1920s archival back & white photograph of a Gypsy/Traveler’s caravan ablazed — Traditional funeral ceremony.
Archival photograph public domain

Burn it
You can burn it all
The books
The quilts
The poetry
The dried paint on the boards
The pictures in their frames

When I die
Burn it all
You can burn it all
Like the gypsies did
A caravan on fire
Diaries ablaze
No secrets revealed
No shame relived
No memories to smile to
A life forgotten…

Projet Nuage | Silver Cloud Project 2020 ©AJ Vallee

About a year ago now, I published a text, a poem about my mom’s declining health and self due to a case of Alzheimer that consumed her before our very eyes in a matter of months. It was an ode to her passion for literature, to her bright mind, a…

Une réflexion #BeyondCovid19

Black & White photograph of a bouquet of flowers standing on a chair.
©Photo by AJVallee

Ça fait déjà quelques années que je me demande si on est collectivement prêts à vivre les deuils en rafale qui nous attendent.

Mon questionnement a émergé aux annonces successives du décès de ces gens de talentueux, pourtant encore jeunes, humbles mortels qui de leur vivant ont…

Lettre à Michel Tremblay

La bibliothèque de maman ©Photo par AJVallee

Québec, décembre 2019

Cher Monsieur Tremblay, Michel,

C’est une drôle d’affaires pour moi que d’aller acheter votre dernier ouvrage. Ça ne devait pas se passer comme ça.
Je ne devais pas avoir à m’en occuper,
c’est elle qui devait le faire.
Elle devait l’ajouter à sa liste de commissions,
celles de Noël.
Elle devait aller…

A Xmas Story written for the ‘Your Holiday Mom’ project in support to LGBT youth — 24dec2019

Photo from the early 80s, excitement on a little girl’s face as she discovers Christmas stockings filled to the rim!
Photo by AJ’s dad :)

Oh yay ! You’re here !

I’m so glad you made it in time to see my dad perform the Christmas tradition I so adored when I was little, one I kept believing…

©Photo by AJVallee

I opened the door
Her smile beamed
She came in and introduced me to my dad
He shrugged
We let it lie
Just like we did with every nonsense her confused brain
would trick her into believing made sense.

It had become
More and more difficult to hang out
a little easier…

Straw hat resting on the dashboard of a car rolling on a road, sunny day blue skies.
©Photo by AJVallee

I finally spotted it amongst the other cars.
There it was, standing still, as reassuring as a familiar face in an overwhelming crowd.
The state of it though.
The matte finish of its fading paint made it easily recognisable.
A tarnished spoon misplaced in a polished silverware set.

I had…

In a field, a single tree at dusk.
©Photo by AJVallee

The harvest had been good
So much had been learned
We had sung old homeland songs acapella, each perched on a cherry-tree top
The fruits had this dark sweetness
One for the basket. One for me
One for the harvest. One for me

The view from here was phenomenal
The air…

Cold Blue Ocean Waves Rolling Offshore.
©Photo by AJVallee

Were already over
We loved each other
We made each other laugh
Wanted the best for each other
Yet incapable of offering it
Our hot tempers
Never giving in

It had dawned on me on day
We had no project in common
No house to renovate
No trips around the world to…

The ocean in a purple nightfall light.
©Photo by AJVallee

Fresh clean linen
And the cat purring
A gentle sun ray
On a baby sleeping

The roar of the sea
The thunder
The rain
The quiet before a storm
The smell following it

A crunchy toast
Done on both sides
A hot black coffee
In that funny mug

Billie singing…

AJ Vallee

Stop. Look & Listen. That’s Life happening. Sometimes en Français et parfois in English. www.ajvallee.ca

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