To celebrate SPRING, Toronto jazz pianist Bill Gilliam and I are performing my poems
from “Wild Crafting” and “Trance Dance Form: a Sound Opera”.
Come celebrate with us!
These poems I’ll be performing with Bill Gilliam at East Village Coffeehouse this Saturday, 7-9! https://pennkemp.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/paean-to-spring-light-eats-light-sounds-april-25/
Kore, Ostara, Flora, sing slight intimacy
of air, flights imagination will lilt with.
Goldfinches float above the daffodils,
hang upside-down on the stalk of old
sunflower to catch last fall’s last seed.
A flash of cardinal lilts down
to settle in a cloud of Creeping
and sky-blue Forget-Me-Knot.
My daily bouquet of dandelion
satisfies the neighbour’s need
for desert of green grass and mine
The yellow vibrant heads last
just a day, and then plunge sodden
into compost, to rot and feed more
flowers, not to go to seed and
propagate as they are raised to do.
Daily, the flowers bloom closer
and closer to the ground, as if
to speed the cycle, to seed before
the lawn mower lops off their
vibrant unmistakeable heads.
In thwarting their will to reproduce,
I celebrate their evanescent charm
and serve their leaves for lunch.
Stirring Not Stirring
Honey drips from my nose, coats
my hair in blond stiff strands.
I am standing very still calling
bees by scent. Pheromones draw
them to collect on me, hiving off
to a giant new temporary queen,
spun down from my chin in a grand
pharaoh’s beard. My eyes, my ears
are bee-shut, open only to their buzz.
What I don’t know is that I’m here
in front of a bear’s cave on the first
warm day of summer, attending
emergence, as the swarm births
from entrails of bull and bear.
Bee goddess, bear goddess, mid-
wife, be with us mid-life and beyond.
Homing to the Given
I am moving into old time
Fire embraces my shadow,
absorbs darkness into heat.
Friends linger, huddle under
our circular warmth. 10,000
years melt away in the current
climate shift. There goes snow.
Too late for comfort, too late to
reverse trends toward entropy.
Decades, centuries speed past
future possibles into the past as
currencies of passable presents.
How to turn this tendency around.
Rapidly, rapidly. Restraint is not
enough. Constraint does not serve.
That’s not the story. I’m drifting.
The ceremony commenced while
attention was off in is own helium.
I am standing before the entrance
of deep cave, a cave I recognize
only by the dark its shadow casts.
Fire gleams. Fire climbs the walls.
Shapes dance into consistent form.
The sense of bear emerges into three
dimensions. Someone from behind
must be holding up the bearskin for
Orsel, Artemis, Bear Woman, shape
shifter. There is no one there but
this bear shape is now my contour.
Bear shape becomes me. Becomes
my own, new comfort large enough
to roam back, large enough to call home.
Recurring Dream Theme
Night rustles outside our window, murmurs
and squeaks. Whimpers follow outraged
raccoon yowl. Orange and black streak
across the dark pane I can’t see through
into night creatures’ world, conjuring
interlaced smells of skunk, mouse, bat
disturbing our neighbour hound’s nose.
Scent leads a trail to territorial war, deep
enmities nurtured throughout the long wee
hours before dawn lifts that velvet cloth to
reveal grey, seeping shade back to clarity.
Daylight cicada notions begin threading a
brightening air. Dragonflies wing-web
the pond. Inside I still dream of prowling
tigress, White Goddess stalking the dark.
A first taste of London’s Creative Aging Festival! http://creativeage.ca/events/2015-creative-age-festival-london/
The“Wild Crafting” poems were first published in http://www.goddess-pages.co.uk/index.php/2008-issues/8-autumn-2008/item/638-wild-crafting.
My reading is sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets and the Canada Council for the Arts.
The last reading in London ON for National Poetry Month 2015!
Painting by Jim Kemp.