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Royal Winnipeg Ballet auditions

From October 10–January 25, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) School Professional Division will hold [ ... ]

Better Together LGBTQ2+ Adult drop in

PEERS Alliance, in partnership with Holland College, UPEI, and Women's Network PEI will hold LGBTQ2+ [ ... ]

Island poetry: John MacKenzie

Curated by Judy Gaudet

The Gentle Crocus Hones Green Blades of Rain

The gentle crocus hones green blades of rain
And whittles gaps in notes the small birds sing;
Out of silence we build our last refrain.

Melodies of youth are remembered strains
When the winter snows melt and flow in spring.
The gentle crocus hones green blades of rain.

The geese return, dark and raveling skeins
Falling down from skies string by tangled string.
Out of silence we build our last refrain.

A fiddle’s lament stills the nights again
As wasp and nettle barb and hook their stings.
The gentle crocus hones green blades of rain.

The days are gone when our bright bodies came
Together as a warm-toned bell ringing
Out of silence. We build our last refrain.

Some would tell you rage while the last light drains
From day. But night’s a black and perfect wing.
The gentle crocus hones green blades of rain.
Out of silence we build our last refrain.

—John MacKenzie, from mumblinjack.wordpress.com. John is the author or many books of poetry including Letters I Didn’t Write, Sledgehammer, and Shaken by Physics.

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: Jane Ledwell

Curated by Judy Gaudet

Horse in a Rut

“I have travelled over miles of corduroy road in a springless waggon,
and in a lumber waggon, drawn by oxen, where there was no road at all,
but I never experienced anything like the merciless joint-dislocating
jolting which I met with in Charlotte Town.”

—Isabella Lucy Bird

Town’s a tough slog, whole meadows ground into every rut,
run through with grips. The fresh salt tang of marsh grass
churned to bog. The smell of muck is today’s oats
and fresh water passed into dirt in my kind’s daily struggle
through the damned season of mud.

And him, the heavy rider,
an angel with the oats but a devil with the whip.

Summer in the country, now, the only bother is flies
(bred in mud, of course), the flick of my tail another flail.
Oh, the hay-dry season, time of sun-growing oats,
cut and carried along dry roads. Apple-bright days.

And him behind a plough, long looks and easy paces
against the shush of wind.

Wind’s a year-round friend, constant across town and country.
I smell far and nearby pastures, and salt on the air, even on the bit.
At least I have always something to pull towards.
And don’t tell me you’re bogged down
unless your ankles are in the mud.

—Jane Ledwell, from a project funded by the PEI Council of the Arts Sesquicentennial Public Art Commission, shortly to be published by Island Studies Press. Jane is also the author of Last Tomato, Acorn, 2009.

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: Anne Compton

Curated by Judy Gaudet

John and me, skating
For JGC

The pond-ice, the river-ice, hardly held our long-legged stride.
Hatless and hero-heated, we stormed winter storms: The wind
at our backs rounding the river bend, into the open, where bonfires
burned. The houses up the harbour were Samothrace or Samarkand:
Cities, we’d know, for sure, someday. For sure, everything, everywhere
waited for us. We were twelve, we were fourteen.  Love hadn’t found us,
our bodies had: Wonders of muscle and bone. We were flight, we were
fluency – such lank-limbed lovelies – truant in the in-between time.
What couldn’t we do with looks lately learned, our spoon-bending
minds? We owned it all: Stars almighty, the unfenced distance,
and the river route to the four-points horizon no one else knew of.
When we were perfect we weren’t aware, and took it for granted.
It was windows all around in the sibling-centred universe.

—Anne Compton, from Alongside, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2013. Other books include Asking Questions Indoors and Out, Processional, and Opening the Island.

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

The Philosopher Cat

I may be far from answers
but the white-bibbed cat
beholds some flakes of snow
through the window glass
as pale-bellied fish schooling
down to earth en masse.

Then, with a splotch of self-regard,
he blinks, puffs out his chest
and notes the sheer unlikelihood
of all things brought to earth –
he purrs, quite sure of miracles,
and of his own superior birth.

