tomboy

But you had the taste of a fashion model

You could cook the most divine of foods

We had so much fun

Going from place to place

Talking for hours eating in all the best restaurants

That smell, that gentle scent of flowers was the best

It made me love being near you

Having you in the car

That you were upset over me getting rid of

I know you liked me driving you around

But I had my problems too

My balance was never the same since the pills I have to take

I hoped you could understand that

 

You had the cutest little turned up nose

And that sexy sound of your voice

Just drove me nuts

So sweet, so sensual

You would go into all these details

Of your romps and adventures

It was the hardest though when we would say goodbye

Always with a hug

Those athletic curves next to me

It was almost painful to hang out with you

Knowing that you likely never felt

How I felt about you

 

You confessed to me once

That you were an addict

A still-practicing one

But I didn’t care

There was more than enough good about you

That I could go on loving

Someone who needed to dull the pain now and then

Your soft dark brown hair used to make me want to run my fingers through it

Give your soft lips a passionate kiss

Those moist dark brown eyes the perfect accent to your face

 

I knew when you would get sad

You would lose some of the wind in your sails, look down at the ground

You would have to find some way to get a drink

Or even a few of them

And I would sit with you

Or take the bus out in the morning to get your truck

So you wouldn’t have to drive drunk

I remember you telling me about your abortions

I wondered how you could take a tiny life that grew inside you

It hurt me

But I know it hurt you as well

When I looked in those eyes

 

 

Then one fine summer day

Sitting on my porch waiting for your cab

It all fell apart

You were kissing me goodbye

You kissed me a few times

Each time telling me you loved me

I didn’t understand you meant loved me as a friend

Or like a brother

I would have been happy with that

But I wanted you so bad

Took the kiss as a chance to make my move

And it all ended there

I miss you dream girl

 

Leif Gregersen

November 20, 2014

http://www.edmontonwriter.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little About My Favourite Place to Spend a Tuesday

DSCF5355DSCN0260

Not too long ago, actually right around a year back, a good friend, who happens to be the niece of my best friend, suggested that I check out an open stage poetry night at a local lounge.  The place is an icon in Edmonton, it is a pizza place (Rosebowl Pizza) that serves excellent pizza among other things, and they have events like this quite often.  When I got there, I was astounded by the talent I encountered and soon tried to become involved in the poetry scene in Edmonton.  Even though I had published two poetry books, I had never publicly performed a reading and this was really what I needed to take my love of poems that stretches back to the second grade when I wrote the Father’s Day poem below:

Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

Cofffee is Strong

And so are you

(scroll down to read today’s poem, called “Rouge”)

I added a drawing of my Dad along with it, actually, when I was a kid I did a lot of drawing, and liked the idea of one day being a writer of other things, but I digress.  I was pretty nervous the first time I got up, but it felt so good to express myself and to speak in public that I went back time and time again until I was pretty much a regular.  I can’t even tell you what happened, but I think they broke for Summer and I stopped going.  It was a shame, but finally last night I decided I wanted to get active in my poetry again and went to another group, usually populated by older poets called “The Stroll of Poets” and it felt really good, I didn’t even have to get over my nervousness all over.  Going to Rouge Poetry also led me to apply to have my own radio show on Campus radio and I had such a wonderful time.  This too ended, but not before I interviewed Ahmed Knowmadic, one of Edmonton, and even Canada’s top poets, Alice Major, who put out an incredible book about poetry called “Intersecting Sets”, one of Edmonton’s Poet Laureates, and a few others.  I love to read, but I often need a motivator, and having my own show really motivated me to do my research, which I greatly enjoyed.  I experienced all kinds of new things.  Anyhow, the point of all this is that I decided that tonight I would go back to the Rouge Lounge where hopefully my old friend Ahmed will be reading and hosting and read a few poems.  I wrote a poem about the lounge below, which I hope you all enjoy!

