Burn

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DSC_0005Okanagan Mountain Firestorm, 2003

 

When grief sweeps deep into gullies,
once green meadows melt, Ponderosa
sticks, flame sharpened, poke the sky;
I flee to the watery horizon,
throat full of words I will not purge,
eyelids on fire with memories.

When white-tails race down Wild
Horse, fast heat and smoke snuffs nests
of mole, cottontail dreams, skinks
falter, fade; I shake my fist
while Firestorm forces molten crowns
on every virgin head.

When they come heavy with human
power, sweat and fear and balls,
they build a line, attack despair; no sleep
until we lay in smoldering highlands,
balm and gentleness for our wounds,
dreams of snow for our dark nakedness.

When forgiveness, fireweed pink,
impossible, blooms in April soil, I sink
to my knees, call Lynx, Black Bear,
and Coyote, home. I raise my hands
for Western Grebe, and Spotted Bat,
whisper songs of chartreuse moss
to the face of every ashen stone, and promise;

always, everywhere, we will begin again.

 

 

LAE 2003

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Don’t fence me in

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We knew it was coming, first the move out, then the move on, then the moving in of the hazmat team, proceeded by fences and followed by bulldozers. We knew it. We prepared. We celebrated. We left our mark on the building face like it has made a mark in our hearts.

So, today wasn’t a surprise, but still it felt surprising to see the doorway fenced off, the new art and words from a distance, and my heart feeling a little heave-ho because this was it. We have not gone anywhere, and we are determined to stay close and hold out hope to the homeless and vulnerable and disenfranchised for as long as it takes. Still, this was our home of several years. This is where people dropped in and stayed and sat around a little table and wrote poems and then shared them. This is where first words were uttered, where he finally spoke to me, where she smiled and invited me into a conversation.

All I can do today is continue to remember, take a few more pictures, and then, because they were already waiting in the back of my truck and because I was recently told to “do what I can” and I brought what I had…a pop-up happened. A few of my poems hanging like little prayer flags on the moduloc fence, waving goodbye.

Believing in what is to come…what can never be fenced in,

Lesley-Anne

p.s. and just so I have to chuckle rather than cry, I notice in one of the pictures a typo on a poem…and recognize even in a simple little installation there is room to be imperfect and humbled.

p.p.s. soon we will be launching our Metro HOLDINGOUTHOPE campaign. And the stories, oh the stories…

 

How the poems felt about it…

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It was a blue bird day, and the poems were alert in their lively cling to the wire, their flutter of twos and threes. The wind cleared their heads of winter, and they soon realized the grape vines clinging beside them were similarly inspired, weathered arms held up to the sun, green ideas budding out in the warmth and light. And then the moment came when a woman reached out and touched one of the poems. How it felt to be chosen and held like that, the woman’s eyes intent on each lettered scar, the nakedness of lines. How the women read, gently, to last letter of last word. DSC_0040 DSC_0041 DSC_0039 DSC_0037 DSC_0036 DSC_0035

Too sunny not to…

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Sunny Tuesday afternoon, bull clips and poems in hand, I drive down to South Pandosy, the location of my first experiences with reading my poetry randomly in public, and my first poetry pinning installation, over 2 years ago.

This time I have an assistant who is more than willing to help attach said poems to trees and shrubs and benches and newly installed parking meters! WHAT??? Parking meters? Yes, folk, it will cost you to park in the village from now on. Times they are a changing… just like the leaves!

And, I just heard back from a lovely lady who discovered a poem that we pinned up today,

“Loved your pop up poetry on tutt st. today.” ~ Karla, Kelowna.

Here’s to the ripple effect of creative joy and engagement.

Happy October!

Lesley-Anne

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