Thursday, January 26, 2023

TAKEN, poem by Jackie Lloyd in a dream May 21, 2022

 I was invaded today

By whom, I couldn't say.

It started at the Super Store

with cigarettes, I needed more.

I presented my VISA for the 300 bucks.

The clerk said it rejected and she cut it up.

It rejected, it refused, it rejected, she said.

I paid her with all the cash I had.

My name and my card have been taken.

My next stop was at the ATM at Parkgate.

There was a long line ad I had to wait

I inserted my card and waited and waited.


The card came out but it was in two pieces.

My name and my card have been taken.

On my way back from Lonsdale Quay

I stopped where I keep my savings at Van City.

I passed over my card and said, I'm a member.

The clerk swiped my card.  It didn't remember.

"Where's my ten thousand?" I wanted to know.

You have no account, she said.  You must go.

I objected strenuously until she threatened the police.

My card and my name have been taken.

My two banks and their cards are now gone.

I'm a weary, a weary, and can find no balm.

My Scotia bank is last on my list.

The others have been taken, I hope this one has been missed.

Two hundred thousand sums up my investment.

It started with RRSP's, no money was spent.

My financial advisor at the Scotia is Rakesh.

I've known him for years, he's a nice bloke. 

We met often at his office on Broadway at Oak.

Bring your card in, he said,

I'm sure your concerns can be put to bed.

Murphy's Law prevailed the very next day.

I passed Rakesh my card and he took it away.

His Manager came out with Rakesh trailing behind.

My card was in pieces, very much like a rewind.

Like the other banks said, "We don't want your kind.

Later, I was shopping at Nesters up Dollarton way.

My groceries were beside me, on the seat did they lay.

Enough food for a week

if I give them a tweak.

I was driving alone, I hadn't got far.

A siren sounded.  Oh no, a police car.

I pulled over and stopped.

Now what?  I thought.

The cop approached and tapped on my window.

I rolled it down but kept my eyes low.

"Get out of the car and bring your licence."

I got out of the car slowly, this made no sense. 

The policeman, with my licence, went back to his car.

I sat alone waiting, he hadn't gone far.

My licence held aloft, he checked his console, it took awhile.

He looked over at me.  He did not smile.

And then he said, this is a confiscation.

He added, who is this man on the car registration?

They wanted a man to give the car to.

It's my brother, I said.  What's it to you?

Of course, it isn't, it's my sister Frances spelled with an i.

Dad made a mistake on the date of birth form.  I don't know why.

The cop said we'll take this man's car home.

We'll follow behind, you won't be alone.

I entered our driveway, then into our carport.

He sat in his car, making up his report.

There was nothing to do, I had to stay.

He watched me for awhile and then drove away.

My name and my driver's licence have been taken.

It's good to be home, my groceries in tow.

There's enough food for a week, maybe 2 weeks or so.

Frances was waiting inside the back door.

She'd seen the cop car, what a bore!

What did you do, she asked.  What did you do?

I didn't "do" anything.  This much is true.

I'll phone them she said, and sort this out.

We need a car and a driver to get us about.

She insisted on the Manager at the MVB.

They talked and they talked but had never heard of me.

I could use your licence, we look enough alike.

That's against the law, she said, and that I don't like.

Lighten up Frannie lighten up, I said.

It won't be that long before we're both dead.

It's your turn for gas so leave your money on the table.

I'll need your licence too, soon if you're able.

I prefer that my sister doesn't know what I've lost,

She'll step up, pay for everything, no matter the cost.

I don't want that, I've always looked after myself

by working, mostly secretarial, though not much wealth. 

My share of the expenses is coming up soon.

I'll roll up some coins I collect in my bathroom.

Later, I went to the bank and changed the coins into twenties.

I have enough for my share of the expenses two hundred twenty.

The very next day, Frances asked for my cheque 

to pay my half of computer work by the guy from High Tech.

I urge her to send her cheque for the full amount.

I'll pay her half in cash to account.

She agreed but with a small puzzled look

She's perceptive and intuitive so anything untoward is all it took.

Another 2 weeks and I'll need another 220.

I yearn for those days when I had much more than plenty.

There's $100.00 in loonies rolled, for when there is need

for the kids, which Frances decorated and called PIG'S FEED.

We gave the kids piggy banks when they were born.

Then, on special occasions, we'd gift them with coins.

I spy two collapsible chairs sitting outside.

They are wrapped in covers and not too wide.

I paid $5.00 each at the Thrift two summers ago.

I left them at the curb with a note on a bucket.

Leave $10.00 each, leave money in the bucket.

Later it was all gone, even the bucket.

This didn't go well

Perhaps best to have a yard sale.

I slumped in my chair, in much despair.

