Reminder of Spring

Here/There

This poem was published this week in https://www.goddess-pages.co.uk/here-there/.  It was performed as part of LUMINOUS ENTRANCE: a Sound Opera by Penn Kemp at Aeolian Hall, London ON.

All the ducks in a row

 

Three Mother letters—
Fire, River, Water.

I find you in speaking
tree, pond eye
river ear

meadow’s hand
loop of swallow,
stream of thought

There you are
baby in her bath,
strands of hair floating
as if on the Thames

submerged but for her
smiling face, ahhhhhh
she murmurs

*

Hummingbird fast
as the letter Shin
on fire, on red
cardinal flower.

The bees that return
season upon season
the letter Shin on fire

The mud bank from
which turtle drops,
splash of circling carp

Duck with her brood
aligned behind her,
careful setting out across

the wide water.
strutting down the street
to the creek.

*

There you are, green
again after drab dearth,
long absence of light.

There you are in moments
between friends, among
many.

There you are in the mouth
of another, tenor’s laugh,
an operatic trill.

There you are in the ear
receiving wisdom, at last
ready to understand.

There you are in those eyes,
riverine, opening out, trans-
mitting from mirrored depth.

There you are in a rose,
first bloom or faded,
faintly scenting the air.

There you arise full-blown.

*

You are also inside, inner, with me.
Radiance seen, felt and heard

A whiff of this, aroma of that,
taste on the honeyed tongue.

There you are in the cardinal
feeding his mate. Garlic
scapes spring arabesques

in the air. Goats on hind legs
rear up acacia trunk, giraffe
stooping for special branch.

There you are in the sudden
confirmation of synchronicity
when the radio speaks the word

I am writing. Oracles, move
over. And keep talking, please,
humming through medium cool.

The song responds, corresponds
to mood.

Contemplate the missing, lost,
forgotten, ignored, left out.

Enough now. Let it be
enough. Now let us
praise

Penn Kemp

Penn Kemp has been active in Canada’s literary scene since her first publication of poetry, Bearing Down, by Coach House (1972). As well as editing Canada’s first anthology of women’s writing, IS 14 (1973), she wrote the first play produced in Canada about abortion rights. She was London’s inaugural Poet Laureate and the League of Canadian Poets’ Spoken Word Artist, 2015. Multimedia works are up on https://riverrevery.ca. Her 2018 poetry books are Local Heroes (Insomniac Press) and Fox Haunts(Aeolus). www.pennkemp.weebly.com.
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Launch of The Dream Life of Teresa Harris, CD, with Augmented Reality!

Summer Blessings!

SUNDAY, JULY 22, 1:00 P.M.

Join local poet and playwright Penn Kemp for an afternoon of readings from The Dream Life of Teresa Harris and Local Heroes, paired with a viewing of ‘Augmented Reality’ exhibits by artist Mary McDonald.  Books and CD’s will be available for purchase.

Mary’s visual art and animation of my play will run for a week in Eldon House following the tea.

Details on http://www.eldonhouse.ca/events/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/2111776722426553/.

Eldon House
481 Ridout Street North
London, Ontario
519.661.5169
info@eldonhouse.ca

ELDON HOUSE INTERPRETIVE CENTRE
(AND GROUNDS FOR TEA OPTION)

COST: $6.00 + HST IN ADVANCE OR $8.00 AT THE DOOR (FOR ADMISSION ONLY)

OR $30.00 + HST FOR ADMISSION PLUS AFTERNOON TEA WITH THE AUTHOR AND ARTIST! THIS OPTION INCLUDES OUR REGULAR SUMMER TEA MENU.

Registration required through Eldon House.

Video by Mary McDonald

Launch of LOCAL HEROES

Launch of Local Heroes (Insomniac Press) by Penn Kemp

April 19,2018, Lecture Theatre
Museum London, 421 Ridout St N.

6:30-7:15. Curator Tour: Women’s Lives in Canada: A History, 1875-2000
7:30-8:30. Penn’s reading
8:30-9 pm. Book signing

Join London poet and playwright Penn Kemp for the launch of her book
Local Heroes (Insomniac Press). Local Heroes is a celebration of regional artists from Greg Curnoe and James Kemp to writers Alice Munro, Colleen Thibaudeau and Bonnie Burnard.  New poems about explorer Teresa Harris are featured.

The evening includes an exhibition tour with curator Amber Lloydlangston, followed by Insomniac Press publisher Mike O’Connor and Penn’s reading.

The theatre will show several short videos on Local Heroes by Dennis Siren, Mary McDonald and Western’s Community Engaged Learning. The poet will then sign books.

