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Sep. 18, 2019 | Wednesday
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NOTL Writers' Circle: Excerpts from ‘Gallimaufry: Fiction, Poetry, and Reality’
Myrtle Burton. (File Photo)


Excerpts from Gallimaufry: Fiction, Poetry, and Reality, by Niagara-on-the-Lake resident and Writers' Circle member Myrtle Burton.

Two brief passages follow, each from a different section of the book.

From Part III

The great wealth of growth and perpetuation of life in the past have given us the future in which we now live. The flora and fauna have been and continue to be harvested and captured, perhaps with energy and hard work creating propagation, but perpetual seeding and animal husbandry are pursued only for our own use. We take from all directions, but we have difficulty giving back.

Innocence has been secure only in the animal kingdom; the mightiest beast is free from evil. He has taken care only of himself and his progeny since he first roamed the earth. Unfortunately we, the people, have evolved into severely flawed beings.

The oceans that wrap around the continents and the rivers and streams are dumping grounds for us. The refuse and the toxic are tossed in. Plastic of every shape and size stretch now on the great expanses for many miles, and tons are pouring in daily in every part of the globe, destroying wildlife and polluting water even for our own consumption. The governmental plans for cleanup are insipid. Political beings seek improvements only if their lobbying partners allow them to.

From Part II
“Poem for a Thoughtful Child”

The cold rain insults us,
but we tell it that we understand.

It is disguised as wayward and mean,
but we know better.

It makes promises.

Any rain is enchanting, and it nurtures.

Its destiny is within the earth.

Soon small white and yellow blossoms will be impelled to push up through the comforting beds they have slept in.

Happily, for them it’s enough to feel the sunshine advancing, stirring life.

They speak to us: “See us. Smile at us. Love us.”

And we do.

“Even when you were asleep we knew you were there. The prospects of your magic debuts made us feel close to you even in your temporary slumber.”

Promises kept.


Editor’s note: Myrtle Burton is a Niagara-on-the-Lake resident and a member of the NOTL Writers’ Circle.

Burton: I came across the border from the States in 2000 to retire. I have done everything but retire. The Writers’ Circle has been one of the lures that makes me want to write when I should be doing housework. It’s easy to start typing stories, but difficult letting it rest. The writers in our group are also guilty of being what I would call ultra-motivational. Perhaps I could put some blame on them for my staying up too late at times and neglecting chores.