Wecome to Christine Falk - Pen in Hand

Here you will find up to date news and information about my writing including excerpts from my novel, poetry, articles and reveiws.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Canadian Feedback

Feedback is great motivator. Feedback helps a writer make determinations about what they are doing and what is working in presentation. I read two peices of writing yesterday, January 17, for the reading at Audrey's Book Store. One was a new peice I have been working on which I will share here, and the other was an older peice I chose to submit for the Stroll of Poets Anthology. The feedback I received from the audience was very positive on the work I put into research and structure. Another key peice of presentation is timing or flow, timing doesn't factor in too much with writing but with reading it is paramount to reaching the audience and getting the point of your peice across to the audience.
The point of this particular peice is how I feel about who I am in the time and place I am living. I hope you enjoy.


I am Canadian.
I am … Canadian … but not Canadien.
Anglophone … not Francophone.
Though I can respect the value in the struggle that created a bilingual nation.
Bilingual, a word that barely covers the chatter in Canadian streets these days.
The chatter that starts as far back as when this … all this was The Dominion,
The Dominion of Canada. Upper Canada, Red Serge, Commonwealth.
I am Canadian.
I thank my great grandfather for bravely endeavouring to leave his homeland.
I thank him for leaving a famine ravaged Ukraine with his young family in tow.
Young children, expectant wife, birth of a nation and birth of a new son
all tied to immigrant hopes in the new promised land when it was all
the north of the Americas.
I thank young Jacques Cartier in his struggles to communicate with the young Iroquois.
I thank him for the name of this village “Ka na ta”.
Kanata in reference to Satacona and Hocelaga, later to be Quebec and Montreal.
I am Canadian … claimed by English, named by French,
taken from the Upper Nation tribes and upheld by a British Parliamentary system.
I am the promised land before it was promised part and parcel to immigrant farmers.
Planters. Builders of the many colonies.
Before it was colonized, before allegiances were made and broken by feuding parties.
I am Canadian.
I am here to lay claim on the soils once battled for and traded on by rival tribes.
Canadians; Mikmaq, Abinaki, Ojibway, Iroquis, Cree, Tsimshan, Algonquin.
Canadians; Haida, Danezee, Sarsee, Huron, Blackfoot, Athabaskan, Salishan …
I know I have missed some names.
Names of forgotten tribal nations; where once were many and now are few.
The face of our great nation is ever changing.
We here now are a few Canadians.
A few things I have, a few Canadian things I can have…
Bannock, fry bread, dried meat, canoe, Ogopogo and Sasquatch.
BC wine, Alberta beef, Saskatoon berry pie.
Manitoba Muk luks, Poutine, maple syrup, Newfoundland Skreetch and Atlantic lobster.
I am Canadian.
My country has always ended its own battles. Never tried to take more than its share.
Never aimed to build an empire.
We are but one nation. One nation.
Known for the promise of peace. The promise of accord for one and all shore to shining shore.
Strong and free.
I am Canadian.
I wear a toque and a parka and my old blanket is from the Hudson’s Bay Company.
I am Canadian.
My neighbours are Canadians.
Descendant from United Empire Loyalists, draft dodgers, freedom seekers from the south.
Descendants from boat people, Vietnamese refugees, Hong Kong immigrants,
Afghanis, Georgians, Lebanese, Turks, Romans.
Descendants from Great Britain, Scotland, Spain, Ireland, Russia, Poland, Ukraine.
I know I have missed some names,
where once were few now are many.
My neighbours are Canadians.
Colourful montage, mosaic, collage, multicultural patchwork. It works.
My neighbours are Canadians.
It all fits. This is who I am, who I aim to be, who we all have aspired to say we are.
I am Canadian.


