Opening Doors and Windows with Editor Harold Rhenisch

Thank you for such profound and invaluable reminders, Harold and Deb! Truly moving, and moving into the poem…

Kites Without Strings

“You sit/awake tonight, your fingers/over the pages scattered out before you,/listening too through your hands.”– Harold Rhenisch*

Allow your head to spin with ideas! If the mind is a wooden red door with frosted or cracked panes then Editor HaroldRhenisch opened several windows for me! That’s my view of a worthy editor or mentor. He opened and closed doors and windows until I felt unhinged and accepted new possibilities: a stronger voice (or voices) and an infinite imagination ‘summer’-saulting like tumbleweeds across a silent and vacant field.

Harold Rhenisch - author photo 1 The editor as magician? Harold Rhenisch says “an editor is a set of wise eyes with a sharp knife and a smile”.

If you are an editor and/or a writer who has worked with an editor, you may disagree. You may even slam the door on my fingers and tell me my observations are wrong. C’est la vie!

What I have learned is that in the…

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Stop the Kinder Morgan Expansion!

This poem participates in the CWAKE event (Canadian Writers Against Kinder-Morgan Expansion) in protest of the Kinder Morgan buyout and pipeline expansion in Burnaby, British Columbia. Oil pipeline spillage is a huge threat to the natural world. After being read, the words will be hung in the trees around the Kinder Morgan site, as well as compiled and mailed to the Office of the Canadian Prime Minister. The protest will take place at The Watch House camp in Burnaby on August 25 at 1 pm.

Support In Absentia

But present in spirit. With you to
protect all the land and the water.

I wish I could attend the ceremony
in person. I wish I could stop this
Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion
and buyout in Burnaby in person.

Kinder? Not this morning. Never.
No children of the morning need

apply. Nothing kind here and no
comparison in this short-sighted
gain for profit on unceded land.

Who is the enemy of the people?
Who gives voice to the salmon?
Courage, mes braves. Courage.

May all our words be enough to
affect right action, to stop this
violation now.

Penn Kemp

This poem will be published in Tuck Magazine next week. See

There is still time for you to participate! Contributions to be read can be sent to<>, and will be received up to August 20th.

“Dear Canadian Writer,
Pardon the impersonal delivery of this message, but it’s being sent to you by another Canadian writer, perhaps a friend or acquaintance, asking if you will participate in the CWAKE event (Canadian Writers Against Kinder-Morgan Expansion) in protest of the Kinder Morgan buyout and pipeline expansion in Burnaby, BC. You might share our concerns about the threat to local waters; the federal government’s promise that toxic bitumen can be cleaned up when science says it can’t; the marketing of tar sands oil, adding hugely to climate change; the squandering of Canadian tax dollars on a plainly awful business deal; or the violation of the rights and titles of Indigenous peoples during this time of reconciliation.

You can participate in two ways: come to the ceremony to read, or contribute in absentia by sending words to be read on your behalf. Because writers use words, and words can travel yet retain their power, this can be a truly national event. We hope to attract media attention, especially in light of national news outlets’ ominous lack of coverage of the issue, the ongoing protests, and the high profile arrests.

The reading (taking place on the unceded territory, and with the generous support of local Indigenous communities) will take place Saturday, August 25, at 1:00 p.m..

Please send this to another writer friend or acquaintance and share on your social media!”

Mary Circle

Photo by Mary McDonald for

Penn Kemp ~ Climbing Jacob’s Ladder

DM du Jour

A wormhole, ribbed in smooth spiral
toward Light’s round orb. Is it Sun
to which we aspire, scrambling upward?

Foothold on red rib, hand on another, we
climb. Distractions abound: dimensions
we could spend lifetimes wandering along,

sideways mirrors where images always
appear larger than they are in the reality
that quickly solidifies if we lose our way.

Reams of Bardo realms reflect reality but
do not release us. Dreams do not grant
deliverance but start us along the corridor.

If we listen, passage doors open a crack.
Finally, my hands reach solid surface and
head popping out of the burrow, I look

about the expanse of blue to the Sun, orange
rimmed in red. Pulsing rays draw me up
along spider web of filigreed light. Home.

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Upcoming Poetry Launches!

