Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Poetry Night in Tofino

Well, actually, it's poetry month in Canada, but I thought that had a nice ring to it especially given that the season at the moment is not really "spring," it's "hockey."

There is a local event on Saturday, April 9 from 3 to 4 at the Tofino Public Library. Local poet, Chris Lowther, will be reading, as will other west coast writers.

As a teaser, here is a poem from Chris's most recent book, My Nature.

Just another jaunt to Tonquin

After a long day under the curse of the thin-skinned,
I took my seat and pulled the door closed;
you started the ignition, familiar whine of your electric truck.
A flubbed sentence sounded like an old joke of ours,
unintended reference to some past hilarity and we erupted,
the tension departing our shoulders like lava.
You had to set the brake again.
At the park, falling sunlight fired up the forest
a rich green-gold, we could have drunk it dripping like honey mead
from all the bright branches.
And through that light, through those trees, smooth sand stretched
free of footprints, the expanding freedom of low tide.

The creek fanned out to cover most of the beach,
so shallow it was no longer a stream
but barely moving veins of shining wet sand.

You declared the close-packed mussels to be like wedding bouquets,
those tightly crammed arrays of firm unopened rosebuds.

Who started the colour show? - sunset-tinted seastars on rocky outcrops
blazed against the grey, and suddenly the sky spilled
amaranth and coral. One moment the pale barnacles
remained ivory and passive, the next they shouted with sunset.
They couldn't help taking some of that on,
so much colour it must be shared, spreading
like the creek, seeping into stone and shell and skin. You looked
sunburnt, gazing at a tidepool where mermaid's hair seaweed streamed
that crazy, effulgent green. When I looked up
from it, the sky had flamed, setting our hair alight.

Been coming here eighteen years, yet here I was exclaiming
over everything and there you were showing no sign
of being tired of any of it: sunsets, mussels, barnacles,
same old trees, same old jokes, my rhapsodizing, me.


And since we're speaking of local writers, Jackie Windh did a nice post here that profiles some of us.

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