…there`s also a lot of poetry out there. Much of it I hate. A little of it I love, love, love.
I love Bren Simmers. I love Jim Carroll. I love Al Purdy. I love Lizzie Derksen. I love C.R. Avery and I love Tanya Davis.
I love Robert Service. My first encounter with him was in elementary school. There was an assembly in the gym one day. There may have a few other activities and orders of business as part of the event but all I remember is this – a grizzled old man with a white ZZ Top beard reciting The Cremation of Sam McGee while pacing back and forth at the front of the gym, hands behind his bent-over back, eyes narrowing and bulging as he spoke.
At the time I was kinda scared, but in subsequent years I came to realize the experience for what it was – the single most awesome thing to ever have happened to me at that school (or maybe a close second to Scholastic book fairs).
I think it had some small part in my actually going north in 2006 and falling in love with everything and everybody up there.
I was thinking the other day, while answering interview questions for Halifax Crafters, about why I make the kind of stuff I do and my main intention is that everything act talisman-esque. Kind of a sartorial touchstone that serves to remind people of a certain place that`s loved or missed. A physical wearing of your geographic heart on your sleeve.
That said, this one`s for Yukon. Block-dyed leather. Hand-painted lettering. Tooled with laurel leaves. A big brass buckle. Waiting to be sized for someone who has been under the spell.
There’s a land where the mountains are nameless,
And the rivers all run God knows where;
There are lives that are erring and aimless,
And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
There are valleys unpeopled and still;
There’s a land—oh, it beckons and beckons,
And I want to go back—and I will.
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