Paulina Angela

writings and ramblings



For nearing a century now the acreage has been known as Milkweed lane.  The first generation of Wealds to purchase the property and call it such are but a memory. To the current crop of Wealds they are nothing more than fable and legend.  The children’s children are fifth generation, grandchildren to Mr. and Mrs. Weald who have inherited the titles of “Pops and Mums.” For the family it is an achievement, a testament, maybe an affirmation. For turf and terra it is nothing so grand.  A blip in time, a moment of marriage with this particular strand of related creatures. This narrow section of earth supporting this particular clan in no way presumes to have claim over the beings. However, If the Wealds believe in such entitlements; such as man-made money and paper documents giving them control of the earth well… The land was here long before and will be here long after. A completely connected combination of sky with sun, moon with seasons, day with night. All elements born and raised from a universe which has already seen it all.

It is not difficult to predict what comes next.


Family Vacation, Trout Lake Photo by Brooks Kraft/Corbis .

Once you brought me gladioli

purchased from a road side stand

do you remember? I asked

presented for no reason

— unexpected and unplanned

he replied  “I still pass by that place,

when I do I think of you …and all which that entails.

each time I see the sign

announcing “glads for sale”

I’ll be your Symbiont

Symbiosisvia Daily Prompt: Symbiosis

This is for my friend and sister Kristine


         She was confident in their collaboration

she need him and he her

a combined symbiosis of function

both benefitting becoming blended

          Until the day came when harmony was interrupted

synergy became divided

she suddenly handicapped

he, however, walked not limped, away

          In reflection as her eyes became opened

recognizing the relationship had been biased

 commensal not mutual

she had been happily unaware that he fed from her


        In the  beginning he was happy

pursuing the alliance, the amalgamation of we

he and she

he had desired the togetherness

          But as the time passed he felt diminished

pieces of himself were disappearing

he swatted at the invisible sycophant

            He knew he wouldn’t die – she needed him alive

he hosted this parasitic party

she had to be removed







Summers remaining days stood still. Unwavering heat combined with humidity and exaggerated hues left eyes weary from squinting. Dandelion seeds hover momentarily under stiff swelter only to be beat down by sudden rainfall. Summer was running himself ragged  and was at risk of burning out. He  needed relief. Sensing this distress Autumn arrived early. Barely September and already fall.

She bustled in like an eccentric old auntie,  capable and prepared to take charge .With her, Autumn bought compassion in the form of dreary days.  Damp, dour days, where wet leaves promptly change colour and drop without flutter. Directly into the dirt to immediately get to the business of decomposing. Ordinarily one might find this sort of  season bleak or disheartening but aunt Autumn had a philosophy:  dreary weather allows one to indulge their heartache and sorrow. Sometimes all you need is a little time to withdraw and heal. Dreary lets you do that without self-reproach.

This is how Autumn comforted Chrysanthemum.  Together they strolled the property, both wrapped in wool shawls, through the forest and passed the deceased beech tree. They ruminated while treading across soiled leaves of red and gold and inhaling the scent of damp rot. Observing that the end never smells as good as the beginning. Endings are not as exciting or as pretty  but have their own familiar comfort. In these days of hiding inside cozy sweaters, retreating beneath bulky blankets and being lulled by fireplace roar,  it cushions the ending.

Thanksgiving weekend comes… and goes without recognition.  The long weekend passing without mention or celebration. The family still mourns but on Monday Lauren retrieves the box of red ribbon from chrysanthemums cottage. This year the children have no interest in Christmas trees or festivity. Instead little Lauren has another project in mind. She empties the box of ordinary red ribbon and string and begins to weave.

Life at milkweed lane seemed changed. Pop’s has gone and now Mums announces her decision to move to town. Her sister, Aunt Bunny, also a widow, has a nice house on the main street of Juniper Valley. A lovely place where the two can easily walk to market or the café and visit with friends without need to drive. Autumn had also conveyed warnings of  Winter. He is not an empathetic season and this year will be a long one. Winter is a believer of tough love, therefore thinks it best to bury  grief with snow and ice. Freeze it into a solid being, like an ice sculpture, one which cannot be avoided. By the time spring came back around all despair would melt and the buds of change free to bloom.

This was the first Christmas season to pass by Milkweed lane. Well, the first anyone of this generation knew of. Pops was the resident raconteur and he was no longer around to tell the tale. The children still received gifts from relatives and friends but they had not asked nor wrote to santa. Mr. and Mrs. Weald also received invitations and gift baskets (which they were grateful) but no one expected anything in return. Billy didn’t even come home from school. He stayed in his dorm with friends. Students who had come from places out of province or outside the country and could not afford tickets home. Chrysanthemum left her cottage on the last day of the year. Her belongings piled onto the back of a truck, the family forgoing the usual New Years party helping with the move instead. On the first day of the New year a house-warming dinner was held at Aunt Bunny’s. In honour of the new start in the new year, another chapter, and the next season of life.

