Thursday, November 26, 2015
* * *
And then, a day later, I have another poem in The Puritan. Months and months go by without a new poem of mine in the world and then there are two in two days!?!
Today's poem is "Local Smoke," which I wrote in June and submitted while I was at the Deep Bay Cabin. It's an occasional poem, in that it was written based on a specific event, a particular place and time.
The occasion for "Local Smoke," was the forest fire smoke from drought-dry Saskatchewan and Alberta that blew into Winnipeg in early June that co-incided with the stabbing of a teenage boy at a Winnipeg high school. Both events caused me look at the world slightly differently, to shift my perception of normal, and I wanted to mark that somehow.
Interestingly, it was also a poem that came together very quickly, during a walk home from work.
Which is how I found myself standing in the no-man's land between the turn from Stafford onto Academy and the Maryland Street Bridge, scribbling madly—and awkwardly, leaning on the St. Mary's Academy fence—in my notebook.
My thanks to editors at the The Puritan for putting my poem in such excellent company. It's wonderful to see and hear (because editors get contributors to submit audio recordings of accepted poems...) my work alongside that of writer friends like Brenda Schmidt and John Wall Barger as well as that of young poets whose work I'm just getting to know like Cassidy McFadzean and Kayla Czaga.