Eclectic Isle of winter mists and rains,
Sheening boardwalks and ancient rails,
Relics of colonial trade;
Now yacht and cruiser haven past the deco span,
Safe from Pacific swell in False Creek’s calm.
A western silhouette of snowy peaks graced by English Bay,
Hosts setting suns to amber the clouded haze and
Pierce the rusting girders of the Granville Bridge;
Iron gateway to the Island streets
Where life’s pace slows and urban stress retreats.
Ringed by a million dollar condominium view,
A kaleidoscope of grays, yellows, greens and blues,
Nurtures in its heart the vibrant passion of Miss Carr;
Leather, fabric, gem and fine art studios
Neighbor metal foundry, boat dry docks and concrete silos.
The Island once was under docker rule,
Hotels of notoriety, thirst quenched by local brews;
By-passed by trade, vagrant and flower power shared her abandonment,
Now reborn, she welcome's all who seek her charms
In parks, in floating homes and experimental theater barns.
Incessant water beetles criss-cross the bay,
Ferrying daily shoppers to the Open Market’s maze
Of stalls, overflowing with the fruits of land and sea;
Aromatic coffee roast, vibrant orchid sprays,
Pacific seafood brined and smoked in tempting ways.
Island dining is a secret poorly kept of maritime menus:
Here, a hotel brews fine ale to quaff with Salt Spring blues,
There, a fishing smack hangs raftered over sushi, ocean fresh.
Aztec pipes echo haunting melodies from the row,
An evening stroll sees floured bakers raising morning’s dough.
At the point stands sentinel a silent cargo crane,
Ochre-yellow, tracked witness to the Island’s heritage fame.
Before the dawn, black scions of those who haunted once her wharfs and railcars
Now flock her gantries, there to recount with raucous caw
The continuing saga of the Island’s times ‘til drawn by market scraps once more.
Bryan Douglas Cook January 2011 revised November 6 2011
Context for Winter on Granville Island
Bryan and Tanya Cook stopped in Vancouver in January 27-29, 2010 at the Granville Island Hotel, on their way to Hawaii. Once again the misted, winter jewel of the island captured their hearts. They dined locally with long-time friend Irene Goldstone who graciously shared her beautiful city with them. This poem was written over the Pacific heading for Kaua’i.