Category Archives: Poetry

Making a Difference



In the past few weeks, the river that flows before me is swollen to capacity, overflowing its banks, inundating roads, bridges, basements, flooding city streets and villages. To the rescue the Canadian Army is here helping with evacuations, sand bagging while the raging water flows any which way.

Though the water is about to reach the top height of man made barriers, the water has a mind of its own. Our filtration plant, (I can see it from my bedroom window) is in crucial danger. The road leading to it is now a part of the river. Chemicals to keep our drinking water clean is being threatened. If water rises just a bit more we are in a dark cloudy funk. Better have bottled water on hand. Don’t forget the wipes, no water means no water.

Humanity, that’s all of us, we have it in our minds that we are going to control the flow of water. In this process we change the natural course of rivers, lakes and sea shores.

The water is not fooled, we are the fools. We build houses on the shores changing whole landscapes, building retaining walls or a whole city is erected in a basin surrounded by sea water.

With climate change, our man made control no longer holds. Nature is taking over. “enough is enough”, said Mother Nature, “move over”.

After the deluge has swamped under, when the water recedes, people who lost everything, they return to build the same houses, in the same spots, with higher retaining walls and duh.

This is Spring. Rebirth.

Where have all the flowers gone? Where are we going from here?

Devastated. Human and Spirit.

What has happened to us, to our world that is crumbling down around us?

Can we be saved?

Can we learn to live with Mother Nature and take a back seat while she owns her New Reign?





©Hélène Vaillant – 2018 – The River


Haibun Monday – That Picnic

In the 1950’s my father bought a car, a dark bottle green Chevrolet. On weekends we traveled from the city to the outskirts at a picnic point on the river.  In those days, people drove their cars on the flat rocks right into the shallow water. Dad would wash the car in the river water.  It was the thing to do then, a family outing, a picnic, washing the car and swimming too.  Our meal: white bread sandwiches with pickles, wash it all down smoothly with cola.

Sixty some years later, I live minutes away from this point. The river is no longer fit for swimming.  We do picnics but nobody would dream of washing their car in the river. Our meal is healthier, we have car wash bays, we are mindful of our river, we walk to the point.

summer breeze freshens

cattails standing guard on shore

shadow ducks from hawks

©Hélène Vaillant

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