Autumn did not lie when she said Winter would be harsh. The roads leading into town are treacherous and the journey slow going. It was dark when they set out yesterday morning and it will be dark on the road back. These days, just this side of the winter solstice, being the shortest. Tonight the sky is low and not a star can be seen. Light is blocked by unseen clouds, not a twinkle not a northern light. Once they drive off the main drag of town they will be without street lamps as well. Relying on only the trucks headlights to lead them. Standing in Bunny’s doorway saying they’re goodbyes Lauren presents Mums with her ribbon creation. A small wreath spun from ribbons collected for christmas trees.

“My dear Lauren, these are your ribbons. Did you not have another purpose for them?”

Lauren hugs her Chrysanthemum and says ” I collected the ones from the forest too. The ones that I could find anyway. They are all  here. To warm your new home with some of the old.”

With well wishes and declarations of love, with hugs and smiles through tears the Weald family departs for home. As Mums and Aunt Bunny wave them away winters freeze cracks…just a bit.







Gauchos and Sweater Coats

Patternvia Daily Prompt: Pattern


Waking up in our shared bedroom. (that’s how it was back in the day, kids shared bedrooms and everyone shared the bathroom) My sister, Danielle, and I would find the days outfit laid out on our beds. Mom had  specific rules on how her children should be presented to the world. (She had rules about everything)  Hair, tidy and tied up, either in braids or pony tails (secured with baubles and barrettes), clean presentable clothing of her choosing and children never wore black (only shoes could be black).  Our clothes categorized as:

  • play clothes – old and comfortable, worn on Saturday and changed into afterschool.
  • We had pretty Sunday dress clothes (my favorite)
  • and of course school clothes. It was these clothes that gave my sister and I the most grief.

At this point in our school careers we are at elementary levels and not yet forced to wear the uniform of wool kilt and polyester sweater. That itchy ordeal will come later in high school.

So here we are, first thing in the morning staring down the dreaded denim gauchos draped across our bedspreads.  Danielle and I are only a year apart in age and are often dressed the same. Mom says it is cheaper to make two of each. (This practice of dressing us the same leads all we meet to believe we are twins.) It is the eighties and I am sure gauchos are no longer in style. Mom assures me they are, she is pretty old – like 28 or 29, so how would she know? I haven’t seen anyone besides us wearing these hideous not quite skirt-not quite pants creations so I think she is wrong. More than that I think she is cheap.

Maybe if we had more money she wouldn’t have to make our clothes from remnant fabrics.  Maybe she could have purchased current and trendy materials. Most of all maybe she’d have the money to buy the newer, up-to-date, stylish patterns. Ha! who am I kidding? My Mom prides herself on being frugal. We could be Richie rich and she would still get a thrill from getting a deal.  Instead she has that one second hand sewing pattern. Repeatedly used over and over again until even she is sick of it.  Oh, but wait… the pattern is still perfectly good. (one of her favourite catch phrases “Perfectly good”)  After every use she has carefully folded the pattern and put back in the envelope. ” You never know someone else might be able to use it.”

Sisters, (thank god we have each other) uncomfortably dressed for school wearing  perfectly good matching denim gauchos and choking turtle neck tops. Mine red hers blue- the different colour shirt is how to tell us apart. Standing at the front door ready to depart “Don’t forget to put on your sweater coat!”  Oh no, here she comes with two bulky sweaters that zip up at the front like a jacket but not a jacket -so not at jacket. She zips us in and admires her children  “perfectly good”. To Mom we are beautifully presented, tidy hair in pony tails, mary-janes on our feet and perfectly pleated gauchos of her own making. She kisses us good-bye saying, no singing, the same thing she will say everyday until we are no longer in school. “I love you, have a good day and watch for cars.”

sweater coat

You know we love her.

I am here – Here I am

Centervia Daily Prompt: Center


I am the center of my universe. Most of us are. Today on this sunny Monday morning I am shamefully over obsessing about myself. Specifically my writing.

I wonder do all writers both love and hate their work as I do? When I am in the midst of expelling a story from my mind it can be bliss. In those moments when everything comes together on the page, I can actually love myself. It is the times before when I am not writing (the whole time thinking I should be) and the times after as I review (and judge) my work where I don’t much like myself.

Do other writers judge their work as I do? I wonder if my stories are too camp? Are the comedies too cheesy, is the non-fiction too preachy? The thing is… I like campy and corny and cheesy, I like funny and silly. If I liked dark and mysterious that’s probably what I’d write – right? …(you see how I defend myself to myself)

When it comes to my blog… I sometimes think about posting my opinion. Adding my two cents regarding current issues and popular trends.  I haven’t and I don’t because I fear this might sully my blog page. I wonder if I released a rant or two into the world would it spread negative energy?

