Participoet Silver Anniversary Canadian Poetry Association association canadienne de la poésie VOLUME 25, NUMBER 0 1. 2010 Canada’s National Poetry Organization
CANADIAN POETRY ASSOCIATION ISSN 12036595 (Print) ISSN 1902-8847 (Online) 331 E LMWOOD DR. SUITE 4-212 MONCTON, NB, CA NADA E 1A 1X6 CE LL: 506-308-1222 CA NADIANPOETRYASSOCIATION.WEBS.COM POEMATA@LIVE.COM CP A BOARD O F DIRECTORS PRESIDENT: DONNA ALLARD PAST-PRESIDENT: RICHARD GROVE SECRETARY (INTERIM) BRIAN STEVENS TREASURER: BRIAN STEVENS NA TIONAL COORDINATOR (INTRIM): VALERIE POULIN LIFE MEMBERS: the late MILTON A CORN & DOROTHY LIV ESAY, BE RNICE LEVER, JOHN B. LEE, JA MES DEAHL, WAYNE RAY, RA YMOND SOUSTER
POEMATA Magazine Staff Volunteers Managing editor: Donna Allard Assistant editors: Nat Hall, Valerie Poulin, & Patricia Shields. Proof reader: Ben Nuttall-Smith Project manager: Brian S tevens Poemata Cover Credit: P. John Burden De sign and Layout: River Bones Press Poemata is published by the Ca nadian Poetry Association. The Ca nadian Poetry Association (founded January 16, 1985) a registered non-profit organization Ontario Corporation, number 1083632, that operates with funds raised from membership fees. Our membership we gratefully acknowledge for assisting us to make the work of the CPA possible. The CPA is a member of Access Copyright and Culture Canada. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor or of CPA. Services and markets advertised or mentioned are no t necessarily endorsed by the CPA . We reserve the right to edit submissions of poetry without the permission of the writer.
PARTICIPOETS PARTICIPOETS Donna Allard, Pierre Beaumier, Joe Blades, Allan Briesmaster, P. John Burden, Lola Corkum, James Deahl, Chris Faiers, Peggy Fletcher, David Fraser, Michael Fraser, Muriel Glencross, Andreas Gripp, Richard Grove, Debbie Okun Hill, Stephanie Hodgins, Jean Kay, John B. Lee, Bernice Lever, Michael MacKinnon, Patricia M. McGoldrick Barbara Mercer, Barbara Phillips, K.V. Skene, Ben Nuttall-Smith, Ronda Eller Wicks, Tesney Juliette Young, Photo credits: CPA, CCLA, T.O.P.S, Quills & Quire, Cuban Embassy, Mary Gervais, Jeff Seffinga, Book in Canada, Seraphim Editions, U of T Libraries, web.ncf.ca, River Bones Press & Purdy Festival.
New Members Garth Von Buchholz, Kevin J . DeSilva, Joyce Goodwin, Ron Kurt, Elissa Landrigan, Patricia A. McGoldrick, Paulette Turcotte, and Tracy Worner
Official Website: canadianpoetryassociation.webs.com 25th Anniversary Contest 20 2009 Poetry Contest Winners 04 Articles & Congratulations: A Quarter Century of poetry-Chris Faiers 11 Congratulations on 25 years of poetry 17 Life is worth Writing-John B. Lee 12 Participoet Silver Anniversary-Joe Blades 10 Purdy Country LitFest 23 Ted Plantos-Bernice Lever 14 Thank you C PA-Michael Fraser 43 The Evolution of C P A C hapters-Jeff Seffinga 13 Through a poet’s eyes-Valerie Poulin 25 th Uncle Milty 25 Anniversary 16
Cover Artist: P. John Burden PEI 38
CPA: 2010 Membership 48 2010 Nomination 47 Life Members 09 Member Books 21 Presidents 03 & V.P. Letter 18
Lit Events & Subs: Purdy Country LitFest 23/33 Richard Grove CCLA 24/46
Members Post 43 New Participoets 31 Reviews: Generation 44 When I w as Green I Was an Acrobat 44 Café Erebus 45
Updates: Acknowledgements/POEMATA 42
POEMATA 25th Anniversary Issue ISSN 1920-8847 (PDF) Version available at: CPA Webstore & for CPA cardholders only: “Download Your Free Copy from our website or check yo ur personal email” Join the CPA tod ay! You’re secure with PayPal.
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 2
Prez &Editor Participoet
Brian, I persevered, It takes many to build an organization.
The Canadian Poetry Association passed a th milestone in 2010 by reaching it’s 25 year of poetry celebrations. Over the past 25 years we saw professional and amateur poets, educators and poetry enthusiasts from Canada and around the globe participating together in the spirit of poetry. The outstanding poetic participation witnessed a near 3 decade-long series of outreach events that led poets and friends of poetry to declare their participation by way of the Internet, readings, festivals and our own newsletter, turned magazine in 2008. Our new official website has an online book store (one major project completed) launched 2010, PARTICIPOETS blog, video blog, member pages and so much more…
Back in the late 80’s poets Valerie LaPoint and poet bill bissett introduced me to poet James Deahl at the (NMAF) National Milton Acorn Festival in P.E.I. At that time I was an Executive Board Member and so was my husband, Brian Stevens, the NMAF was my first exposure to Canadian poets and their work. I fell in love that first moment and never looked back…
The Executive, coordinators and volunteer online moderators enjoyed every bit of the development of our organization, though challenging at times they persevered. By networking poets & Friends of Poetry via the web, vanishing distances in such a vast country, living up to the motto "Poetry is more then just words" it’s Participoetaction! Ok maybe it’s not a real word Participoetaction but who cares! I started in this organization as the Atlantic Representative held by poet publisher Joe Blades, who now is the VP of the League of Poets. In over a year I moved up to N ational Coordinator. Over 5 years ago Cofounder James Deahl said he would nominate me for President. Shocked but honored I accepted. The CPA H ead Office moved lock stock and barrel to Moncton NB. This action cleared the way for the CPA to move to any province/Territory and uphold its AIMS and mandate without difficulty. With the advice and support from Bernice Lever, James Deahl, Ted Plantos, Chris Faiers, Lini R. Grol, Katherine L. Gordon, Peggy Fletcher, Mel Sarnese, Marion Beck, Keith Gail, Linda Crosfield, Nat Hall, Valerie Poulin, Richard Grove, Pierre Beaumier, Ben Nuttall-Smith, Liz Rolls, Joe Blades, David Fraser, our online moderators, Friends of Poetry and my hubby
Now in my fifth year as President I see the organization open up to new avenues for poetry, Internet networking and most of all a main link to Canadian poetry world wide. Let’s celebrate these 25 years of Canadian poetry by celebrating with all local poetry groups, national organizations, festival and events. Take advantage of the CPA website, Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget the most important thing – buying books! POETS need to EAT & PAY BILLS too… grants don’t cover much these days so take a poet out for lunch or coffee. “Time spent with a poet is time well spent”, Donna Allard POETRY POWER! Donna Allard Canadian Poetry Association President POEMATA Editor River Bones Press: Future readings and book launches will be located at Woodchucks Carving nd & Antiques, 2 building upstairs in the loft, Limited seating (20) -- first come first served! Location: 1554 Rte 475 Hy, Baie De Bouctouche, NB, Canada View map: http://ww w.darbysieben.com/praized/places/ca/n ew-brunswick/baie-de-bouctouche/woodchuckcarvings YouTube: Artisan Charles Woodchuck Bernard http://ww w.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAlYZ6p3Fcg Eco-Centre: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouctouche,_New_B runswick
Woodchuck Carving & Antiques
D. Allard Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 3
Canadian Poetry Association 2009 Contest Winners & Honourable Mentions
Father's Maroon Jacket Mel Sarnese
I kept company with your dead today Aradhana Choudhuri
Thirty Years of Silence Lola Corkum
Honourable Mentions: The Lies We Tell and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them John B. Lee
Poetry Slams Alvin G. Ens
Widows John Teggart
Stepped On Alvin G. Ens “Congratulations from the Canadian Poetry Association!” Brian D. Stevens CPA Poetry Contest Coordinator
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 4
1st Place Award
2nd Place Award
Father's Maroon Jacket
I kept company with your dead today
Now it hangs in my sister’s basement on a rack near his tools and socks I go down and look at it from time to time I even put it on I sniff the jacket’s armpits he w ould never approve of this his smell cuts through me like a shooting star he used to walk up our walkway he had his windbreaker zipped up all the way to his chin his “Blue Jays” baseball cap bobbing on a windy March afternoon I made him lentils and frittata I always did when he came by just the look on his face like a child about to eat his red Smarties he w ore his jacket and cap the whole time. And then we would wait for it just before he left he w ould pull it out a green-foiled, mint Aero bar He w ould drive away in his big, gold Buick I could see him sitting upright close to his steering wheel his gear on forward on his fogged windows I could see fingerprints my mind remembering backwards
I kept company with your dead today They lay so haphazard still in just the other room As I haunted the terrace The smell of leaves and coffee Peering out through the peephole wanting to be startled By a bloated face Drifting past like a grin But the dead lay silent like the dead should beyond sight on the ground and there was no fear in the grey People that never w ere had grown And you had answers and questions for your people that walked away and you thought that they were walking in just the other room and I thought with you the smell, so pervasive As I kept company with your dead and the decay
Mel Sarnese is a poet/writer living near Toronto, Ontario. Her work has appeared in literary journals in Canada and abroad. H er poetry and short stories are featured in Canadian Voices Volume 1 & 2, Bookland Press and Gathered Streams – anthology of prose and poetry (CAA) HiddenBrook Press. Mel was w riter in residence at Markham Stouffville Hospital (2009-2010) and is the facilitator of poetry workshops for the Canadian Mental Health Association. Mel is the 2009 recipient of The Ted Plantos Memorial Award for poetry (TOPS). M. Sarnese Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 5
3rd Place Award
Thirty Years of Silence
The Lies We Tell and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
John B. Lee A long over due conversation. But, wasn’t ready ‘til now. Eight or so, but I remember that evening. Warm, with the usual smells of the wharf, salt, fish, ropes. Grampie and I w atched. You on the deck of The Wave as it slipped out on the flat calm harbour. Knew even then one day the sea would take you away forever. Fourteen when you left for the last time. Long, cold winter while you stayed in your w atery hiding place. You decided to come home in the spring. Never got to see your face in the end. Only a blue box at the front of the church. Headstone carved to represent waves. H ope you liked it.
Mom talked a lot about you after the funeral. Wish she hadn’t. Some stories are best left untold. A fine line between love and hate. Time to go. Let the ghosts slip away like a boat sailing out to sea to find its reward.
the Christmas missionaries of 19th century Korea were falsely rumoured to be stealing the eyes of children to milk from their vitreous humour a chemical for the making of photographic film what weeps and is more blind than believing when in a dark room how at a dead hour what robed-in-black villain who with sharp word fools the fools of faith to begin the “tooth taking” of war… I see how sightless the sunken lid the lash heavy with sleep the fluttering shut of the mind how it moves in dream like the empty light of a deep pond shadow-cast with what I sorrow for in the learninglessness of humankind how we creature the w orld with swords and are stone-brave in the streets why this monster at my desk is me and that stranger is taking the taking of names
L. Corkum Photo
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Poetry Slams Alvin G. Ens
poetry slams are for the young who run words and slam them at paper at computer at people they slam words poetry slams are for the young who can talk glibly of human stool as if it were just excrement then slam crudity who can talk freely of human co-habitation as if it were merely sex and then slam it
poetry slams are for the young who slam sacred cows and holy traditions and refined civilization slamming at today’s culture at the unctuous at polite society who have fought for freedom of expression for the slammer the art of slamming is ruthless and loud and fast to slam poetry as if the poet were a teenager in his mother’s flower bed as a bull in a china shop as a slammer in a dictionary
to slam poetry like satire is to hold the world as possible to improve lest the slammer be venerable and find himself in the slammer poetry slams loud and violent not refined and beautiful slamming severely poetry slams
poetry slams are naked words like nudists at the Queen’s birthday where some would hold their words like beach towels and some like surfboards and some like Popsicles and slam them as poetry
to my young son I once read a poem called “Rebecca Who Slammed D oors for Fun and Perished Miserably” and he thought slamming was for belligerent children who were very bad slamming things but poetry slams are for the young who slam words belligerently like doors may they not perish miserably
poetry slammers are poets swimming against the stream of words and words slam into them as they slam into words and they grab a word and slam it on the shoreline of literature poetry slams
the poetry slammer one who slams poetry as if Shakespeare and Milton Tennyson and Browning need slamming like Elliot Sandberg cummings and Platt Carman Pratt Klein Purdy Plantos Acorn and Atwood slammed ideas poetry slams
poetry slams are for the young and for those who would be young again to run into words and slam them
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 7
Widows John Teggart
There by the windows, the grande dames, Wrinkled gold, powdered noses Turning in faded poses To what others, much the same, Were wearing, really uncaring. They waited in the alcove in front of the great doors, None, no doubt, had paid the price. Just ancient icons left to their solitary devices. More interested in coiffure And price of allure. Gone the hard-headed partner Spun and unspun, the grey flannels buried. They sip their teas in a reverie of memories now, These survivors, hurrying to places, For some chill of a reason.
