Friday, November 20, 2009

Inuksuk, Inukshuk , Inunnguaq

Inuksuk, Inukshuk , Inunnguaq

Westbound on the 401, I caught a glimpse of an inukshuk
right at the tip of the fusing asphalt lane.

Over my right shoulder
in the boreal green haze of the mid-June afternoon,
suspended on heaps of granite rocks,

amid the fumes of the drizzle evaporating & eroding the air.

A cairn in the shape of a faceless man,
a tentative ledger in lieu of shoulders, balancing the weight of a larger burden
made of quartz and limestone:

his identity.

Seized up in a stone soliloquy
the inukshuk’s precarious balance
reached out to me,
in the fast  counterpoint of the advancing day.

The faceless man
asked me who I was on this road.

Whose words did I hold on my own terrace of songs?

Thirty miles east of Kingston –
 & the question followed me home,
among the curving boughs of the road

filled with looming maple shades and white poplar fluff
carried by winds to glacial and oblivious lakes.

The question stands – who am I?

Inuksuk, Inukshuk , Inunnguaq.

Posted on  ->The Inukshuk

Thursday, November 19, 2009


On some days, I feel as if I barely float above a sunken seabed, among madrepores, coral reefs,bored  fish and seashells.

Some sort of deep sea algae, verdant and scintillating, hungry for an undercurrent that can move me towards a new marine settlement among crawling crabs and shards of amphorae. 

This undercurrent is a poem, ready to shift my shape from among rippling sand dunes. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Three Reasons for Reading Poetry In Winter

1. Winter is made up of stillness. Words echo in the distance and their meaning, amplified by the frozen void, carries further away and deeper towards the fringes of our understanding.

2.The ground is covered by snow. White is an ‘all or nothing’ color. Everything appears to be at a standstill - where nothing is possible anymore and bleakness overwhelms us.
It’s also the point where the tide begins to turn, from the rock bottom of despair.
Often this new beginning is brought about by random verses or snippets of songs.

3. Winter is musical - an icy symphony made of spikes of sound.
A poem takes this reverberation and circles it into a cloud of syllables that can make us happy for the rest of the day. 

Niska - A Cree Word

Plumes and lenses of waters
Catching the waves of autumn leaves – afloat.

A vibration of syllables cached inside a
Soft, gliding movement muted by distant oars –


A Cree word for the goose of the North.

Hockey and poetry



Scarred by serrated edges and
the harshness of blades, moving fast, crisscrossing, 
light hollows out,

skating towards a no-man’s land of winter
and empty gradins

towards the puck.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Three Reasons for Reading Poetry

1. Poetry is multi-faceted, a rotating insect eye that brings forward unexpected angles on reality. 

2. Poetry focuses the mind on the nuances and clarity of meaning, it purpose and its structure.

3. Poetry uncovers hidden layers of the psyche, proving an occasion for self-exploration and healing.

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Short note

    “Ride the wave!” they had said.

      And my back was against a grain of sand - caught between an oyster and its shell.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    The Eye of Poetry

    Browsing through some of Seamus Heanney’s poetry tonight, I sense the importance of seeing in his poems as one of his cardinal themes. 

    This can be understood, even by noting some of the  titles of his books:
    ‘Seeing things”, “The Haw Lantern”,“Door into The Dark”.

    An excerpt from the poem The Haw Lantern:

    "…a small light for small people
    wanting no more from them but that they keep
    the wick of self respect from dying out
    not having to blind them with illumination"

    might point us  further towards some of the attributes of this sense of vision: clarity, classical balance and  fundamental harmony. 
    His sense of vision is an allegory of seeing - and  it is the vision of poetry itself. 

    Monday, November 09, 2009

    An Invariant of the Poetic Language

    There are a few invariants of the poetic language, no matter the time, place and manner of writing.

    One of them is silence. 
    Poetry is equally made up of silence and of words. 

    Pauses, voids of sound and letters, eddies of quiet split-seconds & respiros break up and re-construct the interior rhythm which is the shell of poetry. 

    Whether such pauses might be commas, full stops or dashes, blank spaces, line breaks and/or foreign symbols is left to the imagination of the writer. 
    A reader perceives silence, in his/her own stride, as he/she is called upon to grapple with the harmony and meaning of words.  

    Silence is the interval  between two  heartbeats and, in writing, an equivalent of pizzicato.

    Sunday, November 08, 2009

    Tall Lantern Man

    This is a post where poetry becomes  a reason for being able to breathe, and for being anchored in (some sort of) reality.

    Reading through Henry Gould's poetry:

    flame-orange origami-construct, or
    Romany barge ('mid scalloped shallop-swarm)

    from Lanthanum Road 4.18


    truckloads-full of Scythian bird's-eyes

    from Lanthanum Road 3.17


    "Noise through a sleepy window
    will change a chair into something more present
    than love."

     A quote from the book of poetry "Noise from the Laundry" by the Canadian poet Weyman Chan.

    Friday, November 06, 2009

    Door panel

    A thought trailing from the post on Antoine Watteau.
    Poetry is very much like a door panel: it adorns a passage way. 

    Tuesday, November 03, 2009

    Antoine & The Coloured Chalk

    I had stumbled upon a book on Antoine Watteau - Watteau” by Iris Lauterbach at the S. Walter Stewart library over the weekend.

    Things that can be gleaned from the book:

    1.    Antoine drew mostly with chalks of three colours – red, black and white.
    2.    Antoine drew dessus de porte (door panels) and wall panels – some of which are in Valenciennes, his native city.
    3.    Several of his paintings depict the character Mezzetin/Mezzetino – from Commedia dell’Arte.

    Leafing through the book, I began to see his paintings through new lenses: the obsessively perfect and nerve-wrecking Dutch school minutia of leaves and trees with wisps of clouds in the background. The passion for rich burgundy hues in “The Party of Four.
    Clothing cut in Flemish style.

    The moon-lit and sfumato scenes of fĂȘtes galantes appeared to be still there, though. Everyone was still leaving for Cythera, the Greek island considered to belong to Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

    As walked out of the door this morning and in the rain, the sidewalk was glistening, covered with pools of  rain water and traces of red, black and white chalk.

    Sunday, November 01, 2009

    "Watery Flowers"

    Radiating outward from Monet’s water lilies in the previous post to Robert Frost’s poetry.

    The lilies in Monet’s paintings are sprawling, darkening webs of shadow and wetness, of reflected harmony on prowling gimlets of color.

    Here is a realm of affinity with one of Robert Frost’s poems “Spring Pools”:

    “These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
    The total sky almost without defect,
    And like the flowers beside them chill and shiver.”

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