All my bank cards have been taken, it's hard to bear.

The loss of my driver's licence was the last straw

There's nothing left to take, not under the law.

Oh no, I forgot

my licence has my Personal Health Number on the back.

I hope I don't get sick.

We've lived in this house for many a year,

With my monthly pensions, I had no fear..

For my part of the house expenses, I had plenty.

26 pay periods yearly totaled only $13,520.

My bank account is gone,

my pensions cannot be drawn.

Oh woe, oh woe, oh woe is me.

I must study my assets and then I will see.

I own half of the Mini.

Transfer of my ownership needs an APV9T.

My share of the car will cover more than 5 pay periods.

Frances won't like it and it will be queried. 

Two piggy banks in my bathroom are tucked.

Loonies and toonies over a year worth 1000 bucks.

There's not much left for which I could dispose.

I thought and I thought, my clothes I suppose.

I now keep my driving to a minimum

and stay at home reading some Tennyson.

He's known to be great but I do despair

I don't even "get" Guinnivere.

I don't like Tennyson as much as Leonard Cohen

But Tennyson's book is small and good for my roamin'.

Frances had an appointment over town.

But she worries about using our car to get around.

I have no licence so I'm using hers.

Fuck the law, I say, and those it serves.

We got in the car

We're not going far.

But we belt up as usual.

When not voicing anxieties, she can be a pal.

I met a woman on my walk one day.

I was wearing my fur coat which I intended to give away

to the Church Thrift off Seymour Parkway.

She admired my coat and asked where I bought it.

I told her The Bay and it cost quite a bit.

How much was it, she wanted to know.

$500 bucks, I said, or a bit below.

I'll give you $200 for it, she said.

I can wear it next month when my son is wed.

We arranged to meet the next morning.

$100.00 is all I'll take, that is my last warning.

I'll add clothes to my assets.

A garage sale may help my profits.

I thought and I thought and I thought.

There must be other more costly things I bought.

I have three purses of some quality.

There's a Coach, a pointed crossover, and a 3 pouched one that suited me.

My more valuable items will be difficult to toss.

Cash for them is needed but it will be a great loss.

A gift from my sister, a beautiful jade ring.

I wonder how much cash it will bring.

Another gift I received from my friends Dorothy and Harvey,

They got it from their friend, Alice Munro, and gave it to me for my birthday. 

The book is a first edition of Dance of the Happy Shades.

It's value is $800.00 now.  As cash, it aids.

My last item of value is a painting.

I bought it in Orillia, a town on Lake Couchiching.

It was hanging alone in a Jewelry store.

I liked it a lot and asked if he had more.

No, the rest of his paintings are out Atherley way,

at Rama, the reserve for the Ojibway. 

He's now an artist of some repute---Arthur Shilling.

For enough cash, its sale I'd be willing.

I almost forgot my stationary bike upstairs.

It cost quite a lot, but who cares.

I used it no more than twice, it bored me to tears.

On thinking it over of what I can sell

most of my stuff is clothing which won't sell well

For a yard sale outside in our driveway

how many people, on seeing my beloved plaid shirts, will say OK.

There's not enough stuff here lying about. 

My niece, Mara, was over for lunch today.

I asked if she knew how to sell things on E-Bay.

Yes, she said, but I don't use it a lot.

I've sold a few things like mistakes that I bought.

Do you have something small?  We could start with that.

Preferably something not too big, and best flat.

I've got a glass paperweight in my bathroom.

For cash, of course, it can be sold soon.

It's a heavy glass owl, Mara, as you can see.

Branded on the bottom is F M Ronneby.

I'll take it home and try to sell it locally, she said,

and promote it as a gift for someone getting wed.

The buyer may want to pay me by cheque,

or online to my account if they have high tech.

Thank you Mara for all you are doing.

I look forward to the all the cash I may be receiving. 

Mara took me aside and wanted to know

why only cash was the way to go.

I implored her to keep this information from her mother.

My credit card and bank accounts are frozen.  I have no other.

I don't want your mother to have to support me 

If you tell her, Mara, I'll have to leave---see?

Mara finally agreed, although she looked puzzled.

I smiled to myself now I've got her muzzled. 

My niece is a good girl and handy for you

She's resourceful, quite charming, and beautiful too

I'm five-one and a bit in height, she's five-seven

To have her height, that would be heaven

Her hair she wears at different lengths and it is golden

My hair is dark brown, but red bits can be beholden

Mara said the little owl wouldn't be difficult to sell

60 bucks should do it, so if things go well

I'll entice the buyer with a discount if they pay cash

But, I'll have to meet them with Mike to avoid a bash

Bye, bye my little owl, bye bye

I snivelled a bit, oh my, oh my.

