Illumination…

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Winter is here. Early dark. Cold. Insular and introspective. More difficult to go out and do things. Still, I know I must. I know my health (mental and physical) depends upon it.

I’ve aligned myself over the past 20 years with my faith community, Trinity. Sometimes I participate in event planning, or in prepping for celebrations, or I design and build things, or dig in with study groups, or I share words, or sing, or simply attend a service and listen, soak, learn.

This week I’m aligning myself (and Pop-Up-Poetry) with a Trinity initiative called City Light Kelowna. And I’ve been thinking a lot about illumination, physical and metaphorical, and how each of us can be a part of what another person needs. Tonight I will install my first series of luminaires in my neighbourhood. Each lamp contains a poem and some tea lights noted with, “be the light” and “shine on.” Here is the poem and some pictures prior to installation.

The Properties of Light

by Lesley-Anne Evans

We know forest fires,
how sparks airborne and high
light up neighbourhoods,
candle ponderosa on the ridge.
We know about heat,
how August sun in a bleach blue sky
sends us to beach and lake
and shade of backyard trees.
We know the warmth of a wood fire,
crackle lighting up a room
on a crunch cold January night,
the snow squeak under boots,
then tingle of fingers and toes
as blood rushes them back
from near frozen.
We’ve struck matches to a hundred candles
eyes shut, blown out a hundred wishes
for the spark of new adventure,
for illumination to our questions,
for light in the dark.
And we’ve felt a flicker
of something we witness in passing,
a small child twirling in a pink tutu,
an old couple holding hands.
Double rainbow, ghost trees, dragonfly,
cry of osprey over orchard,
the shadow banishing light of
human kindness, bright heat
of words or gesture, how in these
we are a small flame fanned to life.
How, with open eyes
and open hands, each of us
can be a light, each of us
can blaze.

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Lesley-Anne, SDG

Wherein pop-up-poetry meets people

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National Poetry Month continues, and PUP is still getting out there. Poetry is placed out and about in Kelowna every couple of days, and people read it (I’ve seen them) Some make contact online or mention it to me in person when they ‘find’ a poem. I get a giddy feeling every time I head out with new poems (in plastic sleeves because it won’t stop raining). I wonder where I will place them, who will find them, who will read them, what might the outcome be? I wonder, is this what it feels like to be eccentric? Nah, can’t be.

I’m reminded of a book I read a few years back, “Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast,” by Wendy Morton. About Wendy’s innate ability to share poetry without apology, and for money, which she did as West Jet’s Poet of the Skies, and Chrysler’s Poet of the Road. Wendy brought poetry to regular folks on a regular basis. Wendy began what has become a national week long celebration of literacy in Canada, “Random Acts of Poetry.”  Wendy and her ideas inspire me.

And as all ‘new things’ have come in some shape or form previously, perhaps PUP is the result of this concept messing about in my mind over the years since I read her book. That and the pop-up-stores I saw in Vancouver. That and the desire of all poets to speak out what we write down, at some point.

Here are some PUP installations for this week;

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