The Edmonton City Hall, right in the centre of the Arts District

The Edmonton City Hall, right in the centre of the Arts District

Rouge

 

 

 

Each night that I go into that lighted glow

I feel my self worth and confidence grow

I stand up and soon I know

That I have become the show

 

 

I often meet young beautiful girls

With bright eyes and sexy curls

And for that moment when I stand in the light

My heart glows and my soul is pure delight

 

 

Some of the poets rap their rhymes

All of them devote their precious time

To entertain all who attend

And I try to pretend at the end

I don’t have a wish to live always like this

 

 

The burgers there are juicy rare

The spices tickle one’s tongue

Just as you think you can eat no more

Your neighbor’s communal pizza comes

 

I drink it all in and somehow begin

To feel so much younger than when I came

The poems are pure delight and such a sight

On the stage as the young people play their poet’s game

 

 

Oh, there is a waitress there

With red-brown silky hair

Who really seems to care

I wait to see her each time

It is not my crime

It’s those sexy things she wears

 

 

We are this happy group that gathers in a band

To show off their linguistic command

And perhaps an audience of a hundred

But we all would get up and recite our verse

If not a person ever attended

 

 

It is such a thing

To hear one’s own poem ring

Through a microphone to a crowded room

In a way we sing when we do our thing

It makes you feel like you’re on the moon

 

 

I often fill my stomach up with that tasty pop

That keeps coming all night long

I also savor each bite of French fry delight

Though I know it’s not wise to eat this way

It’s just that I crave these things all week until Tuesday

 

 

The sights and sounds of this poetry loving lounge

From the people to the decorations

Cause me each day to think and scrounge

For new poetic celebrations

 

 

The room is filled with lovely people

Spiced with laughs and shouts

It makes me believe one day my voice will be known

Despite my nagging doubts

 

 

The artists there all seem to share

Care and love more than anywhere

And on this cold night in my city home

I’m going to head to where I never feel alone

 

 

Leif Gregersen

November 18, 2014

http://www.edmontonwriter.com

New Blog Format and Today’s Poem

DSCF5385

 

Well, after discussing the matter with my editor and friend Paula (who set up this site for me), apparently it turns out I have been making a mess of this website.  From now on, my blogs will be found here, in the News section rather than being the landing page.  All that aside though, things are going fairly well.  I am feeling in a bit of a slump after have all these adventures going to Hawaii and up to Hazleton, BC so I thought I would cheer myself up by buying a new camera.  I am pretty excited about it, it is being shipped to me and comes with a long-range telescopic lens that I am hoping will aid me in taking wildlife photos.  It may be some time before I get any more use out of my waterproof camera, but there is a chance I will take another tropical vacation in the new year.  Sometimes I want to travel to more ‘artsy’ places like New York or London and experience things like live theatre or the rich culture of their art galleries and museums.  I actually did go to a couple of museums in Hawaii and I loved it.  Anyone interested in seeing the pictures can find a lot of them at my Facebook page under my name.  Feel free to friend request me as well if you like my writing, it is always nice to have more followers, and Facebook will keep you updated about my books and poems as well as this site.  If you scroll down below, you will be able to read today’s poem.

 

How Could I Have Said That?

 

 

 

How can I have really forgotten

All that I thought I had learned?

How can it have faded away how I felt

Each time I loved another and was spurned?

 

I once swore I never would do that

Rejection is just simply too cruel

But as I get older and close off from love

I act like an angry old fool

 

I treat those who show that they care

As though they were gum on my shoe

It seems that just loving my family

Seems to be all I can manage to do

 

Once long ago when I was much younger

And friends were few and were far in between

I held up this one woman in my thoughts

As though I were a slave and she were my Queen

 

And it hurt me so terribly much

When she cut me right out of her life

Sometimes I think it may have hurt less

If I had cut my wrists open with a sharp knife

 

But that is never the answer

Suicide only hurts those that care

I just never stopped thinking of her brown eyes

Never stopped thinking of her beautiful hair

 

I knew this young woman from her girlhood

And when I got older I told her of my dreams

But so much was wrong in my life then

I might as well have been talking in screams

 

Maybe recently the loss of my sweet mom

Helped to make me end up so cold

Though the real truth is that it scares me

That I keep getting more lonely and old

 

I suppose there will be more chances

To not be so selfish a jerk

And hopefully in future romances

I can let go of my ego and make them work

 

Many years ago a smart dude once told me

That no matter how much things may seem bad

There still is another soul out there

Every bit as lonely and sad

 

I wish that I could somehow find her

And show her these hard won lines of verse

Tell her I will make her feel wanted

Because I have the same loneliness curse

 

So to the heart that beats out there somewhere

To the very same rhythm as mine

If I haven’t already hurt you too much

Think of me and the days when love will shine

DSCF5458

 

Leif Gregersen

November 15, 2014

 

http://www.edmontonwriter.com