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this town is small Critique Sessions

TTIS Critique Sessions for Artists returns on Thursday, November 29 from 7–10 pm at 171 Great Geor [ ... ]

Purple Ribbon Pinning Bee

Time to Step Up A pinning bee to prepare ribbons and cards for the 2018-2019 Purple Ribbon Campaign [ ... ]

Island poetry: David Helwig

Curated by Judy Gaudet

pleasure

Heard throughout the rooms of the house
fingers sound the notes of Haydn’s page,
his form of tones, his gesture, as the ear
attends to luminous sequence which becomes
mind’s cadence.  Time exults.

The kitchen table proffers its colours,
bounteous quotidian accumulation
of what is good lies here and smiles
to be taken, the red of apples, sweet
corn, the striped gloss of mackerel.

Safety against bad luck’s wounds
holds us in its due regard, with gratitude
for doors and windows that close, open
as need be, law seemly or implicit,
humming and sweetness in each mouth.

David Helwig, from Seawrack, Frog Hollow Press, 2014, Read also The Sway of Otherwise, Oberon Press, 2008, and The Year One, Gaspereau Press, 2004 (Atlantic Poetry award).

Island poet and avid poetry reader Judy Gaudet selects a poem by a PEI poet each month.
Judy's latest book is 
Conversation with Crows (Oberon,2014)

Island poetry: David Hickey

Curated by Judy Gaudet

Preservation

These boys will never outgrow their jean jackets,
this photograph, the cliffs and the tattered maps

the wind wears into them. They will not lose
their way among the shoreline’s rocky bruises,

or forget where the best spots are to hide
from the heat of an afternoon sun. It’s the tide,

this boy, and the way he points at a wave
that will preserve them, the hand and how

it staves their leaving; they’re looking down,
perhaps at some broken piece of driftwood

crowned with rotting seaweed, some bundle swept
from the camera’s flash. None of them expect

to be preserved this carefully, their hands
in their pockets, or pulling up strands of grass.

—David Hickey, from In the Lights of a Midnight Plow, Biblioasis, 2006. Another book by David from Biblioasis is Open Air Bindery, 2011.

Island poet and avid poetry reader Judy Gaudet selects a poem by a PEI poet each month.
Judy's latest book is 
Conversation with Crows (Oberon,2014)

Island Poetry: Thomas O'Grady

Curated by Judy Gaudet

Some Days, Paradise

Some days, Paradise seems just a stone’s throw
away; as easy, even, as the skip,
skip of a rock, smoothed by the ebb and flow
of rough tides, slung sidearm from a snug grip
across a blinking bay. One perfect fling
might send it skimming to the other side –
or so you like to think, imagining
its last beach-bound hop with Olympic pride!
Then how you would stride after it – a god
almost, almost walking on the water …
until, brought back to dry land by a plod,
plod on the sand – your shore-combing daughter –
you help fill a pail with sea-washed glass, boat-
shaped shells, and pebbles flat enough to float.

— Thomas O’Grady, What Really Matters, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2000.

Island poet and avid poetry reader Judy Gaudet selects a poem by a PEI poet each month.
Judy's latest book is 
Conversation with Crows (Oberon,2014)

Island Poetry: John MacKenzie

Curated by Judy Gaudet

the machinery of my tongue, 
this scent of a flower

the machinery of my tongue has seized
its pulleys pulled aslant into tangles of cables
and the camshaft snapped, half of it pushed back
into a mystifying conglomeration of cogs
now broken from their pins
and sent pinging
against the backs of my teeth

the machinery of my tongue has seized
because I found this scent of a flower
blown,
the cold wind biting notches out of perfume

I cupped it in my hands, this scent,
and it became silky, grew
the blurred wings of hummingbirds, hovered
against my lip, dove through nostrils and slammed
a sudden monkey-wrench in the gears of my throat

— John MacKenzie, from Sledgehammer, Polestar.

His most recent book is Letters I Didn't Write, and current poems appear on his blog at www.mumblinjack.wordpress.com.

Island poet and avid poetry reader Judy Gaudet selects a poem by a PEI poet each month.
Judy's latest book is 
Conversation with Crows (Oberon,2014)

Island poetry: Mathew Henderson

Curated by Judy Gaudet

A Good Day

There are those days of sunlight,
when the smell of gasoline mixes
with your grandfather’s garden,
when life feels better than good enough.
You play at happiness with worn
technique: windows down, music,
wind and a grin you only half
need to remember to wear.