Happy to be launching 2018 collections, Local Heroes (Insomniac Press) and Fox Haunts (Aeolus House). I’ll also read from Barbaric Cultural Practice (Quattro Books)


Saturday August 25, 5:00-6:00 pm. Reading from Fox Haunts for Synaeresis #3 launch, The Black Walnut’s back room, 134 Wortley at Askin St., London ON) Contact:

Sunday, September 9, 2018, 4-6 pm. Launch of Fox Haunts, with Aeolus House poets: Ariane Blackman, Brian Cameron, Stanley Fefferman, Tom Hamilton, Penn Kemp and Colin Morton. Pressed (waffle house), 750 Gladstone Ave, Ottawa, ON K1R 6X5. (613) 680-9294. Contact: Allan,**

Monday, Sept. 10, 7 pm. Launch, Local Heroes and Fox Haunts. Novel Idea, 156 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1B1. Introduced by Elizabeth Greene. Contact: (613) 546-9799, Bruce Kauffman’s radio show “finding a voice”—a showcase of spoken-word events  broadcast weekly, Friday 4pm-6pm EST on CFRC 101.9FM.

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 7-9 pm. Launch of Fox Haunts, with Aeolus House poets: Ariane Blackman, Brian Cameron, Tom Hamilton, Penn Kemp and Sydney White. Supermarket Restaurant, 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto. Contact: Allan,*

Sunday, September 23, 2018, 1pm. Launch of Out of Line by Tanis MacDonald with Tom Cull. Reading from Local Heroes and Fox Haunts. Oxford Book Shop, 262 Piccadilly St, London, N6A 1S4. Contact: Hilary  519-438-8336,

October 1-31, 2018.  Kalamaka Press Writer-in-Residence, Caetani Cultural Centre, Vernon, BC.  Readings TBA.,

Sunday October 14th.  Reading with Daphne Marlatt. Co-op People’s Bookstore. 1391 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3X5. Contact: Rolf (604) 253-6442,

Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 8:00 pm. Launch and reading with Susan McCaslin. Spoken Ink Reading Series, Burnaby Arts Council, Deer Lake Gallery, 6584 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby, BC. Host Lara Varasi, (604)240-8903.*

Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Launch and reading with Sharon Thesen. Poets’ Corner, Massy Books, 229 E. Georgia, Vancouver BC. Sponsored by the Canada Council.
Contact: James Felton,  (604) 767-6908***

Thursday, October 18, 2018. Launch and reading with Damian Rogers at Milkcrate Records. Kelowna, BC. Contact: Matthew Rader,

Saturday, October 20, 2018. Nelson, BC.  Launch, Local Heroes and Fox Haunts.  TBA. Contact: Elizabeth Cunningham,

November 2-4, Museum London theatre, 421 Ridout St N, London, ON N6A 5H4. Time TBA. Mary McDonald and I are presenting new poems and augmented reality for as part of Poet Laureate Presents: River of Words.  Sponsored by the London Arts Council and the City of London.

* The launches in Ottawa and Burnaby are sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets and the Canada Council for the Arts. Thanks for their continued support!
** The launch in Toronto is sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets, Metro Readings in Public Places.
***The launch in Vancouver is sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts.


Local Heroes cover

LOCAL HEROES: Poetry  ·  Canada $19.95  ·  US $19.95  ·  Trade paperback  ·  ISBN 978-1-55483-206-4 ·  154 pages  ·  5″ x 8”

“It is an excellent collection of poems which celebrate London cultural pioneers. It is full of Penn’s humour and wordplay. These poems evoke the city in its particular landscape and history.
And as anyone who knows Penn, a launch is never merely a launch. It is more like an evening with Penn and friends.
The evening began with a curator tour: Women’s Lives in Canada: A History, 1875-2000. Then Penn read from the book. They also showed several short videos on Local Heroes by Dennis Siren, Mary McDonald and Western’s Community Engaged Learning.
Dennis Siren recorded much of the evening at
You can also keep up to date with Penn at her blog
She is a poetic El Nino.”  Mike O’Connor, Insomniac Press

The LOCAL HEROES event held on July 22 at Eldon House in London, was a great success.  It featured poems from “Teresa Harris Rides Again”. Mary McDonald created several augmented reality videos which were shown and displayed as qr markers in the house all week.  You can see them on