With David L. Colussi’s permission, I share his poem “DWELLING” with you today as part of my creative focus in February on the theme of “home.” I will be placing this poem in a new page I’m developing for the Creative Potager blog about la casa de inspiracion – our home.

This first image of David is a personal favourite of mine rendered as an oil painting. David is reading with his drug-store glasses which he likes better than his prescription lens. They are usually slightly askew as he softly turns the pages.

This next image best introduces the poem which reflects on the reflections of la casa de inspiracion and the meaning of “to dwell.”



Watching sunlight and darkness from this house of glass

suspended on the ridges of a valley,

the human history of dwelling plays across the scene in drama or in documentary.

Darkness dwells the way that we once did in wandering across the land.

Its home is east of the sun, where it moves ahead in gypsy fashion,

and west of the sun, where it follows as a hunter.

The hunter waits for the sunlight to hit the tops of western valley cliffs at progressively acute angles,

and when the sunlight overshoots the cliffs completely

the darkness rushes over the valley walls like water over Niagara Falls

and submerges all the valley into one big reservoir of night.

Presently it rises up and silvers all the windows and the stained glass tears.

This house of glass becomes a house of mirrors.


Now every light inside the house is captured in the window glass.

Everything that we illuminate is gathered and sent back for us to dwell on and elucidate.

The corner window down the hall shows part of my face in profile.

I look up through the skylight and against the tree tops seen in silhouettes

my hands are on the keyboard moving in some stopped-action like some marionettes.

The corners of the windows in the room downstairs contain some pieces of me I forgot were even there beneath the table.

I am all picassoed over on the window walls in fragments and distorted in stained-glass tears

because this house of glass has turned into a house of mirrors.


I work away at putting all my pieces back together.

Memories of things that happened decades long ago appear in casement window frames –

I turn my head

And see myself in childhood and remember questions that I thought I’d answered years ago.

They’re all still there waiting to present their supplementaries.

I wonder how I managed to survive with all these pieces some are missing some still there.

They fit together best when you are here.


According to David’s notes, which record his history of development and changes to the poem, David started researching “to dwell” and writing this poem on July 24, 2009. I knew he was researching “to dwell” as we had discussed it at length on more than one occasion. He had also told me he was writing a poem for my birthday and that he was just about finished. I begged for clues as to what it was about but as usual he just laughed and held to his secret surprise. My birthday is on August 28th. It wasn’t until I was back home on Mayne Island for a mere 24 hours on Saturday, September 5, 2009 that I happened to open his blue notebook, which he had innocently placed on his desk, and discovered David’s latest work that he had last revised the night he had his stroke August 9, 2009.

Sprout Question: Who champions your creativity?

p.s. Who is David L. Colussi?

David L. Colussi retired in 2002 after an expansive career in education and management in both the provincial/federal government(s)… His background includes:

– Master of Arts degree in English

– Diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution from the Canadian Institute for Applied Negotiation in Ottawa

– Teaching English and critical thinking for 3 years at Niagara College, Ontario

– Internal management consultant with federal government in Ottawa for two years

– BC provincial government manager for almost 30 years, with the ministries of Attorney-General, Health, Advanced Education, and central agencies including as Executive Director of Human Resources in the Ministry of Health

– With his late wife, founded a private non-profit Montessori pre-school and elementary school in Victoria 1979-1998, served as its first board chair, and remains an honorary member of its Foundation board

– Member of the patron group of Pearson World College of the Pacific

– Chair of BC StudentAid Appeal Committee for the past 5 years.

With children and step-children grown, some with partner’s and children of their own, David now lives a quiet life on Mayne Island in B.C. Canada with his wife Terrill Welch, executive leadership coach, writer, photographer and artist.

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

6 thoughts on “DWELLING

  1. First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading David’s poem, “Dwelling.” I particularly resonated with his use of “stained glass tears.”

    Sprout Question: Who champions your creativity?

    I can’t say that it’s a “who” so much as a “what”
    — quiet, solitude and space.

    [Although Len is definitely an advocate of my work.]

    • Thanks Jerry I’ll have David come by and read your comment.

      Your reply to today’s sprout question I’m guessing is most common. Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk from 2006 “Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity” has stayed with me since the first time I heard it. I think that having champions helps us to be “prepared to be wrong” when we grow up supporting us to be original. We can do (as you so well demonstrate) art and creative work without champions – however, my enjoyment and ability to take risk has always increased with the quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) support of individuals who believe in my creative abilities – even if they don’t understand it.

  2. Terrill,

    what a wondrous blog… thank you so much for sharing something so personal as David’s Poem to you, “Dwelling”. I only read the first two stanzas.. too distracting in my space right now…
    I will be back to follow up on this…

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