monsters aren’t real.

January 30th 2020

monsters aren’t real.

Mommy, Mommy, there is a ghost under my bed;

Stalking and hiding … every night my clothing is robbed.

Leaving me frozen in a cold night sweat,

The ghost leaves behind a smell of rotting breath, suffocating me underneath my sheets.

Though the face hides in plain sight, it’s invisible to you.

Mommy, I pinky promise that the ghost is real –

And I know it’s never nice to swear, but mommy?

This I must. Why won’t you believe me?

 

Mom, Mom, there is a skeleton inside my closet;

Shaking and rattling, the skeleton litters bruises under my clothes.

Leaving me broken; your band-aids won’t aid these deeper wounds.

Though you tell me broken bones happen when we fall …

Mom this time, you’re the one who is wrong.

This I swear. Why won’t you believe me?

 

Mother, Mother, there is a shadow outside my window;

Scratching and tapping, the dark shadow casts itself over me … taunting me.

Leaving me anxious, it threatens to break the safety of the glass –

No Mother! I promise that this one, this one is real!

Though the fingers bend, crack, and echo like the branches from the old oak tree,

They do not belong to the caring, gentle arms which once played and watched over me.

I swear. Why don’t you ever believe me?

 

Mother, Mother, last night the monster came back.

Salivating and drunk, he reminded me of my darkest childhood fears.

Thrashing and gasping, I tried to scream –

but the air in my lungs, mother, even they were not able to choke out my worst fear.

that the one who you said was never real –

… mother …

i don’t blame you, but he’s here, and he’s real –

as he muffles my screams, he mocks the words you once used to calm me –

 

Sweet child, don’t you know? 

Monsters aren’t real. 

 

 

 

 

He Is –

August 21st 2019

Most people fear him, yet some think of him when they’re alone.

There have been days when you pass by him, he appears daily in your average life. You read about him in the paper, yet his face remains unknown. And as a child you fear him, yet some think of him when they’re alone.

Some are addicted to his touch, and the rush he leaves passing through broken skin. He is an addiction, ones raging obsession. He’s the common solution for those who spend their days in dream like states, fighting silent wars within over consuming amounts of pain. Some will tighten the band, pushing a venom like poison through their own veins … all in hopes that they might meet him by the end of their day.

Some are scared of him; jumping at his shadow and are left cowering by the whisper of his name. Kidnapping children and robbing others of the time that they have, he leaves us with memories of the days when no one spoke his name.

Someday we will meet him. His arrival to our life is something you could call inevitable. So when you meet him, greet him kindly and without fear. As his arrival should celebrate the creation of something beautiful, the journey of your life.

He is death, but by creation we are life.

Snowmobiling for children’s wishes – a published article

As Published For Interlake Publishing // February 24th 2019

To be eligible for a wish from The Make-A-Wish Foundation, a child must have a life-threatening medical condition between the ages of 2-and-a-half and 17-years-old.

On Feb. 15, snowmobiles gathered in the minus -26 degree weather at the Mountain Motor Inn in Stony Mountain in support of the children who fall under this category.

Teulon’s Todd Campbell belongs to The Electrical Association of Manitoba, a non profit organization. The EMA is made up of electrical contractors, wholesalers, distributors, manufactures, agents, consultants and educational institutions. Through this organization, Campbell and his friend Rick Waltham, of Eaton Corporation, organized this year’s Children’s Wish Ride.

The Children’s Wish Ride is an event that supports The Make-A-Wish Foundation and has been doing so for the past nine years. Originally created by John Nunes, Campbell and Waltham took over the event just last year.

“For Rick and I, it’s to extend John’s legacy – as well as get to do this great thing for a good cause,” Campbell said.

The 170-kilometre ride went from Stony Mountain to Lakeview Gimli Resort and featured 47 sleds,  which is the largest turnout the event has ever had. Another record was made with approximately $15,000 in charitable donations being raised.

It costs $10,000 dollars to grant a child’s wish to go to Disney World, which means by the end of the event, the organization had raised enough funds to fully grant the wish for one child to go to Disney World, plus more to put towards another child’s wish.

“It was a good chance since we were now supporting two children,” Campbell said.

Campbell noted the event will continue to occur and hopefully in the future move it around the province. He is also excited to be a part of this growing fundraiser.

