Word Rider #7

Word_Rider_poem_by_Brittany_Smith,_pic_J.Streetly A poem by ex-pat CWG member Brittany Smith (website) now graces the Tofino Arts Council’s Boardwalk project’s Word Rider board. You’ll find it by the staircase in the Common Loaf Bake Shop, downtown Tofino, across from the post office.

The poem was abridged to fit the board. Full text below.


Not for me, our back garden
amongst the marigolds, sweet peas
and staked tomato plants.
(Husband, don’t you dare.)

When all my days are spent
I want you to pay me to the surf.

Carry my ashes to Tofino.
Ferry me there in a coffee tin
with the label peeled cleanly off.
(Or leave it on, I won’t mind.)

And once you’ve had your fill
of picturesque views and delicious
designer dishes and it’s about time
to be heading back

that’s when you’ll take me
to Chesterman beach and with wet
sand sucking the bottoms
of your pale bare feet

you will pry open the lid
and release me
into the spray, the foam,
the salt and churn.

And as the last shard of bone
is wheeled underwater
and I join my beloved grey whales
and moon snails finally and forever
you will feel it, husband:
the ache of second place.

* * *

Board art and lettering by Joanna Streetly. Britt’s poem was abridged to fit the board by Janis McDougall. Photo by Joanna Streetly.


Word Rider #5

one-of-those-days-lorna-watson-sizedA poem by CWG member Lorna Watson now graces Word Rider (of the Tofino Arts Council’s Boardwalk project). You’ll find it between staircase and bulletin board at the Common Loaf Bake Shop, downtown Tofino, across from the post office.

One of Those Days

wake up snarly
teeth on edge

out of bed
on wrong side

howling screech
step on the cat

fall to knees
on half eaten mouse

roll on my back

give up

it is going to be
one of those days

* * *

Board art by Joanna Streetly, lettering by Crystal Bolduc, photo by Jan McDougall. 

Word Rider #4


The Word Rider poetry surfboard (of the Tofino Arts Council’s Tofino Boardwalk project) lives in the Common Loaf Bake Shop. Poem #4, up today, is by Clayoquot writer and crafter Jan McDougall.

Tourist Season

by the crowd
of cloudy
puffed seagulls
black oystercatcher
splash-dances in
the mercurial light
of the salty
summer stream.

Come, let’s
wash off our
frowns and join
in the chaos.

* * *

Board art by Joanna Streetly. Lettering & photo by Jan McDougall.