Contact: Museum London, 519 661-0333, info@museumlondon.ca
http://museumlondon.ca/programs-events/event/2458/2018/04/19
promo video: https://youtu.be/x-edwKodu0s
https://www.facebook.com/events/181506832475203/

For more about LOCAL HEROES, please see http://poetryminiinterviews.blogspot.ca/2018/03/penn-kemp-part-one.html.

https://www.amazon.ca/Local-Heroes-Penn-Kemp/dp/1554832063

B1458pl8620file203 (2)

Cover photo courtesy Harris Fonds, Western Archives, Western University

from Goddess Pages

Calling on Persephone

by Penn Kemp

A little early for Persephone to return
but how enticing is this pomegranate!
No wonder she was tempted to indulge!

https://www.goddess-pages.co.uk/calling-on-persephone-by-penn-kemp/

Pomegranate

Blessed be the lost ones, those who
left, in our opinion, too soon, whose
time, they say, had come. Blessed

be those whose lives have stopped
in their current form, the bodies we
know and miss. For it’s we who are

lacking, not they. Either they don’t
know any more or their essence has
dissolved to some fuller| plenitude

we too will come upon in our time.
Only the Goddess knows for sure
if we listen, if we reach out to Her.

Calling on Persephone, as seasons
darken, as night falls into autumn:
Take care of those we have lost.

*

As we age, the living dead increase,
surround us with presence, with gifts
of their kind, on offer if we realize

they are ongoing, just out of earshot,
beyond tangential vision. Out there,
behind you to one side, they linger

friendly—don’t worry— and ready
to offer advice, offer warning, offer
remarks that reflect a wider gnosis:

Archetypes of what they could have
become, given time or opportunity.
My friends, our dead are listening.

May be as memories fleshed real or
may be as hallucinatory flashes from
some other realm: does it matter?

Now that they are really no longer
matter but transcorporeal illusion,
their words, their nudges and sighs,

they still comfort us, familiar whiff,
where the senses condense off-stage
then expand beyond the peripheral.

*

May we bring their attributes to life
within us. For Persephone’s love
of flower, to surround Her in kind.

She will return; She always does, to
turn the wheel, to begin once more,
speaking the words of consolation.

May we live that gentle beauty for
her, ongoing. May She who loves
blossoms bloom again in our eyes

as we admire a purple pride of fall
garden. May Her essence enter us.
May we become what we might.

May She remember and remind us,
Mnemosyne, Goddess of memory,
inventor of the language we need

now more than ever. Speak to us.
Tell us the news in the old way we
once knew. Keep in touch, please.

©Penn Kemp

Poem for Solstice Night

All Things Considered

q. altered mss
On the shelf inside the storm, an empty
pitcher of light awaits sage and summer
savory.  All puns are planted to present

these things as if saying were enough
to conjure the perfect illusion illuminated.

Now.  At the turning of the year after
nadir of deepest darkness, the small
Moon of Long Night turns to beam
over the orchard above the frozen lake.

The sun stands Solstice still, holding
its breath, biding its time until released
to start once more in utter clarity of cold.

In that perilous moment before cycles
start up again, we all can fall through
cracks.  Interstices of ice drag us down.

We grope from dusk to dark to light.
We slip between stars, drawn out
beyond what we know, considering,
considere, to be with the luminary.

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
conjuring night creatures’ obscured world,

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.

Penn Kemp

*

The last lines of this poem were first published in “from Dream Sequins” with drawings by the brilliant Steven McCabe. See his gorgeous https://poemimage.wordpress.com/.

Books Read, 2017

Ah, the season of lists…

Here’s to curling up with a good book! Happy reading…

Poetry highly recommended:
Roo Borson, Rain, road, an open boat
Susan McCaslin, Into the Open
Sharon Thesen, The Receiver
Daphne Marlatt, Reading Sveva

Some of my favourite prose this year: all by Canadian women!:

Eden Robinson, Son of a Trickster
Alison Pick, Strangers With the Same Dream
Claire Cameron, The Last Neanderthal
Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Field Guide to the Small and Significant
Barbara Gowdy, Little Sister
Karen Connelly‏, The Change Room
Louise Penny, Glass Houses
Emma Donoghue, Landing

And two English writers:
Paula Cocozza, How to be human  
Margaret Drabble, The Dark Flood Rises

Not to mention the brilliant stylist, Adam Gopnik, At the Strangers’ Gate: Arrivals in New York, and James King, The Way It Is: The Life of Greg Curnoe

Here’s the list: an odd mixture.  Because of a concussion, I was limited to light reading for some months. Thank goodness for audio books!

