street photography issue
non-fiction by John B. Lee poetry by Laurence Hutchman Robert Hilles photography by Steve Kriemadis Edwin Tam Ted Kloske
April 2016 Publisher: Marty Gervais
Editor/Designer Coryl o’Reilly
Made With Support From
3 – John B. Lee The Widow’s Land — 3 The Widow’s Land: An Excerpt — 4 7 – Steven Kriemadis 20 – Laurence Hutchman Two Maps of Emery — 21 The Deserted TTC Tram — 23 The Red Nib Pen — 25 I wanted to be an artist — 26 Miss Kristopherson’s Writing Club — 27 Writing — 28 29 – Edwin Tam 40 – Robert Hilles Love’s Greater Orbit — 40 Messy — 42 Buffer — 43 Collapse — 45 Sway — 46 Woven — 47 48 – Ted Kloske
John B. Lee
The Widow’s Land: superstition and farming—a madness of daughters Almost two hundred years ago, author John B.
has stolen the name from the side of the barn as letter
for the new world with the prospect of establishing a
the relationship between the rational and the material
was the tradition, the sendoff began with an American
imagination on the other, Lee’s book closes with these
Lee’s great-great grandfather departed from Ireland homestead in what is now southwestern Ontario. As Wake, for those leaving and those left behind knew
they would never see one another again. In a chapter
of that title, Lee writes: “They stood on those morbid piers watching the white ache of mast and cloth as they
vanished west, a crow’s nest lowered on the wet blue curve of that deep-water distance in an arcing line like the falling down of kites behind hills.”
Sometimes sad, sometimes lighthearted, but
always poignant this memoir begins in the wilderness with wolves and bears and stone horses, moves quickly through the centuries to the apotheosis of the thriving
tradition of the family farm and from there into the
period of decline and decay where the elision of time
by letter it fades and falls to ruin. An exploration of
world on the one hand, and the world of dream and words: I am making the world I am made from.
The Widow’s Land: An Excerpt Ogres, monsters, witches and ghosts …sometimes the dog in the library is the only one who sees the ghost in the door… —the author from an interview appearing in CV2
Many of the fears felt by first settlers were legitimate. The formidable dangers of the wilderness and the profound
perils of inhospitable weather could easily spell doom for the hapless, death for the careless and an early grave for
the weak and the sickly children of pioneers. Starvation. Disease. Predation. Pestilence. Floods. Big winds. Bad
water. Fire. Pneumococcal winters. Fevers of spring. Trees felled wrong. Fingers blackened with toxins in the
blood. Influenza. Invasion and reinvasion. Hail. Blizzard. Whirlwind. Famine.
My own ancestors and their neighbours began to arrive in the early to mid eighteen hundreds to take up the
promise of clergy reserve land. The road that runs past our farm is called the Gosnell line and the community was
referred to as the Gosnell Settlement. The Lee family and the Gosnell family were intermarried having arrived in the new world from County Cork just prior to the great famine that would devastate Ireland in the late 1840s. French place names were first replaced by Hessian names that were then supplanted by Anglo-Irish names. The province
of Ontario known as Upper Canada in 1791, became known as Canada West in 1841, and then Ontario in 1865.
My great grandfather twice removed, Francis Emerick’s health was ruined by his having served in winter
campaigns in the War of 1812. His son, my great-great-grandfather died from infection that set in after an accident
from felling a tree at a logging bee. Relative Mary Webb Gosnell’s husband died in passage and my great-great
grandfather John Lee intervened bribing an official on her behalf because a widow was not allowed to take possession
of the promised parcel of undeveloped land.
Wolves and bears and stone horses threatened the lives of anyone careless or unlucky enough to come afoul of
nature. Yet cabins, schools and churches were built, hamlets, villages and towns arose. Acres in cultivation increased,
swamps were drained, ditches dug, hundred-year-old oak trees fell and homesteads appeared. The farm on the hill
came to be called Pleasant View farm, and then in the time of my grandfather Herb, Leeland Farms emblazoned in white lettering first appeared on the side of the barn facing the road. The elision of time has stolen the name as letter
by letter it fades and falls to ruin.
Although my family was never particularly superstitious, there are those in the clan who believe in monsters
and ogres, ghosts and witches. The first well to be dug on the farm by a man named Theodosius was always the source of fear. “Don’t fall down the well,” was a caution I often heard as a child. That shallow well capped by rotting
boards held in place by an emery wheel with the psithurism of wind in the trees breathed with the breath of weather ghosts warning all who approached to stay away from the shadowy darkness falling there. My cousin Al could witch water with two bent wires. People died at home and their presence remained in otherwise empty rooms. My uncle
told me that a nearby bachelor neighbour was an ogre who cooked and ate children. Twisters took the roof off the school and tossed it in the field. Fire leveled the mill and an inferno belched black smoke that could be seen for
miles the day the garage burned down. And gothic stories, true stories, supernatural stories of metaphysical intent
haunted the farm. Stories to equal the Donnelley murders, Dr. Troyer, witch hunter of Long Point and the Baldoon mystery live on in private family tales.
When my mother was a teenager, she and several of her friends rented a cottage in Rondeau Park. One night,
they decided to have a séance calling the spirits to attend. They sat with their fingertips touching the surface of a
card table when the table began to shudder. “I swear it danced,” my mother claimed. “It bucked and danced and kicked its legs around the room. We never dared to call on the spirits ever again.”
She believed in ghosts for the remainder of her life, a trait she passed on to her daughter Georgina and
granddaughter Laura. For her part, Laura would not spend a single night alone in the guest bedroom for fear of the
ghost she saw walking there. My sister told me that when she and her family rented the old Scott farmhouse near the
village, she caught sight of Mrs. Scott sitting in the window seat on the landing halfway up the stairs. “Mrs. Scott, what are you doing here?” Only later did she learn that Mrs. Scott had passed away earlier that same morning. While
busily distracted making the beds and doing the laundry, she’d greeted the ghost of Mrs. Scott come to pay a final visit to her erstwhile tenant. “I swear it’s true,” she said to her skeptical brother.
Mom stayed as a widow in her home on the farm for several years after Dad passed. One day I walked into
the bedroom she had shared with her late husband. I caught sight of the tracery of a tiny luminous circle zipping
over the bed frame like the focused beam of a green-light pocket laser. It zoomed over the furniture, flashed over the walls and ceiling, dapped like a brilliant pebble on the quilted counterpane, flashed on the glass of the window
going out and through before vanishing forever into the late winter darkness of the abandoned orchard. “Did you
see that? Whatever you do, when you see such a thing, don’t ever reach out and try to catch it. If you do—you will surely take a shock and die.” I call what I saw ‘ball lightning.’ My sister calls it an orb, as does my niece, both
of them believing it to be a ghostly emanation of spirits come to call. My mother suggested that perhaps it was
the spirit of my father visiting for a final farewell. For what it’s worth, spiritualists and experts in parapsychology suggest that a green orb is associated with the heart. If so, this green light also associated with nature might have been whispering, “Farewell, Irene. God bless this house. Farewell son Johnny. I love you all. I’m gone.”
After my father died, my mother remained on the farm until a plague of mice invaded the pantry in her
absence. When we cleaned the house after her final departure, I opened the door to the freezer and there, gummed in gelid amber, one foot trapped forever in a small spill of frozen maple syrup, the corpse of a single mouse, fixed in frost like the cold taxidermy of an ancient fridge. How he got in there is a mystery we’ll never solve.
Steven Kriemadis Steven Kriemadis is a Windsor-based accountant and, in his off-time, an avid and passionate photographer.
His photographic pursuits focus largely on landscapes, although he is happy to also engage in street photography, portraiture, sports, and architectural based subjects. On a recent trip to France, Steven managed to capture a
multitude of styles and subjects, and was introduced to the art of street photography by France-based photographer Bernard Russo. Using some tips from Bernard, Steven set out to capture simple moments out on the street— moments that tell a story.
You can find further examples of Steven’s recent work online: https://steven-kriemadis.smugmug.com/Portfolio-2016/
The Two Maps of Emery The Two Maps of Emery is my second book of
I recreate in “Chestnuts,” “The Deserted TTC Tram,”
Emery. This is the place that I grew up in. When
and many more. It was at Emery Collegiate Institute
poems dedicated to the place in North York called my family first arrived here, it was a small village, the
farmers were still farming, the two-room school house
was still open. The subdivisions were starting to be
that I became interested in athletics, French, literature, and writing.
