Frozen Dreams

Frozen Dreams

Guy’s mitten stuck to the metal handle as he pushed the nozzle into another hungry gas tank.  It was night shift at the mine site.  Guy lived in a northern Ontario town consisting of bottle brush trees and man-made holes, mined so deep - almost clear the way to China.

He was physically and figuratively frozen here, in the rugged terrain of edificial craters that paid for his house and filled his burgeoning belly.  It was during the nights of frigid mittens and boots as heavy as concrete, that Guy dreamt of a better life someplace else, where his breath wouldn’t follow him in a cloud of foggy crystalized air.  How he hated the way snot hung frozen from his nostrils, crusting into his moustache; his eyelashes becoming little white spikes that pinched his cheeks every time he blinked.  He stunk of gasoline and propane; the stench never quite washed out of his clothes. 

In between fueling giant mining trucks, Guy warmed himself in the gate house, flipping the pages of skin magazines, fueling the longing for his wife’s warm ass that was waiting for him in their bed.  He had daydreams of summer, smashing the black flies against his flesh while lounging in his fishing boat, feeling the sting of sunburn mingled with the scent of fresh lake water emanating from his skin.

He knew he was a simple man, but Guy had dreams.  He was determined to get his family out of here eventually; wave goodbye to eternal winters.  He would also wave goodbye to the summers which ended in the blink of his frostbitten eyelids.  He imagined a nice little bungalow someplace down south where the grass was so green, trimmed so perfectly; it resembled a carpet with tree branches meeting the lawn like a waterfall.  He had a vision of himself and his ‘old lady,’ drinking beers and tomato juice from frosted mugs in blazing sun; dancing like kids beneath the sky during a warm summer rain. 

Nowhere in his imaginings, would he ever again wear frozen raw-hide mittens to scrape the ice off another car windshield.  Guy would drive to the gas station in a little candy-apple-red Mustang convertible; watching a pimple-faced kid fill up his tank, tipping him five bucks for the great service.  He’d wear one of those short sleeve shirts with little palm trees on them and a pair of those mirrored sun glasses.   His wife would be waiting at home for him, clad in nothing but a flimsy cotton sundress; her bare legs tanned and smooth; smelling of roses and tanning lotion.  They could order a Latte at one of those Starbucks places and act like regular big shots.  He would finally own a big screen television to watch every hockey game that he had been forced to miss while working night shift.  His sons would have top of the line skate boards and ride feather light, ten-speed bikes.  He would take turns with them, throwing a basketball into the hoop he’d install above the double garage doors.  

Guy often varied the scenarios of his alternate life; bigger houses, flashier cars, different locations.  His dreams carried him through the long, abysmal nights which provided his present reality with a decent paycheck.

In the distance, Guy saw the headlights of another huge truck slowly approaching the fuel pumps.  Sighing, he pulled on the now, soggy mittens, making his way back out into the freezing air.  Guy never knew that the truck operator approaching his pumps, also spent his long nights living vicariously through his imaginings.  In between driving up and down the winding road of the enormous open pit and then emptying his massive loads of ore, he was dreaming about a cross country road trip on a spanking-new Harley.  His wife, dressed in sexy leathers with her long auburn braids and headband, was snugly resting her body against his back, laughing into his ear while the wind whipped against their faces.  He dreamt of Lake Louise, meeting up with other bikers, wading through the hot springs while smoking a big fat dooby.  He imagined what it was like to make love in a pup tent in the foothills, freedom to do whatever they wanted.  He wondered if they could live off the land or get a part time jobs; earning enough to travel from one scenic town to another, until they had seen the whole of British Columbia.   He knew in his heart that once they went West, there would be no coming back here.

Meanwhile, Guy, in his wildest ruminations, had never considered that one night, eighteen years from now, that he would be having a beer at his favorite watering hole with this same truck operator. 

They were swapping stories about the games they had to play in their heads to keep from going insane throughout mindless years of nightshifts in minus forty degrees Celsius.  They told each about the plans they once had for very different lives, thousands of miles away from this frozen northern town, created among bottle brush trees and man-made holes, mined so deep - almost clear the way to China.

 Guy had just never imagined this part.

Brenda-Lee Ranta

About the Author

Brenda-Lee Ranta composed her first poem at the age of seven.  Throughout her life poetry and prose was the means of logging events in her life.