CPA 2009 & 2010 Contest information 2010 Contest Coordinator - Brian Stevens 2009 Contest Judge - Joe Blades 2010 Judge TBA Dear Participoets, I wish to take this time to thank everyone who submitted to the 2009 poetry contest. th
We have a special contest this year, “Our 25 Anniversary Poetry C ontest”, deadline for , submissions is September15, 2010. More details on page 20 and on our website. This contest is open to C PA card holders only! No email submissions
Stepped On Alvin G. Ens
I have endured through stepped on twice. I, chief anthropologist. Here you may see huge footprints, well, holes, really. Here my competence was squished Till you see the oozing. Dust carefully for scars. You may see broken bones, torn ligaments, minced muscles: the pockmarks. Like an insect smashed on the windshield, broadsided.
So how do you become a Participoet? You can join by going to our website and clicking Support Us, “we have PayPal” or send a cheque or money order payable to: Canadian Poetry Association Annual Poetry Contest 331 Elmwood Dr. Suite 4-212 Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada E1A 1X6 Best, Brian Stevens 2010 Contest Coordinator
My self-analysis fails me. When did I see the feet? How shall I extricate myself? I squirm. I squeak, I bleed. I pick the remnants to show posterity. Here you see craters, monstrous footprints of what stepped on me.
Cofounder Shaunt Basjamian POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 8
Canadian Poetry Association Honourary Life Members ~ The main founders of the CPA were Wayne Ray, Ted Plantos, Shaunt Basmajian, Beverley Daurio. Accompanied by Terry Barker (Chairman of the CPA's History Committee), Chris Faiers, James Deahl and Jeff Seffinga. ~
Life Members st
1 1985 the late Milton Acorn nd
2 the late Dorothy Livesay rd
3 Raymond Souster (still writing and publishing at age 89)
4th Wayne R ay th
5 Bernice Lever
6 th James Deahl th
7 John B. Lee 8th 2010?
Milton Acorn was the first poet to be elected to Life Membership in the CPA. Other early Life Members were Dorothy Livesay and Raymond Souster. But Milt was the first. Of course, if not for Ted Plantos there would be no CPA today. He built the CPA from fewer than ten members, none with any street cred at the time, into an organization of 100 members in a little over a year. In the early days the "name" poets in the CPA w ere Ted and Milt. Fraternally, . . . James Deahl
Life Member Nominations Open for 2010
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 9
CPA’s “Participoet” Silver Anniversary Joe Blades April is National Poetry Month in Canada (in the USA and, likely, in other countries). April 11 was National Poetry Day in Hungary, in honour of poet Attila Jozsef, but it was overshadowed this year by a national election. April 23, Shakespeare and C ervantes’ birthday, is World Book Day, and in some countries, such as Spain, its one-day book sales exceed those of the Christmas season. I am promoting N ational Poetry Month in Canada as I give a series of poetry readings and talks this month. Looking out of my room’s window, I see a municipal park with children’s play equipment, a circular fountain not yet operational this spring, very green grass and trees. Last night I read poems at the West End Language School in Senta, Srbjia. Last Monday, I gave a poetry reading at the Országos Idegennyelvu Könyvtár / National Library of Foreign Literature in Budapest, Hungary. Days before that, I was reading poetry in Baia Mare, Romania. The first weekend of April, before I left for C entral Europe, I particpoeted in a group poetry reading and launch of a new publisher and the trilingual poetry chapbook Fredericton Green–verte (Side-by-Side Editions / Éditions Côte-à-Côte) on the Fredericton Walking Bridge, Sentier NB Trails, alongside Herménégilde Chiasson, Jo-Anne Elder, M. Travis Lane, and Nela Rio. In the coming days and weeks I will be giving poetry readings in Kragujevac, Srbjia; in Banja Luka, Republika Srpska; and several places in Bosnia i Herzegovia during the International Literature th Manifestation—49 Sarajevo Poetry Days festival in mid May. I am not a founding member of the Canadian Poetry Association but I did join and attend my first meeting in Toronto shortly thereafter in 1986—a meeting with Ted Plantos, Chris Faiers, Wayne Ray, Shaunt Basmajian and I’m not certain whom else … likely James Deahl was there.
I have lived my life in the fields and forests of Canadian poetry for the past 30 years. My Broken Jaw Press is celebrating its silver anniversary of publishing this year. My community radio program, Ashes, Paper & Beans: Fredericton’s Writing & Arts Show turned 15 years old this year. Over the years, I have had my ups and downs in the poetry world but have continued writing and publishing. Now I am simply trying to keep up with w hat happens with my poetry and the poets in my life. Congratulations to the Canadian Poetry Association and this 25 th Anniversary. I am pleased to be an active member and Past President of the organization. May there many more poets, and many more years of the CPA, calling us out to “Participoet” with our best words and our poems.
“Congratulations to BJP on its Silver Anniversary!” CPA Executive
Broken Jaw Press Celebrating Our First Quarter Century Broken Jaw Press Inc. is a self-distributing independent publisher based in Fredericton, New Brunswick since 1990. Founded in the winter of 1984, we have been publishing books, chapbooks, zines and other mostly literary items since 1985. BJP Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 10
A Quarter Century of ppoetry oetry Commander Werewolf Chris Faiers
Not naked and howling like some id crazed poet but battle equipped for full moon missions ninja hood hides your muzzle cuffs, thick tape weapons hang from your web belt like tiny girls’ skulls
Purdy Festival Photo
Congratulations, CPA, on reaching the mature age of a quarter century! I vividly remember slapping that fateful founding fiver on a beersoaked bar room table so long ago. Most of us who founded the CPA were upset with being ignored as second-class poets by The League of Canadian Poets, and we had long discussed creating a more open and democratic organization. Thankfully the C PA has fulfilled our original mandate in spades - thousands of poets have participated in poetry activities in the CPA's 25 years of existence. And ironically, the success of the CPA has apparently played a role in the overdue democratization of our original nemesis. Nowadays anyone can join the League who has $200 to burn. But the CPA opened the doors first, and is still far more affordable to join. And congrats to the many leaders w ho have assumed the helm over the decades - Wayne Ray, Richard 'Tai' Grove, D onna Allard and Brian Stevens. There are probably other leaders I'm not aware of, and of course congrats to the myriad poets who have contributed in so many creative ways over the years. th
Happy 25 CPA. Now counting towards the big five-o. Peace and poetry power!
saline taste acquired in foreign lands must now be slaked you turn on those you’ve sworn to serve and protect the power lust of salt lick lures you to the nightly hunt neighbours are fair game now you are our nightmare Werewolf Commander our new symbol incarnate of a country becoming werewolf following imperial orders for Exxon, Shell, Rio, Uncle Sam we turn on our own under our dictator’s rule Commander Werewolf you serve Him well your transformation mirrors our pack’s regression from peacekeepers to cannibal headhunters Werewolf Commander you mark our future with piss yellow and red drip stains on Vimy, Passchendaele, Guernica, Cyprus and Sarajevo Chris Faiers received the inaugural Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Medal in 1987. This poem was written to perpetuate Acorn’s anti-imperialist and progressive legacy. Faiers lives in Marmora, Ontario, on the northern boundary of Commander Werewolf’s hunting grounds.
Chris Faiers Marmora, ON
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Life is worth writing: Reading to the Spirits John B. Lee, Poet Laureate of Brantford
In 2005 I was appointed Poet Laureate of Brantford, and in my capacity as laureate I conceived of the idea of recognizing poets from the past by planting trees in their honour in the city that had honoured me. The same year I was named, Honourary Life Member by the C PA, the th organization that is now celebrating its 25 anniversary. I also decided to launch an annual event I called Reading to the Spirits. In the autumn of 2005 we gathered at Chiefswood, birthplace of Ontario poet Pauline Johnson, and I read a poem in the garden of her childhood home on the Grand River. Later the same day I broke ground in Brantford and planted a tree and dedicated a plaque commemorating her life and work. Subsequent honourees have included fellow-Ontarians Archibald Lampman, Raymond Knister, James R eaney and Al Purdy. For Lampman, before planting the Poet Tree in the city, I read at the Lampman Cairn located beside the highway just outside of his birthplace in Morpeth. For Knister, I read to his daughter Imogen on a rainy pier in Port Dover, the town where Knister’s widow had brought his body to be buried and then again I read at a park in the city. For Reaney, I read to his widow poet, Colleen Thibaudeau, and their son, James Jr., at Harmony Square in Brantford. For Purdy, I read at the Nogales studio in the village of Highgate. This latter reading was particularly poignant because the sculptors living in the village had been chosen by the Griffin committee to create the statue of Al Purdy to be placed at Queen’s Park in Toronto. The synchronicity of this location included the fact that I was born and raised on a farm only one kilometer from the site where sculptors Edwin and Veronica Dam de Nogales w orked on the studies for the Purdy statue. I had attended elementary school across the road. And my great-grandfather had been the owner of a hardware store in the village where the Nogales studio had once served as a hardware store. The day of the dedication of the statue at Queen’s Park was attended by the Nogales neighbours from the village many of
whom had been childhood acquaintances of mine. The Nogales-studio reading took place one evening in early October and, as I read a poem honouring Purdy, I could not help but be struck by the presence of the plaster studies of the poet lying on the shelf like the fallen heads of ancient Roman gods. The many drawings and paintings of Purdy graced the walls and a largerthan-life ghost-white statue sat on the floor in front of the window contemplating the street where I had walked as a schoolboy. As I read to the spirit of Purdy, his spirit seemed to bless us all. And so, poetry passes the torch one to another, burning with a brilliant darkness, saying the words w e might perhaps say, life is worth writing when writing esteems the worthiness of life.
White Sand of the Emerald Coast John B. Lee
last year we drove the long hallucination of the emerald coast watching sugar-white sand blow across the panhandle highway we were arriving out of the cold where dunes drifted through red slats of the windrows of home and we thought we were seeing Ontario blizzards dream-lost on our way from Walton Beach this sand— a thousand time-washed years rounding the quartz to a perfectly ovaling O come out of the Appalachian range worn-smooth in the Apalachicola river silting here on the hurricane gulf like a mill ghost, like stone-ground wheat like pie flour stranded on the w arm and snowless northern coast of Florida what De Soto found in his quest for gold lies leached here like the sun-bleached graves of Spain last night an iron-oxide evening dropped fire in the west
Marty Gervais Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 12
The Evolution of C P A Chapters Jeff Seffinga Although poets from the Hamilton area were involved in many of the activities in Toronto centered around the associate members of the League of Canadian Poets, none were present at that gathering that became the founding of the Canadian Poetry Association. News of what was developing, however, soon spread and the need and purpose for the proposed organization was discussed. When a meeting was called to form an executive, two poets from H amilton, H erb Barrett and Jeff Seffinga, were present. They individually joined the new association and took part in the discussions concerning the amount and type of governance that might be needed, agreeing that direction should not come from an executive but from the grass roots. The only real need envisioned was a post office box to keep in touch and a financial person to keep track of the small dues to pay for this. As an afterthought, a newsletter was discussed as a way to keep members, especially those like the Hamilton contingent and other members and prospective members not immediate to Toronto in touch with each other.
25 years of poetry
Herb Barrett, who was leading a group in Hamilton known as the H amilton Haiku Workshop, came up with the idea of autonomous chapters for communities outside Toronto. He thought it would be good for the CPA to include all the members of his group but knew it would be difficult to sell the idea of a Toronto centered organization to older members who w ould not travel to take part in activities. He believed that if this group became a part of the CPA it would be an incentive to travel collectively to take part in each other’s activities and perhaps plan and execute some together. Each would organize and fund its own activities but under the common C PA name. He then proposed that this could be the start of something bigger: individual chapters of the CPA from coast to coast. Since there was no objection, the Hamilton group became the first autonomous “chapter” of the CPA. Herb, Jeff, Margaret Saunders, and occasionally another member w ould travel to Toronto in Jeff’s car; reciprocally, Toronto area members w ould be invited to participate in Hamilton activities. A strong bond between the two communities was established and Herb’s idea of “chapters” (reminiscent of outlaw motorcycle clubs) became the norm for the development of the Canadian Poetry Association.
Andy Moses Photo
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Seraphim Edition Photos
Ted Plantos (1943- 2001)
Ted Plantos certainly followed the motto, “Life is worth writing about.” As co-founder with Milton Acorn, of the Canadian Poetry Association in January, 1985, Ted already had 8 poetry books published, beginning with “The seasons are my SACRAMENTS”, 1972. This book expressed his belief in God and His love which created our spirituality. Ted had a compassion for all and an urge to support others on their journeys. Milton had a dozen books printed before his death in 1986 and several more afterwards. Milton’s emotional focus was fighting for an independent Canada with little foreign ownership. He wrote for the working man.
When Milton’s book, “I’ve Tasted My Blood”, 1969, did not win the Governor General’s Award, a group of staunch supporters ( poets and playwrights) gave him a silver medal engraved: “People’s Poet” in 1970, at a Toronto tavern. In 1987, to the present day, the “People’s Poetry Award” which was started by Ted Plantos, survives. But there was never another silver medal. Milton was the first to receive an Honorary Life Membership. To appreciate CPA and the richness of People’s Poetry” read books by these two co-founders and those honoured by our People’s Poetry Award annually. Others will write their personal memories of Milton Acorn. I was lucky enough to have heard him read a couple times and be blessed in the spring of ’86 to have his praise at my Harbourfront reading. His mischievous eyes under bushy eyebrows lit up his ruddy face, nodding his plaid work jacketed shoulders. Milton chuckled at my foot stamping emphasis to the last line of each verse. Ted Plantos was the main workers and supporter of CPA. As James Deahl said, “Ted took the beginning CPA from 10 poets to 100 in one year.” From his years of running a reading series for Toronto Public Library in 1970’s, his weekly People’s Poetry w orkshops, his co-founding of Old NUn Publications, Ted was known as “The Poet of Parliament Street’. From 1978 - 1991, he owned and edited ‘Cross Canada Writer’s Quarterly’ and in 1993, he published Vol.1, #1, People’s Poetry Letter’. Until his death in spring, 2000, he printed many people poetry writers and their essays on the meaning of People’s Poetry. Ted w as always developing new ways to reach audiences and share the words of good poets. He created postcard poems and poster poems, of his own and other CPA poets. In 1996/97, he edited (with James Deahl and Allan Briesmaster) a new magazine: ‘Literary & Performance Scenes’ to showcase Toronto area talent. Ted knew oral voices counted and encouraged tapes, and would have liked today’s YouTube and blogs, yet insisted the words had to be art on the page, too.
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 14
Ted’s poems range from gentle love lyrics to humorous observations on our human foibles to ironic slashes at our Canadian values. Read his “Donuts is our Culture”. As a family centred man, Ted wrote poems to his grandmother, mother, wife May (his love in “Swim to You”) and son Edward. To honour his grandfather in WW1, Ted published his one themed book on the horrors of war and its proud fighters: “Passchendaale”. You can feel his hate of injustices banging the words on such pages. In “Mushrooms Remind Me”, he contrasts nature’s beautiful variety of this free food with A-bomb clouds. Ted gains much poetic power from these unexpected but apt imagery contrasts.
His travel poems produced more fresh images from C ancun to Europe to across Canada, such as “to the sky that fell in Tofino/ where the ocean drinks both eyes”. Another special talent was to capture the voice and world of children. He was popular at school readings and workshops. His delightfully illustrated children’s book was “Heather Hits H er First Home Run”. Laugh with his boyhood pals in “The Lone R anger Social Club” and relive first young body encounters with “Girl with Yellow Hair” and “The Newfy Girl” “salt cod wherever he tasted her...mouth of cloud that followed”. His moods were varied much as shown in his elegy to a downed boy, “A Child in the Lake”.
Teddy Bear Insides Bernice Lever
Wanting a warm body to hug, I long for my fuzzy, brown teddy bear, the one with amber button eyes and black rubber nose, my cuddly, bedtime companion. Now too old to lug a “Care Bear: around - a Disney version of a comfort blanket cradled in my arms for w armth, I’m told to find that teddy bear inside of me, my own warm centre, to hold myself as I fall asleep each night alone, but my old teddy bear insides are grey/beige matted stuffing and heavy wires going rusty with age. It’s the tactile surface we crave, and the illusion that an inner life awaits for us to share. This is a 1980’s poem on which yellowed page Ted Plantos wrote 4 lines : “Good very tender moving poem loved it”
“The Shanghai Noodle Killing” was his short story collection of 18 pieces, that are equally alive with his imaginative mind and great ear for dialogue. These stories vary from a cat narrator to killers. His surprising contrasts force his reader to evaluate unusual situations and to accept the humanness of his characters - tragic or comic ones. How I wish I could hear again his deep, rhythmic voice performing “John’s Grill Boogie” set in 1950’s with its infectious chorus: “Salt Pork and A Ham Bone”. Yes, Ted Plantos was a poet of the people, performing his insights, leaving us with positive words and images. He was Mr. CPA and our best role model. Bernice Lever firstname.lastname@example.org www.colourofwords.com B. Lever Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 15
Canada’s Peoples’ Poet Milton Acorn 1923-1986 25th Anniversary of Canada's Peoples’ Poet Milton Acorn Celebrate Milton’s work by reading a poem or two at local writer’s festivals. He was born in Charlottetown on March 30, 1923. He died of heart disease and diabetes on August 20, 1986 in his home town. He was, and remains, Canada's national poet. The Northern Red Oak, poems for and about Milton Acorn, is published on the first anniversary of his death. The spirit of Milton touched every person that he met. As Gwendolyn MacEwen has written—"You could go for years without seeing him, and yet he'll always be there somehow, a great craggy presence at the back of your mind, a gnarled tree in silhouette on the horizon." Or, in the words of Al Purdy, "the Acorn-tree always walked on its roots, and always into sunlight. It lifts the heart." ..I've Tasted My Blood, Milton's masterwork, was published by The Ryerson Press in 1969. It too w as edited by Purdy, who w ould later edit his huge collection, Dig Up My Heart (McClelland and Stewart, 1983). Milton, fresh from the West Coast and a sort of local hero, soon became the centre of the Toronto poetry scene. In 1970 he w as named "The Peoples' Poet" by a host of writers including Layton (who was now in Toronto), Eli Mandel, Atwood, and Rosenblatt.
Hummingbird Milton Acorn
One day in a lifetime I saw one with wings a pipe smoke blur shaped like half a kiss and its raspberry-stone heart winked fast in a thumbnail of a breast. In that blink it was around a briar and out of sight, but I caught a flash of its brain where flowers swing udders of sweet cider; and we pass as thunderclouds or, dangers like death, earthquake, and war, ignored because it's no use worrying ....
By him I mean. Responsibility Against the threat of termination by war or other things is given us as by a deity.
From: Dig Up My Heart: Selected Poems 1952-83. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1983. p.62. [Excerpt from University of Toronto Libraries]
Facebook page dedication: milton-flies-again
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 16
25 years of poetry Dear Donna: I understand that congratulations are in order. Congratulations and thank you for keeping the CPA together over these last years. As you know I was on the board for 7 years with 5 of those years as president. I fully know the arduous though love filled work that it takes to keep an organization running so congratulations and thank you. The Canadian Poetry Association is a wonderful grass roots organization that keeps poetry alive in Canada and just importantly keeps poets linked. It is worthy of celebrating its 1/4 century milestone with you at the helm. All the best and keep up the good work richard m. grove / Tai president of the C anada Cuba Literary Alliance Hidden Brook Press - www.hiddenbrookpress.com Richard M. Grove / Tai - Publisher 109 Bayshore Road, RR#4, Brighton, Ontario, Canada, K0K 1H0 613-475-2368
June 28, 2010 It is great to be part of the CPA to celebrate the 25th anniversary. In two decades plus five years, Canadian poetry has developed a powerful voice. Organizations at the national and provincial levels have numerous members from across the country and territories. Social media has expanded the possibilities for communication from sea to sea to sea. Since C onfederation, Canadian Poets from D'Arcy McGee to Katherine Hale, John McCrae and Al Purdy, have w ritten lines to express their experiences.
In the past 25 years, this Canadian voice has grown and become more diverse, reflecting C anadian identity going into the 21st century. As our country cheers 143 years of Confederation, here's to Canadian poets everywhere who celebrate, in words, what it means to be Canadian! Patricia A. McGoldrick
Send us your feedback CPA Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 17
VP Letter Dear readers, writers and listeners, Last month, I met a man named Abe, who used to love to read poetry. His sight is failing, so I began reading poetry to him. There is nothing wrong with his senses, nor his recollection of seasons. My point is, writing poetry for us is a passion, and to others, it is a window to freedom. Let’s break down why ‘life is worth writing about’, the theme of this issue. My gawd, not only do w e get to live in this wonderful country, we press the pulp and purge the alphabet of life into passionate poetry. We thrive in this vast land; we have diversity of cultures and styles of writing. We see things that inspire us and compel us to write, and don’t kid yourself, it is a need to document. It doesn’t stop there, because you have to share it with someone, and they do not even have to understand it. How crazy is that? What about the part when you cannot sleep and stay up half the night to w rite. Are poets tortured people? I don’t think so. I believe it is a gift to write, and those w e write to, they are the hearty ones! Dr. Seuss said, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” And yes, I am quoting an American writer! We live in an instant society. Poetry has always been instant. When I receive a poem, I am receiving a snapshot of what the w riter wants me to see. When I write a poem, I want to take you on an instant journey. Come dance with us. We may have different drums, but the beat is the same...the heartbeat of life.
With gratitude, Liz Rolls Holmes
: L. Rolls Photo
Donna Allard Photo Liz with Treasurer Brian Stevens Moncton, N.B.
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 18
Letter To Denise Levertov James Deahl I From the Calcada do Forte I look out over terraced roofs to a place where Portuguese olives are being loaded. All the colours of the city are spread brilliant where the Tejo is gathered glistening into the Atlantic. Above this harbour a sky blue as H eaven casts handfuls of gulls onto the docks while men in blue overalls pack wine into woven baskets.
The day is perfect and I climb higher past houses where the scent of frying fish catches still air. Oh, Denise, how can our world have come to this? How can it be in a life containing such beauty goodness cannot be imagined
City of sun and heat in the plaza palms wave green with a breeze saline, yet strangely fresh. Children play in the harvest warmth race madly through the interplay of shadows where trees cast their likeness to the wind. How entangled they are in the pure joy of their moment! And in the honeyed light gulls rise in their furious white ascent cadences for the eyes looking higher looking beyond.
site: Lisboa, Portugal
as creation's fundamental fact
but only as the absence of evil?
Night of the new moon, sunset long past, only darkness lives. We have come to a bad time, an era without kindness, bereft of love. Yet, at the still centre of the forest the oaks continue to speak to the roving wind.
II A red banner flies from an open window above a basement restaurant ivy spots the stones with palm prints of shadow climbs freely to the eaves and a fierce orange roof. : CPA Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 19
LIFE IS WORTH WRITING!
Enter Now All award winning poems will be published in POEMATA and posted on the CPA website, including Honourable Mentions Theme: Peoples’ Poetry Deadline August 15, 2010 Judge to be determined Entry fee: $25 for “up to five” unpublished poems (maximum 100 lines each) *Contest Open to CPA Cardholders Only* *No email entries - No refunds* Paypal on Website! See website for complete entry rules. Make cheque or money order payable to; Canadian Poetry Association Send your entries to: Canadian Poetry Association 25th Anniversary Poetry Contest 331 Elmwood Dr. Suite 4-212 Moncton, N.B., Canada E1A 1X6
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 20
Featured Author Books CPA Online Bookstore Opening the Stone Heart
Song Of The Lakes
James D eahl Aeolus House Canada $15.00 ISBN 978-0-9811272-5-5
Peggy Fletcher Sydglow inham Press ISBN-978-0-9732123-9-6
When I was Green I Was an Acrobat
Joseph Brush Premier Series # 1 Member C ollection 48 pgs Beret Days Press A division of TOPS ISBN: 978-1-897497-15-9
Stephanie Hodgins Premier Series Series # 4 Member C ollection 56 pgs Beret Days Press A division of TOPS ISBN: 978-1-897497-29-6
A Step-by-step Guide to Finding a Talent Agent (in Canada) Valerie Poulin ISBN 0-9684210-0-8 Available at www.theatrebooks.com.
The Heaviness of Rain: A collection of poems Lois Nantais, Willow's Path Press 2008 $10 plus shipping/handling ISBN 978-09733811-1-5 Available at email@example.com
Hand Upon the Dunes
Bernice Lever Black Moss Press 2009
Donna Allard 32 pages River Bones Press Available at; www.river-of-fire.webs.com ISBN 978-0-9738671-4-5
$17.00 ISBN 978-0-88753-465-2
Lilacs And Tributes A Book Of Spiritual Poetry Mark Gorman 32 pp; glossy, stapled River Bones Press 2008 ISBN 978-0-9738671-6-9 $15.00 Canadian firstname.lastname@example.org
Swaddled in Comet Dust: A Collection of Award Winning Poems Debbie Okun Hill Beret Days Press 2008 Recipient of the Ted Plantos Memorial Award ISBN: 978-1-897497-10-4 Available at email@example.com $8 plus $2 shipping/handling POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 21
ECHOES From CABBAGETOWN
stains: early poems Lori A. May Bohemian Steel Press ISBN 978-0-9735824-0-6 2009 loriamay.com loriamay.blogspot.com
Barbara Elizabeth Mercer Publisher Cyberwit.net Ph: 416-922-0950 firstname.lastname@example.org
Enter My Heart Poems For The Soul Najah Shuqaui Akhdar Press 2008 ISBN: 978-0-9811478-0-2 To order: You can order your copy from The Book Keeper Book Store 519-337-3171 & Akhdar Press 519-542-9920 or email: email@example.com
50% of the proceeds from the sale of this book go toward Breast Cancer Re search, Cancer Research and the Canadian Cancer Society.
CPA Online Bookstore at: Canadianpoetryassociation.webs.com or contact author direct.
Patricia Shields is collecting some poems by Canadian poets on the subject of British Columbia. If you have any or know of any other Canadian poets you can contact about this I'd appreciate it. Thanks. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Canadian Awards Index www.bookcentre.ca/aw ards/aw ard_ind/index.shtml
The Public Lending Right program’s registration. Visit website for more information. Are you registered? No. If you are an author, co-author, editor, translator, illustrator, photographer or anthology contributor, you may be eligible for a PLR payment for the service of your books held in Canadian public libraries. For further information, visit our website at www .plr-dpp.ca. Yes. If you have moved recently, you must update your address with the PLR Commission. Send us your change of address by mail, fax, telephone or email, indicated below. Please note the following important change in the PLR Program: PLR payments are now calculated using a payment scale. Titles registered with the PLR program are divided into four categories, based on the number of years they have been registered w ith the program. For further information on the payment scale, visit our website at www.plr-dpp.ca. Michelle Legault Executive Secretary / Secrétaire générale Public Lending Right Commission / Commission du droit de prêt public 350 Albert, P.O. Box 1047 / C.P. 1047 Ottawa ON K1P 5V8 1 800 521-5721 or/ou 800-263-5588 x4545 POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 22
Purdy Country LitFest The main day for this summer's (PurdyFest #4) will be Saturday, July 31st. Everyone is invited to attend and participate in the following events. This year's SYMPOSIUM will focus on the life and poetic legacy of Toronto poet, T ed Plantos, "the Cabbagetown Kid". Julie McNeill will MC the Symposium, and the first presenter will be academic and philosopher Terry Barker. Terry will give an approximately 20 minute talk on Ted's place in the pantheon of Canadian poetry, in particular People's Poetry. Kent Bowman and Mick Burrs will then play a tape recording of Ted reading his poetry. The final item will be a round table anecdotal discussion by all present on Ted Plantos. Anticipated story tellers include David Day, Carol Malyon, Jeff Seffinga and Peter Rowe among many others. The Symposium will take place in the William Shannon Room in the same building as the Marmora Public Library (by the lights at the intersection of Highways #7 & #14). It will start at 12:30, and end around 2:30 pm. After a 1 1/2 hour siesta break, the second main event, ANOTHER DAM POETRY R EADING, will start at 4 pm on the island in the middle of the Marmora Dam. Musicians Morley Ellis and Kent Bowman will kick things off with musical performances. Around 4:30 Allan Briesmaster will introduce Kent for the launch of his new poetry collection. Katherine Beeman of Montreal, and RD Roy, of the Quinte area, will also launch new poetry collections. As has become our tradition, the dam reading w ill conclude with a round robin reading by all poets wishing to share their work.
Sat., July 31st, is also CELEBRATE MARMORA DAY (funded by Celebrate Ontario), organized by The Marm's Economic Development Officer, Typhany Choinard. Marmora's new arts group, ARTISTS in MOTION (AiM) will be hosting displays in the main park by the Crowe River. An exciting collection of local artists in a wide vairety of disciplines will have their work for sale. At 7 pm the annual Shakespeare in the Park performance will take place. So PurdyFest will be part of a lot of crazy goings-on that Saturday as part of Celebrate Marmora Day. If any PurdyFesters are interested in displaying at the Art in the Park, I'll check with the AiM executive to see if this is OK (I know a number of poets and spouses create in other media). As in other years, events will take place at ZenRiver Gardens in the hamlet of Malone in the week leading up to Saturday. Limited rough camping is available in this rugged area as well, and poets are already booking into the Marmora B&Bs and several local motels along Highway #7. We'll have another POTLUCK SUPPER at ZenRiver Gardens on Friday evening, Jul 30th. I'm proposing we have this summer's mystery tour to Ameliasburgh and Al Purdy's grave earlier on the Friday afternoon. Other possible events at ZenRiver Gardens include Jim Larwill's presentation of his thesis, "i Wolf". Jim may also conjure Milton Acorn's magickal childhood friend, Wilbur Walnut. not to be missed ... and Marmora classical composer D r. John Burke will be present throughout PlantosFest to discuss his Harbourfront presentation HIERATIKOS: THE CLASSICAL LABYRINTH. The ensemble Vivant will be performing his w ork in the Brigantine Room at Harbourfront Centre from August 6 through 8th.
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE23
Dear Mom and Dad: March 22, 2010
Aching to be On the Water Richard Grove Cuban Embassy Photo
In some ways it feels like spring had fully arrived. We had a pretty mild winter, and I was lucky to spend six of those coldest weeks in Cuba touring and bicycling – only half of the time with Kim. The rest of the time I was with my Toronto friend Eric and my Holguin amigo Manuel--soul brothers from different cultures. These past Cuba trips had me spend time in Gibara, Guardalavaca, Holguín and Santiago de Cuba though, passing through many wonderful towns on my travels. My tan line is fading quickly and I ache to be in the ocean. It feels like an awfully long time ago since I felt the warm Caribbean breeze caress my joy. I am cajoled into remembering that our Canadian summer is almost here. With morning blurred vision I looked past the burgundy blooms of my re-flowering orchid to motionless grey branches--red-winged blackbirds and finches arrived last week. As if in a panic, dogs barking at my heels, fire lapping, I rummaged for my life jacket. With a shrill I blew the cobwebs from my emergency whistle, grabbed my toque and gloves and headed to wake my slumbering kayak from its five month rest. I slipped her belly into the freezing lake, scratched over winter’s dirty gravel shore, skimming to freedom. Large fluffy cornflake snow parachuted through a sleeping dirty grey sky, freckling mirrored cove, melting on bobbing green prow.
It is well past middle March but still there were crystals of ice on south shore hidden in deep shadows, clinging like death to last year’s rushes. I paddled first into calm testing my steel. With gained confidence I headed north past the tip of Salt Point into waves of an east wind pushing quickening foam over bow. I zipped my collar tight, snugged the straps of my life jacket. tilting my strokes towards lighthouse. Gloved finger tips now wet and freezing, lap splashed, bobbing wildly in troughs of black waves. I swing north around Boulder Island, west surfing, pushed by wind and waves, south back into the leeside calm of the cove. Spirits singing as I drag my kayak from lapping shore placed back into its bed of crunching leaves.
Art & Lit Fest 2010 Cobourg, Ontario Saturday, July 17 & Sunday, July 18 Saturday, July 17th Events held at 66 King Street East (indoors in the banquet hall) Get full details online at: www.CanadaCubaLiteraryAlliance.org canadianpoetryassociation.webs.com “All activities are free and open to the Public . All Are Welcome.” Canada Cuba Literary Alliance www.CanadaCubaLiteraryAlliance.org 109 Bayshore Road RR#4, Brighton, Ontario K0K 1H0 Contact: Richard Grove President 613-475-2368 email@example.com POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 24
Through a poet’s eyes Valerie Poulin For almost 20 years, I worked in downtown Toronto and for almost half that time, every morning, I stood outside U nion Station at the corner of Front at Bay Streets impatiently waiting to cross the street legally and head north to one of the dozens of office towers in the financial district. Immediately in front of us morning commuters stood two tall, gold-faced Royal Bank towers, yet I rarely noticed them. That is, until I met Duke Redbird.
On a warm summer day in 2003, I left my office building up the street from U nion Station and walked south to meet up with a small production crew. They were setting up equipment, getting ready to film poet D uke Redbird for a pilot for a television series when I arrived. When an uncooperative hotdog vendor temporarily stalled things, it allowed me to make small talk with the renowned poet. The conversation would have been different if I had done a little research on Gary James Richardson. I did not ask him about his growing up in an adoptive family after his mother died trying to save her six children from a house fire, or about his mixed Irish-Ojibwa heritage. I did not ask him about his earlier life living rough on the streets, nor did I ask about his lifetime of work as an activist, artist, actor, and filmmaker. I never asked w hat brought him to writing, specifically to poetry. Regretfully, I was unprepared to meet a poet of his calibre. What’s worse, I was intimidated after he recited his powerful protest poem “The Beaver” to me; it was the first time I had heard it.
process. In response, Duke quietly turned to face the office building across the street, placed his thumbs against his forefingers to create a rectangular opening and extended his arms. Like a movie camera shooting live action, his hands moved up the length of the skyscraper in front of us, slowly taking in its layers of 24-karat gold gleaming in the mid-afternoon sun, up, up over its 14,000 windows until only a corner of the tower and a chunk of blue sky were visible in the aperture formed by his fingertips. The camera stopped, held its image. It was then that the poet spoke. Using the framed image as an example, he encouraged me to practise looking at familiar things in a different way. Looking over his shoulder to get a glimpse of the image, I saw what he saw. It was a view I could not forget. And each day as I stood on that same street corner, I w as reminded to see the world through the eyes of a poet because it is possible to see something different even in two office towers in downtown Toronto.
