Gwen Tuinman




People We Used to Be

I’ve been reading Joan Didion’s essay On Keeping a Notebook in which she wrote, “I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive or not.” Such a tough pill to swallow if we harbour a modicum of negativity toward chapters of our lives we deem less than stellar. Maybe we once contended for too long with shoddy treatment by a lover, or lashed our own sharp cut into someone undeserving. Maybe we ate and drank too much, or denied ourselves too much. Maybe we lamented over imperfect thighs and noses when much greater atrocities inflicted others. Maybe we authored deception or were lied to. Maybe …

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For Erie Belle

I’ve been thinking of my grandmother lately. Each summer of my childhood, I escaped the forces of home to enjoy two carefree weeks in her presence. This poem is for her. I wrote it following a vivid dream that she’d come back to me. Erie Belle, always in my heart. Continue reading “For Erie Belle”

Walking the Forest with Whitman


I recently pushed away from my desk in favour of a walk in the forest with Whitman. The deadline to finish my novel looms, but a part of me called out the restorative time in nature. The October air was cool against my cheek that day and the earthy smell of fallen leaves ever present. The sumacs had turned blood red and the poplar leaves became shimmering coins against the sky.

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