Falling

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** I wrote this years ago as part of a lyric essay class at UBCO.                                                        Posting now in honour of Halloween.

You took me to your beach lot that night last summer when it rained and thundered, and the orange and red spokes of the bonfire hissed and sizzled and smoked and spat at us from where we sat in the lawn chairs underneath the trailer’s awning. I got soaked, anyway, because I never have been able to resist the rain. I got drunk, too, because I never have had a head for beer. And when the clouds finally parted, and the moon was full, I could have sworn that perfect round orb of wonder was hung in the sky deliberately, just for me and you. I felt the heat of your body standing behind me in mute observation. If I had closed my eyes I imagine I would have felt your breath skimming down the back of my neck.

I didn’t want to go, that night in September at your house, but I left. I left that night when the sky exploded around us as we stood on your patio beside the scent of the gardenias in your hanging baskets. That night when flicking off the outdoor lights meant flicking on the show in billions of tiny twinkling stars. I left. I just didn’t leave in time. My hands gripped the balcony railing as you stood there beside me, but even so, with my neck cricked upwards to see the show and with my brain tilting heavy like rocks away from the centre of my skull, my heart swayed.

“I remember what I wanted to tell you,” you said to me Halloween night, when we were trick-or-treating together, one big happy family. “I wanted to tell you I watched a program and it said there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches in the world.” Continue reading “Falling”

Scarecrow Mania in Peachland

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It is once again time for the Peachland Scarecrow Festival!

A scarecrow is a decoy or mannequin placed in fields to scare birds away and protect crops. Often, scarecrows are created in human form. Burlap sacks are stuffed with straw, dressed in old clothes and staked to the ground by farmers. Currently in Peachland, scarecrows are given faces, and themes, and adorn businesses and “protect” the town.

Scarecrows make common (and simple) Halloween costumes and show up in popular fiction in creatures that range from deities (Japan), to supervillains (DC Comics), to the creation of witches in league with the devil (Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Feathertop”). Perhaps the best known scarecrow, however, appears in L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” as he searches for the brains of the Wizard. My personal favourite scarecrow, however, appears in an episode of the tv drama, Supernatural, and it scared the crap outa me.

In real life, scarecrows become less effective the longer they remain in a field, since animals become accustomed to them, and adapt. Nowadays, many locations have taken up the tradition of holding annual scarecrow festivals. In Peachland, the idea originated with former town councillor (and member of the visitor promotion committee), Kerbes, who got the idea after visiting Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Kerbes hoped to draw tourist traffic to Peachland during the Fall and Winter off-season. Since this is now the third year for the festival, he just may have succeeded.

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The festival runs from September 29th – October 31st, and scarecrows can be found all over the town of Peachland.

 

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