Tuesday, May 11, 2010


This is an early piece from my collection in progress - working title "The Spirit Mate Collection: A Novel in Poetic Form." It is published in this month's edition of "Bread 'n Molasses" magazine.


Broad shoulders weighed
he walks northwest

and she is
with him

the saleable world shrinks away
behind his steady stride
until he stands 100 feet high
before a cloudless sky
on a cliff overlooking the cedar
& birch circled lake

he finds his handholds on the stone
secured to the wall he climbs
to the moss-cushioned ledge

20 feet from the crest
he watches ripples of the lake
sun massages his skin
wind hugs him
to the rock wall
cools his back
in perfect alignment

windward music plays
the trees sing
the song is
and he goes with the scene
the feel of the sun & wind
and at once he is
at one with song

and he is taking her there
where he has always taken her

though there are no lilacs
on this northern escape
the scent carries him
to the boy nearly 50 years away
who laid his head to the earth
beneath the blossoms
and he focused her to vision

and she came to him
and he took her there then
willed her to physical form
and like no lover she came
where she had always been

on the moss-covered rock
sun opened pores are wind blown
weighted energy of days carried away
by cleansing breeze
his mind freed of all but is
he sees his spirit-mate
dancing in swirls
embracing graces

and she is
taking him there
and he has brought her here
and he goes with her
and she came with him
where she has always taken him
where they have always been

© 2009
Edith Newell-Beattie



Monday, June 22, 2009

25 Years

This shall be my husband's gift for our 25th wedding anniversary. I'm still unemployed so i have to be rich in words. Positive energy & wishes for love to all...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Unspoken Words



Unspoken words
stark impressions
shear bright
white light
of a blank page



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Reflections & Thanks…

I want to write about a dear friend of mine. We partnered up for a few projects while bogged down in our undergraduate. In those never-ending days I was raising children and Lena was living in residence so we would get together at my house where the television was often running and kids were wandering in and out. We would discuss literature and critics; we would brainstorm ideas for our papers, eat meals, snacks, and drink coffee, coffee, tea.

However, on a particular remove-your-coat, sunglasses-day in March (which happened to be my birthday) we opted to skip class in favour of sitting on the patio at the Grad House and order a jug of sunshine. There we sat, sipped and soaked in the sunshine until it was time to remove the sunglasses and shade our shoulders with the coats of March. The day was a gift. Weather-wise I had never had such a fine birthday, nor have I again.

As it does, time has turned its hand, my children have moved out and on with their own lives, Lena has married, is raising two children of her own, and working three jobs while she earns a PHD. We manage to visit a couple times a year, email once in a while, and hardly talk on the phone because time is unforgiving.

Yesterday, the sun shining, March winds blowing, Lena booked the day away from children, work, and studies. She turned off her cell-phone, drove to my house and picked me up to spend another birthday.

After a brief visit in my too quiet house we went for a drive chattering all the way about our different struggles with time – her demands so high that a tub-soak is a two-year-ago luxury (as every mother knows) while my nest suffers neglect and envy. She told me about a book, a must read by Jane Anderson who writes about "finding your authentic self after a lifetime of being all things to all people." Lena laughed, telling me that she had picked the book up because Jane Anderson so aptly fit the life enhancement into her schedule: A Weekend to Change your Life.

Thus engaged in wonderful conversation we lived a bit of the advice from the book and drove to Amherstburg Ontario where there is a quaint Tea House, white lace on dark tables, sunlight streamed from a bay window charming the dimly lit room. Menus were brought out and rejected by my dear friend who had already arranged everything for the five course lunch part of our date. For the better part of three hours we sipped tea (a most wonderful tea, which I have to ask the flavor of) and soup, nibbled salad and tiny sandwiches and cheese-cake and fruit and crumpets, and we chattered before taking another pleasant drive to a garden shop where we strolled and gazed at the promise of spring.

We spent time as if we were rich in it: my mind never once wandered away to phone calls I have to place, forms that need filling, the condition of my kitchen, or any other worry that the resent world has held for me.

Last night I removed crystal figurines from the cabinet where they were kept safe through the years of bouncing balls to hacky-sacs to the 'my-parents are-out-of-town-lets-part' years and displayed then on the dragon-fly gem-stone mirror this friend gifted to me after our lunch. I flipped on the lamp, sat back with a glass of red wine and I marveled at the rainbow reflects: past, present, and future.

And I said thank you
to the universe
for gifting me
in all ways

And thank you!

Friday, February 20, 2009

On the poem "Doing dishes"

In different ways, some pieces of work are easier to share than others: “Doing Dishes” is difficult for me to present in the written form as opposed to presenting it in a live forum. Anyone out there who actually knows me as a person will realize what a huge statement that is. To say that I am not a fan of public speaking would be a gross understatement. After the first time I did a live presentation from "De die in diem" I veered from the podium, down the isle which had clapping people on each side, through the open doors and into the hall (more clapping people) and to my office without acknowledging a single person. I have regretted that I didn’t stick around for handshakes and compliments – writing that statement makes me feel somewhat shallow (sorry I missed the praise) – but leaving was better. Leonard Cohen made claims of not having room for regrets and in this case I can understand his statement: it was far better to have the breakdown that followed, in the privacy of my office. That was the only time I’ve ever had that violent reaction after a reading but the experience has made me quite uneasy about live presentations of my work. Strangely when I present (this poem) in public a positive response never fails; however, I am also unsure as to how well some pieces will be received in the written word. “Doing Dishes” is one of them.