This book is a collection of poems of different
built and new businesses were beginning. I wrote the
forms: lyrical to evoke my personal experiences; and
the farmers talking about this land and its people.
a variety of rhythms and metaphors representing the
first book called Emery which was inspired by stories of My new book continues to be concerned with the
rich history of this place, with its beginning of John
Graves Simcoe to the post-war period. This represents
the first map of Emery. The second one begins with
the arrival of families from elsewhere in Canada or others like mine coming mainly from Europe to find
a new home here. This part is my personal memoir
enriched by experiences help to shape me by the
interaction with the original inhabitants of this place,
“At the End of the Farmer’s Road,” “Italian Gardens,”
the land covered by fields and orchards, ponds where
we played hockey. There was a sense of adventure that
narrative to create a living history of the pioneers with multicultural nature of Emery.
Two Maps of Emery Open the book and find the map of Emery, find the village which no longer exists, the lots of the original settlers. Trace the pattern of their settlement, their lots and their concessions: the Devins came with Governor Simcoe, Crossons trekked by horse from Pennsylvania, Rowntrees and Watsons emigrated from England, Duncans and Griffiths from Ireland. Examine the modern map of Emery circa 1948, the year of my birth. Look at the lines on the map, how they lead beyond the page into the fields and orchards I knew, to barbed wire fences that I climbed.
Turn the pages to discover the history of the village. Look at the buildings on the map drawn by Marion Rowntree in the 1940â€™s: the blacksmith shop, the carriage shop, the shingle mill, the community hall. Look for the general store, the stable,
the post office and the railway station. Find the Methodist church and Emery Public School. Who are these farmers that plowed the fields their tractors navigating the warm sea of wheat? Who are the soldiers whose names are engraved on the monument? What stories are hidden under the fading lines of this stone? Whose faces are in the photo of Emery Public School? Who lived in the abandoned houses that I explored? During the late fifties our lives intersected briefly. I watched farmers leaning on fences, neighbours talking about their work. Slowly new roads and houses rose on subdivision grids; the farmers’ fences broke and fields faded, the end of a silent film.
For years I’ve been away, yet their houses have haunted my dreams. The farmers’ voices said, “Turn from your work. Return to a place that is no longer there.” I dream of a clear river that flows through Emery, of a tree that grows through school windows. “Journey,” say the voices, “to find your history. Here is the place you are looking for.”
The Deserted TTC Tram On a cold February afternoon Les and I trudged through the snows up the old farmerâ€™s road in Emery. We saw the tram in the distance, so strange in this farm setting, like an old sailing vessel anchored on the sea while the wind blew the spray of the snow across its dark face. Through an open window we crawled inside. It was cold and still, the wind whistled broken window pains. The seats were replaced by shelves with boxes. We opened one after another held the decals in our fingers: hockey players, football quarterbacks, Royal Canadian Mounties, aboriginals and rodeo cowboys on horses. We had discovered treasure.
We stuffed quickly them into our pockets then decided to take the boxes and left through the darkening landscape, wadding through the deep.
In the springtime, a policeman arrived at our house. “Someone has reported that you have decals on your bike. Where did you get them from?” My father stood with his arms crossed in the doorway. Last week he had papered the spare room with them. Now thirty-three years later, I ask Evelyn Thomas, who was working for Mr. Storer. “Do you remember the tram?” Yes, he kept his merchandise there.” “We stole some of those decals.” “It doesn’t matter now,” she said: “The street car burned down a long time ago. Walt Disney has the copyright.”
The Red Nib Pen It was a modern version of the quill in that tradition of Shakespeare and Dickens or the art of Chinese ideograms.* In autumnal season of grade eight, attaching the nib to the pen, I tried to master the art of penmanship, the loops of the “f ” or “l” or the curve of “a” or “r” the symmetrical “k” or the eccentric “q” with the sound of the scraping of a skater over hard ice I was grooving the letters onto the blue lines of the foolscap. I copied Bliss Carman’s, “Songs of a Vagabond,” the formal treaty articles of England and America, ending the war of 1812, Thomas Edison’s inventions, the story of intergalactic space travel.