Morning Valerie Poulin
A silver pendant drawn against my neck; its metal mouth open. Rain pellets tap the window, like impatient fingers. You press emptiness in your hands, to the closest degree of persuasion. I turn over a collection of possibilities, trying to create meaning from the essential difference between shadow and light. Last night, I dreamed a child. Then I dreamed a lover. He crawled through an open window, dragging himself through volumes of poetry, warning me that black is the absence of light, unless held outdoors. The cold air fragments and I name the days of October for you.
When I managed one question on the subject of poetry, it was something about his writing
V. Poulin Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 25
A wish list of sorts Valerie Poulin
this year, i resolve to... listen to leonard cohen recite his poem “fingerprints” while we drink red needles in the arizona dusk chat with margaret atwood over lunch about her creative writing process; i will call her “peggy” get interview tips from barbara walters discuss my past lives with shirley maclaine share a pitcher of margarita cocktails with jimmy buffet publish an essay titled “in conversation with fran lebowitz” before i am too old too do so, i plan to… travel the congo with a photojournalist and his documentary crew ride a ferris w heel with helen mirren, in her hometown dance with michael buble to his song “everything” have my portrait taken by annie lebovitz study feminism with gloria steinem shoot craps with cher in las vegas have a drink with uncle kracker in his favourite neighbourhood bar
This poem about living without regret appears on Valerie Poulin’s creative workspace A Creative Way Out of Work at www.valeriebeanonline.biz.
An excerpt from "Celaire's Crush" a long-form poem Valerie Poulin
In the narrow, criss-crossing streets of cobblestone, unsteady on my feet in the Financial District, the distance between us grows. Unable to navigate the alphabetical lines of the thundering underground transit, I continue to search for him, to divine my way, but soon the office buildings empty into the street. I hike through TriBeCa and Greenwich Village, my steps quickening as I zig-zag through. I stop at a telephone booth on a corner where a curved street intersects another, though I don’t look up to see the street names. Inside, I drop a gift for someone else. Leave it waiting.
Grassy Muses Barbara Phillips
in pajamas on an island hideaway love on a wet grassy bank stir stick in memories
New Members: send a short bio and jpg photo! POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 26
A Summer Day in Port Bickerton
The Full Measure
John B. Lee
The mournful cry of the lighthouse adds an eerie essence to the fog that rolls in from the sea like tumbleweeds rolling across the dry prairie.
There’s the voice of the dog in the barn you can measure his mood in the mind take his size from the weight of his breath seek his span in the volume of sound find fear in the blood of his moon or loss in his lonesome lament you can know both by the girth of his ribs and the fall of his thought how his heart might break over hay or race like a hare on the lee where he’s home in the scattering clods that screed in the w ake of his claws what wags on the hinge of a leaf what sleeps in a slow-dying snow where the knots are like stars in his world and the dust shafts that swirl to be seen seem angels gone mad to the floor
Bickerton Island, uninhabited and silent, standing guard just outside the harbour, soon disappears into the ghostly vapour slowly edging its way to the shore. The sun, warm and golden, loses its battle to the pea soup the now envelopes the land dropping moisture on everything it touches. The smell of fish meal w afts its way from across the harbour and the cry of the seagulls feeding on scraps from the fish plant can be heard in the gloom. A girl, alone on the beach, looks for treasure brought in on the tide, jumping the rocks and leaving her tiny footprints where there is sand.
Not even the fog deters her as she enjoys the briny air and the waves lapping at the shore for she is in her element, she is home.
1. Trish Shields
catching my hair leaves sew autumn in fallow fields drifts of trumpeters lament the coming spring her hand so small in mine now her footprints show only toes lost in tall grass P. Arden Photo
what he names for the car on the road what he calls to the yard in the dark or the sun if he’s held until noon is this not the shelter of hope is this not the lonesome repair come close to the lock and I’ll say what’s gathered away in the w indings of time by the rain and the wind on the heel that covers the land
Trish's work was published in 2009 in the February issue of Lynx ezine, in the Spring journal of the SP Quill Poetry Magazine, as w ell as having work included in the C CLA's anthology entitled The Banquet of Now, published by Hidden Brook Press. After a year of personal upheaval, Trish is finally back to writing and so far this year has w ork published by Passage Publishing, entitled At The End of the Day. Trish also won an Honourable Mention Award for haiku entered in the Vancouver C herry Blossom Festival in 2009. She won a Sakura Award for haiku she entered in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in 2008.
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 27
so many people in darkness seeking people known seeking places to sit themselves or looking to locate cash bar toilets an avoidance of other people or cables underfoot tables and chairs for the mobile swirl on stage the turntableist on cellphone and laptop computer bent over translucent blue vinyl albums
the smell of shit stinging eyes watering nose
+ cici n’est pas un coffin walked in c’est un canapé-bench for sitting upon maintenant espace de frye fest yesterday the gulls were lying low huddled white in petitecodiac mud against wind and rain and more nights and days sleepless pushed about with no thoughts of anything that anything else should be doing hunger will be there no question
but do gulls question anything do they have any idea how bach and his jonathan livingston took and distorted their seagull lives so many things appropriated or miss aligned like the so tall tales told to priests think men were authority when they were nothing close like taking photographs on a radio media pass at a literary festival flute and guitar fill space
Inuit Women Throat Singing
venturing forth since they arrived just after Hallowe'en through thick fog incessant downpours sidestepping slick snow water w ending new paths depositing frigid furrows steeling spirit to stick it out a few short steps forward waiting silent head down knees wobbly mottled hands curled around camera closer still sitting atop the potatoes white with black mask wings outstretched immeasurably neck snaking skyward king of the hill later wrapped in towels head snaking forward peering through frames -- out of focus -mere residue remains witnessed within my mind my heart a hammer against cloth
Every moment Seems so important To record To celebrate In every possible way With music With poetry With my pen With painting With drawing With dancing With fresh eyes With aromas of fresh flowers With fragrance of evergreens To enrich My life As I age As life is beautiful As it is sad As the struggle The joy Continues With Every Moment
A. Gripp Photo
St. Clair, 16/04/10 Andreas Gripp
The earth is soft as moss in this April cloud and drizzle, in the Zen of mindful steps,
Observing two Inuit women Throat singing. They were Standing face to face. I was touched by this image, By their intensity as they stared Into one and other’s eyes Communicating in a form of Spiritual release. I watched And realizes my ignorance To this great culture raised Upon land forgetting its Original voice and people-A creator’s hopes and dreams For a nation.
I just saw a moose! It had hair like Robin Williams lips like Mick Jaggar nose like Jimmy Durante and cheeks like the jass musician Dizzy Gillespie. Tucked away under a shelter of trees between 95 N & S highway this Maine traveler counting it’s blessings as traffic flew by. It was so ugly I couldn’t take a photo.
between a double row of trees in early bloom, by the river in the park at supper’s hush,
their blossoms white as weddings, clinging in the midst of winds.
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 28
On the Way to the Cottage
Debbie Okun Hill
With a few trees -- with a few flowers With small singing pond With birds With squirrels With roving cats In my garden With some art With some books Some I have writ With a piano and music With a window To view the sky To view the moon To view the stars To view rainbows To view storms To dream To make wishes On auras To view the ages To view snow covered roofs To view summer’s abandoned nests Clinging to branches To create fantasies To love - to be loved I live Without ENVY
You see them stranded aborted trailers male metal apron strings cut from a father’s fist the ball and chain used to drag them his aluminum baggage of material status his sail boat tall towering his motorcycle quick spin of tires his motor home barely out of the box
B. Mercer Photo
Heavy burden of debt no match for tiny tires broken axle succumbed to extra weight fallen merchandise now littering gravel roads
broken axle succumbed to extra w eight fallen merchandise now littering gravel roads D. Hill Photo
Sluicing For Gold
From the East
Peggy Fletcher P. Fletcher Photo
Thin windswept ledge, dark cove, white ocean spray my distant outport dream, a mood full blown where child and nature met to taste sea’s force to challenge man-made rules, erode the stone. Climb down, cold callous breezes seem to shout slide past green algaed rock, let form become a vessel to be filled, a jar, a sponge forget young pain, drown memory, petals torn. Pale flowers past their prime soon lose their glow the flesh has only childhood on its side small hands still gathering daisies on the bluff are powerless to stop dark ancient tides. Through currents, both are pulled, reproached and caught the girl, the floral blooms, long twisted knot.
Hold out your hands let sunlight leak through weathered flesh where old is just a corner to be turned on fresh new fields of ploughed imagination. Where fingers turn to basket fists catch golden gems before they slip away to deeper climes. Stem memory’s flow catch riches in the morning in a cup of savory sunshine. POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 29
James Deahl was born in Pittsburgh in 1945, and grew up in that city as well as in and around the Laurel Highlands region of the Appalachian Mountains. He moved to Canada during the spring of 1970. In 1985 he was a founding member of the Canadian Poetry Association. In addition to literary activities, he has taught creative writing and Canadian literature at the high school, college, and university levels. He no longer teaches, and for several years has been a full-time writer/editor/translator. Deahl is married to the artist Gilda Mekler, who died in 2007. He lives in Hamilton with his youngest daughter. He is the father of Sarah, Simone, and Shona.
Aeolus House Photo
What words could my heart speak to these spruce bogs, to these pine barrens?
Pull on a wool shirt roll the sleeping bag hike back down the trail while mist boils off grass and sour strawberries at first light
I sit all night with the cold of the deep north, the void between the stars growing ever darker as I watch. Not long ago it was late autumn; tonight winter comes. Thin ice begins to form in the shallows, among the silent reeds. That frozen lakeยนs w here the moon will hide when dawn sets the land afire.
Far below a paved road hugs the lakeยนs shore trucks thunder past all gleaming pipes and hubs carrying logs slick with dew from the cutting All morning driving south under a late September sky New Brunswick forests felled, stripped, dragged to the roadside by roaring Cats Across the border into Maine a one-gas-station town high school kid rock-ยนnยน-roll on his radio when he grows up, says heยนll be a logger
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 30
New Members Touching Up The Mother Stone
Garth Von Buchholz has been writing poetry
Paulette C laire Turcotte
since he was six years old, and began writing fiction when he was 13. In high school he won an H onourable Mention in the international Writer's Digest Short Story Contest. Later he studied creative writing and theatre for his undergraduate degree at the University of Winnipeg, then began work on his master's degree in English Literature at the University of Manitoba. After his graduate studies were interrupted by a career opportunity, he continued to write stage plays which were professionally workshopped and produced semi-professionally in Winnipeg and other cities. While his poetry was being published in various journals, Garth started working in the magazine and newspaper business as a writer, editor and publisher. For more than 10 years he was the dance critic for the Winnipeg Free Press as well as writing other arts stories for the Free Press and other publications.
I will be silent when you finish carving the woman in black onyx, and another, and another, and another in obsidian. obsidian, as hard as steel, hard as knives, hard as arrowheads, hard as death.
those w omen know their history.
*obsidian is a glassy rock formed from lava
Paulette C. Turcotte has been involved with
the arts community for more than 40 years as a painter and writer. In 1985, she cofounded the publishing press, Split Quotation with Jorge Etcheverry in Ottawa. Her work has appeared in various Canadian magazines and periodicals including Room of One’s Own, Quarry and A Tree Anthology. She has been assistant editor for Vox Feminarum and has been one of the organizers for the Pacific Festival of the Book from its inception. In 2005-06, Paulette was “House Poet” for Serious Coffee House weekly open stage with James Kasper, MC, in Victoria. Paulette is the featured poet in the winter edition of The Tower Journal, 2009/10 and her long poem, “Fragments from Working Nights in the Bone Yard” was profiled in Ditch in February 2010.