This issue, of hearing and seeing a writer as they present their own words as opposed to reading the work on the page, is very interesting. I have brought it to the floor with students in every class I have taught (no matter the level of practice they were at) and every age-group (grade 8 to adults). I personally have thought about the issue since my days in university. One of my poems (“Yellow”) hit the table for discussion. The practice was that we (the author) read the piece before it would be discussed. After I finished reading “Yellow” (which I may get up the courage to post) my professor claimed that she had a sheet full of comments but they became irrelevant. She did not have questions; no criticism to give me, nor did anyone else at the table of a dozen. All that accomplished was me doubting the power of my work in the written form (which I’ve never told my students or anyone else for that matter). However, our experiences are not as important as what we learn from them. This is the period when I began to pay attention to the appearance of the word (“I” vs. “i”) and to their position on the page. I also started utilizing the blank space on the page and doing away with most punctuation (which is maybe too often read in association with prose).

So here I step up and present “Doing dishes” in its written form and invite you to comment, question, or criticize…all opinions are valued. And remember that you can click on the image to enlarge it for easy reading.

Thank you in advance.

Doing Dishes

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"The Ego Boom: Why the World Really Does Revolve Around You"

Last night TVO’s (Ontario Public Television) “The Agenda” aired a very informative debate on Steve Maich’s book, “The Ego Boom.” Though last night was the first time I have heard of this book or of Steve Maich, for that matter, it is amazingly relevant to my post on spending.

The show opened with a brief introduction of what Steve Maich explores in his book, which was published before the lay-offs and buy-out, before the experience of the present global situation.

“Our ego is responsible for the current economic crisis,” Maich said. He went on to describe how the 1980’s quest for self-esteem (and to instill self-esteem into our children) had gone awry, how the advertising media had shifted from statements of aspiration to those of self-affirmation (“because I’m worth it” shifted to, “because you’re worth it.”): eventually over-blowing self-esteem into something narcissistic and how the banks eventually came to invest in the notion that “ownership” somehow reflects self-worth.

I think of the book as a depiction of the gradual, steady building and the consequences of false self-esteem on a very large scale…defiantly a book that I’d like to read.

Something that rings true, and that we may each need to think about, is the idea that “the economy is here to serve us, not the other way around” (Elizabeth May). I admit that I have never thought of it that way before but I find May’s statement quite liberating. If we give May’s statement some thought and turn our practices around, it seems to me that we will experience more freedom than we ever have before – traveling a more positive road.

Elizabeth May (Political leader of the Green Party), Brink Lindsey (from the CATO Institute), Alan Hatchenson (Law Professor), and Dalton Conley (Sociology Professor) debated the issues Steve Maich raises in “The Ego Boom.”

http://www.tvo.org/agenda Bulleted List
Click onto the Wed. Feb 11/09 tab for "The Ego Boom" debate

Details on the book "The Ego Boom"


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On the message of spending

In the media I often hear this message about getting out there and spending money. In general, I find it to be an insulting and miss-directed message. People are being laid off, they are losing their homes and then the media, ultimately, blames them for the economic situation with the absurd claim that they are supposed to be spending money. How? What money? People (be it individuals, businesses, governments) have been spending money they didn't have for decades and now it is catching up with all of us.

The most important message of the moment is the idea that we have been neglecting our spiritual needs, thus creating a feeling of emptiness (some kind of hole that needs filling) and we have been trying to fill that hole with 'things'…materialism; if any thing it is time for us to step away from that. It is time for us to learn to live simply; simply learn to live. And it is time for us to each get acquainted with the self and our individual spiritual needs, or if you prefer, the needs of our spirit (the genuine self).

I am also laid off and see no ‘job’ prospect, which is why I started this blog in the first place. Depressing? Yes! And that is fine. It was okay for me to take a few days to feel sorry for myself but in all, I do have a roof over my head and food in my belly. I won’t bother posting what I don’t have…what I’ve learned to live without, but I do have my old computer and internet. I have friends and family and communication. And I have one aspect of ability that I have worked very hard to try to develop, one passion that I could not justify spending time on because I was supposed to be out in the world generating money, working at some job some place to prove something to someone somewhere. I have neglected writing since graduating university. It is what many university graduates do…they graduate and look for a job and end-up doing something that has nothing or little to do with the area of study which meant enough to them to keep them going through the four to seven or more years it has taken to earn their degrees. What, ‘Reality’ sets in?…how sad. I am kindly lifting the guilt, for not making and spending money, off of my shoulders and I am working at getting to writing; to get doing the thing that inspired me to be able to endure seven years in that learning institution.

And okay, this may seem like a ‘privileged’ example. What about the people who, life being what it was at the given time, felt a need to take that factory job, make money so they could live and so they could spend money? The difference is slim. I am not, nor have I ever been ‘privileged’ in the financial sense. I am the first university graduate from my blue-collar family (outstanding school loans, past due). My brother is laid off after 21 years of working in a factory. He had ‘goals’ which he misplaced by labeling them as ‘dreams.’ When I learned about his lay off I suggested that it could be a blessing in disguise. He readily agreed with me. He has severance pay and training services available. Should he be spending his money right now? No! He should be taking time to digest the idea that his life has taken a new direction, getting in touch with himself, acknowledging the possibilities. It’s time to be creative, think outside of the box, and see the new. Winter feels long but spring always comes.

I was speaking with a very dear friend the other day, and as is true with many people right now, our conversation turned into talk about the economic situation. I told her, I feel that something positive is going to come from all of this mess; however, I didn’t explain myself. Now I have.

Positive thoughts = Positive energy

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Lesson

This poem was written within minutes in the week of 9/11 (I want to say it was written on the day of...and i think it was but am not sure enough to say it as absolute...memory fades). It was read on CBC Radio shortly after 9/11. It's one of those pieces that came out fast and had little to no editing. It is also posted on the "Save Prom Art" site.


This is one of my oldest poems. It was my son's favourite and a favourite amoungst my Creative Writing Kids.
Note: You should be able to click on the image for easier reading.