You just gotta have fun!


From time to time, someone asks why I do Pop-Up-Poetry. They often look slightly puzzled.

I pause, then explain I want to write, and I want to share my words. Then there’s the giddy, excited feeling when I install poems, almost feeling like I’m breaking a law of some kind, and I’m going to get caught. And that appeals to the rebel in me, and to the childlike mystery of taking action and anticipating ripples, like a comment on my blog, or meeting someone who says, hey, aren’t you the one who does Pop-Up-Poetry? And then there’s the taking steps of faith part of it, like doing it not knowing exactly why, but knowing it somehow feels right.

And it’s just FUN! Shouldn’t we all have fun in our lives?

Here are of the more whimsical installs I’ve done this year:

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Yes, I know that’s poor grammar in the title!


Bring your poems, he said!!!


And I did! (thanks, babe!)

Following are photos of some pop-up-poems, in the thick of our family summer vacation, in Southern California.

So, bring what you’ve got, give what you have. Every moment is an opportunity to share your small and unique offerings with the world!

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Overheard on the bike path, “Are these poems yours?” “May I take one home for my sister, I think she’ll like it?”

Overseen from our hotel balcony, a woman on a park bench, pop-up-poem in hand, reading intently for a long time.

Observed as I installed my poems… chalk words written on surfaces, interesting messages.



Overtaken by voices speaking in creative and unique ways. In this case, the hood of a surfing van, molded and painted, words wild and free.




I’m learning about the synergy that happens when two come together and create more than the sum of the parts. Husband and wife, wine and cheese, family and friends, darkness and stars, poetry and visual images, music and art, ideas and application… and we could go on from there.

“Two are better than one” are words I struggle to live by. I am naturally introverted, like my time and space alone, but too much of a good thing is just too much. So I meet with a friend or a colleague face-to-face, share ideas, nod my head, offer a few thoughts, and go away feeling more able to take on the world. I fight myself on this every time, but getting out is getting easier with practice.

Being alone is something every artist/writer/poet experiences. It’s knowing when to leave the studio that requires a fine tuned antennae. Wait too long and darkness can settle, upsetting the creative process. Leave too soon and no art is created. I’m figuring out the balance that works for me.

Early last evening, I knew I had to get out. With poems in hand I headed to the heart of Kelowna, and walked along the boardwalk at Waterfront Park, alone but in a crowd, everyone gathering for the musical offerings of Parks Alive. A quintessential Okanagan evening, sailboats running a course, tourists taking photos, lovers prone on the grassy hill, seniors clustering in groups to listen to the music, dogs and kids and happy happenings all around me.

I collaborated in kind, sowed poems all over Waterfront Park. I shared two poems, “Burn ~ Okanagan Mountain Firestorm”, and “Everyday grace”. Here are some photos of the experience.

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Sometimes it feels like that hopeless

In the past two weeks I’ve ridden a bumper car of emotions, smashed up my self-esteem on a couple of occasions, felt the exhilaration of whirling about on the edges and being in the fray. I’ve written prolifically and faced a white page with fear. I’ve read books, and given up on a couple after reading the first chapter.  I’ve felt loved and forgotten, stifled and isolated. I’ve slept in, got up early, stayed home and gone out. I’ve cooked and refused to lift a finger. I’ve called back. I’ve ignored the phone. I’ve blessed my children, I’ve cursed bitten my tongue and said nothing to the myriad of ways my life is different when teens are coming and going like it’s a hotel, rather than a home. I’ve cried. I’ve had whine wine.What waits for you

Poetry is everywhere

And, after wondering what the heck was wrong with me, I asked my biggest confidant in the world (my husband, bless his heart) and he listened, pondered (for at least 30 seconds) and said with great wisdom, “It’s the summer.  You do this every summer.” And suddenly, I was OK again. OK to be me in summer, just like it’s OK to be me in fall and winter and spring. It just looks different in every season.

With a renewed perspective, I’ve jumped in with 2 feet and done the following;

  1. released 25 copies of my poems into the neighbourhood parks, mailboxes, outhouses, trees, and bus stops. (see photo above). And people found them and told me about it!
  2. busked my poetry with an amplifier, background music, sign, tip box, and a liberal amount of fear and trembling. And, to the man at the KYC, if you happen to be listening, telling someone people don’t really want to hear what they are saying is rude. Repeat, RUDE! And, I really didn’t mean it when I suggested you have a good day!
  3. opened the mail to a real, paper, beautifully illustrated, laid out, and formatted copy of CV2, where to my unbelieving eyes I saw my name, on the back cover, in the index, in the list of contributing poets, and, like a dream where you are just on the verge of waking but don’t want to end it… I saw my poem on page 35. Oh, I still can’t believe it. I’m over the top about it. (knowing of course that if you aren’t enough before you are published, you certainly won’t be enough when you are)
  4. met and talked with the most lovely people… someone who is going to work with me on a website & branding, someone who just wanted to spend time sitting by the beach and talking about our lives, someone who wants to collaborate when I busk, and someone who dropped off a book for me to read… life is rich when your eyes are open to it.

In all this, I’m reminded of the words of my maternal grandfather, a spry Englishman who has influenced me in profound ways… always… he would say,

“It’s a great life if you don’t weaken.”

And I was, weakening. But, thanks to God for the people in my life who remind me to clean my artsy glasses (both figuratively and in reality, they tend to be smeared with finger prints, obscure a clear vision of things)… life is rich, and my life is for the most part, good.

Peace, out.

Lesley-Anne SDGIt's how we see things matters most of all

A busking she will go …

English: A sax busker on the streets of the Fr...

English: A sax busker on the streets of the French Quarter, New Orleans. Photo by Gary Mark Smith. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s official. After an exciting half hour meeting with Festivals Kelowna Program Coordinator, Ryan Donn, I am licensed as a Poet Busker (street performer). The Kelowna Buskers Program has been around town for several years, and is managed by Festivals Kelowna who describe themselves as;

a non-profit society that produces community focused, family friendly festivals and events that enhances the lifestyle of our citizens and visitors.

Festivals Kelowna also do Parks Alive, Celebrate Canada Day and Arts Alive Programs… a huge focus of energy and passion involved in bringing fun, music and the arts to the very fortunate people of Kelowna. I love what they do.

Ryan tells me this is going to be one of the most exciting years for the Buskers Program yet, with new types of art being offered. Things like acrobatics, music, dance and spoken word poetry, to name a few. I’m thrilled to be on board.

Well then, it’s out I go. Be on the lookout for my “This is Pop-Up-Poetry” sign and me at one of fifteen different locations around the City of Kelowna, including several in the South Pandosy neighbourhood.

This is me hoping to see YOU out THERE!

Lesley-Anne Evans, Pop-Up-Poetry

Sunshine, summer, fresh air, people and poetry! I think I’m getting my happy on.