Garth considers himself a poet first and foremost, but has also written and published short stories, plays and non-fiction. He is currently w orking on three on-fiction manuscript as well as his first novel. Book Titles: The Song of Songs (poetry) 13 D ark Poems (poetry) Return of the Raven (poetry) Horror Prodigies & Legends (interviewee) Land of Milk and Honey (drama) The Encyclopedia of Manitoba (contributor) FastFacts on Alcohol (author) FastFacts on Drugs (author)
Paulette lives on Vancouver Island where she writes, paints, teaches dreamwork and drinks tea by the ocean. embracing creative fire the Centre for Dream Research and Imaginal Studies 250-595-0088 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cdris.org P. Turcotte Photo & Von Buchholz Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 31
New Members Carol Katz has had four different careers—
teacher, librarian, archivist and administrative assistant for a financial planner. She was the Archivist at the Jewish Public Library and the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Center for a number of years. She taught remedial reading to children and adults with learning disabilities and was active in the Learning Disabilities Association of Quebec for many years.
PUBLICATIONS: “Music and Kaballah”,Judaism From a Woman’s Perspective: A Collection of Meaningful Essays Encompassing Judaism’s Philosophy, Law, History and Mysticism, Volume 2, edited by Rabbi Asher Jacobson, Montreal: Congregation Chevra Kadisha B’nai Jacob Beit Hazikaron, 2005, p.279.
Book Reviews: Journal of Learning Disabilities and other prestigious journals in this field. Institute for Poetic Medicine www.poeticmedicine.com. Several Children’s Magazines. “The Storm in My Head,” Poetica Magazine, special online edition on the Holocaust 2009. The Creative Social Center Writers, an Anthology, edited by Judith Castle. Montreal: Creative Social Center, 2007, seven original poems and stories, p. 25-35. The Canadian Jewish News, Passover edition, “Music and Kaballah”, 2007, “Swallow”, 2009. “The Qmunity Column,” Qwrite, February 2010, p.8. (The online journal of the Quebec Writers’ Federation). Carol loves music, literature, art and sculpture. Now semi-retired, she takes painting and drawing, sculpture, and creative writing classes and sings in a choir at the Creative Social Center (senior’s center in Montreal). She also plays Yiddish folk songs, Blues and classical pieces on her guitar. She is an avid reader of fiction, autobiography and poetry. She lives in Montreal, Quebec, is married to Sol Katz, and has a son, Addin, and a daughter, Shira.
The cave was dark and too cold for 38 Ukrainian Jews who never saw light or birds for 344 days They hid from the N azis in a cave named Priests’ Grotto. They dreamed of swallows, proud, free. They dreamed of wings to fly. But each day they w oke to dampness, night. When they were freed by the Russians they shielded their eyes from the brightness. Later they saw a colony of swallows travelling together, and knew it was possible to be free without wings.
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 32
Standing in the shadows
The border collies are knackered now, all day chasing grumpy sheep. They slink behind the rocks, peek heads up, avoid the work. They do not know the blood that seeps through the muck of runoff. It flows into the glen. These dogs are young, born to the obsession of their craft. They do not know the burning but’n’bens, thatched roofs ablaze, bodies fueling fire. They know the present only. Not the past. Not the baggage of this history. Not the highland cattle’s red fur scorched and curled. There are muddy hooves that jut into the air. There are gutted bellies. Sheep in rotting piles. A stench. There is raw-rooted anger. There are men and w omen torn and numb. Sheep dogs, still in the here and now, raise their heads above the crags. They know they need to work, bend the sheep with come-bye’s and away’s. Steady. Steady. Not like revenge. Take your time. Take your time, until the last lambs are safely down, clumped together, moving in a mass toward their pens. The dog’s tongues flop from their mouths. They’re knackered. Eyes alert. Just a stare to move the herd. These dogs know not the moments of betrayal. Slaughter points on maps. The clearances. They know a day’s good work, a job well done, some food. They know quiet corners w ith openings w here they can watch their sheep.
growing up in the shadow of a giant granite strong impervious to all wading into adulthood swaddled with young entrenched with long nights close calls frantic calls bad sad glad news men and women standing in the rain always rain gloomy sacrifice in foreign lands a red poppy given out by old veterans unknown warriors strangers in front of Wal-Mart standing in the shadows waiting to go in out of the rain with droplets falling I reach the entrance looking up my father's eyes found in every old man's face look back at me
Previously Published in Tears, The Same Music, edited by Patrick Lane, Leaf Press, 2009 D. Fraser Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 33
Cherry Blossom Haiku
Venus – The Muse That Accompanies Us
Sidewalks dressed in pink perfumed veil for city streets Vancouver in spring
In pitching our tents by the mountainside we listen for the sounds of life, any that may reside here on this vast hinterland of planet where twenty-six million people could live if not for its gassy, parched face; carbon brought to life in some other form than a human being or semblance of a shit-box car! That we can breathe without apparatus here is a mystery of the muse that accompanies us through each terrain and we believe that life exists beyond our small expanse of knowledge. We reach out for new inspirations and, with each one,
Sugar Time Ben Nuttall-Smith In the springtime, when the thaw winds Bring the sugar farmer home, I will hurry to the bushland, Near my place by Saint Jerome. Light the fires and scrub the cauldrons. Tap the maples' steady flow. Busy friends have time to join me, Making taffy in the snow.
aspire to touch another, conspire with all that is within us to make our presence known as we release each probe and inhale deeply— RSVP.
Ronda Eller Photo
Venus – Fellowship Amongst Kin R onda Eller
There's a wall where the starlings nest down by the banks fae the West Yell Ness just along the path from the "ladies" summer cottage high above the beach and the hungry rock warm in the summer with the nestlings chatter skylark, skylark, peewit, lamb gulls on the uplift glide perpetual motion as the quiet sea calls her child mist home wet on my cheek as the land is swallowed slick as the kelp on an autumn dawn as the sky turns black, w aves of feathers flowing to the boom of the surf as the gales come home just along the path from the "ladies" summer cottage high above the beach and the hungry rock shot by the rain and the salt sprayed bullets back to the wall where the starlings used to call me and the gulls in perpetual motion cycle through the seasons as the sea looks on.
We did not come to this backward arena where the blazing sun rises westward by any pre-fabricated spaceship. We were propelled through flights of spirit, minds desiring a Jungian fellowship among kinfolk whose physical form bears no more adaptability than our own misfit shapes— terrestrial non-conformists one and all. Good thing then that our third eyes remained open, ever watchful, registering thermals, the climactic approach of mind & soul tempests, measuring potentials for cataclysmic opportunity, and then closed, terminating the current mission— to disconnect us before Venus could claim us completely. She has always been, after all, the greedy bitch we love despite herself. We need the goddess that hides harboured in that calderic bosom— the sleeping beauty that we just can’t kiss often enough.
F. Lindsay Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 34
Marshall’s Global Village
Marshall would be pleased his global village is here; it walks daily past what was the Centre for Culture and Technology where he ran his hand over his hair during long nights lit by incandescence, early technicolour tint massaging exteriors of windows, mediums waiting to tingle to embryonic wires humming in urgings of a future struggling to invent itself.
Remembering Gwendolyn MacEwen
Often a beer in hand, cigarette in the other, Marshall was a poster boy for his generation. Today he would be puffing outside the Centre, shivering in winds whipping along Queen’s Park Crescent up Avenue Road, through steel Liebskind spears holding hostage skies over the Museum’s roof, no doubt indifferent to architectural posturings, celestial memories running through distant ruins. Sometimes, Marshall sat with Parker, conviviality spreading through numerous brown bottles punctuating conversations marked by merriment, generous gesturings, and much throwing back of heads, luminescent in silvered magnificence, when wisdom didn’t have to be concealed to spare incumbent inheritors recoilings of distrust, distasteful rejections of anyone without an iPod or a Blackberry.
Many nights Marshall paced alone in his urban cell, pondering the permanence of his future address,* while rain bandaged tree branches in headlight-coated swaths; through his open windows, Marshall listened to the city directing casts through tumultuous screenplays, drawn through the shredder of impatient expectations, seduced by the mirage of the village on the horizon at fingertips’ end. “Tomorrow is our permanent address.” --Marshall McLuhan
B. Phillips Photo
hovering at the counter Gwendolyn w aited for questions about the Osborne Collection dark eyes serene but vigilant calm voice soothing, inquiring about what it was I was looking for she brought out those curious artifacts, their pages so yellow and brittle I expected them to disintegrate into bits, and rain down like confetti all over the room, coating everything with archaic words and I just knew Gwendolyn would not like such an intrusion into the hushed world of archival order where she reigned, protected, authentic and credible much later I came to know my questions had been misdirected it was Gwendolyn I should have been asking about
Greg Curnoe Exhibit Barbara Phillips
black stenciled declarations framed under glass tread poster colour washes along lines threaded through Greg's primary days when letters unlocked secrets mouthed on pages too heavy to turn on a modest unframed canvas lies Sheila artist's wife ethereal nude with legs spread halo gold hair around eyes lit by a serenity-kissed smile untouched by words she watches her driven man consumed into silence
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 35
Mother with Alzheimers Ben Nuttall Smith
--from my rewritten memoir Run Skinny Run
B. Nuttall-Smith Photo
I barely recognized Mother. She sat upright in her wheelchair, a tiny bird with feathers plucked. While she folded and refolded an imaginary serviette on her lap, Mother’s silver hair seemed to float, like little downy feathers. “Send those lawyers home. No more questions.” H er eyes lit up. "Thank God you're here.” “Hello, Mom.” “Did you come to feed my birds?” “We came to see you.” “Who are you?” “Ben … your son.” The word choked in my throat. She puckered her lips and made bird-calling sounds. “Would you like to go for a walk? I’ll take you.” Mother narrowed her eyes.
Other patients sat, babbling. Some drooled, open mouthed. One woman beckoned to me. “Allo. Allo. Allo.” She was tiny, sweet, and ancient. She brushed imaginary cobwebs from her face. “Quel heure est il?” What time is it? I turned back to Mother. “You know me, Mom. I’m your son.” She sounded annoyed. “Of course I know who you are. I’m not ... I’m not”... She lost her train of thought and gazed off into space. “I know, Mom. I know. Let’s go for a walk.” I pushed her out into the courtyard. Mother watched a robin on the path. For years she’d kept a budgie and fed the wild birds that came to her garden feeders. “Allo bébé. Pretty bird.” I looked at my mother’s knees. Tucked over sideways beneath the blanket, they looked all bone and wrinkled flesh. The eggshell skin on Mother’s bird-boned wrist glistened with large, blue veins. Her body’s hunger signals no longer connecting with her brain, she was slowly starving herself to death. Mother had gone. Soon her tired old body would catch up. There in the sunshine, I spoke to the mother I knew, the mother I loved and hated and loved again. “Goodbye, Mom.” She gazed past me into space, farted with a groan, and smiled. Like a baby relieved of her discomfort. The next day, I again visited Mother. While folding and refolding the imaginary serviette on her lap, she scolded her fingers. “Get out of that puddle.” “What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in school.” “Talk about your rocky road to ... to ... to...” “Hello, sweetheart.” “There’s no milk. The cow is dead.”
“You’d better get ready. They’ll be here soon.” “Mustn’t be late.” Then, after gazing up at a painting on the wall – “Why did they send him to spy?” – she made a sensible request. She asked to go to the toilet. No nurse was available. So I helped her into the bathroom, helped her get seated, and stood by. When she finished, I wiped her shrunken bottom. We had come full cycle.
