Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Canadian Thanksgiving/ American Christmas Sleigh Ride 2005


My first entry into the Pacific Northwest
A world of rivers ravens and trees

Thanksgiving is a time when some nostalgia is permitted, 
The Flaneur recalls his trans-Canada /trans-America train hejira 
one decade later

 My first destination was Vancouver, British Columbia
Steam-powered clocks, smoked salmon,
Aboriginal culture and inexpensive buds

Left Vancouver on a Sunday night
The incredibly precipitous tracks hidden by darkness
Dawn arrived as the Canadien was passing Mount Robson

We stopped for a period of hours in Jasper, Alberta
Made a friend on the train who shot this
a young Canadian cat from Evergreen college
We enjoyed cannabis cookies in the high cold thin air

I was content to move on
Canada was proving to be cold and I had shed 
The cold tolerance of my New England youth

 Eventually we reached frosty Winnepeg
A surrealistic set from a Guy Madden film
The noble engine awaits my return

 Sault Sainte Marie
A spell-binding tapestry of water sky and trees

I spent American Thanksgiving in tony Toronto 
Watching the Macy's parade on the hotel TV
Howard Johnsons in Neal Young territory
A tour of Bloor street

 Montreal so far from Berkeley
A possible point of my visit was in order to consider
Re-emigration to the land where my Mother's father was born

Charming in deed, but really rather too chilly
I had never returned since a visit in June 1972

Ste Anne de Beaupre
"Our Lady of the Harbor"
In Leonard Cohen's classic song "Suzanne"

 An ice palace deserted but for some workers
And for one bundled-up Flaneur

  After a semi-delirious evening in New York City,
Finally made Massachusetts
Staying for a week with an old hometown friend
His pad was not far from this old flat-iron building

Then on a snowy morning I got back on the trains,
Another lay-over in New York city, daytime this time,
They were putting up the tree in Washington Square
Sounds like a Kenneth Patchen poem

 Next day, the metropolitan wonders of Chicago
An early skyscraper reflected in a more recent building
Seen from the Post Office plaza in the Loop

Next morning you're in frigid Denver 
And it's early December in the Rockies

A last expression of non-stop marvels to follow
Where all the roads are snowed-in
and far away

(Excerpted from RAY Man's complete blog of the trip,
You can see and read much more, just two clicks away)


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