Books Read, 2017

Cecelia Ahern, Lyrebird

Yehuda Amichai, The poetry of Yehuda Amichai / edited by Robert Alter

Kelley Armstrong, A darkness absolute

John Ashbery, Commotion of the birds / new poems by John Ashbery

Kate Atkinson, Emotionally weird: a comic novel

Kate Atkinson, Started early, took my dog

Kate Atkinson, When will there be good news?

Margaret Atwood; illustrated by Duan Petrii. A trio of tolerable tales
Margaret Atwood, Angel Catbird. Vol. 1 / story by Margaret Atwood; illustrations by Johnnie Christmas
Margaret Atwood, Angel Catbird #2: To Castle Catula
Margaret Atwood, The Burgess Shale: the Canadian writing landscape of the 1960s

Paul Auster, 4 3 2 1

Sarah Bakewell, At the existentialist café: freedom, being and apricot cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre [and others]

Peter Balakian, Ozone journal

Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture

Gary Barwin, No TV for woodpeckers: poems

Peter S. Beagle, We Never Talk About My Brother

Peter S. Beagle, Summerlong

Ann Beattie, The state we’re in: Maine stories

Ann Beattie, The accomplished guest: stories

Brit Bennett, The Mothers

Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy: how the mind can heal the heart

David Bergen, Stranger

John Berger, Portraits: John Berger on artists

Lucia Berlin, A manual for cleaning women: selected stories; edited and with an introduction by Stephen Emerson; foreword by Lydia Davis

Jill Bialosky, Poetry will save your life: a memoir

Roo Borson, Rain, road, an open boat

David Bouchard; paintings by Kristy Cameron; music by Stephen Kakfwi; Ojibwe language by Jason and Nancy Jones. Dreamcatcher and the seven deceivers= Asabikeshiiwasp gaye awiya oga-gagwe-niisibidoon

Brian Bouldrey, editor. Inspired journeys: travel writers in search of the muse

Cynthia Bourgeault, The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three; Discovering the Radical Truth at the Heart of Christianity

Erin Bow, The Swan Riders

Melanie Brooks, Writing hard stories: celebrated memoirists who shaped art from trauma

Dan Brown, Origin: A Novel

Vanessa Brown and Jason Dickson, London: 150 Cultural Moments

Stephen Harrod Buhner, Plant intelligence and the imaginal

Jessie Burton, The Muse

Steve Burrows, A Shimmer of Hummingbirds a Birder Murder Mystery

Steve Burrows, A cast of falcon

Sharon Butala, Where I live now: a journey through love and loss to healing and hope

Claire Cameron, The Last Neanderthal

J.L. Carr, A Month in the Country

Kate Cayley, Other houses

Michael Chabon, Moonglow

Tracy Chevalier, The lady and the unicorn

Tracy Chevalier, ed. Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre

Pema Chödrön, The compassion book: teachings for awakening the heart

Ann Cleeves, Blue lightning

Ann Cleeves, Dead water

Lynn Coady, Who needs books?: reading in the digital age

Harlan Coben, Fool me once

Paula Cocozza, How to be human

Karen Connelly‏, The Change Room

Lynn Crosbie, The corpses of the future

Lorna Crozier, The Wrong Cat

Laura Cumming, The Vanishing Velazquez

Rachel Cusk, Transit

Ram Dass, Polishing the mirror: how to live from your spiritual heart

Wade Davis, Wade Davis: photographs

Albert Flynn DeSilver, Writing As A Path To Awakening

David Demchuk, The Bone Mother

Mary di Michele, Bicycle thieves

Lloyd M. Dickie and Paul R. Boudreau, Awakening higher consciousness: guidance from ancient Egypt and Sumer

Joan Didion, South and West

Emma Donoghue, The Lotterys Plus One

Emma Donoghue, Landing

Margaret Drabble, The Dark Flood Rises

Philip Eade, Sylvia: queen of the headhunters: an eccentric Englishwoman and her lost kingdom

Elena Ferrante, Fragments

Elena Ferrante, Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey Translated by Ann Goldstein

Penelope Fitzgerald, The Bookstore

Penelope Fitzgerald, At Freddie’s

Philip Freeman, Searching for Sappho: the lost songs and world of the first woman poet: including new translations of all of Sappho’s surviving poetry

Tana French, The Trespasser

Carrie Fisher, The Princess Diarist

Penelope Fitzgerald, The bookshop

Christopher Fowler, Full Dark House

Neil Gaiman, Norse Mythology

Nina George, The Little Paris Bookshop

Malin Persson Giolito, Quicksand; translated from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles.

