David J. Forsyth
AUTHOR & POET
I am a Canadian author whose ancestors emigrated from the British Isles in the early 20th century. My values and perspectives were shaped by the descendants of Irish weavers, Scottish crofters and English labourers. I began my career as a commercial artist and copy writer, and didn’t complete my first manuscript until after I retired.
My first work is a nostalgic memoir of near-forgotten times and values; of ice-boxes, tire swings and draught horses. A second non-fiction narrative recounts my sailing adventures while cruising the North Atlantic coasts and inland waterways of Canada and the United States. My third published work is a selection of poetry written over more than six decades.
A life-long passion for genealogical research, and a desire to preserve the fragile histories of ordinary people, inspired me to spend four years researching and writing the story of a London war-bride and the soldier with whom she fell in love.
My first literary fiction, a collection of six short stories will become available in 2022.
Shadows and Reflections
Shadows and Reflections, is a collection of short stories dealing with both physical and emotional struggles. Protagonists are confronted with a haunting memory, an archaeological enigma and the painful loss of a loved one. A cruel twist of justice, an emergency at sea and suicidal thoughts lurk within the pages of this book.
Each of the stories in this, my first incursion into the genre of literary fiction, are unique and independent, and conclude with a twist of unanticipated insight.
Pour yourself a coffee; a scotch if you prefer. Sit back in your favourite chair and let Shadows and Reflections entertain you, while the rest of the world searches for ways to relieve its stress.
Alice and the Machine Gunner
Alice and the Machine Gunner is a conscientious blend of fact and speculation; a multi-generational account of the Geherty family based on verifiable truths acquired during years of painstaking research. Apparitions of the past are restored to life through information gleaned from civil, parish, military and personal records as well as the testimonies of the late Alice Geherty and her husband. The resulting narrative depicts the lives of five generations of the Geherty clan focusing on that of the London-born war bride who, in 1919, emigrated to Canada with little hope of ever seeing her mum and dad again.
Alice and the Machine Gunner is an incredible story of war, love and self-exile, meticulously researched to honour tens of thousands of European women who married Canadian soldiers during two world wars.
Footnotes, a collection of poems written over more than sixty years, deals primarily with loss, mortality and the passage of time. Each of the fifty-one works are supplemented by candid comments addressing their inspiration, their hidden meanings, and the emotions associated with their creation.
Poetry is the voice of the heart. It doesn’t have to be pompous, inaccessible and enigmatic, but it should say something significant, tell a story, or at least entertain the reader. In any case, a poet must be sincere or the magic will be lost.
Though readers are unlikely to adore every poem they encounter, those who persist in turning pages are likely to be profoundly moved on occasion.
Too Cold for Mermaids
Too Cold for Mermaids is a non-fiction narrative featuring Georgian Bay’s rocky islands, the locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the settlements of the Labrador coast and the bridges of the Intra-Coastal Waterway.
The narrative, based on recollections, journal entries, ship’s logs and correspondence, reconstructs years of cruising aboard various sailboats. Sleep deprivation, opaque fog and a forty-knot gale were among the challenges I faced. A close encounter with an eighteen-storey iceberg, and the view from a fifty-two-foot masthead, were some of my rewards.
Experience the adventure of sailing the inland waterways and Atlantic coasts of the US and Canada through this intimate first-person account.
Dafydd is a memoir of the somewhat forgotten values and technologies of rural Canada in the 1950s. It was written in response to my granddaughter’s question; “What was it like when you were little a boy, Grandpa?” Intimate details of post-war life on an Ontario farm, and memories of visits to the nearby city of Hamilton, are recalled through the eyes of a naive farm boy.
My vivid recollections, chronologically arranged into ninety-one anecdotes, offer mature readers an opportunity to revisit sun-drenched summers, bare-foot adventures, ice boxes, and fifteen-cent Saturday matineés. Those of subsequent generations are invited to peer into the pages of Dafydd to discover the world that their parents and grandparents experienced.
Dafydd, pronounced dah-vith, is the Brythonic Celtic version of the name David. The title was chosen to represent the ancient roots of my ancestors.
I wish to thank all those who have written to me about my books as well as those who have taken the time to review them for the benefit of others. Your generous comments are sincerely appreciated.