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

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

LOVE POEM BLITZ!!!!! Takin’ it to the streets!

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Make Love Poems photoTuesday afternoon Kelowna will be blitzed by LOVE POEMS, as Lesley-Anne Evans, Nygel Metcalfe and Emmy Chahal gift the community with #allwedoismakelovepoems Pop-Up-Poetry!!!!

This collaborative installation will be the largest PUP to date, and is an personal invitation to Wednesday, Feb. 25th’s MAKE LOVE POEMS ~ LIVE POETRY EVENT at heART School, Kelowna.

An evening of unconventional celebration. Four local poets take the stage to share snapshots from their journeys, moments captured in the evolution of their insides.

Spend an evening immersing yourself in the vivid stories and poems of Emmy Chahal, Nygel Metcalfe, Lesley-Anne Evans, and Lolu John Oyedele, celebrating the month of love and loss at Heart School. True stories, from every peak and canyon they have found themselves. Only one rule – they have to be LOVE poems.

Highlights of the evening will include a romantic creative environment, a group poem, interactive poetry, love notes for the wishing tree, and sharing space with a lot of lovely folk. Don’t miss it!!!

Tickets to the event are available HERE, through Eventbrite, and at the door.

So, be on the lookout for PUP in Kelowna Tuesday, Feb. 24th, and come out on Wednesday night for some sizzling word heat!!! ❤

We are getting ready for you…

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Location, location, location

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It appears that art installations, like real estate, may be all about location, location, location. After the fiasco of vandalized art earlier last week, I intentionally returned to the same site, but a slightly different location. Rather than the quiet north side parkway, I chose a location directly adjacent to the front door of our Aquatic Centre H2O. While my daughter worked out, I installed lights and poetry and stood back all spy like and watched what happened.

Within 15 minutes all 20 copies of my poem and as many tea lights were taken by an interesting variety of people. I overheard joy, gratitude, questions and comments that affirmed what I was doing. The most energetic and positive being a group of tween girls with their enthusiastic YMCA leader who said “Look, this is a random act of kindness (RAK) which lines up completely with what we are doing tonight! Let’s take a poem back and copy it and share it with everyone.” I hadn’t thought of PUP as RAK before. Yes, I was standing fairly close by to hear all this! I also saw people take selfies with the installation. Yep.

The funniest comment was from a boy who was very excited until he saw “They aren’t real candles!!!” Then I returned to my car and received a sticky under my wiper blade. It said “you are special in many ways 🙂 🙂 “ I think it was placed there by those very same happy tween girls! So undeserved, so personal, so WOW.

I want to thank each one of you who spoke kindly and affirmatively when I was feeling hurt about the vandalism. Thank you for your reminders to rally on and not let the darkness win. You know who you are. You are my light.
LA