Angels Wrestled in the Night

This poem was written about how the things that we wrestle with in the darkness of night, mark us; change us; shape us; give form to us even when we do not know their name. And so it borrows as metaphor from the story of Jacob, being marked in the night by the angel he wrestled with unaware of its angelic nature.

Balance

A poem about climate change and the need for human balance.

Band of Brothers

Written after a workshop put on by a Canadian Forces Military Family Resource Centre.  There was a veteran of the Iraq war  in the audience listening to a fellow veteran talk about his deployment in Afghanistan.  I had never experienced before a grief that was so contained but so palpable that you could almost feel yourself breathing it in

Child of Ash and Darkness

So we were sitting with the story of Snow White and exploring its many iterations both across time and geography.  The professor leading the course asked us to respond in any medium to the following:

 

"When the flakes of snow were falling like feathers from the sky, a queen sat at a window sewing ..."

Charcoal

A poem  inspired by the same oil painting as Night Skies but with very different results.

Dance

The shifting of seasons and the early season variability of weather.  I survive winter. Spring begins my dance back to life...

Dancer

Putting this in context of time, this was written when I was thirty.  Not so young, but still not yet realized.

Do the Work

A poem about working through writer's block.

Entanglement

This is not a hard SF poem. It borrows, for purpose of metaphor, the notion of particles separated by space but entangled by previous contact.  Maybe someday, there will be a poem about actual entanglement.  Think of this, in the meantime,  as SciFi with no happily ever after.

For Those Who Follow After

This was written so long ago (2003) that I no longer remember the origins/seeds that led to it.  

Goddess on the Last Train

One never knows when a source of inspiration may present itself to you.  In this case, an overheard conversation on the last night train home on the Toronto subway led to these reflections. 

Human Down

What could be salvaged if every human in crisis were treated as though an "officer down" situation?  What resources would be brought to bear if we valued each and every life as tribe?

Impossible Things

“There's no use trying,” she said: “one can't believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven't had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Lewis Carroll, The Red Queen and Alice from Alice in Wonderland

Let Your Fury Breathe

A Faery Tale poem. 

 

Inspiration came from  Tracee Ellis Ross' TED talk in Vancouver,  British Columbia (April 2018).  Tracee reflects on the fury of a friend who had experienced being moved out of the way by a man who wanted to get access to something that she was "blocking" as she stood filling out forms.  His hands on her body and then moving her out of his way.

Little Red and the Forest Way

I've been taking a Fairy Tale course with Joanna Gilar, a professor from Sussex, and this week we started Little Red Riding Hood - who I think is probably my favourite faery tale heroine.    A number of poems have been written.  These are in pretty raw form and may go through an edit or twenty but I decided to post them up as is for now so that I can link to them for my fellow course attendees.

Medications Required

A poem about the need for a pill that is neither red nor blue, though required for the heart.

Monstrous Kingdoms

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Night Skies

A poem anchored in an oil painting and a science fiction short story.

Of Driftwood and the Sea

A slightly mystical, Celtic offering about the sea and the things that drift in the deeps.

On Hamilton Mountain

Two different versions of a poem inspired by fear of the open edge; fear that gravity will, somehow, stop working.

Returning Home

Life does not always happen on schedule.  Life rarely happens on schedule.  It is an ongoing improvisational dance.   Not always to music we have danced to before.  Sometimes to music we don't even like.  But it is always a dance of possibilities and of moments; of fears and longings, hopes and dreams. And of people.

Secret Names

We are obsessed with the naming of things.  We think, rightly or wrongly, that in the naming of a thing we gain dominion over it.  

Selkie Winds

While I have a deep and abiding love for the Folk of the Sea, I have always found most of the selkie stories profoundly disturbing.  That a man would think that his loneliness should justify the stealing of a woman's life so that his own would be more whole is not a thing of love.  It is possession, perhaps obsession but it is not, no matter how pretty the stories try to make it, an act of love.  The tragedy is doubled in that the selkie maid is put forever between choosing the life she has been exiled from and the lives that she has birthed on the land.  The love in these stories always comes in the end, where the child looks upon their mother's hidden skin and set her free, no matter the cost to them all of that choice.

Summer Dragonfly

A reflection on the change of seasons and the fragility and beauty of life.

The Harlequins were First

One of the prompts for creative for our final week of the Fairy Tale Atlas course was to consider how we could use "The Frog King" tale today as space for ecological exploration of our relationship to water.  And I thought about how frogs are one of our indicator species in terms of their vulnerability to changes in the water ecosystem ... 

This Still Life

The oil painting in the coffee shop was the gift that kept giving .

Voice-over-Internet Protocol

It's about the loss of privacy ... I think ...   I'm not a luddite in any way, though sometimes I yearn for the days where communication was a lot harder and you had to really think about whether you actually wanted to talk in person or not.

Whisper of the Wind

It is a poem about tone policing as a mechanism used to shut down dissenting voices and to tune out justifiable anger that must be redressed whether that is environmental, #IdleNoMore, the #MeToo movement, or the urgency of #BlackLivesMatter.

Wild Roads

All the poems written on the Faery Tale page are the creative output of the opportunity to sit for an hour each week and talk with women from all over Great Britain and North America about our readings of all the various wonderful versions of the old tales, modern and traditional.  So much creative potential.

Wisdom and the Sorceress

Undergraduate drinking and poetry sometimes combine for a weird, weird mix.  Make of it what you will.

Wolf-Lit Night

The first evening that we were in Dartmoor at The Wandering Court, Dr. Martin Shaw, the bard for the weekend retreat, warmed us up with the story of the Birth of  Oisín, the Irish warrior-poet of the Fenian cycle of hero tales about Finn MacCumhaill (MacCool) and his war band, the Fianna Éireann.  After the storyhour, we all moved outside, gathering round a small fire by the pasture where we waited to see whether the Wolf Moon would reveal itself before the eclipse was over.  

Wolf's Perspective

One of the discussions we had in the seminar on Little Red was the degree to which the Wolf was demonized by Church and by the ordinary people.  The story of Little Red reflects a particular point in time when the  Wolf's reputation in Europe was not informed by our modern understanding of the critical need for this apex predator in an ecosystem to maintain its health.  And the health of all the members of that ecosystem.  There are hints of that in the alchymical relationship between Little Red and the Wolf, if viewed as a rite of passage story.

Wonder

This poem is circa the 1990s. It is one of my more, shall we say, critical reflections on organized religion.

Writing Exorcise

A funny little semi-horror poem with an awakened pen and a judgmental clock.

Under Development 

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