Frances wants lunch today at the Eighties Cafe

It's located at 14th and Lonsdale, not too far away

Their sandwich special comes with a small soup, or you can have larger

We can take half of the sandwich home and have it for supper.

Our waitress is quick and handles all bowls with no fuss

Best of all, she always always remembers us.

Frances and I parted after we ate

She needed her daily walk, it helps with her weight

I took this opportunity to take my ring to the goldsmith store

We haggled over the ring's value, I was hoping for more

I returned my ring to my finger to take it away

Assuring him I'd consider his offer for another day. 

I have about an hour before I'm to meet Frances at the library

My favourite Thrift is nearby to be meticulously checked if I don't tarry

There's a dollar rack which sits outside

I checked it carefully before going inside

I love this Thrift,  It has great stuff in so many bins

But, mostly I'm on the lookout for old Harlequins

My biggest asset I told Mara is my Arthur Shilling

A valuable piece, discounted for cash if the buyer is willing

That's a lot of cash, Mara said, almost twenty thousand

The buyer must come to your house and place the cash in your hand

I can do that, I said, and have Frances at my side

She looks intimidating -- threats she will not abide.

What about your stationary bike which you keep upstairs?

I remember you moved it inside because of the bears.

Yes, it was too stressful anticipating a bear at my side

You need peace and calmness for a stationary ride

I'm hoping to get a pretty good price

It's almost new, used no more than twice.

My cash on hand is dwindling

The coins I've had to use do not bear remembering

Part of the bi-weekly expenses due Frances is $220

I remember fondly those days when I had plenty

Twenties galore and too many coins in my purse

The loss of my card was bad but this is worse.

Mara called.  She'd sold my wee owl for a good price

The buyer paid $90.00 and didn't think twice

Next she'll try to sell the Shilling

She'll offer a discount for cash if they're willing 

The only painting I have left is the Snake

I only own half, so no cash can I make.

One thing I own outright is a claw-footed chair

It sat in this house when I visited there

Like me, its feet were close to the ground

No one sat in it, when I was not around

Dorothy and Harvey gave it to me for my birthday

Now for 500 bucks a buyer can take it away.

Many, many years have passed

My cash on hand simply could not last

The Shilling brought the most at $15,020

For a year of house expenses, it was plenty

It included 1500 bucks for some walking-around money

Like lunch out, a new crochet hook, more Cal Mag, even some candy.

The coins I saved daily soon ran out

They paid two weeks of house expenses, or just about

I sold my green ring to the goldsmith on Lonsdale

The cash he gave me was less than I wanted -- oh well.

All that's left is my half of the car

I'm unable to buy Fran out so I can't get too far

When I walk away, I'll take only a small backpack

I must travel light because the road is long -- I won't be back

Most of my clothes have gone to the Thrift

If I stayed now, without clothes, I would be bereft.

I'll need something to read when I stop before going on.

The smallest and lightest book I own is by Tennyson.

I must get away, far where I won't be found

The start of my journey would best be by Greyhound

The local bus took me to where the Greyhounds park

I hope 300 bucks will take me to a city where I can disembark

The driver said that much money will get me to Chicago

OK, I said, that's where I'll go.

The bus ate up the miles as we droned on and on

To break the monotony I read some poems of Tennyson.

As we neared Chicago's West Garfield Park

The driver questioned my intention to disembark

This is a poor neighborhood and considered the most dangerous

Looks OK to me, I said, and got off the bus.

I found some coins someone dropped on the street

Not many, but enough I hoped to buy a treat

The cafe was crowded, no seat left for me

I grabbed many free biscotti and hoped no one would see

A nearby bench sat under a tree

I sat down, sipped my coffee and nibbled one biscotti.

Next I need to find a place to sleep

Only some coins left, I must not weep

There's a box propped up against a crumbling wall

Its sides are intact - the top too - and its not too tall

I and a dog crawled in.  He snuggled against me where I lay

He did not stay long, he wandered away.

Someone sat on the bench with their bag and left it behind.

Surreptitiously I grabbed it and made it mine.

The bag was filled with lots of good stuff

A sandwich, two fruits, and an Oreo cookie --  more than enough.

Today I'll have the sandwich while it's still fresh

The fruits and the cookie need something for which they will mesh.

I wandered around and finally found a small hidden nook.

Wearily, I leaned back clasping my Tennyson book.

I walked slowly away, reading a few Tennyson snippets.

Two dogs nosed around me.  I think they were whippets.

An old guy approached me and grabbed my wee book.

My first poem "Homeless" was written on the cover -- he gave it a look.

"You're a poet," he said, "don't you know it?

A passing pal repeated that remark, "She's a poet?"