Then one day we put away the pens. They were gone like the scarlet CN trains or the passenger ships on the Great Lakes. The next year in high school in the factory-like typing class the Underwood typewriters clanged their bells at the end of every line.
I wanted to be an artist More than anything else I wanted to be an artist and kneeling before the TV screen I followed the instructions of Jon Gnagy using his Learn to Draw Kit. In the beams in the basement, I find my Uncle Herman’s oil paints, and try to paint the Dutch violets in a vase, the picture of a mountain where the rivers enter the lake.
Gallery rooms were like windows to another time: great ships going out to discover the North West Passage proud explorers standing on the verge of a new continent, the leaning jagged pines on the rough, bare rocks of Lake Superior. The large mountain of the sea wrapped in a mauve, gold light.
In the art class of grade eight I paint the Toronto Maple Leaf / Montreal Canadian playoff final — the forward is flying through the air, the Canadian goalie is sprawled reaching for the puck.
I stood mesmerized before an Italian painting and the city street came to life from three hundred years before with an old man who seems to breathe in his red robe red as tulips red as the dress of Diana the sunlight stirs the wind rustles.
My first visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario was like nothing else I’d seen before.
Miss Kristophersonâ€™s Writing Club In grade eight extracurricular activities My friend Les and I avoided basketball and volleyball to join the school newspaper Gulfstream Banner. It was not only to write but for you, Miss Kristopherson. When you asked me to find a story, I interviewed the players after our victory on the ice and you sat on the corner of the desk wearing a tight black dress to read what I had written and your red hair tumbled like that of a movie star. I looked at the freckles around your neck and just above your breasts while your perfume wafted over me like a tropical breeze.
You drove us into a kind of frenzy with your long legs in black stockings made us dream of you like a woman from our playboy foldouts. Was there anything more powerful
than a 13 yearâ€™s old fantasy of you, Miss Kristopherson who made us give up basketball and volleyball to bring you our humble words?
One night I heard the words, the music of words in the darkness; I could see them on the page I could hear my voice and I understood what they meant. The words brought the side of me, which was hidden and when I had finished writing the poem it was dawn and the sunlight was shining through the roses on the curtains.
My father brought home an old Royal typewriter it could have been from the 1920â€™s with its high front like a forehead, it black as a model T carâ€” with the revolving ribbon the letters on the keys encased in silver rings, and I would punch them with my fingers impressing meanings onto the textured page.
Outside I walked down into the snowy ravine and emerged into the freedom of a field of light. The sky was like a sea with the red ribbed sand bars and I could hear the whistle of the train and I felt that I could bring to life everything in the world around me with words.
I gave a sheaf of poems to my father, and he brought them back in a stapled book the poems in blurred brown ink to hold in my handâ€Ś
Edwin Tam Edwin Tam is an Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Windsor,
and the current Assistant Dean for the Faculty of Engineering. However, he doesnâ€™t let that get in the way of
pursuing artistic pursuits, such as photography and, in the past, calligraphy and ballroom and Latin dance! He
was introduced to photography about 10 years ago, and since then has shot a variety of subjects, with a particular focus on sports, action, and event photography. He also very much enjoys environmental portraiture and street
photography, along with the occasional sunset, but he has yet to capture a sunrise. Edwin also teaches Wing Chun Kung Fu, and selects his camera equipment based on their capability to double as a make shift weapon as seen in all reputable kung fu movies.
