Poetry: A Matter of Life or Death   Leave a comment

A new poetry reading series was launched in Calgary this evening. Called Pocketful of Poesy, it is being championed by local poet Summer Abney. I was asked to be the feature poet this evening. I’m always happy to help out with such enterprises. Years ago I read at the first ever Red Mile Revenge reading. That reading series continued for years at various locations along 17th Avenue. I was always proud to think that I’d contributed to its success.

So tonight we launched a new series. Will it run for years and years? Time will tell, I suppose. Summer and I had a bleak moment around 7 o’clock when no one had shown up and we wondered if we’d just have to go home and try again another night. But, as they say, if you build it, they will come, and before long we had a respectable number of people gathered together for no other reason than to hear from poetry and a bit of music.

Those of us who were there have to feel optimistic about the enthusiasm and the talent in the room tonight. (The room in this case being Waves coffee shop on 17th Ave. and 10th Street, which is actually well suited for such an event.)

One of our poets, Chris aka Clayton, told the story of writing his first volume of poetry after being encouraged by some people on the internet not to end his life one bleak evening years ago. And so we were all reminded once again, somewhat graphically, that poetry is not gratuitous or frivolous — sometimes it can literally be a matter of life or death.

Well, the old man read a few poems, as my photo shows — the poet in action! But more importantly we had some good readings and some music from poets much younger than me. I’ve included a section of one of my poems below, as well as the poster for this series at the bottom of this post. It will run every Wednesday night from tonight until the end of time. It’s an open mic so all poets young and old are welcome to come down and share their poems.

Thanks for reading. See you at Weeds . . .

3. The stars

You hear

The tension

Of the stars

And the sizzle

As they burn a million miles

Away from you.

You hear

The light

The different pitches

The waves and forces

That hold the stars apart

Fixed, but moving

You hear the motion

Of the great wheel of heaven

And the stasis of the constellations

You hear all this

You hear the stars.

The rest

Is silence.

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