Category Archives: Poems, Essays, and Things

Because I like to write and I like to share.

Sandman Charm (NaPoWriMo #3)

image

A few drops of chamomile tea,
Two lavender buds, and sand from the sea,
Left on a spoon by the window
And small bottle under pillow

Calls the sprinkler of golden glitter
And to sweet dreams the heart will flitter

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At the school library today, I realized April has come again and that means Poetry Month! I have missed writing so much, with about 10 pages now of accumulated topic inspirations waiting in my notebook. Now time to catch up with my fellow NaPoWriMo-ers and bloggers!

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

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Filed under NaPoWriMo Challenge, Poems, Essays, and Things

Shakespeare Quote: Short Response

candle

Credit and link at end of article.

Heaven doth with us as we with torches do,

Not light for themselves; for if our virtues

Did not go forth of us, ‘twere all alike

As if we had them not.

This quote states a purpose of man’s life through a religious metaphor and explains the importance of sharing the ‘light’ with others instead of keeping it to oneself. Just as a torch’s purpose is to shed light on other objects, humans are called to be God’s instruments to spread goodness around the world. It is important to not limit one’s virtues to thoughts and ideas, but to show them in one’s actions in life. To continue with the theme of light, having a match in a dark cave and leaving it unlit would produce the same result of not having a potential light source at all. A person with virtues left unshared might as well be a person with no virtues at all.

Republished from English class 2012. Photo courtesy of J. Devaun.

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

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Jack Diamond: A Brief Biography of a Canadian Artist

Source of photograph: utccanada.ca

Canadian Jack Diamond is an internationally acclaimed architect known for his simple and artistic designs. He was born November 1932 in South Africa and immigrated to Canada in 1964. He studied at various universities and received several degrees: Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Cape Town in 1956; Master of Arts degree in politics, economy, and philosophy from Oxford in 1958; and Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962. He founded his own company now Diamond and Schmitt Architects in 1975.

From then on he has created many structures around the world including the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton; the Jerusalem City Hall in Israel; the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto; the Harman Centre for the Arts in Washington, D.C.; and the Southbrook Vineyards Winery in Niagara Falls. His works in progress include an addition to the famous Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg Russia (now completed). He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1995 and given the Order of Ontario two years later.

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Canada
Source: dsai.ca/projects/four-seasons-centre-for-the-performing-arts-canadian-opera-company

Jack Diamond believes in creating buildings that are not for flashy display; but that are useful for the people using them. He thinks not only appearance, but functionality. “We were just interviewing for a project at a university in the United States,” he said. “The president asked us, ‘Have you ever designed a building that causes a car crash? Because I’m looking for an architect who’s going to design a building that causes a car crash.’ There’s a kind of group who is looking for a building that will snap your head, literally grabbing attention. But does it have any deeper ability to contribute to the life of the university, to the life of the faculty, to the experience of students, to its connection to the grain of the community? Do any of those matter at all? Diamond + Schmitt does not do car crash.” Whether people agree to his designs or not, there is no doubt that Jack Diamond is a master of his art form.

New Mariinsky Theatre

New Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia
Source: dsai.ca/projects/new-mariinsky-theatre-russia

Republished from a Geography research assignment in 2010. Being a dancer, I chose to display two performing arts theatres, but Mr. Diamond does a very wide range of work.

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

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Pencil Update: Poem

Funny and very true. Source: 9Gag

With my green pencil as a lucky charm,

Scribbling through papers in calm alarm,

Arthropods, hemoglobin, and evolution,

Ranting about post Of Mice and Men depression

The clock ticks faster when things get tricky,

Got dizzy from the little thing called stoichiometry.

Tomorrow after math will feel like I’m in heaven,

Finished (and hopefully graduated) from grade eleven!

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I haven’t written much because my mental pencil has been used up making review notes and writing exams this past week. I cannot wait to start reading the pile of books on my to-read list, and of course, to write! Just a few more days until summer!

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

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Filed under Oh Life, Poems, Essays, and Things, The happenings, Words of No Wisdom

Sahtu Dene: Canadian Aboriginals and Uranium Radiation

Interview: The Dene People

Q: I am joined today by a member of the Sahtu Dene tribe from the community of Deline in the Northwest Territories. First of all, thank you for coming. What can you tell us about your community and the meaning of your names?

A: The Dene is an aboriginal group living in the northern boreal and arctic regions of Canada. Dene is the common Athabaskan word for people and Sahtu is our name for Great Bear Lake, the fifth largest freshwater lake in Canada and ninth in the world. Deline is located 300 miles from Yellowknife with a population of 800 and means “where the river flows”.

Q: Deline was featured in the film Village of Widows after discovering the devastating effects of radiation poisoning from uranium mines. But let’s start from the beginning, when and where did mining start?

A: Port Radium was owned originally by Eldorado and secretly became a government-owned mine in 1942. The men started work in 1932, mostly working as labourers and carriers for the unrefined pitchblende ore. From 1934 to 1939 we mined radium and between 1943 and 1962, uranium. It was seen as an exciting job opportunity and everyone was eager to participate.

Q: The Canadian government didn’t tell you of the dangers and effects of the substances?

A: Not at all. As far as we were concerned, the stuff was gold; it was worth a lot of money. I remember some of the young men joining training programs where they suffered radon gas exposure and cleaned up toxic hotspots without any protection from masks or even shower facilities. We did not know about the ore being health hazardous until 1945 when the government finally warned us about health and people started becoming sick.

