Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

It Gets Better

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I have been mostly silent recently because it has been a very frustrating year on the planet. Governments on every level make me apoplectic ( against/before the pop?). Cruelty and disresepect abound.

WHAT TO DO? I used to respond with poetry, but even poetry has been infected. The spirit voice has been reduced to Wii. Poetry as competition, war even.

My first response was rereating into fiction- movies, storytelling with the short people in my family and reality television. Tyra, Heidi and Samantha are my new friends. I love America's Next Top Model, Project Runway and Dancing With the Stars. God help the eejit who phones me during the prime TV hours. I now get orgasmic over a graceful pose, a perfect seam, a neatly executed tango fan,

When I became Victoria Poet Laureate, I promised to help bring poetry and literacy to disadvantaged children. It looked like all was going well and then I was asked not to fundraise as PL for kids who had been deprived of parents food and lodging by AIDS, floods and Earthquakes. What??????????

This summer my granddaughter came up with the idea of making and selling Steampunk jewelry to raise money for Slangspruit Schooln South Africa and her penpal Samke, who wants to be a teacher and leader of the new SA.

Now the whole family is involved, generating ideas, learning new skills like soldering and using butane torches and anvils. People love the stuff. The upcycle jewelry is concrete poetry/ miniature sculpture. We are busy elves; and we whistle while we work.


Verve, a store where we shop, has been selling the merch at no profit, and one miracle begets another.

The UN removed my need to rail at Canadian foreign and domestic policies when they voted to keep us out of the Security Council. They said it all. The Lester Pearson era is over. We have no business there until we clean up the tar sands, treat our artists with respect and get out of the war business.

We have miracles happening everywhere. The Miracle of the Miners, the Miracle of it Gets Better. Are we evolving into a community? I sure as hell hope so.

I am witnessing the transformation of a girl I watched grow up into a young man who is at last comfortable in his skin. I lived through the transformation of my gay brother and my mother from uncomfortable youths into happy adults in stable relationships. It Gets Better tells people like them that we are all God's children. One family.

May the good times roll.