Equinox 2017: Seasons Change

Hello again. It’s been a while. This spring, my mother passed away. My father passed when I was nineteen, just setting out in the world. Mom was 51 then, as I am now: 51, a woman who’d given up bank work to raise a family with her husband working in the Armed Forces as a…

Blue Seed Pattern, 1987

for Trish Sewell and MM What if we stayed up all night? This was long years before Seoul Tokyo, beloved Kyoto singing Daijobu! with the genki boys down on Kawaramachi-dori down by the hot coffee machines.   What if we walked the city? This, after years walking the long browed hills of the north only the…

For the Light Returning: How Not to Freeze

Free Tibet! bang bang Free Tibet!  Their voices and their drums shimmered through the frosty air. They danced past the doors of the Strathcona Farmers’ Market, and i hustled in after my hubby, looking assiduously away from them. I’d recognised one of the dancing drummers, indigenous of mixed ancestry, and an artist -so, not unlike…

2015: by the Light Given

2015 it’s a day in may we watch the election turn our province map orange on screen, tuned to cbc radio for the call. i feel at home for the first time, and for a long time knowing that this would have been worth living for dad, to see your grand daughter following the flow…

2014: Nomads

it’s 2014, high june i tour to toronto i am not a rock star i will not become a rock star but i am paid to make poems.   i meet up with zooey we started out together as lesser-thans in our creative writing class like mice or bees, the way we moved made our…

2013: Cranes

if you ask what i remember from my laureate days it is a thin, rare song.   children i’d loved since infancy stretched out their voices to the sky, in the gym of the school that we saved in a song about whooping cranes singing again in the wind because we dared to say extinction…

2012: Wolf Work

it’s 2012 national arts council meets here to know the land they serve i am invited to a reception no poem commission, just to be face of our mayor’s personal commitment   laureate memo: always carry poems are easy to conceal mind you, the law of theatre applies here; if you see a poet it…

2011: Uses of Poetry

it’s 2011 i’m the City’s Poet chosen to laud us to declaim us, to name us exhort us, inflame us   actually, people often ask me what does a laureate do?   it is not, i assure you a position designed to discover just how bitchy, back-stabbing and vain poets can really be, for how…

2010: Olympic

it’s 2010 i go to the olympic edition of talking stick festival in vancouver, i walk this is how to learn a city walk from dorothy’s up on coal harbour down to cambie to the roundhouse to the show   i will never be a headliner i will never be on the podium i am…

2009: Circles

2009 so this is what it’s like book launches words bound, unleashed   i had a friend then who played for us concert hall style in ramshackle indie venue what should he play for me? bach   i leapt as high as my craft allowed   we take our kids to a lake soon after…

2008: beginner

it’s 2008 and for one summer every morning at five i rise and write gather and sift look out over this hour before me becomes we but that is not true there is no separation of states everything becomes star etched footsteps lift like sun, echo light from a distance draws down don’t stare float…

2007: Metaphor

it’s 2007 and our city has fielded a committee which has won a competition we will have our year as canada’s cultural capital with all the project money this entails.   since, she said, the committee couldn’t find any indigenous artists they went ahead and decided what to write, since they all agreed your community had…