Friday, November 30, 2012

Poems for the trees

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The Han Shan Project: An Urgent Call for Poems about Trees from Poets who Love Them

Han Shan was an ancient Chinese poet who posted his poems on the trees and rocks of Cold Mountain.  In the spirit of Han Shan…. 
  • Join our effort to speak for the trees of McLellan Forest East, an endangered rainforest in Glen Valley, Langley, BC.  It could be sold for private development and logged after Dec. 17th.
  • Send us a tree poem and we’ll post it on a tree in the forest.  One poem per poet.  Keep it to one page with your name at the bottom. Small photo of you is okay.
  • This is the west coast, so poems about species such as fir, hemlock, cedar, hemlock, spruce, bigleaf maple, black cottonwoods are especially relevant.
  • Send your poem immediately to Susan McCaslin ( who can provide more information about the forest and the issue.
Background: This remarkable and ecologically important forest will be sold by the Township of Langley for private development after Dec. 17 of this year if something radical is not done immediately to keep Council from proceeding.

For further information, see

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I knew my contribution to this project was going to be either this excerpt from "Infestation Lulluby" or "Spring in Assiniboine Forest," which is the opening poem in Hump

For me,  it had to be an elm tree. (Elms elms elms.)

But as was noted in the call for submissions, West Coast folk might not be familiar with them, so I included of a branch that showed both leaf and seed...

Now, I'm no graphic designer, but it was fun to muck around in InDesign, to move elements around. The process is more frustrating than moving words around in a poem, but in the end, you have something. A blank page changed.

And I don't know about you, but I REALLY really want to see a winter tree full of poems.

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