Philip Glass, Words without music: a memoir

James Gleick, Time Travel: A History

Rumer Godden; introduction by Phyllis Tickle, In this house of Brede

Al Gore, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power

Nora Gould, Selah

Barbara Gowdy, Little Sister

Naomi Goldberg, The True Secret of Writing

Herman Goodden, Three Artists: William Kurelek, Jack Chambers & Greg Curnoe

Daisy Goodwin, Victoria

Adam Gopnik, At the Strangers’ Gate: Arrivals in New York

Robert Gottlieb, Avid Reader: A Life

Philippa Gregory, The Last Tudor

Terry Griggs, Nieve

Terry Griggs, The discovery of honey

John Grisham, Camino Island

David Grossman, A horse walks into a bar

Don Gutteridge, The way it was / poems by Don Gutteridge

Joan Haggerty, The Dancehall Years

Kang Han, The vegetarian: a novel

Graham Hancock, Magicians of the gods: the forgotten wisdom of Earth’s lost civilisation

Yuval Harari, Homo deus: a brief history of tomorrow

Michael Helm, After James

Brenda Hillman, Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire

James Hillman & Sonu Shamdasani, Lament of the dead: psychology after Jung’s Red book

Anne Hillerman, Song of the Lion

Susan Holbrook, Throaty wipes

Emma Hooper, Etta and Otto and Russell and James

Anthony Horowitz, Magpie Murders

Sarah Howe, Loop of Jade

Helen Humphreys, The river

Markus Imhoof & Claus-Peter Lieckfeld, More than honey: the survival of bees and the future of our world

Anosh Irani, The Parcel

Annie Jacobsen, Phenomena: the secret history of the U.S. government’s investigations into extrasensory perception and psychokinesis

Tama Janowitz, Scream: a memoir of glamour and dysfunction

Greg Jenkins, Theban oracle: discover the magic of the ancient alphabet that changes lives

Marni Jackson, Don’t I know you?

Paulette Jiles, News of the World

Han Kang, The Vegetarian

Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

James King, The Way It Is: The Life of Greg Curnoe

Naomi Klein, No is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need

Christina Baker Kline, Orphan train: a novel

Joy Kogawa, Gently to Nagasaki

Hari Kunzru, White Tears

  1. Travis Lane, Crossover: poems

John Le Carré, A Legacy of Spies

Genevieve Lehr, Stomata

Donna Leon, Death in a strange country

Donna Leon, The waters of eternal youth

Donna Leon, Falling in Love

Donna Leon, Death and Judgement

Donna Leon, Quietly in Their Sleep

Donna Leon, Drawing conclusions: a Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery

Donna Leon, The girl of his dreams

Donna Leon, Looks are deceiving

Donna Leon, Through a glass darkly

Donna Leon, Suffer the little children

Donna Leon, Earthly Remains: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

Martine Leavitt, My book of life by Angel

Deborah Levy, Hot Milk

Penelope Lively, The purple swamp hen and other stories

Beau Lotto, Deviate: the science of seeing differently

Charles C Lovett, The Lost Book of the Grail

Robert Macfarlane, Landmarks

Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Field Guide to the Small and Significant

Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs

Henning Mankell, Quicksand: what it means to be a human being

Lee Maracle, Talking to the diaspora

Stephen Marche, The Unmade Bed: the messy truth about men and women in the 21st century

Megan Marshall, Elizabeth Bishop: a miracle for breakfast

Daphne Marlatt, Reading Sveva

Elan Mastai, All our wrong todays: a novel

Alexander McCall Smith, Precious and Grace

Alexander McCall Smith, The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine

Anna & Jane McGarrigle, Mountain city girls: the McGarrigle family album

Ami McKay, The Witches of New York

Adrian McKinty, The Cold Cold Ground

John McWhorter, The language hoax: why the world looks the same in any language

Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Coyote Medicine

Glennon Doyle, Love Warrior  

John Metcalf, The museum at the end of the world

Claire Messud, The Burning Girl

Anne Michaels, All We Saw

Jacob Mooney, Don’t Be Interesting

Robert Moss, Sidewalk oracles: playing with signs, symbols, and synchronicity in everyday life

Rhonda Mullins, Twenty-One Cardinals, Coach House Books. English translation of Les héritiers de la mine by Jocelyne Saucier

Alice Munro Dear life: [stories]

Haruki Murakami, Wind; Pinball: two novels

Shane Neilson, On shaving off his face: poems

Jo Nesbo, The Thirst  yuck

John Nyman, Players

Heather O’Neill, The lonely hearts hotel

David Orr, You, too, could write a poem: selected reviews and essays, 2000-2015 *

