In the Canadian forest I’m listening to Bobby Mitchell play a concert in France featuring “Ruins” by the American composer Frederic Rzewski. Music always widens my mind. I’ve frequently been in this part of the forest but it’s the first time I’ve seen this tree-trunk loop highlighted by both shadow and light. How do we protect the beauty of our world from falling into ruin?
Soon I’ll transition from the forests of the new world to the urban parks of the old world. The New European Ensemble has invited Bobby and I to perform on stage in Den Haag and Amsterdam on 19 and 20 September. The program will include music by Rzewski, Cage, Godowsky, and Schubert among others, and the poems I recite from Dust Blown Side of the Journey will interconnect with the music. Click here for more information and tickets.
Last week Dust Blown Side of the Journey took me to Lunenburg for bookish reasons, and today I was back for the pure pleasure of boats. Tall ships were in, and I watched the Canadian finals for the international dory racing championships. Dories are small wooden boats that were historically used for fishing, and are still built in Lunenburg: truly a fine town for book and boat launches. My neighbour Todd Dempsey attended my launch, and today I watched him and his brother Brent race.
All four boats had strong rowers and it was an exciting mile long race. The Dempseys rounded the halfway buoy first, and though it was a close race they had no trouble maintaining their lead.
Todd and Brent Dempsey crossed the finish line first.
Here you can see them strapped into their boat rowing back to the dock.
It was fabulous watching the dories among all the sailing ships and boats.
Wonderful launch for Dust Blown Side of the Journey at Lexicon Books. Entering Alice Burdick’s store is like being welcomed into a warm, cheerful and dynamic home. One wants to browse for a long time. Every displayed book is fascinating and thoughtfully chosen. The harbour town is beautiful in its bold colours, and the full moon was visible and rising.
Earlier this week I was sitting in the apple tree memorising poems for this evening’s launch of Dust Blown Side of the Journey at Lexicon Books in Lunenburg. Years ago after a hurricane this tree was horizontal on the ground with roots still attached. With the help of a neighbour we used a winch and stood the tree upright and it continued its healthy growth. Birds and squirrels love the tree branch highways.
I’m working and writing on the edge of the forest. A bluejay keeps me company.
I took this photograph yesterday of the Halifax waterfront. The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia is just across the street from this view and I’ll be there this evening at 7 pm not boat launching but book launching.
While hiking along Atlantic coastal trails, I’m memorising poems which I’ll recite at the launches for Dust Blown Side of the Journey this week. Also on these walks images for new poems enter my mind. I usually write poems in my head before they find their way to page or screen.
…hoping sleep will
reach him like a gift
the mail slot
like a feather
fallen from a
excerpt from “Nocturnes” from Dust Blown Side of the Journey
into my cage, I taste
Lorca on my lips. why
had I forgotten
the stars? during
all those summers
the water stroked
my skin as I swam
in the night’s mirror
note after note
the stars inked
on the score
sheets of the sky
and when I play
call me from
the dark opposite
From Dust Blown Side of the Journey (McGill-Queen’s University Press)
On today’s Dust Blown Side of the Journey hiking along Atlantic coastal trails and cliff edges. Heavy fog at dusk.