Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep


Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep –

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die

-Mary Elizabeth Fyre




Tom Thompson

Tom Thomson, one of Canada’s most influential painters of the 20th-century, was last seen alive around mid-day, July 8, 1917, when setting out alone across Canoe Lake to begin a fishing trip. He was familiar with the area, having visited there a number of times – while working in the Park as a fire ranger, a guide for fishing parties, and of course, pursuing his painting. Within hours of his departure, his empty canoe was spotted floating not far from the dock he had left from, and more than a week later, his body surfaced in the lake. His untimely death helped transform the aspiring artist into a cultural giant. His paintings are now seen in galleries across Canada, and exhibitions of his work always attract large audiences. In the last few years, paintings by Thomson have fetched over a million dollars at auction.

How Thomson died, who found his body, its condition, and even its final resting place all remain mysteries. Some propose the cause of Thomson’s death was an accident resulting from plain bad luck, while others suggest suicide, and still others point to foul play resulting from a conflict over debt, a love interest, or opinions about the war effort. To add even more mystery to the affair there are serious questions regarding whether Thomson’s body was moved from its first resting place.

Could it be that Algonquin Park, and Canoe Lake, were more dangerous than they appeared in Thomson’s paintings? As investigators began to consider the artist’s mysterious death, popular ideas of a peaceful, harmonious, natural parkland began to evaporate. The region bore the marks of intensive logging – treacherous stumps and logs lurked under the water’s surface. Could one of these have tipped Thomson’s canoe, resulting in his drowning? Could his death have resulted from something even more frightening? The abundant wildlife the Park helped protect presented a tempting target for poachers, who might be willing to go to extreme ends to hide their illegal activities. Could the trains coming through the Park, carrying troops and goods important for the war effort have attracted spies and saboteurs desperate to hide their subversion’s? The isolation of the Park might also have attracted Canadian and American men attempting to avoid fighting in the war. How far might one of these men have gone to maintain their anonymity?


She is…untimely



Victoria sat back in her over the top, overly worn, found by the side of the road, Big Joe, reclining bean bag chair.  With the precision of an avid Hippie, she took a long haul off the pipe, leaned back quietly, and tuned into 92.9, the oldies station.

Along the lines of her eyes were visions and thoughts, swirling about…like a Big Rubber Ball.

untimely 1

“What ever happened to that illusive, simpler time?”

92.9 was not classic rock.  It did not adhere to Lynyrd Synyrd or Aerosmith.  It wasn’t even close to those ‘other’ bubble gum stations.  Stations that made vain attempts at similar ‘vintage’ music.  Tunes from the 80’s!

Funny, Victoria, never really thought of, Cyndi Lauper or Adam Ant, as, old.  But than again, she very rarely, thought of herself as…ancient!

92.9, if you were in the mood for silliness and fun, was and is the place to go.

‘Hello, Lamppost, whatcha’ knowin?’

‘Walkin’ in the rays of a beautiful sun.’

Stuff of Hall of Famers, such as, Unchained Melody, Blueberry Hill, and, Sittin’ at the Dock of the Bay…

With eyes closed, an a time out from the four legged circus that had been what Victoria and her wife called home, time slipped gently back.  Back to the day before yesterday.

What an awful message her mother had left!  Though, Victoria’s mother, Ann, had always summoned guilt.  Particularly when it came to the ‘phone’ calls.  Yet, somehow, without notice, Ann, mastered the fine art of Skyping guilt!

With fingers posed on the keyboard, feverishly writing nothing significant…Ann’s freckled face appeared on Victoria’s Chromebook screen.

An up close and personal visual, that was enough to scare the saint out of anyone!northern pass 4

“…she went into the woods.  Maybe, you saw the police across the street.  Two shots to the head in the backyard.”

Had Victoria known this neighbor of her mothers?  No, not really.  Perhaps, in passing, maybe a nod hello…she, the neighbor, always seemed, illusive.

No matter, the ‘neighbor’ and/or ‘she’ was making her impact felt on Victoria, current day.

“What happened to simple?  Asking for help?  Hadn’t Victoria known her share of persons…equipped with the ‘overly aware’ gene?”

The overly aware gene, being, those of us who have felt the need to take life into their own hands.  For better or worse,  no matter the attempt, most of those she knew, did not succeed.

In other words, they still clung about life, to this day.  Wavering in the good light, never dancing in the darkness…

Still, with radio on, quietly coaxing too much thinking from Victoria’s, wanna be blank, mind…

Still, with the high lingering above, easing the pain, the shame, the WTF?

Still, with all these precautions…

the constant gardener called, the sensitive mind, dug up the following thoughts:

Why?  Didn’t her husband know?  Could he have stopped her?  Fuck!  Victoria, didn’t know when Megan tried.  Or, maybe, she knew, but pretended to not be there…during the fallout.  Did he throw his hands in the air?  Like Victoria did!

Course, Megan still tinkers in the dark art of sadness.  Not often.  But often enough.  Often enough that the blow to the stomach is still there.  The crash of a large objects still makes Victoria shake and sweat and scream out-

‘Are you okay?  Did you take your meds today?’

That poor woman, out in the woods, loosing what was left of a ‘simple’ life.

Funny, how the action of just one person, one almost stranger, can affect and effect the lives of others.

Victoria closed her mind down with the gentle nudge of her cat, Towanda.  She managed to turn down the heat of yesterday’s sadness with the easy pat of a loving animal.

Slowly, drifting up to the stars, the room became a simple song.  And, a simple song…became the room…

untimely 3

Think of your fellow man
Lend him a helping hand
Put a little love in your heart
You see it’s getting late
Oh, please don’t hesitate
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place
For you and me
You just wait and see

Another day goes by
Still the children cry
Put a little love in your heart
If you want the world to know
We won’t let hatred grow
Put a little love in your heart

And the world (and the world) will be a better place
All the world (all the world) will be a better place
For you 
And me 
You just wait 
And see, wait and see

Take a good look around
And if you’re looking down
Put a little love in your heart
I hope when you decide
Kindness will be your guide
Put a little love in your heart

And the world (and the world) will be a better place
And the world (and the world) will be a better place
For you 
And me 
You just wait
And see

People, now put a little love in your heart
Each and every day
Put a little love in your heart
There’s no other way
Put a little love in your heart
It’s up to you
Put a little love in your heart

-Jackie De Shannon