(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, August 27, 2016) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ It was a different time and place on the day I watched another human being die in my father’s arms. I was just a boy. Bert had epileptic seizures, medically uncontrollable then. Tall and lanky, he’d crumple and fall hard on the floor in the house, or outside under the apple tree, or in places between, shaking, convulsing, rigid as a board. I’d watch. All the time. Bert lived with us.
(The Hamilton Spectator - Friday, July 29, 2016) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ It's a warm and ordinary day, warm and ordinary enough to run around in shorts and bare feet. The children's mother, your babe, that is your bride, is playing your song. The cats are in front and the dog's in back and the kids are doing homework and nothing much is happening, except this song from the piano in the other room, the piece that makes your blood jump every time.
(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, June 18, 2016) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ It was my daughter's first teenage birthday party and the family van was full of giggling girls. The verdict on the Tim Bosma trial wasn't in, not yet, when we pulled into the bowling ally across from Carmen's banquet hall and I said, "Tim Bosma's funeral was in that hall. And his wedding too." Silence fell. One girl said it was terrible what happened to Tim. Then my barely 13-year-old asked, "Why would they have his wedding and funeral at the same place?"
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, June 6, 2015) CHARLESTON, S.C. ✦ We're in the ocean, waves crashing at our knees, salt on our lips, my daughter and me and all these poets in my head. My daughter (today she turns 12) laughs and dances and spins in circles and says, "No, Daddy, don't take any more pictures. Just come and run with me. Enjoy the moment."
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, April 4, 2015) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ This is about two friends, two neighbours, some hard math (if not hard truth) and a dead musician.
In November 2014 I returned from my African home to speak at the Hamilton Convention Centre on the theme of The Nature of Peace. This was on the invitation of the YMCA of Hamilton-Burlington-Brantford, which holds an annual Peace Medal Breakfast to honour the people of Hamilton region who work towards peace. Following is [...]
(Christian Week, February 2015) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ “Love is better than wine,” is how the writer of the Song of Songs put it. “Love is stronger than death.” Solomon, said to be the wisest of men ever, is credited with the words that resonate with meaning even now, almost 3,000 years later, even in our time, as insecure and fickle an age as any.
Last week I was at a pool in Uganda doing my lanes. And most of the time when I swim in Uganda this particular pool is empty because Ugandans don’t swim. But this day there was a little girl there – she looked about 10 years old – and she was trying to learn to swim and she came up to me in the water and said, “Okay. I’ll climb on your back and you’ll swim and carry me and I’ll kick.”