In 2016, at the age of 58 years old, CTU Publishing Group published her first book, “Myriad of Perceptions,” to be followed by “Allegories – a Thirst for Connection.”  Her first two books were awarded five-star reviews from Readers Favorites.

Since 2016, she has been a contributor to ten Anthologies published by Creative Talents Unleashed.  In the summer of 2017, she was honored to be the Creative Director for the Anthology, “I Have a Name,” which is a compilation of poetry submissions from poets around the world, about living with silent disorders; a subject very dear to her.  She was also the Creative Director of a second Anthology, released in the summer of 2018, “Essential Existentialism – the Meaning of Life,” a collaboration with international poets who submitted prose on this relevant subject.

In September of 2017, she was also included in an e-book, published by Pronoun, in conjunction with Ariel Chart, which featured her works as a fiction writer.  Much to her surprise, Ms. Ranta has found a fiction writing to be a new exhilarating venture.

A two-and half-year project, Brenda-Lee Ranta completed her first full novel, based on actual events from what she describes as a mystical life.   “A Soul Passenger – When Love Collides” was released in November 2017 by CTU Publishing Group.  She shares a very personal journey in this emotionally charged book.  She received a five-star review from Readers Favorite for her first novel.

In 2017, the poem, “Day of Atonement’” was nominated for the Push Cart Award by Creative Talents Unleashed, a tremendous honor for her.

Her last book of prose, “Heart Sounds – Murmurings,” was released in October 2018, which also received a five-star review from Realistic Poetry International and additional five-star review from Readers Favorite.

Brenda-Lee Ranta also writes book descriptions for CTU Publishing Group; providing the descriptive synopsis of the books being sold on   To date, she done the pre-ambles for twenty-three books.

In February 2019, Ms. Ranta gave a live interview on HBG Radio Canada to promote her poetry and to discuss the importance of the written word; sharing the lyrics of Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot, whose lyrics are considered prolific in the sharing of words.

In May 2019, Ms. Ranta was part of another podcast interview, Strength to Be Human with Playwright, Mark Antony Rossi, discussing the creative process of writing poetry and fiction. 
Both interviews provided a her with the opportunity to share her experiences on being poet, a writer and the impact of words on music and art in general.

On July 1, 2019, Ms. Ranta was nominated by literary online magazine, Ariel Chart, for the Best of the Net.  Her nomination is for the fiction short story, “More Than Flowers.”

In July 2019, a poem she had written for her grandson, who is autistic, as well as her painting of him, were published in The Valiant – Poets are Heroes, magazine with Realistic Poetry International.

Brenda-Lee Ranta was born and raised in Canada, residing in her home town of Timmins, Ontario.  She shares her journey with her soul mate, also a published poet, lyricist and musician.  They are parents to their collective five children and grandchildren.  Newly retired, they live a life dedicated to each other, their children, grandchildren and pets.  They are mutually passionate about their shared artforms. 

Links to her various sites:

Facebook:  @RantaPoetry11  / (Lyrical Quill)
CTU Publishing Group:
Amazon Author’s Page:

My Author Notes:

‘A thought will remain a thought

until it is penned,

to be birthed as substance’

©2016 Brenda-Lee Ranta

I have always written; as a child, I did it innately.  My early poetry consisted of cleverly rhymed pieces, although pretty, I found the rhyming of words to be very constricting in terms of my creativity.  I discovered a penchant for prose, opening up the infinite for me.

My writing has become effacing, removing the superfluous by getting to the heart of what I had to say in effectual ways.  The key for me, was to learning to not pare down my words so much, that it lost its beauty.  On the other hand, using words effectively while retaining a rhythm, flow and syntax, could paint pictures in the mind of the reader.  It has been a life-long learning process for me.

I spent my career in law enforcement, preparing court files and briefs.  I gleaned much of my ability to be concise from creating court documents and describing the events of a particular crime. 

I have recently discovered the love of storytelling.  I have, of late, become obsessed with fiction and nonfiction writing, although I still maintain that I am a poet first and foremost.

I am most thankful to share my life with my soul mate, who is a musician/lyricist who has turned poet.  We are cheerleaders for each other, bouncing words, and ideas back and forth.  I am truly blessed.  I am thankful for Hugh’s encouragement in all my new ventures, which included me picking up a paintbrush and doing acrylic paintings.

The life of an artist, is a blessed life.

Brenda-Lee Ranta


  1. Small towns think they are morally superior to Cities. The truth is where cities lose humanity through anonymity the small town exhibits contempt through familiarity. The latter is the larger sin.

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