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SomeAre Solstice - Reflections of the PEACE

Root System

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As Canadians, many of us have begun our existence here, on this continent and in these woodlands, on these lakeshores, along these rivers, and in these ocean waters...  Many of us have come here from other lands to build new lives and reach for adventure... In these contemporary times we continue to reach out for the next wave of adventure...the Third Wave - technology... these poems depict those beginnings - our root system...our growth, and branching out...

Mountains near Voss, Norway

Knut Kolbein Skutle

My Grandfather’s Trunk

By Janina (Skutle) Carlstad


A lifetime

Of memories

Of dreams

Crafted by his own hands

Are within

My grandfather’s trunk


A vessel filled with hopes and prayers

Of a mother

Long ago

Book of psalms

Butter box (smør box)

And best wishes, she packed it

And sent it as

She offered her son

To an unknown land

That would never

Return him

To her sight or her arms


Setting sail across the sea

Like many who’d sailed before

From distant Nordic shores


Began a life in a new world

Carving hope and adventure

Within his employ.


Like the rocks he’d plucked

From ancestral grounds

In the fields of his youth

He now became


In the solidity

Representing the steadfast leadership of the day

The laws of his adopted homeland


Unafraid of work, Marie by his side

He ploughed the land

The oxen and yoke

Symbolic of the load they bore




Breaking in

Fitting in to new words

In a new society



Carving, tilling, sawing, seeding, logging, learning, mowing, mining

As harvest –

The family Skutle


My grandfather’s trunk

His gift to me

In my youth

Bears memories and


As it sits by my bedside

A bridge between past

And my present…

With loving hands

I explore the strength

heralded within this legacy-

Knut’s reminiscings

catalysts to dreams


as I stand in the fields

of his youth,

sharing conversation in his     Nynorsk words

embracing the views

of his life

from the mountains and hillsides

of Skutle




By Janina M. Carlstad


Light of scent

Fine fabric sewn

by skilful knowing hands

Pearls of wisdom

Strung around her neck

Embracing gentle grace

Lines of life

Wrinkle around her eyes

As she gazes out the window.


Celebrations of her life reflected

In the birdlife

Her flowers

Carefully tended

Hard work evident

In every aspect of this

Chosen new world

Her sons and their families

Gathered at her table


All around her

The creation of her life

Their partnership

The old and the new

The past

And the present of the future

Through life born

Memories shared

Cats, kittens, lace

Goats, woodstoves, sense of place

Dawn of electricity

Are lessons taught

Life lived


At 90, she sits by the table

Work worn hands

Fine with pink-tinged fingernails

Adjusting her head covering

As stories of days past

Fall upon eager ears.


Her deep husky voice

Carrying the Norwegian accent she’s never lost

Further testimony

To her legacy…


We call her “Grandma”.


Skutle community sign near Voss, Norway.Many people take their names from their community or farm.

Fram og Tilbake (Excerpt)

(means Forth and Back)

By J Carlstad


And I awoke… home again?

Or was I

Still back in the land of my ancestors???

Fram og tilbake

It was there he was singing as he’d sung before

The music changing direction,

Like waves from the shore…

She knew him then when he’d left her door

And I knew him now, though I’d not seen him before

So when his voice rang out in song

With his hair blowing out in the wind

I sat back in the embrace

of his voice and this place

fram og tilbake igjen


His song echoed across my veins

With a tidal roar

He still calls to me

The call of the land

The song of the sea

Vind and waves

Always beckoning, calling to me

Somewhere out there

And somewhere in me

Is the song, and the variance, the depth of the sea.


Through the long years

It’s always been

A quest in the blood

That flows through these veins

Exploration, connection

And always this view

That for me

Somewhere out there

Is something new

Der ute er den nye

There is something new.


Ja vel, noen gang i kveld

Kan du hjelpe meg lit?

Can you help me see well?

Just what these connections

Have to do with me

You sing what’s in my heart!

Help me understand

Help me to see

How to ride the Third Wave

Ever now the quest

To keep alive heart and soul

You guess the rest…

Help guide humanity towards remaining whole

Surfing with a Net on the waves

Of a different time

Reaching out to all human kind

Helping them take heed



Thank you for reading! 

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"Be the Change You Wish To See In The World...." Gandhi
All Rights Reserved J. Carlstad 2008