Intermittent Rain

October 1, 2019

Rain hitting the shovel
leaned against the house,
rain eating the edges
of the metal in tiny bites,
bloating the handle,
cracking it.
The rain quits and starts again.

There are people who go into that room in the house
where the piano is and close the door.
They play to get at that thing
on the tip of the tongue,
the thing they think of first and never say.
They would leave it out in the rain if they could.

The heart is a shovel leaning against a house somewhere
among the other forgotten tools.
The heart, it’s always digging up old ground,
always wanting to give things a decent burial.

But so much stays fugitive,
inside,
where it can’t be reached.

The piano is a way of practising
speech when you have no mouth.
When the heart is a shovel that would bury itself.
Still we can go up casually to a piano
and sit down and start playing
the way the rain felt in someone else’s bones
a hundred years ago
before we were born,
before we were even one cell,
when the world was clean,
when there were no hearts or people,
the way it sounded
a billion years ago, pattering
into unknown ground. Rain

hitting the shovel leaned against the house,
eating the edges of the metal.
It quits,
and starts again.

Roo Borson

Born in Berkeley, California, Roo Borson moved to Canada to attend the University of British Columbia in the 1970s. She is the author of thirteen books of poetry and an essay collection, and she is one-third of the collaborative poetry group Pain Not Bread, along with Kim Maltman and Andy Patton.  With Kim Maltman,  she has published translations and a book of prose poems under the collaborative pen name Baziju. Borson’s poetry has won the Governor General’s Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and the Griffin Poetry Prize. Early inspirations include listening to short poems by Shakespeare and Wordsworth recited by heart by her father. She continues to be inspired by whatever shows the world to be larger than it seemed the moment before: travel, daily life, and reading books from around the world.

Wolf Woman

October 1, 2019

I’m trying to evolve into all wolf all the time. It seems possible if I let go of the idea of my body, if I fall into my dream headfirst, if I accept words as signals more than language, if my love sounds like a howl in the forest – doesn’t it already?

Chelsea Hodson,

Artist Statement, Tonight I’m Someone Else: Essays

Nights

October 1, 2019

Nights are proud waves: darkblue topheavy waves laden with all hues of deep spoil, laden with things unlikely and desirable.

Nights have a habit of mysterious gifts and refusals, of things half given away, half withheld, of joys with a dark hemisphere. Nights act that way, I tell you.

Jorge Luis Borges
Two English Poems

They lurk

October 1, 2019

You never see them coming. They lurk in the overlooked and undusted places. They grow to huge proportions, and all along you don’t even dream about them, not in their true form. And then one day a chance meeting happens, a glimpse of that you didn’t know you wanted, and a latch is raised.

David Mitchell
Ghostwritten

awakening voices

October 1, 2019

All true poetic genius tends to generate prophetic insight. The poet cannot help but listen to awakening voices that are not yet audible to the rest of men.

Thomas Merton
The Literary Essays of Thomas Merton