Friday, 1 January 2016

A Divergent Number of Days

A year ago, on the first of 2015, began poetry. And among those words a multitude of divergent distraction. And among those distractions were words. For any writer words are the the bone of every day, and the string of days are connected by words. This is a year for the writer of words. These poetic fragments have been numbered by their place on the calendar, thier day in the life of a year. Here on the first of 2016 I offer distractions from a years past. Here for you is the list of Divergent Poetry I occasioned to pen.
May the coming year be filled of joyful words and gleeful distractions as they come day to day in your year.
The full moon she is a bitch,
a ripe glowing female dog,
causing the horned lonely hounds to holler and wail.
The full moon she is a yellow bitch.
I intend to save the world.
I have two bees and two apple trees.
I am patient and long-suffering.
Patient for the multiplying bees
and for the blossoming apple trees.
My presence seems mute,
but I am armament and shield
defending two bees and two apple trees.
# 16
Today we love.
Today we touch.
Tomorrow our touch is memory.
Tomorrow you are the author of my blush.
# 17
I am lost in this held breath and this frozen dance
where your voice carries me deeper into the universe.
Who will dare drink the last measure of water
from the well of this world?
Will it be clean? Will it not? Will it matter?
# 29
I celebrate the love in you. You celebrate the love in me.
Apart from touch we glimmer. United we blaze like every sun.
Connected we make claim for the peace of one blue planet.
# 45
Snow Day Haiku
It stands to reason,
your friend has a cowboy hat,
he’s got a shovel.
# 60
Cohen would always say
“meet me at the book store”
as though there were only one,
and for him it was this way.
I used to live in that silence where I could love the frosted edges of my world
and knew of the radiant pulse of eternity. What heaven did I leave?
#112 - Ode To Earth
In the beginning an Earth was created separate from the air
just as I am created separate from this environment.
This dirty aging body is not the core of us,
it is only the physical form essential to the experience of touch.
This is life for the Earth and for I.
two days away from civility
I am left feeling invisible and insignificant
like the boulder breaking crest five feet from shore
comparing a dull existence to the distant shining galaxy of stars
He was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
and she went to bed before she was tired
just to be near his dreams.
the sounds were bigger than the spaces
the trees were shredding at the pulsating night
fires blazed to bleed the sky out of black to blue again
Too timid to be effective.
Know how mighty winds whisper
To push the avalanche.


Monday, 16 November 2015

no ordinary peace

Sometimes art imitates life. For this reason I struggle with completing a book that is, for the most part, complete. Life sneaks in while I am editing and demands to be visible. I don’t want it to be visible in this way, pushing itself in where it doesn’t belong. I want the writing to be pure and true to itself and its own story without hints of the terrors we face today.
Sometimes I think I sound arrogant or self righteous in my writing, like I know what’s next. Sometimes I know I sound overconfident. The truth is I am just as troubled as the next person of the state of our world and our race. I see the genuine threat of a third world war on the horizon. I see nations and families divided. I see so much suffering I must turn my face away. These thing push in through every crack. I don’t want it. I want peace.
Peace drives me these days, if war is a possibility then so is peace. It will take work, more work that war, war is always easier to make. Peace is not easy; it requires ongoing dedication, naked reassessment of the human condition, and more recruitment than any war. Peace demands global education, governmental restructuring, and individual enlightenment. I may be crazy to think all this is achievable but I actually do. I do, I have a lot of faith in ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Starting today the world can begin because anyone who sees war can see peace. Starting today because today is the benchmark for all our tomorrows.
Soon, maybe tomorrow, I will be back at my book putting the finishing touches on a project I believe in. I love the work, the process, the promise of what will become. I imagine most of us have something similar, a pass time or passion we love to dedicate our time to, music or art or the sunday morning crossword. Something. Whatever drives us may we also be driven by the attainable prospect of peace and find our own way to put our personal stamp on peace and make it our own. The harmful alternative doesn’t have to be the end outcome. Sometimes, if we are dedicated, life imitates art and art is beautiful.



Thursday, 1 October 2015

Literary Bonsai

Some time ago, the number of days escapes me, I began with a small idea. A single seed carefully selected from a bowl of seeds, germinated and planted into soil which was expressly chosen from all available soils. And like any good grower, chose from the tools to tender the life as it developed, selecting the best tools for each stage of this life. It becomes of utmost necessity to know these seeds, these soils, these tools, and these learned and studied skills. A novice plants many in hopes for one to grow, a master tends to one for all of the skill and effort to be realized in. This is love. This is no time to improvise or make-do, the grower knows that a master has failed more times than a novice has tried. It is not by accident that this thing of beauty should appear effortless, it is by countless and tireless hours of skill and effort.
This seed, this planted idea, this book I craft from germination, "The Life of Trees" is nearing finish. Almost to its end desired state of effortless completion.

Bonsai Haiku

Rain from the top cloud.
Sunshine softly and faultless.
Bonsai grants me poise.