Child Behind the Curtains Watching Rain


Child Behind the Curtains Watching Rain

Photo credit :

Child Behind the Curtains
Watching Rain

A small child
In a double breasted
velvet vest
with four
mother of pearl buttons
and in shorts,
Is eating almonds
behind the curtain.
He leans his
chin on the window sill.
He watches the
rain falling from the sky
landing In shiny
wet and dancing greyness
in hopping drops
and ringlets
on the surface of the asphalt
and in tiny bubbles
siting on
the blades of grass.
all so wonderful
and new .
He knows that
just a short walk away
there is a whole lake
of this stuff,
much bigger than
the puddles
forming in the street ..
He cracks the almonds
In his mouth vertically
at their seams in two
as the smooth surface
of their polished
marble insides
slide and fall down
either side of his tongue
to be crushed
into delicious ground
almond paste
that he swallows.
Why does it rain he thought.
It’s so beautiful and so sad
and I love to
watch it from this window.

The clouds part,
the sun comes out
and the child’s
tall thin Mother
with her falling
raven tresses
comes to part
the curtains
In her long
and shining
silver robe.
She finds him there .
He smiles and laughs
and looks up
at his mother.
The round orb
of the sun reflects
on the clear
and shining glass
In the rectangular
that’s now full
of new lines
and gradations
of other
outside reflections,
As the room fills up
with bright 60’s sunlight,
the child knows
the solitude,
the almonds,
and the rain
are now
all gone away .

The Grande Dame

The Grande Dame

of the Grande Dame .
How many babies  were
born , wrapped
and carried here ?
How many women healed ?
Walls painted white
now are waiting
for the artist’s hand .
Some artists
sit thinking ,
dancing ,drinking ,
or  pigment mixing.
Lilith and Eve ,
they were progenitors
of the Grande Dame
Egyptian eyes,
Ank in hand ,
and on her forehead  .
the last maquillage
by design
she, Isis is brought down
to her end
for a shining
new beginning ,
for the regenerative
concrete, glass
and steel
of  woman’s
new healing.

7:30 am in Urban Paradise

I’ve been living in downtown Toronto temporarily for the past month or so
as our condo by the water  is being repaired from water damage due to a slow leaking pipe ( water amd words can wear things down – specifically copper and wood flooring this time  )
I miss the calm of the lake . It’s relatively placid there most of the time , although the city is alive with its own varied, busy, and sometime tense excitement. It’s harder to really really relax at night with all the sirens and  nightlife noises at Yonge and Bloor but the city is inspiring in a different way. It seems like I’m going back to those  city walks I used to have in my 20’s and seeing them with different eyes now, older eyes but also with new younger eyes . The eyes of the 20 & 30-something condo dwellers in the vertical beating heart of the city . They’re all clicking away at their iPhones and Blackberrys while walking, just like me .
It’s amazing . Never thought I’d be into the urban lifestyle again and especially living it out loud like this .

7:30 am  in Urban Paradise

7:30 am and the city is almost quiet
Just a few cars in the street .
Been off  and on
through the night
I’m up for a drink
and something to eat .
Listen to the hum ,
and see the light
rising higher .
Tower lights are  on .
The moment is sweet .
I fall back into sheets
a willing participant
of meditation and sleep .

On Queen Street West

On Queen Street West

The sirens of the city

are traveling along

the fabric bazaars

and appliance stores

of Queen Street West.

The wood tin spire

of St Marks

lurches into the air

at an angle


The daylight heat

is blazing.

So is the fire.

The fire trucks

are bullets.

They careen

breakneck down

the street.


red and yellow cabs

follow right

behind them.

Do they care

about the fire?

The fire is burning

somewhere along

Queen Street


black smoke is rising

up into the air.

From “The Black and Other Base Elements “by PWChaltas

Yonge Street

Yonge Street

Empty stores
for lease
My steps passing
bookstores ,
crowded lit cages of diners , and vacant  doors .
The second floors sing
with promise of neon massage .
Hanging socks and laundry ,
clothes lines,
are up on second  floors
as well.
Someone  is  home
above the
storefronts drying out
on a weeknight
all in a yellow glow .
The condos will be
and soon
no one will know
what this city block
looked like
In the  1900’s



My wife and I just returned tonight from a late dinner with friends at La Societe, a French Restaurant on Bloor Street  in the heart of downtown Toronto . It’s a wonderful replica of an old world Parisian bistro that makes you feel like you’re in downtown Paris  ( the 8th or the 6th or the 1st ) rather than in Toronto . It was for us a quick fix and escape from the banal . The concept and experience of downtown, the buildings, the lights, the experience of being around a crowd for an urban social adventure in itself is an escape . Downtown, no matter which city you may live in or around, is that destination that is easily and quickly accessible, where you can experience a difference in the texture of life. Here the mundane, melancholy, or stressful seem to dissolve temporarily . The experience itself lingers even after you leave the city core .

After an engaging dinner with our friends, on the way back home in the car I started, and my wife soon chimed in, as we took turns singing ” Downtown.”  “Downtown” is a  song made popular by Petula Clarke in the 60’s. An addictive tune , its’ words carry a seductive message . I have a vivid memory of the first time that I heard that song . I was about 3 or 4 years old. While playing with the radio one afternoon, I stumbled on to the song, promptly stopped fiddling, and listened. That song captured a child’s attention and imagination. It  rooted itself in my psyche. Only recently have I realized that song was the reason as a teenager that I started taking long walks downtown after my father suddenly passed away one night in February of 1974. The habit continued right into my 30’s . Now I walk along the shores of the Lake Ontario, around trees, rocks, birds, and water. Back then those walks were around city lights, busy streets, and crowds. It was my escape, and the beginning of my habit of long walks that lead to the word and to poetry. it’s strange how a  random childhood experience of listening to music can shape features of an adult life. Words that are put to music are important. The music can be  powerful, seductive, or sublime, but the words and the way they are perceived can shape the future in many ways for the very young or the suitably impressionable. Below is a great original  video that I found and would like to share, of the music that influenced one child into adulthood. it’s my hope that you are always aware of the words that are put to music, that you listen to and think about what they are trying to say or evoke, about how they may influence you now or later. I hope the music and the words you experience are sublime , beautiful, relevant or at the very least entertaining. May the word and music enhance your experience of life and of the human condition as they have mine.
P.s. I only recently found out that Petula Clarke was a great influence on Serge Gainsbourg, and that he admired her, as many still do. Here is her video: