Unexpected feedback

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Today it has been dull, it rained, the wind has blown in gusts, and the sun has shone and is shining still. I didn’t really know if the installation was a good idea or not, especially since the papers won’t last if they get wet. But I went out anyway when the rain broke and the sun came out and it was invigorating.

And this moment signifies the turning point, from creative idea to purpose. Because as I continued to walk and hang up little slips of paper with little bits of poetry on them, suddenly these boys rode up to me.

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They seemed friendly enough, so I said;

Hi, I’m just hanging up some poetry.

Oh yes, we know, they said, we’ve found about five of them already.

Oh, I said. I’ve hung about 20 of them around here.

Well then we are going to go find some more, said the older one, no more than 10 or 12.

I was flabbergasted and amazed as I imagined these young boys finding (and reading!!!) poetry at their age! What do I know, but I certainly didn’t think they’d be interested. I was completely enthralled by them, but didn’t want to get all sugary and scare them so I asked if I could take their photo and they agreed.

On I went, heading home, a couple more poems in my hands. By the time I reached the end of the road, suddenly they were beside me again on their bikes. I jumped.

Sorry, he said, I didn’t mean to scare you.

That’s OK, I said.

And then he said;

Thanks for the wonderful adventure!

WOW!!!! And I may have sounded a just a tiny bit gushy when I said (with what I imagine was a huge Cheshire cat smile on my face);

It was really nice to meet you guys today, and you really made my day, and thank you for looking for my poems.

Truth is I felt like crying, like singing, and I think I may have floated back up the road to the house with his words playing over and over again in my mind. Wow, finding my poetry was an adventure.!?! I never would have thought that. Thank you, boys, thank you so so much! What kind of parents raise these kind of boys? What a joy! What a refreshing connection!

Here are some photos of some of the other poems still out there…but you’ll have to hurry if you’d like to have an adventure too, because the wind is picking up again.

This poet’s heart feels particularly fond of boys today.

On purpose,

Lesley-Anne

Je me souviens

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Dearest daughter,

I remember our time away fondly, so many great conversations, meals, and experiences of a new part of Canada for both of us. The Eastern Townships at Easter is very quiet, and so was Quebec City, but we still managed to find patisseries and good cheese and epic grand cathedrals and one day we even found time for an installation of PUP.

So thank you for documenting our process. It isn’t often that I have a kind and willing accomplice alongside me, but you were so patient. Here’s some proof of where we were, and what we did. I wonder who found those little poems?

Saint Roch was a perfect neighbourhood to be a flaneur.

Love,

Mom







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…

 

Home, sweet poem…

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At the last minute I tucked a few poems and some bull clips into my suitcase. Thought, why not…maybe there will be an opportunity for a walk through the neighbourhood where I spent my teen years. And maybe I will leave a sprinkling of poems there bringing everything full circle to embrace who I was and who I am now. It would be fun.

So one cold sunny morning I got up early and set out with my poems. I’d forgotten how cold winter treks along Mill Street were walking to Richmond Hill High School so many years ago. My legs and finger tips were soon numb, but a prickly feeling of excitement kept me going. And the beautiful setting, the glorious day. I walked around the Mill Pond, then back home through a park at Pleasantville School, pinning poems along the way. And the very last poem found its place on my parents garage wall trellis.

This is how one Richmond Hill resident described what happened next. She left this note on my Facebook page;

“Came across some Pop Up poetry by Mill Pond this morning and was totally smitten with what I read…magical. What a wonderful way to start the day. I found them all! I followed the trail and read one after the other….such a treat! The local paper snapped some shots as well…I think there were many pond goers enjoying your words!” ~ Veronica

How unexpected! Maybe the paper will print something, I don’t know? I will keep you posted! UPDATE: Seems they did…HERE.

Here are some photos of the install;

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Happy 2015 every one!

Lesley-Anne Evans

laevans.ca