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 36
Residue Trish Shields
Crying For Keats: for Love, Beauty, Truth Bernice Lever (a non-sonnet)
toes nose through fields of empty sheets hunting up tunnels of warmth running to ground memories of time spent cleaving to calves pretzelling about you eyes open in folds of darkness blinking stupidly before tears remember your absence curling shuffling back to coldness toes poke into sheets digging drifts until morning three sleeps ‘til you’re home
Sea Lion’s Last Call Linda Lee Crosfield
O, to be Keat’s perfect beauty his unattainable ideal, inspiration just within a kiss of our mating bursting with awe and lust being totally desirable with his magic words caressing my ears his soft curls upon my cheeks cleavage, such sublime expectant ecstasy is painful with contrasting anguish knowing he’s dying, in truth he and his verses can’t go on that I’ll never be so in love not even chosen to act his Fanny. based on the movie of Keat’s unrequited love for his neighbour friend, Fanny
He lies as he fell, as if tripped at the threshold of some nameless seafood bar his balance gone, gravity in charge now.
Old, presumably, his jaw in place but not all teeth accounted for, sprawled face down on the storm-strewn sand. Riding thermals over Wickanninish Beach the eagles saw him first which quickly brought the ravens, a newly-wakened bear, and me drawn to this place with the rest of the scavengers. A kind wind steals the stench his breath should be. Wily seabirds shriek, triumphant, circle and land, circle and land, circle and land.
Haiku P. John Burden
where now coyote clouds scurried moon
Ma Soeur Océanne Dedicated to my sister Victorine
Donna Allard Tu as vu ma soeur dans la mer Ses yeux bleus et verts Sa bouche boit l'océan un soleil se glissant dans le feutre des rivages déserts rouges Tu as vu ma soeur explosive Ses yeux oranges et rouges à présent un oiseau [pohénix?] garde le ravage CPA Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 9
Cover Artist My work is about relationships: With beleaguered self or a god or two. Between persons. With the larger social, and natural environment. I peel away never ending layers that describe us. Like the archeologist, I use hard won skills. What I uncover is there forever. Back in the Dark Ages, classically trained by H enry Wilkinson, Rodney Burns, and Robin Guthry at City and Guilds, London, U.K. Various awards and rare Certificate of Exceptional Merit (the last). Exhibited regularly at Royal Academy, Painters & Etchers etc. Since then been sharpening skills drawing, printmaking, painting, or designing every day. I have pictures and pieces in collections worldwide. Boring people do not like my w ork. P. John Burden
Participoet Tesney Juliette Young Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 38
A trick of innocence
Drifting figure people line slanted brace soup kitchen w alls holding up the unsure unrecoverable you can’t learn their history know what makes their shadows shadow know their hands row on row link my knuckle ridge to tongue know this taste this hand
she’s joined his stable been here four months now hooked on the once high of rock twenty one really, that’s what she says though she hints more at seventeen matters little really she does his w ork panning and whoring so he gets his fix he’s just one more parasite owed a living by life the one she can provide it’s eleven fifteen she works the bar corner under his watchful eye the innocence not quite gone from her voice and it turns the trick someone else to prey on her youth intervention is needed to save her but does anybody care certainly not the johns surely not him
sitting parked against the meter hands palmed for change she looks at my tight fisted credit card I enter the surreal glow of London Drugs wrap my scarf another loop tightening my throat forage makeup counters for blush so my cheeks believe I’m not so tired checking out I see her through glass doors I ask for a 10- dollar gift card would you like the Olympic or the Christmas-themed one? you choose whose name would you like on it? just a second I say walking the short distance to the doorway what’s your name? Deborah
Outside before I finish getting my w ords out her hand bites mine she shoves it in her pocket I feel good for a moment stumbling reality
Configuration of a Single Pain Peggy Fletcher
What did you expect to find on the wounded walls of yesterday precise messages unscribed between wooden scars. There are etchings on the icy edge of a mud-clutched river but these have been translated for the hawk planning its next execution.
Driftwood House Donna Allard
Beside the red stain on white piano keys your fingers run. You are a composition of fear. The Lord is not with you in your present state, you exist in flashback.
This driftwood house Has many windows Reflected between Knot and jagged branch 'Til crane in silent ballet Bejewelled by raindrops Makes nature's frame
Tomorrow when the snow is still knee-deep its drifts will amputate your knees snowbees will swarm about your face sting you with red persistence. Muriel Glencross Photo
Somewhere in this spring blueprint, reason lies. POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 39
It is not true that angels hover over the city at sunrise Paulette C Turcotte
during the day I write quick notes in my journal, while the interminable flies buzz around my head with almost flawless discernment, delivering their unremitting tonalities along with their rancid juices, on the meat—my flesh, if you were quick to enquire, while I raise my glass hopefully, to the end cause, the interior of ripe thoughts w hich collect on the edge of my lips like astonished soldiers trained to obey superior orders, retreat or fight—always a hidden minefield that could explode in a moment, (unrestricted opinions disturb the sequence of things) (or hadn’t you noticed?) my burdensome thoughts, heavy as the fruit ripening on the vines outside my window, turning a deep red “in the late summer” (I follow the excesses of my family—given to depressions, some addictions, though not I,) attempting to escape the old proverb, kill or be killed, I return to the litany of mosquitoes tasting my blood for the first time. at night, I keep a candle burning for light as I record my opaque dreams, some are poetic, some seem to follow erotic lines. I always returned to the dreams w here I held some advantage. I was on familiar ground with my angel in those days, but now I’m stopped dead in my tracks, the muse is a torment and love is what I want, and the angel just goes around collecting our names. it is not true that words lie sleeping behind the tunnel of my breath where these dense dreams rise, unceremoniously, from the mottled landscape of my sleep. it is not true that angels hover over the city at sunrise. the blinding glare of the sun wakens me to another day, a blight, feasting on my eyes. an old woman continues to be old. the slight skeleton of my life berates me for not giving it flesh to cover its bones. dénouement: when one love ends, another begins. life is a random string of words pulled haphazardly from a ravaged heart.
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Next POEMATA submission deadline September 15, 2010. You must be a CPA paid-in-full member to qualify. Future submissions of articles, or poetry, must meet our deadlines, otherwise your submission will not be included. See our website for deadlines. Submissions received after the deadline may be considered for future issues. Thank you, POEMATA crew
Thank you for your encouragement and support in PARTICIPOET’S 25 Silver Anniversary! Special thanks to P. John Burden for his “Edge Cafe” cover. River Bones Press for their management of the CPA Website & POEMATA. Thanks Ronda, Nat, Lola, Valerie & all the social network volunteers that made the CPA blog & Facebook Provincial Pages/Chapters a success! th
A very special thanks to everyone who reads this issue. We hope you enjoy it. Show your support for all CPA volunteers & fellow membership by befriending them (on Facebook and our website), go to their readings, buy their books, attend festivals and buy extra copies as gifts. Support small press organizations. Support PARTICIPOETS where ever they are! Join the PARTICIPOET Community today go to http://canadianpoetryassociation.webs.com . Brian Stevens, Treasurer
D. Allard Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 40
Sagrada Familia Michael Fraser
it stands in a lake of time devoid of all shores, each year the stone expands like coral fingers eyeing the closing sun cranes rise like metal shepherds bending over its coated face, six beige apostles sprout from its navel, the others turn cement awaiting birth in a quarry womb cradled in evening dark it is a mountain of light that eats all distance, a border between thoughts, an artist whose only client is god
Champs Elysees Michael Fraser
already women’s clothes speak of fall, in skirt lengths no phrasebook is required, dressed in numerous fonts the gods shout their names from store fronts this long day lies in pieces beneath the arc de triomphe’s roundabout eye so many pigeons drop like fruit from trees, the feast of breadcrumbs is sewn from an old gallic hand at each wooden bench the homeless eat the hearts of strangers
The Full Measure John B. Lee There’s the voice of the dog in the barn you can measure his mood in the mind take his size from the weight of his breath seek his span in the volume of sound find fear in the blood of his moon or loss in his lonesome lament you can know both by the girth of his ribs and the fall of his thought how his heart might break over hay or race like a hare on the lee where he’s home in the scattering clods that screed in the wake of his claws The Louvre what wags Michael Fraser on the hinge of a leaf what sleeps in a slow-dying snow it is august where the knots and voices downpour are like stars through the museum, in his world I am stuck and the dust shafts in this beltline procession that swirl to be seen a sea of heads moving seem angels gone mad the same way, to the floor somewhere amid this noise someone has forgotten to bathe what he names for the car on the road what he calls each century takes a seat to the yard in the dark in its own room or the sun and counts languages if he’s held until noon as they enter one by one, is this not the shelter the statues are almost dead of hope too many flashbulbs is this not the lonesome bundled against the stone, repair even mona lisa’s smile come close to the lock is bandaged with boredom and I’ll say what’s gathered away there is a yawning child in the windings of time in a carriage, by the rain and the wind soon we will all sleep on the heel that covers the land immobile as sculpture like the ageless air which steps quietly through this atrium
25 years of poetry
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 41
The New Canadian Poetry Association Webstore! Participoet’s blog! Member pages! Video blog! CPA Lit-Serve on Tw itter! PARTICIPOET is now a portal… Direct Social Networks: CPA Facebook Provincial Pages/Chapters, CPA Facebook Group, CPA Lit Serv on Twitter Canadian Poetry Association Official Website: http://canadianpoetryassociation.webs.com CPA Official Lit-Serv: http://www.twitter.com/cpalit
Canadian Poetry Association wishes to thank: Cofounders (the late Ted Plantos & Shaunt Basmajian), Wayne Ray, Beverly Daverio, accompanied by Chris Faiers, James Deahl, Jeff Seffinga & Terry Barker. Past Executive Boards, Friends of the CPA, Poemata editors, coordinators, volunteers and all our Facebook (800+) members for their support. Here are a few of our membership, past & present…
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Linda Lee Crosfield is working on a manuscript of journey poems that examines travel in its myriad forms. H er poems appear in several magazines and anthologies, including Rogue Stimulus and The Minnesota Review. She lives in Ootischenia, BC, near the confluence of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers.
Thank You D onna!!!
A T A M
I really appreciate the PDF file. Poemata looks amazing! I need to subscribe. Thanks again for the "Poem of the Year Award 2009"!! I truly appreciate it!! kindly,
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Donna Allard, "I hope you understand why I write so much about Acadie... we inhabit a land we don't lay claim to. We have been uprooted once and if not careful may be again from within our own culture. We are only now being recognized and I thank all Acadians, English and French for every book, sculpture, painting, folk art, theatre, dance, music, songwriting, film… once hidden, now proudly displayed worldwide. Donna Allard and Shetland poet Nat Hall have co-authored a book titled, “From Shore to Shoormal”. It is written in English translated into French and Shetland dialect by Nat Hall. Release date TBA.