Q: However, from what I understand, not only workers were affected by the effects. How did the radioactive ore spread through the community?

A: Like I said, we knew nothing about the dangers of the ore mined from Port Radium; before the mine, there was no industrial presence in our area. The men carried around sacks of the ore and tailings so it got into their clothes, into their skin. At one point we sewed some of the sacks to make tents and we also filled sandboxes from the fine sand-like tailings. Radioactivity went into the animals, our food source, our lake, and drinking water. The substance surrounded us and became a part of our lives, so unfortunately really everyone was affected.

Q: The toxic substance must have a huge impact on the environment and land as well; how much of it is in your land and how has it affected your people?

A: Waste landfills and lake dumps are everywhere. The tailings were dumped around the site and over 1.7 million tons of uranium waste was dumped north of Great Bear Lake. Our land, animals, and people have now been living with radioactivity for over 70 years. The first death of a radium mine happened in 1953, and an ore transporter in 1960. Since then there has been many deaths from poisoning, cancer, and other sicknesses. There are many single mothers now in Deline, and the generation of young men in this village is the first to grow up without knowledge passed on from their grandfathers, fathers, and uncles.

Q: In addition to hiding the health dangers of the ore, is it true that the government did not tell you what the uranium was to be used for?

A: Yes, we had no idea that the uranium we were mining and transporting was to be used in the Manhattan Project to create the atomic bomb. When we realized our work was used for objects of mass murder, we were horrified. Hearing about the absolute destruction dropped onto Hiroshima and Nagasaki made us want to take back all our work and despise our sacrifices even more. Had we known that the ore was making bombs, we would have never worked produced it. Until this day, we feel regret for contributing to that disaster.

Q: You must have felt outraged that the government neglected your health and denied you the information that would’ve saved many lives. The Dene people were unjustly used for labour; what actions were taken after your meeting with Parliament in Ottawa in 1999?

A: Well let me just say that white miners were as uninformed and abused as we were. We realized that the government did not care for any of us, so we went to Ottawa to ask for major cleanup of our community and an apology for the cultural, economic, spiritual, and emotional damage that they have caused us. It was a small victory for us to even get a formal meeting with the leaders of our country. They didn’t grant us our wish at the time, but we raised significant awareness and were closer to getting the improvements we wanted.

Q: I know that your tribe visited Japan and attended the memorial of August 6, 1945 as a way to pay respect and restore inner peace with the Japanese people. Why did you feel the need to go and what was it like to visit Japan?

A: We felt it was our duty to offer them our condolence, and it was necessary for our inner peace to apologize and make amends with the people whom we hurt. It was a very emotional trip; we cried when we saw footage of the explosions and the suffering that we caused. We lit lanterns and talked to many people; by the end we knew we made the right decision to come – it was a releasing and gratifying experience.

Q: What accomplishments have taken place at Deline now, and what are the Sahtu Dene’s visions for the future?

A: In 2007 we succeeded in negotiating with the government and earned a contract of 6.8 million dollars to help clean up the wastes. There is still a lot to be done to get rid of the radioactivity in Deline, and we will continue to fight for our rights as people. We are still trying to understand how something so bad could come from our Mother Nature; we celebrate the world we live in and pray for a better future.

Q: Thank you so much for your time; this has been such an eye-opening conversation. We wish you all the best!

Republished from 2010 Geography class. It is a hypothetical interview inspired by viewing 1999 documentary Village of Widows by Peter Blow.

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

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A single bazaar booth

Much bigger and sunnier than what I’ve written.
Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/481111172662500062/

In the dampened smell of barbecue leaking
out the Chinese restaurant door
The little woman sits in a booth under
four oversized umbrellas
Gathering mannequin hangers as mother asks,
“How much for this shirt?”

“Usually 20, but I’m closing now, so have it for 10.”
She speaks Mandarin.
Mom nods for the purchase as the roar of clouds echoes down the street
The lady folds the elegant beaded garment, smiles, hands us a plastic bag

We say thanks and turn around
Rain pours down.

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Life is hard, I realize that regardless of our evolution into society, it will always be a survival of the fittest. We work to live and we live to work, but we musn’t forget to be generous and kind to each other because those moments are what we remember through time.

Happy birthday to my mother who never turns a year older!

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

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Filed under Oh Life, Poems, Essays, and Things, The happenings

Walks ’til Magic Hour

Source: photok12.org/?q=node/11

Oh glorious day!
Sunshine blazes through canopies of green, crowds filter into High Park
A blackbird calls, its red and white marks peeking through the brush
Algae foams above the pond, where breezes sweep through the gardens
Strolling a maze of hedges and wading pools
Sit with face to the sky, indulge in quenching fruit salad and gelato
Hike hidden sandy trails imagining a place without city noise
Emerge into picnics, lawn bowling games, and playground cheers
Snapping photos and laughing chats all the way
Have a mini barbecue in shady grass, with softened rays of the dying hours
Contemplating why we work so hard to seclude ourselves from nature,
When we love so much to wallow in it?

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Perfect way to end the long weekend: had an absolutely fantastic time with my family and my only regrets are that I had homework nagging the back of my mind and that I didn’t reapply sunscreen, not because of sunburn, but because it is too soon to already get this tanned. Summer feels so close but so far away, and I am feeling very unmotivated to go back to school and don’t-even-mention exams. I just have to remember to live every moment because before I know it, grade 11 will be finished.

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

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Filed under Just another person, Oh Life, Poems, Essays, and Things, The happenings