If you are interested in gaining further information, you can email Campbell at todd@strongelectric.ca .

SCI students go on the trip of a lifetime – a published article

As Published For Interlake Publishing // April 25th 2019

On March 23, twenty-four of Stonewall’s high school students left for the capitals of Scandinavia. Described from students as an adventure of a lifetime, the group was submerged in different cultures, languages, surrounded by local people, and told the history of the cities they explored. The countries they visited include Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Estonia.

The group is a part of Stonewall’s Community Travel Group. Organized each year by Monica Conger-Morrison and Randy Gabel, from Stonewall Collegiate. Conger-Morrison and Gabel set off every year with a different group, teaching the value of learning outside of the classroom.

The tour of Scandinavia began in the city Oslo, home of mystical trolls and of historic Vikings. The City of Oslo has been the capital of Norway since 1814, and sits on the country’s southern coast. The city is known for not only its history, but also its progress with the environment. Oslo’s approach to protecting its natural areas and increasing its usage in clean energy are just two of the many reasons why the city won the European Green Capital Award for 2019. After two days, the travel group then boarded an overnight cruise ferry to the city of Copenhagen.

“I’ve never been on any boats like that before. The different points of view from the water were breath taking and definitely picture worthy.” said Trinity Rutledge, a grade 11 student of Stonewall Collegiate.
The next 3 days of the trip were spent in Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. This city was one of the personal favourites for many of the travelers.

Courtlaind Armstrong, a grade 12 student from the Collegiate, stated “If I had to describe the city of Copenhagen in three words, I would say bikes, bikes and more bikes”.

While arriving to Copenhagen the traveler were greeted by a local tour guide. The tour guide shared the country’s history, myths as well as the legends. One of the stories the guide shared was about the popular story known worldwide as “The Little Mermaid”. To most of the group’s surprise this story originated from Denmark, but with a much more dark twist in the end. As well as walking around the city, the group participated in a boat tour which took them through the canals of the city. The group also climbed a 17th century Round Tower, which is currently Europe’s oldest functioning observatory. They also explored the Kronborg Castle, a 16th century Danish castle known worldwide as the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Elsinore.

“It was like you were literally repeating history.” stated Todd Holmes, a grade 11 student from the Collegiate. “I got many different feelings throughout the tour, especially when we were down in the tunnels. Ghosts were everywhere.”
After visiting The City of Copenhagen, the group took an eight hour bus ride into Sweden’s capital city Stockholm through the country side.

The legend that was shared with the group on how the colourful city of Stockholm got its name was that when the city was first being built, Vikings threw logs into the water and then built the city on the floating wood. Stockholm when broken up and translated from Swedish, means log island. Stock, coming from the old Swedish word Stokker, which means log or pole in English and Holm, translating to island or islet. This is because the city of Stockholm is situated on fourteen islands, this is why the locals also call Stockholm, “Venice of the North”.

On the way to Stockholm the group stopped in Gränna, a small town that is known for its Polkagrisars, a type of Swedish candy that resembles the classic red-and-white candy cane. The group had the option of watching the manufacturing process of the candy, and time to explore the cobble stone streets. This local candy was a popular souvenir that the group took home to give to their family and friends.

They participated in a thrilling ghost walk and strolled through five centuries of Swedish history in the world’s oldest outdoor museum, called Skansen. The group also visited the ABBA Museum, as well as went to the Vasa Museum. The Vasa Museum is one of Scandinavia’s most visited museums, inside is the remains of an old warship that capsized locally and sank in 1628. Today Vasa is the world’s largest and most well kept 17th century ship.

Next on the list for the group was Helsinki, the capital city of Finland. The group spent 2 days exploring the city; which included the excursion to the medieval city Tallinn, in the country of Estonia. The travelers spent their last day relaxing in Helsinki at the Allas Sea Pool. The travelers who were exceptionally brave jumped into the sea after getting out of the sauna, mimicking the locals.

Stonewall’s Community Travel Group had an exceptional personalized learning experience over the Spring Break. Each day was led with expert local guides leading the group on sightseeing tours, sharing information on history, art, and architecture; and they toured across the countries in several different ways. This included 2 over night cruise ferry ships, canal tours, bus tours, and walking through the streets.

“My favourite thing about the trip was visiting all of the historical sites and getting to learn about each city’s history. Almost every city had a historic fire at some point in time.” said by Graeme Perrie, a grade 10 student.