Orhan Pamuk, The Red-Haired Woman

Molly Peacock, Analyst

Louise Penny, Glass Houses

Sarah Perry, The Essex Serpent

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Heaven

Alison Pick, Strangers With the Same Dream

Nancy Geddes Poole, The past— comes back: a memoir

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Steven Price, By Gaslight

Francine Prose, Mister Monkey: a novel

Philip Pullman, Mystery of the Ghost Ship

Philip Pullman, The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage

Andrew Pyper, The Only Child: A Novel

Susan Quinn, Eleanor and Hick: the love affair that shaped a First Lady

Matt Rader, Desecrations

Ian Rankin, Rather Be the Devil

Michael Redhill, Bellevue Square

Iain Reid, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Robbie Robertson, Testimony

Eden Robinson, Son of a Trickster

Peter Robinson, In the Dark Places

Judith Rodger, Greg Curnoe: Life & Work

Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Bernard Sanders, Our revolution: a future to believe in

George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo

Dani Shapiro, Hourglass: time, memory, marriage

Will Schwalbe, Books for Living

Will Schwalbe, The End of Your Life Book Club

Gregory Scofield, Witness, I am

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, This accident of being lost: songs and stories

Sue Sinclair, Heaven’s Thieves

Robin Sloan, Sourdough

Carolyn Smart, Careen

Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle

Zadie Smith, Swing Time

Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby

Rebecca Solnit, The Mother of All Questions

Linda Spalding, The Reckoning

Dana Spiotta, Innocents and Others

Mirabai Starr, Caravan of no despair: a memoir of loss and transformation

Jon Kalman Stefansson, Fish Have No Feet

D.E. Stevenson, Miss Buncle’s book

Elizabeth Strout, Anything Is Possible

Cordelia Strube, On the shores of darkness, there is light

Matthew Sullivan, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Shaun Tan; foreword by Neil Gaiman, The singing bones: inspired by Grimms’ fairy tales

Deborah Tannen, You’re the only one I can tell: inside the language of women’s friendships

Charles Taylor, The language animal: the full shape of the human linguistic capacity

Susan McCaslin,
Sharon Thesen, The Receiver

Laura Thompson, The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters

James Thurber, The Wonderful O

Colm Toibin, House of Names

Tomas Tranströmer, The great enigma: new collected poems; translated from Swedish by Robin Fulton

Rose Tremain, The Gustav Sonata: a novel

Jeff VanderMeer, Borne

Katherena Vermette, The Break

Karen Virag, editing Canadian English: a guide for editors, writers and everyone who works with words / editor-in-chief

Eleanor Wachtel, The Best of Writers & Company

Martin Walker, Bruno, Chief of Police

Martin Walker, Bruno, Chief of Police, Fatal pursuit: a Bruno, chief of police novel

Martin Walker, The Templars’ Last Secret: A Bruno, Chief of Police novel

Mary Walsh, Crying for the moon: a novel

Phyllis Webb, Peacock Blue, The Collected Poems

Izabella Wentz, Hashimoto’s Protocol

Hank Wesselman, Medicinemaker: mystic encounters on the Shaman’s path

Jennifer Welsh, The Return of History: Conflict, Migration, and Geopolitics in the Twenty-first Century

Zoe Whittall, The Best Kind of People

Kathleen Winter, Lost in September

Jeanette Winterson, Christmas days: 12 stories and 12 feasts for 12 days

Peter Wohlleben; foreword by Tim Flannery; The hidden life of trees: what they feel, how they communicate: discoveries from a secret world

Gwendolyn Womack, The fortune teller

Diana Wynne Jones, Witch week

Jon Young; with science and audio editing by Dan Gardoqui, What the robin knows: how birds reveal the secrets of the natural world

Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind

Jan Zwicky, The long walk

Jan Zwicky, Wittgenstein Elegies, intro: Sue Sinclair

penn-1950

Another Invocation

                   for all those missing and murdered

Come say hello, women. While the veils are still

thin, we welcome your presence, no longer missed

but present, with all the disappeared you stand for.

 

As if you were in the prime of life now. As if

your daughters bloomed full-grown around you.

As if your mothers were crying delighted tears.

 

And if you were here to see what has changed

and what has not, would you hide your eyes in

shame for what has been done, what has not?

 

Come into the light and tell us how you are. As

if you have life beyond what we recall or remember

before this dark December claims its own again.

Penn Kemp

http://tuckmagazine.com/2017/12/01/poetry-1150/

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