—Brent MacLaine from Shades of Green, Acorn, 2008

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 Helwig

Curated by Judy Gaudet

Impromptu for the New Year

Morning sunlight falls on the eventual snow,
and the dog stirs, black upon white, in the maze
of thin spruce, the path tracked and retracked by the night’s
dance of hares, and my old legs climb over a fallen trunk.

How many generations long is a long life?
Do we count by decades or some definition
of attitude? Has love a new way of being?
You are, she said, better at questions than answers.

Blown snow and bright ice, the young trees bend low
under the weight of it.  A fox has left fresh tracks.
To be wild is to be hungry, short-lived, cold, wet,
breeding desperately to salvage the species.

Ask the young to explain.  The lively black puppy
leads me through the new snow of her world, obeys
though she can outrun me on any footing.
The cold wind sings out in the air all around us.

—David Helwig, from Keeping Late Hours, Oberon, 2015. Other recent books include Seawrack, and The Sway of Otherwise.

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: Zachariah Wells

Curated by Judy Gaudet

Once Upon an Island

I used to stand on the deck of a ferry
in summertime watching waves shatter spray
on the hull
     and the wheeling gulls.
The wind knotted my hair, salt air
made my eyes tear.

And in winter, the Abegweit crept
through ice prison-wall thick
     forward and back
like a convict tunneling blind
          with a teaspoon.

And the one time, on the business end
of an eighteen hour Ottawa haul,
I saw a fox skipping cracks the bow opened
ahead,
     flashing its tail.

—Zach Wells from Fool’s Errand, Saturday Morning Chapbooks, 2004. Recent books by Zach include SUM and Track & Trace, both from Biblioasis.

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: Judy Gaudet

November

why would I say this morning started grey
and opened up in a little window of sunlight
in which we walked along the clifftops
seeing the bright yellow grasses by the shore

and afterward the raindrops hit the window
and the intense fall colours turned to the rich mush
of November and heaven rolled its eyes and wept
that we’d run through another hour, day, summer

and what to show of it? fall blossoms still in a vase
because it seemed they might be dried for winter
and sit on there to say death is as good as life
still with shape, kind, variety; burnt umber,

a dark wash of Payne’s grey, sienna blending all
that had shone out in the blink of the sun’s eye,
flickering yellow day, black night; summer fallen
to stick on November, time on a quick hike 

caught on a snag, wet down, composting, challenging
us to bring home the flower, the sound of wind
against the line of spruce, translate these presences
into what could be something in their absences

—Judy Gaudet from Conversation with Crows, Oberon, 2014. Another book is Her Teeth Are Stones, Acorn Press.

Island poetry: Deirdre Kessler

Curated by Judy Gaudet

Climb up

I’m going to get the ladder from the shed,
prop it against the moon, climb up,
sit on a cloud. Roll around, maybe.
When a passing eagle does a double take,
I’ll say, “How do you like them apples?”
And when starlings gather into a murmuration,
I’ll lie at the edge with my hair dangling down
to catch the swooshed air of wings.

—Deirdre Kessler is the author of Afternoon Horses, Acorn Press, 2009

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

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Some Upcoming Events

George Canyon tour comes to S’side

November 3
Harbourfront Theatre Canadian country star George Canyon is taking his new album, Southsi [ ... ]

Pink Floyd tribute at Harbourfront

November 2
Harbourfront Theatre PIGS: Canada’s Pink Floyd will come to Harbourfront Theatre in Sum [ ... ]

Louise Mould exhibit

Until September 21
Robertson Library, UPEI Sailing to the Shores of Generosity: an Exhibit by L [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

Drawing the line

Profile: Sandy Carruthers by Jane Ledwell Retired for a year now after twenty-five years teaching  [ ... ]

Free transportation at Cloggeroo

The provincial government will sponsor free transportation at this year’s Cloggeroo festival to he [ ... ]

Charlottetown’s Historic Squares exhibit...

The City of Charlottetown Planning and Heritage Department has created an exhibit exploring the hist [ ... ]