Both Conger-Morrison and Gabel believe that there is so much history and culture to learn in the world, and agree that one of the best ways to learn is to travel.

“It’s really nice to see that (the students) are seeing and understanding the value of this.” said by Gabel while walking with a group of students in Finland.

Carlen MacFarlane, a grade 10 student from Stonewall Collegiate stated, “I think one thing that a lot of us on the trip realized and got to experience was the amazing amount of multiculturalism! Pretty much everywhere in Europe, most people can speak many different languages. I think almost everyone on the trip had a moment where they realized how cool it is that these people can speak two, three or even four languages! It really inspired me to learn another language”.

Conger-Morrison and Gabel have already organized the tour for 2020 to Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, and are currently planning the 2021 trip to Japan. Both Conger-Morrison and Gabel would like to encourage other youths from the community who are interested in traveling, to contact them at Stonewalltravelgroup@gmail.com to add their name to the contact list of interested travellers. Here future meetings, dates, and other information will be shared.

Endlessly – a short story

Endlessly – An original short story

Dictionary result for endlessly ~ in a way that has or seems to have no end or limit.

Unlike most love stories, Bonnie and Clyde are not people, they are birds. Real birds that are living at this exact moment. Most likely cuddled in the straw against a wall in the barn, in the stall that’s been theirs for 20 years. Just keeping warm through this stretch of cold that January has to offer us Canadians. The only difference is that we can not tell what is being said between the two of them, so we view their love through the affection the two of them give to each other. Here is the Story of Bonnie and Clyde, and of their endless love.


The story of the emus on our farm, Bonnie and Clyde.

Most couples on their wedding day receive fancy dinner plates, cutlery for special occasions, or sometimes money. All of which help jump start their new life together as a pair. But on a wedding that took place in 1998, a newly wedded couple named James and Judy, received a gift that they would never forget. They were introduced to Bonnie and Clyde. Two emus, which would instigate the collection of animals that the couple would collect over the years that they would spend on the farm. The two birds were two years old and already fully grown. They were given to James and Judy by the grooms’ Uncle Morris, Aunt Ilene, Uncle John, and Aunt Elle. But little did the couple realize that Bonnie and Clyde, would soon be the highlight of many stories that they would share with their future children. Bonnie and Clyde, much like the newly wedded couple, were in love as well. They were born on a farm in Somerset, and at a young age they were connected and were labelled as “mates for life”. Till their last breath, Bonnie and Clyde would spend their days together on their new farm, with their new family. Through sickness and in health, until death do they part. For the next couple years, the emus acted as parents to the 50 other chickens and the few ducks that lay in the bird pen with them. The two emus protected the smaller birds from the wild animals that stalked their feathered friends through the dead of night. This is a form of loyalty you can’t teach an animal, they either have it or they don’t. This protective mother like instinct makes them very trustworthy, and any farmer would be grateful to have such creatures.
In 1999, Bonnie and Clyde created their first story with their new family. It was an extremely hot summer, and the shade of the trees didn’t seem to be enough to satisfy all of the animals on the farm. The ducks were splashing in the small pool that Judy put together for them, and the chickens were being fed their lunch by James. Busy with what he calls his “Never Ending List of Projects”, James forgot to close the pen to the birds. Some would describe the next event that took place as horrifically insane and madly hectic, but was really none of the sorts. Only beautiful…but maybe a little crazy. Like senseless teenagers, Bonnie and Clyde shared a look that could mean nothing but no good, and with that they bolted towards the gate. Emus can run up to 50km per hour, so catching them alone was nearly impossible for James. Like children, the birds jumped and played. The sound of a deep drum was loudly playing in both their chests, this is how they talk to each other. The drum like sound was quick in pace like laughter, and in a rhythm that what sounded like the audio of their hearts beating together as one in a song.
Needing the extra help to catch the two, James called his wife’s father, Frank, to help. The two men tried to chase them back in the pen for what seemed like hours. Finally, Frank had the idea to use Vanola to transport the two birds back to the pen. Vanola was an old van that was dark purple, smelled like crap and hardly worked. The idea was insane, but like most men, no task was too big; and full of fear of what Judy might do if she found that the birds got out of the pen, they decided to try it. The first to be caught and put in the van was Bonnie, which of course didn’t fly well with Clyde.
“Clyde… please come” James spoke with caution. He knew the look the large bird was giving him meant no good. Fear rushed though James.
“James”, spoke Frank. “Maybe we should let him follow us, he isn’t going to leave…”, But before he could finish his sentence, James was charged by the large bird and drop kicked to the ground. The end result was positive and the task was completed with both birds back in the pen. Both of the men walked away content with their seemingly impossible finished task. One bleeding and still to this day, has the scar on his right arm to prove what he calls his act of heroicness to his wife.

