Water Tower

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Kingsbrae 19.3
19 June 2017

Water Tower
(for Geoff)

Asked where he got the material
for his plays, Molière said:
“Je le prends où je le trouve,”
“I take it from wherever I find it.”

Here, before the water tower,
I find the tower to be a ground
level water tank, no tower at all.

The first steel band, the horizon,
is composed of yellow lilies.
Above them, the Kingsbrae Café shares
the second band with the gardens’ windmill.

Twin pointed roofs and the windmill’s
thin sails reach up to the skyline
with its background of trees
silhouetted against an egg-shell sky.

Art is in the eye of the beholder
or the artist and can be seen
wherever it can be found.

 

Word Blooms

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Kingsbrae 10.1
10 June 2017

Word Blooms

Snow
a blank page
below it
dormant bulbs
paint box colors
waiting to awake

Watchful
the gardener’s eyes
eager her helping hands
rainbows the flowers
pushing into bloom

Words
also wait for the sun
to warm them
to pluck them
from their word beds
and give them shape

Light
and delightful
the word seeds
blown across the world
implanted their ideas

Words
taking root
their blossoms
blooming sudden
in the reader’s mind

 

Word Blooms Voice Only

Word Blooms Music

Scent and Touch

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Kingsbrae 9.4
9 June 2017

Scent and Touch

A feather upon the cheek,
this fern frond held
fragile, hesitant
between fine fingers.

Touch and smell:
two senses engaged.
A paint brush sounds,
brush-brushing lightly
the expectant skin.

Faint the taste tested
suggestive
on tongue tip.
No sight, just insight.

I have a sense of senses lacking.
My words reach out like fingers,
but they can neither retain
nor explain the meaning of it all.

Comment: “Built in cooperation with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, the Scents and Sensitivity Garden is dedicated to the memory of St. Andrews’ resident Albert McQuoid. The garden features raised beds that allow handicapped, sight impaired, and wheelchair bound visitors the opportunity to enjoy the feel, and scent, of the plants and flowers right within arms’ reach.”

Labyrinth

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King’sbrae 9.3
9 June 2017

Labyrinth

What thread will lead
blind Theseus
this labyrinth through?

Light the ladybird sun
caressing his one cheek
the other in shadow.

Fanciful the bumble bee,
heard but not seen
its miracle of ponderous,
heavier-than-air flight

Sight-blessed,
life’s obstacle course:
a flat track frolic
for all those confident
of foot and touch.

Listen to the ladybird:
she cracks her wings
and launches upwards
to join her companion,
the bee, twin specks
together now in the sky.

Kingsbrae 1.1

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Conference Call
(for Anne, Carlos, Elise, and Ruby)
Kingsbrae 1.1
1 June 2017

Face to face, the five of us,
a gallery of artists, meeting
together for the first time
in a virtual reality unlike
the ones we ourselves create.

Our opening words simulate
a game of chess, slow and
hesitant, then speeding up,
slowing down, accelerating
as we gain more confidence.

Faces become names, voice
and tone take on deeper
meaning, one of us smiles,
some of us smile back. Then
smiles turn to laughter as
formalities break down.

In growing fellowship, we work
on the where, how, and why,
of what we will be doing
when we meet at Kingsbrae.

Journal: Anne organizes two conference calls in May and we are able to talk online and discuss what we intend to do when we gather together at Kingsbrae. It is a little slow at first, but we soon warm to each other and the ideas flow.  It’s not easy for us to pull everything together, for we are so different. Our group contains an artist in multi-media (Anne), a musician from Peru who plays the pan pipes (Carlos), a sculptor, (Elise), a painter (Ruby), and a poet (Roger).

Now the First of June has arrived. Anne and Elise are already on the road. Carlos is in the air, flying in from Lima to Toronto, and then on to Fredericton, where he will be met later today by Roger. Ruby is all packed and about to set out. She will probably head right past my house as she travels to St. Andrews. Depending on the actual time of arrival of Carlos’s flight, we will either meet tonight in Kingsbrae or else early tomorrow.

Expectation is high. My own artistic antennae are twitching, and I am sure that everybody else feels the same: fortunate, lucky, charged up with artistic energy, in a single word: blessed. Soon the creative adventure will start. Then let the magic wand wave and a fecund creativity will set in.

