Excerpts from Year of the Dog: A Poet’s Journal

April Bulmer


April 14, 2018

Sack

April Bulmer

Ice pellets pock my face. I walk to the corner store for bread and milk. Check my lottery ticket: non cadeau. A dog whines from a car. I imagine a time when I was a woman in an early life, wrapped in skins, bags of fur tied around my feet. My companion a skinny coyote. The thighs of the river quivered.

A neighbour passes me bearing a box of Timbits and a tray of coffee. Her hood a wolf’s cowl. She does not greet or offer a hot drink, for I am a lone migrant of a fallen tribe, hugging a sack of meagre provisions.



April 26, 2018

Canes

I praise the light like my cousins who have lost most sight. I think of them often: white sticks tapping their Morse code, waking our ancestors and their gods.



October 15, 2018

The Balm

Yesterday, I attended an autumn celebration given by The Ontario Poetry Society (TOPS) in Oakville. The café, which was situated by a yacht club, offered an expansive view of Lake Ontario. It was called Taste of Columbia and served delicious Spanish food and coffee. I met a poet from India who is also an alternative nutrition expert. She taught me that our sleep patterns can affect our weight. She was very personable. Others were also supportive and kind.

I launched my new book, Out of Darkness, Light, which is about a congregation of fictional women who worship by the Grand River here in Cambridge. I have a sense that I confront listeners’ religious convictions and they sometimes resist. Having studied women and religion at university, however, I believe it is time to thoroughly acknowledge the feminine in our spiritual practices and to also salve the Earth and her scars. My book is meant for women and men who wish to anoint themselves with the healing spirit of the Great Mother, the Goddess of balm.



November 29, 2018

Golden Rules

In astrology, a Saturn return occurs when this planet returns to the same place in the sky that it occupied at the moment of our birth. While it may not reach the exact spot until we are 29 or 30 years old, its influence is considered to start around age 27. The first orbit is seen as a cosmic rite of passage, of reaching maturity and being faced with adult challenges and responsibilities. Saturn is the tough taskmaster who tests us and asks us to meet goals. 

In my case, I lived alone in Toronto at this time. It was as though I shared my apartment with a life coach who demanded a rigorous psychological and spiritual workout. My astrologer told me that angels and demons were literally battling over my spirit. I was soul weary. I moved to Windsor, Ontario with the hope of kickstarting a new life, but I encountered new challenges there. I met people I likely knew in past lives and felt as though I was a fly caught in a sticky karmic web. One family spun a trap that left me hanging like a helpless insect. When I pulled out of the spidery den, it was as though my tender body had been dismembered. My wings were clipped. But I crossed over this major threshold and entered a new stage of my life.

The return of this planet is scheduled to enter my chart next year and again in my mid 80s, as it takes roughly 30 years for Saturn to orbit the sun. I am anticipating significant changes and patterns. I only pray I am not trapped inside one of its many gold rings.



January 17, 2019

Predictions

The morning opens the palm of her hand. I read the blue veins, the mount of Jupiter, the lines like rivers flowing into the hard, white flesh of her land. I divine the bones of winter: limbs of trees fallen in pattern: the Lord will rise again.

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