As the years progressed, the farm grew rapidly. And as each year went by, Bonnie and Clyde grew as friends and their personalities flourished. Although they had no children of their own, each year they had new friends added in the pen to call family. Bonnie and Clyde created more stories as well. A couple stories with the children James and Judy had, who were born years after the two birds escaped the pen. As well as some stories with the extra farm hands and the staff that worked on the farm during the summers. Maybe even stories witnessed only the big guy in the sky, as I’m sure the family was sleeping or busy attending to the other animals.
But like all stories, theirs comes to an end. Bonnie’s feathers soon weren’t as soft as they once were, and in some places she had lost them completely. Clyde wasn’t as fast as he once was as well, but never did the love for his Bonnie ever fall dim. Both of their voices that was described as the sound of their hearts beating, and use to play like a drum, now played slow and quiet.
Bonnie wasn’t doing as well as Clyde. The winter was much harder on her than the years previous, and it hurt her to walk to where her and Clyde’s food was. Clyde started bringing Bonnie food the best that he could, and when James and Judy noticed this, they brought the food dish closer to where the two usually lay. But before it got worse, James and Judy set up a stall for the two birds in the barn. As a friend, a family member, and as a lover, nothing is more heart breaking than watching the one you love die. This is a feeling that is shared with both humans and animals. The discomfort of not being able to help the ones you love, tugs at every string your heart has, and it rips the light that they placed into your soul right out of you.
Soon, Clyde became very protective of the smaller space him and Bonnie now occupied. He stood up for most of the day to keep guard, so his best friend could rest and hopefully regain her strength. Until the day reached when Bonnie could no longer pull her fragile body out of the corner of the stall. It was Judy and James’ middle daughter that noticed this change, and it was at this moment when the young girl realized the importance of love and how it really worked. The girl watched silently as Clyde laid awake and quiet when he cuddled with Bonnie. Both of the birds were making their usual heart beat drum sound, but this time it was different. It wasn’t very audible and it played very slowly. A single tear rolled down her cheek as she realized what she was witnessing. The two were saying good bye. Not knowing what to do, the girl ran outside to get her parents. When the barn door slammed shut, Bonnie nudged Clyde and slowly nestled her long neck into the straw before beating her last song.
The following week was painful to watch. And to this day, Judy has sworn that she witnessed Clyde cry. As soon as Bonnie died, Clyde became much more aggressive. Clyde charged at James when he brought him food in the mornings, and then refused to eat it. When the hunger got to him, Clyde stopped charging. He laid in the same spot as Bonnie right before she died, he did this for 3 whole days, and then Clyde passed away.
It is not uncommon for an emu to pass away after its mate dies. Something that we as humans can also die from, a broken heart. The death of Clyde proves his true nature, his instinct of protection, and how his love for Bonnie was shared endlessly.
Through sickness and in health, until death did they part.

The story of Bonnie and Clyde.


You will be happy to hear that this is just a story, and that the two lovebirds are still beating their drums in good health.

The two birds have been featured in MANY weddings on the farm. Such as the picture below.

A Frozen Moment in Time

January 11th // 2018

A picture is a frozen moment in time, a still frame of life’s production.

A picture is a frozen moment in time, a still frame of life’s production. They are time capsules for memories – full of feelings, sights, smells, laughter and even tears. It is because of this that we showcase pictures on the walls of our home, glue them in books, and hide them in drawers. Each picture is one of life’s many memories.

My mother’s hair is pinned up, this hides the fact that she has been in the hospital for days. She refuses to leave her father alone as he is close to the end of his life journey. The room feels cold, the smell of cleaning chemicals linger in the air. It stings the sides of my damp cheeks. The walls are painted cream. They aren’t dirty, faded or peeling from age, just simply cream. The sound of countless heart monitors are leaking from under patient doors, seeping into the hallway. I can hear an older lady in the hall telling stories of her father, and I am hopeful that my mother hears. I want her to know that a daughter’s love for her father will never die, maybe this will bring her comfort.

