Good Times

teach it to the crows

The above cartoon illustrates “The Official Community Polka”, a throw-away song I wrote some time ago about Official Community Plans.  The planning process is the important business of negotiating a public agreement as to how a municipality will evolve to meet changing needs while protecting its core values. Part of the process in “normal times” involves face-to-face gatherings of municipal officials, planners, consultants and citizens to express desires, share information etc. 

All three Saanich Peninsula municipalities (North Saanich, Central Saanich and the town of Sidney) are in the process of reviewing their Official Community Plans and will doubtless have to rejig their public consultations and the plans to deal with the baleful intrusion of  COVD-19. 

I wanted to offer a couple of light-hearted poems about community celebrations – the ones we are used to – before it fully dawned on me that it may be a while before we can strengthen community bonds by such face-to-face gatherings. These light-hearted poems have thus obtained some ironic “bite” due to the changed circumstances. The post-pandemic normal could  be different from the one we have taken for granted previously but we can work to make it equally rich in community living. I’m not gving up on the Official Community Polka.

The first poem, “Red Shirt and Purple Pants Dance the Blues” recounts a “Music in the Bay”  summer evening in Brentwood Bay, BC.

The second poem is inspired by a story from a friend who mentored a feisty black kid who ventured one day that his ambition was to become the “first black  President of China”.


Red Shirt and Purple Pants Dance the Blues

Red Shirt and Purple Pants they dance the blues,
intent upon each other and the song.
Late sun through the trees
dapples the grass where the breeze
writes its random music for its pleasure.
A crawling baby arches, head upside-down,
peers backwards through his legs.
Mother smiles and we are pleased.
But Red Shirt and Purple Pants play dancing shoes
and keep their time to soulful blues .

Call and response:
Wind buffets; sun-splashes scatter and regroup.
Baby invents; and people laugh.
Singer lays down a twisted line;
guitar riffs a bent comment,
A graceful summer evening spent
while Red Shirt moves with attitude and stops…
creates the space…
Into which…
Purple Pants twirls in complement.
It’s perfect,
this dance,
these blues.

(November, 2013)


The First Black President of China

The kid says to me
With complete conviction
What he plans to be when he grows up.
He plans to be selected as
The First Black President of China.
The kid don’t say a lot,
so when he makes a statement
I know he’s thinking hard
and it’s my turn to figure out
what that could mean.

We know there’s schemers everywhere,
ambitions big as countries,
eyes as cold as daggers..
But if folks knew what’s in that small boy’s mind
They’d go for him for sure.
‘cause he’d declare in proper Chinese Style
“Take day off – go to beach!”

And folks would frolic in the water,
share their ice cream,
sit together and watch the sun set rosy.
Lovers would find each other,
dreaming of birthdays.

Next morning, tasks resumed and light of heart,
our old rock keeps spinning off in space
while the First Black President of China
smiles benignly on its precious load
of life, sweet life.

(November 2014)



One thought on “Good Times

  1. Thanks Farrell, You sure wrote these before we ever heard of the Virus! How our lives have changed but they’re a great reminder about how things were once upon a time and likely will never be the same again so good for you to document them as they pass by, cheers, Pauline



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: