Saturday, December 01, 2012

Urgent Call for Poems about Trees from Poets who Love Them

Call out from Susan McCaslin -

The Han Shan Project: An Urgent Call for Poems about Trees from Poets 
who Love Them
Han Shan was an ancient Chinese poet who posted his poems on the trees 
and rocks of Cold Mountain. In the spirit of Han Shan….

o Join our effort to speak for the trees of McLellan Forest East, an 
endangered rainforest in Glen Valley, Langley, BC. It could be sold for 
private development and logged after Dec. 17th.

o Send us a tree poem and we’ll post it on a tree in the forest. One poem 
per poet. Keep it to one page with your name at the bottom. Small photo 

of you is okay.

o This is the west coast, so poems about species such as fir, hemlock, 
cedar, hemlock, spruce, bigleaf maple, black cottonwoods are especially 

o Send your poem immediately to Susan McCaslin who can provide more 
information about the forest and the issue.

Background: This remarkable and ecologically important forest will be 
sold by the Township of Langley for private development after Dec. 17 of 
this year if something radical is not done immediately to keep Council from 

For further information:

McLellan Park Blog
McLellan Park Blog
This is my offering:

For the trees of McLellan Forest East:

making way

above the railway cut there stands
the gauzy remainder of our trees
city sliced down cottonwoods
bitter cherries alders
lest they stumble and slide downslope
to this new train

black tangles against evening mauve
quiet empty yard 
enclave in a loud
forgetful neighbourhood
juncoes still visit bushtits still visit
coyotes and raccoons gone
ravens saw those great silver-sided leaves
settled down in the midst of city racket
to make their nest

in those days
when the clawing began within
i stood at my window and watched the trees
breathed with them for them
with the hesitating breeze
how I sorrowed at being unable to save
even one

Casey Wolf
Grandview Cut, Vancouver

Story Sale: "Eating Our Young"

Happy news!

I've sold my story "Eating Our Young" to Chase Enterprises Publishing for publication in their new horror anthology, The Speed of Dark. There is still time to submit if you are interested--the deadline is 30 December 2012, at midnight.

"Eating Our Young" is a sad and grim allegory about the way families can unthinkingly consume their members, not out of hatred so much as out of an angry reflexiveness that, once settled into, seldom allows for compassion or heartfelt connection with those around us. It's told from the perspective of the youngest members of one particular family, Kenda and her brother Kenny.

I'll keep you posted as details arrive--publication date and all that jazz. Meanwhile, here is an excerpt from the story:

Morning arrived with the shout of her biggest sister, Enid. “Up! School! Come make our lunch!”

Kenda tripped on tangling sheets as she leapt to the door. All seven kids would stampede to the washroom but she was closest and with luck might not have to wait.

Too late. Enid was mean again and wakened James before the rest. He was the biggest boy and Enid’s favourite and slower in the bathroom than anyone. Kenda faltered at the closing door. “Can I come in, Jamie?”

Wait your turn, Turd-Drop.”

She sighed and looked at the bristling line of bigger kids squeezing toward her, and remembered Kenny last night. It was not going to happen to her today. She ran back to her room and began to change clothes, then climbed out the window, down the rose trellis, to the dirt. No one guessed her use of the garden. Here behind the rose she yanked her shorts down, piddled, and covered the pee before climbing the trellis again. At the window she listened, peeking cautiously over the sill.

The door had drifted open. Children cried and shouted, doors slammed, water ran. Enid yelled orders. Kenda wanted to climb back in and burrow in the blank oasis of the laundry-room where she and Kenny slept. (Her idea. They’d been sneaking in to sleep together on piles of laundry for so long nobody thought about it anymore.)

No one was in the room.

 The Speed of Dark is being put out by the same folk who published Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road, in which I placed three stories (one co-authored with Paivi Kuosmanen -- the "a" should look like this: ä). 

The ebook version of WotWSotR is currently available for a mere $0.99.

P.S.! The gentleman in the photo above actually has nothing to do with the story. His was just the scariest face in my photo library when I stumbled there at 7 AM in search of an appropriate pic. Wouldn't want an actual pic of the content of this story. Although... I could make something...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Story reprint (online)

Hello. A wee post to let you know that my short story "The Brídeog" has been reprinted on the blog Brigit's Sparkling Flame. B's S F is devoted to information regarding the goddess and saint named Brigit (among other spellings), who features in my story. This is their first fiction publication.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Casey Update (including stories! and play!) & VCon 37

Not a lot to report. Cancer apparently gone, site slowly healing, and I am back into life full tilt. Perhaps a little too fully tilted. But so much attracts me! There's a three day retreat this week with monks and nuns from Plum Village. It is focussed on healing, which seems not a bad topic for me. I look forward to it. I am also busy critiquing a pile of stories for VCon, preparing for our play, taking classes at Inspire Health, etc...