Punctuation in Poetry

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Punctuation in Poetry

Gardeners

when three bearded men
unbury winter’s bones they pick
at old wood scars dead trees and
their limbs now lying there lifeless

they dig deep at flowerbeds
uprooting a riot of Japanese
Knot Weed untangling roots
all tangled and twisted with
Bees’ Balm and perennials
that stray across borders
unwelcome immigrants neither
barriers nor fences can possibly hold

they probe between flag-
stones where wintering birds
and squirrels and chipmunks
cracked the seeds and wild weeds
that grow there and flourish

but where would the land be
and what would it accomplish
without helping hands
and the power of strong fingers
and fresh eyes that spot those
intruders who diminish
the space where good flowers
grow strong with fresh herbs
chives and oregano basil
and parsley peppermint sweet
crushed beneath feet

Comment: I posted this poem yesterday. It’s another raw poem. On re-reading it, I found it confusing. To punctuate or not to punctuate, that was my question. I decided to rewrite it and use punctuation. Here’s the new version.

Gardeners

Three bearded boys unbury
winter’s bones. They pick
at old wood scars, dead trees and
their limbs now lying lifeless.

They dig deep at flowerbeds
uprooting a riot of Japanese
Knot Weed, untangling roots
all tangled and twisted:
Bees’ Balm, Cape Daisies,
and quick-growing weeds
that run across borders,
unwelcome migrants
that barriers can’t hold.

They flourish between flag-stones
where wintering birds,
squirrels, and chipmunks
cracked seeds from the feeders.

Where would the land be,
and what would it accomplish
without helping hands,
the power of strong fingers
that pluck out the intruders
that infringe on the spaces
where proper plants grow
unthreatened by weeds?

Second Comment: Both versions work, but in different ways. The first version is more spontaneous and less logical. It allows thought and image to freely flow, but there’s some repetition and a certain lack of clarity. It does allow the  reader to be creative and to seek for alternate meanings and choose the combinations that please the most. The second version is more logical and expresses a slightly different train of thought. Punctuation forces revision and a revision that punctuates demands good grammar, less freedom of speech. The result is a tighter, much closer expression. By extension, the need to punctuate also demands more thought, more concision. Needless words are eliminated. Better combinations are possible. In addition, I find the rhythm becomes more prominent, but less spontaneous. To punctuate or not to punctuate: only the poet can decide, but any comments will be most welcome.

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Gardeners

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Gardeners

when three bearded men
unbury winter’s bones they pick
at old wood scars dead trees and
their limbs now lying there lifeless

they dig deep at flowerbeds
uprooting a riot of Japanese
Knot Weed untangling roots
all tangled and twisted with
Bees’ Balm and perennials
that stray across borders
unwelcome immigrants neither
barriers nor fences can possibly hold

they probe between flag-
stones where wintering birds
and squirrels and chipmunks
cracked the seeds and wild weeds
that grow there and flourish

but where would the land be
and what would it accomplish
without helping hands
and the power of strong fingers
and fresh eyes that spot those
intruders who diminish
the space where good flowers
grow strong with fresh herbs
chives and oregano basil
and parsley peppermint sweet
crushed beneath feet

Comment: This was the day for Thursday Thoughts, but I don’t have any, save for those in the poem. How does Mother nature manage without us? What is the difference between a weed and a flower? Why do the dandelions dance in my garden and why so many, fresh every spring? What happens when the gardeners no longer garden and nature takes over? Is the wilderness that arrives really a wilderness? The garden that grows, does it really need us? Do we own the land, or does the land own us? The same with development: do we shape the land or does the land shape us? Was the wilderness a wilderness before we arrived? I watch the deer drifting past the trees in the garden. They are so tolerant, so aware of my presence. “Beware of the possessive,” my teddy bear tells me. “I’m not your Teddy and you’re not my master. The world exists without you possessing it. It will continue without you. And yes, I can hear you: ‘my flowers, my garden, my bees and my deer, my house and my grounds, my groundhog and my Teddy.”‘ “My God,” says the Teddy Bear who sits on my bed and hears me snore and watches me dreaming … “Whatever are you thinking?”