Your aching is an inventory of the way
the earth has changed, of the iron
bent to your will, the wills of men
who will you.  On these days,
you keep a piece of yourself for hoping.
As if hope alone could tend the ocean,
could hold it above you just a while
more before it crushes the record
clean, ravines the prairie and scrubs 
the sum of your summers to
bent steel beams, cracked alfalfa.

—From The Lease © Mathew Henderson, 2012. Reprinted with the permission of Coach House Books.

Island poet and avid poetry reader Judy Gaudet selects a poem by a PEI poet each month.
Judy's latest book is 
Conversation with Crows (Oberon,2014)

Island poetry: Brent MacLaine

Curated by Judy Gaudet

Committee of the Whole

Up and down the room, voices rasp
like backyard gravel being raked,
and noisy thoughts are intermingling
with intentions wiry as an alder bush.
Stumps of hands go jerking back and forth,
and elbows utter an angular speech.
Notepads lie like slabs of whitened stone
strewn upon the table’s polished reach.

Outside that window, though,
the branches of the elm intersect at ease.
On each bare limb I know that all
the leaves this spring will find a place,
content with their decisions,
and their infinite divisions will be scripted
laser clean against a sky glowing bluer
than any speaker’s presentation screen.

—Brent MacLaine, from Shades of Green, Acorn Press, 2008. Other titles include Wind and Root, These Fields Were Rivers and Athena Becomes a Swallow.

Island poet and avid poetry reader Judy Gaudet selects a poem by a PEI poet each month.
Judy's latest book is 
Conversation with Crows (Oberon,2014)

 

Island poetry: Hugh MacDonald

Curated by Judy Gaudet

Unwinding

Two nights ago,
in spite of bitter cold,
and well past sunset,
I carried my dusty driver
out onto our frosty deck,
and set an imagined ball
on its non-existent tee.
Carefully I looked off
into the darkness over the river,
while still and shooting stars
looked down on me perplexed.
I addressed that waiting orb,
and placed my solid club face
perfectly beside, my muscles
slightly tensed, and anxious,
then low and slowly turned,
and lifted all that power up,
to circle round me there,
a Titanic deity of golf,
then let it go, and all unwound,
came speeding to the waiting ball,
which blasted to its perfect orbit,
down the fairways of the sky

—Hugh MacDonald, Unwinding, from this is a love song, Black Moss, 2011

Island poet and avid poetry reader Judy Gaudet selects a poem by a PEI poet each month.
Judy's latest book is 
Conversation with Crows (Oberon,2014)

 

Island Poetry: Renée Blanchette

Curated by Judy Gaudet

White Dog Black Dog

Sometimes there is a growling in the night,
we all know it’s there,
but we can’t all hear it.

Raucous laughter drowns out
the quick scratch of gravel
on the shadowy path.

So the native story goes,
There are two dogs tied up in our sack.
One black one and one white one.
The one who survives is the one
you feed the most.

—Renée Blanchette is the author of On a Blue Colander, Saturday Morning Chapbooks, 2013

Island poet and avid poetry reader Judy Gaudet selects a poem by a PEI poet each month.
Judy's latest book is
Conversation with Crows (Oberon,2014)

Events Calendar

November 2018
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Some Upcoming Events

The Ennis Sisters

Newfoundland sisters on the mainstage December 1
Homburg Theatre  On December 1, Sobeys LIVE @ [ ... ]

Mark Critch

November 14
Florence Simmons Performance Hall On November 14 at 7:30 pm, Bookmark, Charlottetown’s [ ... ]

Moving East tour

Jimmy Rankin at Harbourfront Theatre and Trailside Café November 22 & 23  Jimmy Rankin [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

A gift of Island poetry: Chris Bailey

Curated by Deirdre Kessler Things My Buddy Said Oh, brother, growing up I’d get into trouble
like [ ... ]

A passion for cinema

Laurent Gariépy is screening the classics at City Cinema by Dave Stewart Anyone checking out City [ ... ]

Acadian showman

Profile: Christian Gallant by Jane Ledwell Forty-six musicians and step dancers took the stage at  [ ... ]