Patricia Shields is collecting some poems by Canadian poets on the subject of British Columbia. If you have any or know of any other Canadian poets you can contact about this I'd appreciate it. Thanks. Email: email@example.com
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For more information contact Sophia Kaszuba U.C. Librarian B ooks donated by the C anad ian P oetry A ssociation http://www.library.utoronto.ca/canpoetry/ucl_poetry3.htm
tel: 506-454-5127 fax: 506-454-5134 firstname.lastname@example.org Website http://www.brokenjaw.com/ Blog http://brokenjawpres s.blogspot.com/
The latest edition of Library and Archives Canada's e-Newsletter is now available at this address: www.collectionscanada.ca/e-newsletter/index-e.html
Great article about Al and the A-frame http://www.thecountygrapevine.com/?p=111 POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 43
Reviews GENERATION Bernice Lever Black Moss Press August 2009 ISBN 978-0-88753-465-2
$17.00 B. Lever Photo
Bernice Lever's ironic humour caresses or rages over a variety of topics: lovers, heart health, public holidays, even rampant consumerism and cultural destruction, in this ninth book of her poems. The title poem, “Generation" concludes with the advice, “Watch your back!” in acceptance that each age learns pain from his/her trials and errors, yet there is much beauty and love to share in this troubled world. Her surprising use of conversational language creates mind-sticking phrases. "Bernice Lever has the unique ability to weave an intricate three dimensional web of words, that captures in turn, a depth of multiple meanings not apparent at first reading... she allows us to rediscover our forgotten humanity." Diego Bastianutti. "One is struck by the feisty energy of these compact poems, their tersepith, their rugged backbone. The poems resonate with being alive." Allan Briesmaster
Bernice Lever, born in Smithers, BC, worked many decades in Ontario, but today w rites and edits on Bowen Island. Past president of the LCP, she is now active with the B.C. Feds, Canadian Authors Association, World Poetry Society, etc. as an award-winning poet she likes giving readings and workshops, and helping others to get published. Bernice, who gets “high on words”, has read on five continents. Contact by email: email@example.com RR1, B69 Bowen Island, BC, V0N 1G0 Canada
When I Was Green I Was An Acrobat Joseph Brush Premier Series # 1 Member C ollection Beret Days Press - A division of TOPS ISBN: 978-1-897497-15-9
J. Brush Photo
"There is an autumnal, sweet sadness in the poetry of Joseph Brush. It is the poetry of observation; the notation of the immediate and the detailed without the ponderous Why? that possesses so many poets. We just are in our existence in much the same way as John Steinbeck illuminates humanity in his novel Cannery Row. Beautiful, ugly, confused, knowing, kind, cruel. It is poetry of love in the full meaning of the word." Martin Holroyd ( editor - Poetry Monthly International )
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 44
Reviews Café Erebus Stephanie Hodgins
S. Hodgins Photo
“I have admired Stephanie’s poetry for years now, and yet I still have to catch my breath whenever I read one of her poems. In the collection, Café Erebus, she will challenge your intellect, she will evoke dark emotions and she will appeal to your sense of play. She is clever, sassy, and profound as she probes all dimensions of the human soul. Whether it is the brilliance of Planetary Playboy, the dizzying tale of Gizmo or the visceral fear of Alpha Dog, like your coffee, you can have it light, frothy or espresso. Reviewer: Pat Hicks, long-time fan
Stephanie Hodgins’ new book, Café Erebus, offers the reader an eclectic collection of poems in different types of pace, form & rhythm, rich in flavours, landscape and imagery. The Toronto born, raised and educated poet first invites us to taste and sir a frothy cup through Cappuccino. She delves into a kaleidoscope of themes, taking the reader from the sea to the grave, blending melancholy with rich descriptions of characters, such as Gizmo, and her somewhat lighter froth of day-dream through Scaredy Cat, ‘Fraidy-Cat. Its opening piece, Old Souls, makes us taste that maritime froth at first hand as she connects with one common denominator she once shared w ith her daughter: Our past lives share a nexus … salt, in form of a spray by sailor and coarse by the sorceress. Very poignant ant powerful. The second cup, Espresso, taste like a rich Arabia. Much darker, without frills, Hodgins delves into sheer blackness with themes notably dealing with addiction with All Addicts Lie and No Sense Slammin‘, terrorism in 70s West Germany through The Baader-Meinhof Gang, Li Peng’s China and incarceration in Louisiana’s State Penitentiary. She juxtaposes fast-flowing & and lighter pieces, such as Outside the Circle, with deeper laments without shame. The title poem, Café Erebus, jam-packed w ith vivid imagery, leaves a very enigmatic taste in the reader’s lips & heart. The final cup, Latte Lite, acts as a soother. Much lighter, as the poet notable invites nature, through Mimus Polyglottus, and the supernatural with fairies and the notorious Lincoln Imp into the blend. The child w ithin the poet awakes with the delightful Christmas Inequities: A Child’s View as the collection’s final piece. All in all, Café Erebus covers the mixture of tastes in the genre Noir and Hodgins stirs emotion from her deepest of soul taking the reader outside the comfort zone. The deity w ould smile … A w ell worth read! Reviewer: Nat Hall, poet Shetland Islands “Café Erebus” @$17 (incl.p&h) Send payable to Stephanie Hodgins, 4117 Martlen Crescent, Mississauga, ON L5L 2H4 ~POEMATA~ 45
LitFest &Subs “Wish you could join us for the whole Wise Woman Weekend: http://www .wisewomanevents.net/Water.html ! “ Poet Penn Kemp keynote seminar is Visions and Revisions: How to invoke the Muses Sunday, September 12, 1:15-3:30 pm.
Penn Kemp has published 25 books of poetry and drama, ten CDs, six videopoems and a DVD: www.myspace.com/pennkemp, http://www .mytown.ca/pennkemp/. Penn is an enthusiastic practitioner of the creativity she teaches; she has been giving workshops for forty years. Her years of Buddhist practice has led her to give dozens of workshops on Sarasvati (Hindu and Buddhist deity of the arts), Inspiration and on Invoking Your Muse. An intrigue with ancient mythology has taken her on many journeys, in search especially of Black Madonnas in all their guises. Penn’s fascination with Egypt led her to visit twice, once with other metaphysical teachers, and again as tour leader: her adventures between the paws of the Sphinx are forthcoming in a CD, Helwa! (Beautiful). Her latest CDs of EcoPoetry are Luminous Entrance and Darkness Visible. Penn presents her Sound Operas on www.chrwradio.com/talk/gatheringvoices. The Association of Canadian Studies and the Canada Council sponsored Penn’s reading tours throughout India and Brazil. She has performed at arts festivals and conferences around the world, including two Findhorn Arts Festivals and the Glastonbury Goddess Conference. Penn was Canada Council writer-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario, 200910. Her muse news is on www.mytown.ca/pennletters. You can read more on http://www .library.utoronto.ca/canpoetry/kemp/ and www.myspace.com/pennkemp. Penn Kemp, Pendas Productions 525 Canterbury Road, London ON N6G 2N5 t: 519-434-8555 e: firstname.lastname@example.org The Malahat Review's 2010 Creative Non-Fiction Prize Deadline: August 1, 2010 (postmarked) Prize: $1000 CAD Submit one piece of creative non-fiction between 2000 and 3000 words in length. Entry fee: $35 CAD for residents of Canada $40 USD for residents of the United States; $45 USD for entries from elsewhere (entry fee includes a one year subscription to the magazine) For more information: http://www.malahatreview.ca/creative_non-fiction_prize/info.html Also, our next contest is: The Malahat Review's 2011 Open Season Awards Deadline: November 1, 2010 (postmarked)Prize: $1000 CAD in each of three genres Enter either: up to 3 poems; one short story under 2500 words; OR one piece of creative non-fiction under 2500 words Entry fee (per entry): $35 CAD for residents of Canada $40 USD for residents of the United States; $45 USD for entries from elsewhere For more information: http://www.malahatreview.ca/open_season/info.html Thanks very much, Susan Sanford Blades Marketing Manager The Malahat Review
M. Glencross Photo
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 46
CPA Official Board Nomination Form In accordance with our by-laws, Board Directors must be a current member of The C anadian Poetry Association. Nominations may only be made by a current member of Canadian Poetry Association. Members may nominate up to eight (8) persons for the Board. Members may nominate themselves; otherwise, the nominee must give consent for nomination. If no nominations are submitted the existing board will remain. Nominations to the Board of The Canadian Poetry Association must be directed to the Secretary and received no later than August 01, 2010. Voting starts August 01 - 18, 2010 (Nominations may be mailed to address below.). An e-notice will be sent to membership to inform them to vote. This form may be copied, or additional forms can be obtained from the Secretary.
Please Print: I nominate ________________________________________ to sit on the Board for a period of one year. Final Vote count to take place one (1) week before AGM August 25,, 2010. A list of nominees w ill be provided at the Annual General Meeting and a copy sent to CPA co-founder James Deahl. Please attach a brief bio (max. 75 w ords) outlining the nominee’s areas of interest or expertise.
Nominated by ________________________________________ Nominee consent has been obtained: _________________ (Yes or No) Voting will take place at the Annual General Meeting August 25, 2010
For Secretary’s use only: Membership verified for candidate: _________________ Membership verified for nominator: _________________ The Canadian Poetry Association 331 Elmwood Dr. Suite 4-212 Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada E1A 1X6 Tel: 506-380-1222 Email:email@example.com © 2010 CPA. All rights reserved.
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 47
2010 Canadian Poetry Association MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION Name:__________________________________ _______________________________________ Address: ________________________________ _______________________________________ City/Town: ______________________________ Postal Code: _____________________________ Phone:__________________________________ E-mail: _________________________________
( ) Please include me in your email update submission list Membership Details
( ( ( ( ( ( ( (
) $30.00 Regular Membership ) $20.00 Student/Senior/Fixed income ) $40.00 International Membership ) $50.00 Association Membership Poetry ) $150.00 Library/bookstores affiliate ) New Membership ) Friends of the CPA $50 and up ) Renewal All Cheques or Money Orders payable to: Canadian Poetry Association 331 Elmwood Dr. Suite 4-212 Moncton, NB, Ca nada E1A 1X6
*Please note: Memberships are non-refundable.
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 48
CPA OutReach: www.canadianpoetryassociation.webs.com Facebook Group & Provincial Chapters
Canada NB Donna Allard & Brian Steve ns Cell: (506) 380-1222
Executive Board of Directors and Coordinators
CPA Life Member Award Committee: Nominations welcomed for 2010 CPA Poetry Competition: Coordinator Brian Stevens Internet Committee: Webmaster River Bones Press Official Site Paypal Manager Brian Stev ens Media Coordinator Ronda Wicks CPA Official Bookstore: Manager Brian Stevens Continuity Coordinator: Brian Stev ens CPA Community Blog Networks: Creator CPA President Media Coordinator & selected members CPA Lit-Serv: CPA President CPA Social Media Network Moderators: Lola Corkum, Valerie Poulin, Nat Hall
ON - Clinton Ronda Eller (Wicks)
President Donna Allard NB Vice President Liz Rolls-Holmes MB Secretary Open Tre asurer Brian Stevens NB Interim National Coordinator Valerie Poulin ON Media Coordinator Ronda Eller ON
Please mail all membership renewal cheques and correspondences to: CPA 331 Elmwood Dr. Suite 4-212 Moncton, NB, Canada E1A 1X6
General Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
NS Lola Corkum Keith Gale ON - Windsor Pierre Beaumie r email@example.com
ON - London Wayne Ray ON - Hamilton James Deahl AB SK Manitoba Liz Rolls Holmes BC Ben Nuttall-Smith International OutReach: Nat Hall Shet land Islands firstname.lastname@example.org
POEMATA DISCLAIMER: We would like to thank the participating poets and write rs, the proofreaders and all those who work to make this magazine possible. While all care has been take n to ensure accuracy, no guarantee is implied or given by the Editor and/or publisher, the poets, the writers or the proofreaders.
Copyright Here are two places to get started if you are doing any research on copyright in Canada. For a comprehensive window on the world of copyright both in Canada and around the globe (in both English and French), Access Copyright www.accesscopyright.ca or visit Copyright Central online at www.copyrightcentral.ca. For information on fair dealing and other copyright issues, read CIPO’s “A Guide to Copyrights” or visit our website for more details. De ar members, Please note - No email corresponde nce will be acc epte d by the Continuity c ommittee , only hard copy ‘letter’ sent by Canada Post. All correspondence is kept confidential. If a CPA member has a concern they must se nd all correspondence to the Continuity Committee (postal only hand written and signed). Contact the committee at this address: CPA Continuity Committee, 331 Elmwood Dr. Suite 4-212, Moncton, NB, Canada E1A 1X6
POEMATA SILVER ANNIVERSARY 2010 PAGE 49
25 years of poetry
Poemata was a tiny seed Planted 25 years ago, With determination and nurturing Itsâ€™ founders have watched it grow. Some poets received their first chance, To publish their poetry, Exciting and encouraging, Giving creditability. Artists, maybe unknown till then, Got the front page cover spot. Seeing their drawings printed I know, to them, means a lot. It takes work and dedication To keep a planted dream alive. Congratulations to the team Poemata certainly thrives.
Jean Kay Photo
POETRY POETRY POWER Life Member Awards Poem of the Year Award
Plant a seed Jean Kay
Be A Friend of the Canadian Poetry Association donate online at www.canadianpoetryassoc.com or mail us for details.
POEMATA Vol25 No 01 2010 Silver Anniversary Issue ISSN 1920-8847 50pp. In this issue: Life Members Award Nomination, Contest details, Art...