Wow!  that is a lot of insecurity for a sunny Monday morning.

center-2     all-about-me



Lush   Red Ribbon woods

The summer was green. Richly green. A green which came from mixing moody cobalt storm skies with contrasting sunlight. A Colouring so vivid it appears dewy even in the late of day.  Stimulating hues stealing the show, a backdrop which can only be described as Lush.

It rained all summer, not consistently but intermittently. It began during the overlap.  That time of year where spring passes the baton to summer. It is also the summer Grandpops left us.  So instead of the usual hand-off, Spring fell into summers arms and wept. Summer, sharing in her grief, held her.  Together the seasons mourned and as they lamented the world bloomed. This devastation and desolation created the lush. As Spring cried on his shoulder Summer beamed, his strength holding it together for the both of them. By the time spring returned to her bed the earth was both, thoroughly quenched from her tears, and healthily nourished from his gleaming elegy.

Homestead felt the most forlorn, for it was she who helped bear Grandpops into the world.  Aside from Springs tears and  Homesteads sorrow, it was difficult to be too sad. Everyone wanted to be somber. The earth, the Weald family, the sun and the sky, but Pops had been such a life force, one could not remember him without smiling. It prompted conflict. For who could recall such a life without rejoicing? And so summers mourning was with woe and celebration, an emotional contradiction bringing weather of clear skies and weeping eyes. Smiles with tears, heartache and exult.

The family gathered at milkweed lane. Grandpops’ four sisters with their husbands and their kids and their kids kids. The homestead, as at Christmas, expanded to accommodate . But unlike Christmas it was done wearily and in quiet grief. Grandmother, as it often is for those whose partner passes, is too busy hosting to truly indulge her sorrow. Later she will morn properly and privately. For now she stands behind the front window contemplating the bursts of sun showers between blazing sunshine and cool breeze. The strange weather as wet and hot as the strong coffee being handed to her by her daughter in law. Mrs Weald quietly reminds her that it almost time to go.

The house is surrounded by vehicles ready to solemnly transport mourners. Grandpops spirit watches them leave. He knows they will travel to the Juniper Valley cemetery to formally say  goodbye. He won’t be there. He said his farewells in a dream the night his soul was called back.

In this realm between realms Grandpops can see the workings of earth. The shimmer and glimmer and what keeps it here.  He ambles across the property one last time with tenderness and appreciation for the acreage which fortified himself and his family. He calls out to Spring as she passes on her way home. She smiles, lifts him to her cool breezes and ferries him over the property.  On route the old noumenon embraces each tree and plant, touches the pond and kisses his mother homestead.  Finally Lady Prima leaves him in the farthest forest at the border of Milkweed lane and in the company of Elephant tree.

“Hello my brother.” The two old friends greet one another. Pops places the palm of his ethereal hand on the old beech and the wrinkled grey bark accepts his touch as familiar. The tree has been ready to move on for some time, beech trees are not known to survive so long in this part of the world. Elephant, a name given to him by a child grandpops, has been waiting for him. In his youth the tree had been Pops’ sanctuary.  A hide-out from his little sisters and his fortress of solitude. As he grew to a man Pops would often visit the tree for comfort, for peace or just to be with his thoughts.  The tree was also the only thing Pops ever kept to himself. Not because Grandpops was a selfish man. Oh contraire, but because sometimes somethings are just too private, too personal to share.

Together, life long friends will pass on and through… or up and beyond.  However the route, only they will be shown. With one last look back Pops spies the abandoned book beneath the balsam. Reassured he returns face forward  and on to the next. The decaying pulp of poem sinks deeper down and with an inaudible shimmer the curtain closes on this grace and makes way for the next.




Lukewarm feelings about lukewarm

Lukewarmvia Daily Prompt: Lukewarm


The cozy covers the pot.

The one my great-aunt knit for me oh so many years ago. Worn and frayed at the edges. It may be slightly stained and not a pretty sight. Ah, well… it was ugly when I got it.  Aunt Birdie wove it into creation with left-over yarn.  Lets face it, it doesn’t have to be attractive. The old thing is nothing more than a toque used to prevent the tea from getting cold.

On this dreary day, one tailor-made for hot tea and indifference. I contemplate the knitted warmer. It’s alternating brown and mustard yellow stripes with pink pompom atop. I lift the atrocity from the pot and pour steeped liquid into my favourite mug.

At first sip I anticipate thermal comfort. What I get is tepid disappointment. (sigh) Lukewarm tea on a lukewarm day.



Awarevia Daily Prompt: Aware




I am aware

of your proximity

standing next to me or in another space

I sense the electricity

it is palpable, magnetic blue

a gravity

pulling me always to you

I am aware


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Katie Brookins

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