Poem for Local Heroes, Virtue & Moir

This poem is dedicated to London’s spectacular local heroes and Canada’s most decorated ice dance team, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.  We’re celebrating their return to competition after a two-year hiatus.

As if you are leaping in the air

As if you are leaping in the air
with Virtue and Moir. As if you
are running perfect simulation.

Lift and fly. Figures are skating,
whirling to wild quads like Sufis
dancing in Dervish reverence.

Perfection swirls along an unseen
slip of water that allows for glide,
ice two inches thick. Blades glint.

Fantasy hovers, floats flawlessly,
describing meticulous arcs on ice,

in air. Geometry touched by magic,
projection spun on glass surface.

Le Petit Prince and his Rose criss-
cross the ice to mirror our neurons
effortlessly after ruthless practice.

One haptic system rings in tune with
the other not by happenstance but
exquisite design, creating the perfect

illusion of romance. This pair knows
their true trick is always in landing home.


The poem won second prize in Poetry London’s 2015 Contest. I read it at Landon Library on March 25.

The video and poem are up at Central Library London, http://www.londonpubliclibrary.ca/blog/poetry-london-contest-winner-penn-kemp, and on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGAOOldLE98.

The winning poems are up on http://www.poetrylondon.ca/index.php?/current/contest/ and posted throughout London Libraries all Poetry Month along with videos of our reading at Landon Library!

Thanks to Poetry London!

See also http://www.lfpress.com/2015/03/26/kemps-winning-verses-salutes-our-olympians.

Some Talk Magic cover

The photo of daughter Amanda and me is in Some Talk Magic, Ergo Productions.  Credit: Elizabeth Cunningham.  Below are Amanda and her daughter Ula with Benny the Bouvier!



Valentine Poem

Heart to Art

Romance of the rose in part-
icular scent, texture, hue
carried and cared
for from you.

Roses reside inside, arriving
by scent from smooth petal
scarlet or white. Roses arrive
and rest

They rest not knowing
the future as I do and so the rest
is easy before

rust nips at the coiling edge of
hope, nips and tucks, curtails, till
petal droops, curls and drops
on stone.

Heart suspends suspense
and pauses, skips the beat
to bear what can’t be

The heart does not grow over.
It grows through the lump in
the throat and out the mouth—
new birth of sorts, of change.

Heart knows its kind, knows its
own, knows as well kind
words. They too can cut
clear through skin, so many
layers meaning… what?

To stay kind
of alive in metaphor— beating
beating heart, the rhythm of
survival, thriving.

Your Hermes to my Hestia,

for Gavin, Beloved