Love’s Greater Orbit For Rain Feather against cheek Moist presence Slide of tongue along skin You say a prayer And in this house The sound of running water A bird’s slap against a window And outside insistent green The earth ripe Always ripe Weather its clothing
Love has stairs But once there Drops away on all side Not a cliff or mountainside But that one point of light Sensed in the distance As though love were a planet A heavenly body Pressed in place And then plucked free
At some moment Left to dangle Unattached to anything You on your iPhone in Thailand Me in the same room as you But thousands of miles away in Canada I take a tributary And you too Toward not a water fall Or rapids Or even a lake or pond Or Sargasso sea But a bump of land Nothing more than a bump And then we are standing Where no one else has stood Love not so new It can’t be recognized And yet this love is unknowable By anyone but us
You explain how The more personal and emotional weight Someone carries The heavier that weight is The ego’s weight the heaviest Reflected in every mirror You say I can use that idea And so I do unsure how heavy Even that is or how much Weight or burden I carry Even now I am not certain that I’ve got it right Something is missing in the logic of it And perhaps it is important That something is missing For all I know for certain is That love is a buoyancy Weightless and yet heavy
Your eyes light up In a way I’ve never seen before Your soul visible in that flash I feel your hand along my arm Even though you Are thousands of miles from here Such is the nature of love
All the rest merely the clutter In love’s greater orbit On my iPhone screen I see Your room in Thailand The same room We shared a month ago Love is smooth like that Without corners Is what shakes Us fully awake It is what I glimpse now Out the west window The sun not yet reaching That part of the sky I stand in all this light Breathless and fully awake
Messy There is a hole in light And love times love Is still love Beyond that we differ In all but blood Flowing through veins That messy network Laid careful along bone And around and inside muscle The distance is never far And yet it takes Every single day.
Buffer For my mother Hazel Hilles (Sept 18, 1926 â€“ Jan 20, 2012) Spring peas spooned Onto white mushrooms Next to pickerel I want to pretend That terrible night didnâ€™t happen My mother gone And nothing light aims Through cracked glass Will bring her back I never got to ask her Nor that Nor did she say for certain
Summer evenings We sat against The side of the house She told stories Stars too plentiful To be a cosmic whim Love a shivering Our bodies nursed to Stubborn light
On those evenings Her shadow stretched clear to the highway While mine barely crossed the yard I usually went in first and She stayed to listen To pleading frogs I’d read in my room As she finished in the kitchen I never went to help Heard only The splash of hands In dishwater That’s the buffer When she was finished She went to bed I’d wander the house later The night so quiet All I heard was breathing
On the day she died I mistook the sound of the ventilator For her voice Thought she heard me on the phone Until my sister said She’s gone
Collapse Iron lungs saved lives Their machine breathing The best anyone could do When the future Had heavy moving parts All metal, wood, and glass History is a set of mistakes That connects What otherwise wouldnâ€™t be Wars once had marching bands And were gear driven The iron lungs are gone now Pushed into dark corners Or carted away Dismantled and forgotten
Time collapses inward With a steady clockwise spin The years swarm And then explode A bell rings When we get there
Sway My daughter is expecting her first child A daughter and that symmetry Mends the years I go forward by circling back When she visits She rests a hand on her rounded belly In the same way her mother did There is attached to all this is The yearning The years bunch together Time seizes me in Clusters The days blur There is no proper perch
We are best at Making lives And we do it out of love And the urge in us To begat another History’s chain
During the visit She sat on our deck Reading and when Her daughter kicked She put her book down Already a mother There’s that sway too When she boards the ferry For the trip home She doesn’t look back The ferry makes A wide sweep in Fulford Harbour And I wave not sure If she sees me But if she does I want her to know
Woven Each weave of the years Forms a discernible pattern Only visible from the distance Of yet more years Steady fingers Separate strands of wool One color accosts another And in places bright gold Shines in tilted sunlight.
Every winter after I left home My mother knitted me Thick wool slippers I wore them the first few years But got into the habit Of setting them in a drawer And forgetting about them Until the next year When another pair Arrived in the mail Neatly packaged With her recognizable hand In the scribbled address
My father mailed them From Redden’s Store Chatting with Walter Redden By then the years collided And time stopped narrating Formed no visible pattern for my father Beyond the steady presence of light She learned to knit the slippers While in the psychiatric hospital in Fort William I couldn’t throw any out Ended up with several drawers full She knitted them for my brother and sister too Although I’m not sure what they did with them Nor have ever I asked.
Ted Kloske Windsorâ€™s Ted Kloske specializes as a commercial & Portrait Photographer, Educator, Public Speaker, Traveler and Lover of Life. With a background in photo journalism, Ted strives to provide a professional, unique and natural experience in each of his photoshoots. Ted is a passionate photographer and his assignments have taken him across North America and beyond. Ted has recently worked at perfecting his skill as a Street Photographer and while still learning, he enjoys capturing those fleeting moments of human drama.
NO. 16 ISSN 1923-0370
In a special issue of OffSIDE, we feature three talented photographers and their street photography.