Similar to the sight of a small child who is scared to let her father go, I watched my mother as she held my Grandpa’s hand. His hands are battered with blisters and bruises, and they are scattered with scars. These hands once held her when she was a baby, and they have held the three children of her own. These hands held the wheel of the lawn mower my sister, and then my brother and I rode as children on the farm. These hands worked hard breaking land, and these hands wrote my Grandma letters of love. These hands waved goodbye every time my family would leave my grandparents’ home. As she holds his hand I pull my chair closer, I want to hold his hand too.

Death is a selfish creature. He takes the young, the old, the rich and the poor. He has no favourites. And it is painful to witness the suffering from the passing of those who we love. But with death comes life, and life is selfless.

This writing is personal for my family and I – but writing is suppose to be true and full of feelings.

My Grandpa gave us many things, and it’s through these things that he will forever live. Grandpa will live through my brother, Thomas, as he plays crib and hold his name within his own. And my Grandpa will live through me with his catchphrases, and my love for cinnamon buns.

Welcoming Todays Chaos

February 6th // 2018

Welcoming Todays Chaos

Today, I jumped in the back bed of strangers truck.
I laid there still, feeling nothing, not even fear.
Yes, I was aware of both the speed he was going and of the ice on the road,
But still I welcomed the spinning of his tires.

Today, I listened to my old friends laugh.
I bit my tongue, knowing if I stood up, I’d be kicked so hard I would never walk again.
Yes, I was aware of their actions and words which hurt me,
But still I welcomed the memories, and I refused to let them go.

Today, I walked with a boy who had eyes of blue ice.
I watched him talk, how he would look into the snow.
Yes, I was aware of his reputation and how he would change me,
But still I welcomed knowing the slightest of my untold future.

Today, I took refuge in an old park shower.
I pressed my back against the door, feeling warmth away from the cold.
Yes, I was aware of both the boy who stood by me, and the written hate on the wall,
But still I welcomed feeling the high of it all.

Today, I invited smoke and fire in to my lungs.
I closed my eyes, trying to see where it all went wrong.
Yes, I was aware that I was becoming the kid most parents would warn their kids about.
But still I welcomed not being hurt once more.

Today, I later threw my jacket in the trunk of my moms car.
I then held my breath, so the smell wouldn’t reach my mom.
Yes, I was aware of the guilt that I should have felt,
But still I welcomed feeling nothing, nothing at all.

If she was sober, maybe she’d think things over

March 2nd // 2018

If she was sober, maybe she’d think things over.

Ever so casually, she upped her speed gradually.

She’s now Accelerating 120 down the once quiet highway.

Booze fills her cup, it’s spilling from the sides.

Life’s been treating her pretty damn fair.

The party was great…yeah…

She giggles.

She is going home with a boy tonight.

Ever so casually, she upped her speed gradually.

She’s now accelerating 145 down the once quiet highway.

If she was sober, maybe she’d think things over.

She’d think about the speed she was going. And about the boy who sits by her.

And about what if she was pulled over.

Arrested then charged for reckless drunk driving.

But that is the least of her worries.

Because Every so casually, a family of four are driving home gradually.

Two kids sleeping soundly.

Two parents who smile proudly.

See the father is the biggest fan of his sons little League baseball team.

The youngest, the son, he hit the team winning home run.

His parents are so proud that his team had won.

The are just behind the next turn.

Ever so hazardly, she upped her speed gradually.

She’s now accelerating 160…180 down the once quiet highway.

If she was sober maybe she would think things over.

Maybe she would think about how she could really ruin things for herself and for the family of four that are ever so near.

And that boy that sits by her, he now screams.

He’s no long slurring and laughing.

His words and speech are crystal clear.

PULL OVER A CAR IS NEAR!!

….

But she can’t seem to feel the wheel of the car that rests in her hands,

And now they are spinning, swerving.

Why won’t the car stop!

She’s pushing in the break!

But it’s to late.

Ever so casually she lost her sleep gradually.

Never sleeping soundly, she sits still quietly.

And wonders that maybe if the she was sober …

Maybe she would have thought things over.

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