I grabbed my book and hustled away

Those geezers were pests, I could not stay.

The poems of Tennyson feed my spirit but not my belly.

I got lucky and found most of a donut with cherry jelly.

I walk and I walk and I sleep when I can.

It's very hard to remember when this all began.

My street name is Po

I must go

I've been taken.



Saturday, October 8, 2022


 I approached Bear's house with trepidation.  No walking for a bit because I had a sore foot and a wonky hip.

"Good morning Bear," I said.  "How's it going?"

"I'm not going anywhere, as you well know."

"Sorry about that, old friend.  I've missed you and have had to fill my empty days with cleaning out old papers and stuff in my room.  Some of it is depressing -- old notes from dead friends, pictures of dead friends, pictures of dead horses like Northern Dancer, and stuff like that."

"Good grief.  You must've done something worthwhile.  It's not like you to be unbusy."

"Unbusy is not a word, but I get your drift.  I found a recipe I got from Mom many years ago.  It is her famous oatmeal cookie recipe and will be welcome by anyone reading our blog.  Enjoy!!


2 cups Quaker Oats

2 cups Flour

1 teaspoon Salt

1 cup packed Brown Sugar

2 cups Shortening (approximately).  Crisco or Fluffy is good

1 Egg beaten


1 teaspoon Soda (a bit more)

2 tablespoons Water 

Mix dry together

Beat egg, water and vanilla

Put shortening in dry and cut into into a crumbly texture

Add wet ingredients and use hands to work in and form a ball

Flour counter and ball lightly and roll out and use a big glass to cut out

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen

10 minutes at 350 degrees



Hi Bear.

Don't Hi Bear me, where have you been?

I've been busy, I guess.

You guess?  Don't you know?

The heat.s been bad.  It saps my energy and my thoughts.  Maybe it's the bloody COVID and the endless talk about vaccinations.  I don't think I'm alone in this despondency, if that's the right word.

I get your drift.  It's been pretty awful at my house too.  My Master's wife never shuts up about that crap she hears on the radio.  You haven't given up on your writing as well as your walks, have you? 

As you know, Paul is editing my book, My Imaginary Dog.  As you also know, you are my imaginary dog.  Anyway, you know he's pretty slow but he is up to Chapter 38 of 50 so we're moving in the right direction.  My sister, bi F. helps me with changes Paul suggests so we're working on that this weekend. 

Have you tried your hand at any other writing?

I started my Memoir but it's slow going as I try to remember enough stuff about my early days.

I can see that's a problem.  Your memory never was great Jackie.

I've been writing some poems to while away my empty days.  Do you want to hear the latest one?

Yes, of course, please feel free to fill my empty days.



I'm lying in bed in fear.

The door swings open

and darkness comes in.

Is that you Dad?

There is no answer.

I get up and approach

the open door.

I call out again and

enter the blackness,

my fear around me like a cloak.

I awoke.

Hmm, said Bear.  That's a very dark poem.

Hence, the title.  Let's go on with our walk, Bear.  The sun is shining, alls bright with our life.


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

I NOSE YOU by Jackie Lloyd

 Noses intrigue me.

They're the first thing you see.

I'm drawn to a hooked nose.

Who wouldn't be.

Jean Vanier has one

shown forever on one of his book covers.

I like it so much

I drew it and hung it on my cabinet

next to my desk where I write

every morning without fail.

I titled it "I Nose You Jean Vanier"

I love noses, oh yea, oh yea.

I WEEP by Jackie Lloyd

 I weep for things I've done.

I weep for things I haven't done.

Why did I not listen?

Why did I not hear

What was offered to me?

What was there to be seen.

What was there to be heard.

Was it that man who said he loved me?

Wat it that child who wanted to hug me?

I weep for things I've lost.

I weep for me.

No one else should.

There's a grave waiting for me now.

No one should come.

I weep.

Friday, April 1, 2022

IS IT YOUR FAULT GOD? by Jackie Lloyd

 Is it your fault God?

or is it mine?

or people like me?

I heard on the radio

that only 4,000 had died

of the thousands who were taken.

Only one was too many.

They lived in residential schools 

where priests had forsaken their beliefs.

These were indigenous children from tribes far and wide.

They didn't need saving by priests who had lied. 

Who were you saving that day God when they took them away.

Oh God, I hope it wasn't me.

My tears now cannot wash away the pain.

Was it your fault God?

or was it mine? 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

I AND MY SHADOW by Jackie Lloyd

 I and my shadow

go everywhere together.

We go in all kinds of weather.

When it's dry, my shadow

walks beside me, or

sometimes ahead or behind me.

When it's wet, my shadow

hides inside, me that is.

I and my shadow 

are always together.

I am never alone.