Waterloo (A poem in draft)


In room 801 of the Waterloo Delta hotel

I’m reading Shunryu Suzuki’s concepts of Zen

And watching along the black facade of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Sunlight reflect like supernova stars in random windowpanes

Hours ago, we joshed with Freida at the Clay and Glass Museum

Hearing of our daughter and our railway home town,

Frieda told us of standing under Jumbo

Not quite a St. Thomas tradition

But, maybe near enough to Kissing the Blarney Stone

That it should be – being under the belly of the beast,

Or maybe you said something a bit more risque

Freida shaped stories of times before I was even thought of

The sight of lost friends and loved ones still bright in her eyes,

And she laughed nearly releasing the tears

Freida was born in Alberta (but she’s recovered now);

And well – we might have known – Kelly has some Irish

And me – a German, a Stoic, a poet – like moussaka and pretzels washed down with saki

Just hours ago

We walked near the local tracks, not yet in service,

Tracks for a train which will run an electric nerve of connection

Through this town; In a few city blocks we had our choice

Of ethnic fare: Irish, Indian, Thai, you name it

I had a fish taco looking down from the patio onto Waterloo Uptown Square

We drank some passable beer in the sun

Shielding our glasses from fuscia blossoms dropping down from hanging baskets

And I discovered in myself something of Purdy’s sensitivity

Right there in the Quinte Hotel

But we’re in a different city and a different time

Mixing old architectures with new cultures

And I, who am not Purdy, should have had a Waterloo Dark

So I could say I’d had a Waterloo in Waterloo

Instead I drank a triple grain lager from Elora to the spirit of pluralism in

This town that is no longer and not yet ugly with

Calcified culture and fossilized ideology

Right now it is a place of changes and exchanges

And we were invited through doorways

To find rail tracks running continuously

Through choices and compulsions

An hour ago

We saw Erb’s Mill.  The wheel,

Now decommissioned, sitting preserved

At the perimeter of Perimeter

In a few hours

We’ll sleep in this fresh new tower

in The Barrel Yards –  a now obliterated work-space

And that pounding is the raising of new futures

Not  the hammer blows of a cooperage serving

Seagrams, whose historic quarters are now

Loft living quarters for a different kind of craft-worker,

The crafters of science and technology

And I sit here in this shining glass tower

Reading about the necessity

To believe in the existence

Of nothing


Gazing on

A building whose

Occupants are devoted

To understanding the universe

Still, we enjoyed the ancient shade of an oak tree during our walk

And I can’t help but think of newcomers

Arriving on the parallel rails of old traditions and new thoughts

To shape a brave new community

See Also

References and Citations

  1. https://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/
  2. https://waterloobrewing.com/pages/waterloo-dark
  3. http://elorabrewingcompany.ca/beers
  4. https://www.waterloo.ca/en/gettingactive/grist-mill.asp
  5. https://www.whisky.com/whisky-database/distilleries/details/waterloo.html
  6. http://www.theclayandglass.ca/
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shunry%C5%AB_Suzuki
  8. https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ykfdw-delta-hotels-waterloo/
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1dc9OaS8GU

Article History

All content on www.ericadriaans.com, the Erickipedia, is updated and revised based on new information, further consideration, reader feedback and whim. To recommend updates, provide feedback or comment please use the contact and feedback form.

  1. Original draft: July 13, 2018
  2. Updated August 19, 2018



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