I started a wonderful class on Roman Britain at SFU Continuing Ed. That lit a candle under me to get out Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars and reread various papers on Celtic studies that I have in my files. I'm starting to lead my sangha every few weeks, am active at yoga again, and then there are all those nieces and nephews... And yet!

In the midst of it all I managed to get two new stories into circulation (and one older one that I had let drift). So out there in the mail system is a Scottish ghost story ("In Days and Nights The World Is Spent"), an allegory concerning cannibalism ("Eating Our Young"), and a story about David Bowie's mum ("Mother of the Star").

I'm also gearing up for the new session at the Kyle writer's group, which starts next week. Last year, when I was able to go, I used that time for polishing a collection of poems I have written, and I will be doing that again this year, so likely I won't be doing much more story writing this year.

Not to be forgotten, the last weekend of this month is VCon 37, which I'll be attending with my nephew Theo Campbell. The Pallahaxi Players Readers Theatre is putting on our second show, "And Then Some" by Matthew Hughes. Matt's work appears regularly in Fantasy & Science Fiction, and he is the author of The Damned Busters, Tales of Henghis Hapthorn, and The Other.

This story will be in an upcoming issue of Asimov Magazine, but we get a sneak preview at VCon. Besides being general dogs-body for the performance, I get to play, er, the sound effects... Be there or be square, my friends.


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Spring Fling

Started just before last week's surgery:

So with all this cancer stuff going on writing and critiquing activities went on the back burner. But the flame simmered still, and now, three weeks after my resurrection, I have been attending a variety of writing groups, writing and brushing up on poems, and doing marathon critiques of other people's writing to catch up on what I've missed.

I've also signed up for a novel revision class (Reverse Outlining by Lois Peterson at Port Moody Library, 23 June), to see if I get inspired to resurrect my shelved tome.

Cool conjunction of worlds: I've started at the Callanish Writes, a writing group for people who have been through the Callanish Society cancer retreats. It is wonderful. We gather for three hours, do a brief meditation and read two or three prompts (also known as poems and quotes) and then write together (each our own thing) for a period of time.

This time we wrote for ten or fifteen minutes, then had the opportunity to read aloud (twice) what we had written. You have the choice of whether to hear responses and the responses are from the heart, not the head. It isn't a critiquing group, but a place to find expression and to connect with others around our experience. Obviously there were tears but there was much laughter as well and I loved it. Also the lunch. Callanish does good lunch. There will be, I think, a book at the end of this--at least in previous years Callanish has published a collection of some of the pieces written by the group. So let me know if you are interested.

Looking forward, VCon 37 (28-30 September – Sheraton Vancouver Guildford) will have a Pallahaxi Players Readers Theatre despite my own difficulty in writing a play this year. In my stead the lovely and talented Matthew Hughes is writing a play based on one of his current works of speculative fiction. (To Be Revealed.)

And after the surgery...

Not a whole lot more to add to that, naturally. My stomach is settling after the third and (please!) final surgery and here's hoping the site heals well and quickly so I can get back to that wildly active and deeply rewarding life. Oh, wait. It's still deeply rewarding. And hey, I kind of like it not being wildly active. Hmmmm...



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Callanish and All

The last few months have seen an almost complete dropoff in my literary activity. I was about a quarter of the way through the second draft of a book of poetry when I received a diagnosis of cancer. This flung me into an extraordinary period of activity and learning, and the sudden need to be very gentle to myself. At first I responded by writing poetry about the new situation, but that soon ebbed. There were other things I needed to do and experience more than I needed to write.

On Thursday I'll have my second and hopefully final surgery. No need, apparently, for chemo or radiation.

I am extremely lucky to live where I do. Despite the many faults of our medical system, in Vancouver I have access to excellent cancer specialists, among the best in North America, paid for by medicare. I would never be able to afford this care without it. There is an integrative cancer health clinic -- Inspire Health -- that provides enormous amounts of information and support. And the Callanish Society leads retreats for cancer patients four times a year. I attended one last month and was touched very deeply by the wisdom and care of the women who led it and by those who attended. The effects are enduring and I am in a far better position now to face both the cancer and the surgery than I was in mid-December when I found out. My friends and family, yoga and Buddhist communities, have been wonderfully supportive and kind.

As Nancy Hopps says at the end of her various guided visualizations (for cancer, surgery, etc) -- "For this, and so much more, I am grateful."