Bay of Fundy

14 Dec




When all else is gone, if it’s gone

and has to go, the tide still swells into the bay,

welling like tears, a jug full to brimming

even over meniscusses of its banks.


When the village is bankrupt

and the museum predicting the second coming

in dog religions – 30 million

dollar periods, believes in cycles

when north becomes south,


the moon unleashed from its tether,

a belief in science –  “we once had fins”

– without salvation.  If anywhere

there is heart, it would pull

and suck like the pull and suck


of this sea.  Life that swells

and empties it, moves slug-like

and swift.  Body of water, face

of earth washed twice daily

no matter village, museum, prediction,


person, predication or

realization “I am a body of water.”

Choose to mistake

the swell of the sea

and its wash for love,


choose to feel pullings of moon

in the blood of my heart.

Is there

anything else more hopeful

or less still


poem for a new follower

25 Jul

moon pause

The ocean every day

spitting up on the beach

rocks, dead things and live,

wind tumble and grind while

here, river revolves on itself,

murky, rippling fish

laze on the surface

except at night under streetlights

on the bridge, when it prickles

dimples of mating fish

herding upstream.

I look for drama

for back-wash:

in my dream snappers

alarmingly plow upward

and turn a cooked pumpkin

into soup.  I forget

which direction to the bus

wade into water

in a cleft of rock

lost or nearly:

the snapper spoons.

blog train

3 Apr

I’m not a frenetic blogger, but glad to be on this blog train,
meeting other people’s writing.

Here’s the tour of me:



Thanks to Michael Casteels for inviting me.  If you check his blog at you’ll see who invited him,
and you can follow the blog tour backwards that way. Brandon Crilly
has provided a list of participants in his blog (see below). I invited three
people so as to include him;

and added a fifth question about what people are reading currently.  
Here goes:


What am I working on?

 I’ve done lots of editing lately – two books of
life works for poet-painter friends. Elizabeth D’Ambrosio’s is a
compilation of her 93 years: poems and paintings published by Broken
Rules Press; and painter Francis Piché’s illustrated poems done
in a very limited edition of 5 intended for his daughter,
editor and self.

Two of my chapbooks came out this spring (thank you obvious epiphanies
and Melinda Cochrane International: to purchase, search Lulu and Amazon
respectively, under my name, Czandra); I’m blowing on them to get them
out of the harbour into a friendly breeze.
I’m writing tanka renga with Angela Leuck.
Two more chapbooks are waiting for publishers when I’m in marketing mode
(about as often as I’m in blogging mode).

I’m working on not working on anything.  I’m also working on overcoming
ever-blooming sense of futility and on volleyball skills. I got hung up
in the net yesterday and landed on my skull so volleyball is now
a helmeted sport here.


How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It doesn’t, except that I wrote it, isn’t that what genre means? 
I don’t think I belong to genre, unless “beginner mind” is genre. 
Michael Casteels calls it minimalist in visual poetry 
(illiterature iii). Lots of people do what I do, I like to
belong to community, but genre? You’d have to ask a theorist.
I wonder what Erin Mouré might say.
Ian Ferrier says I have my own “niche”.

Here’s what makes me different and the same: I typed control i
in order to get three italic i’s, and that fascinates me.
Does it fascinate everyone?  Making connections is obsessive,
language is slave-master, license plates torment, at base my language
is classical deep DNA (see reading list below).


Why do I write what I do?

 I like Michael’s answer to this – to get lost in poems. 
For me, it’s play, chronicling wonders of the day; or it’s desperation
to get to a point sometimes, while I might have a microbyte to be heard;
to pay back what the world invested in me; or it’s earnest attempt
at soul vibe for fun, purification, insight, pleasure. These come out
in just about every form I know except formal forms. Villanelle, sestina,
palindrome, cento, etc, hold pleasant surprises but when I tried them
they were exercises, really, and didn’t go beyond that for me. 
I can’t follow a recipe, even one I know by heart, so why try to write
that way ….

Using bullets goes against my grain (see below), poetry makes change.

“What” I write – readers are better positioned to answer why I do that,
it’s part of the fun of reading.  I’m not always sure what I’ve written,
let alone where it comes from.  If I knew it might turn out to be hohum.
Someone else put me in context, without putting me in my place, okay?
Barthès via Michael Crummey says authorship is complicated.


What am I reading currently?

Doris Lessing’s prescient series “Canopus in Argos” (1980′s)
Lary (Timewell) Bremner’s nail-it “Posthumous spectacle nodes” (2011)
Fred Wah’s wistful “Breathin’ my name with a sigh” (1981 – signed copy)
Svetasvatara Upanishad
Marc Seguin’s “La foi du braconnier” (2009) – Quebec lit
with trepidation, it will hurt

How does my writing process work?

The word “work” appears in three out of four of these questions, but it’s
play and play out. I like the idea that “if you choose a job you like
you’ll never work a day in your life.”  That’s true of all my jobs: writing,
editing, teaching, parenting, spousing, gardening, living.

Poetry is a delicate plant. Takes time. Is like growing a tree in the yard:
water, trim, regard. Grows without you. Thinking don’t help it much.
Read others. Assemble.

  • Keep paper and writing sticks beside bed, standardize paper size!
  • Force self to write it NOW rather than wait for it to mature or wither
  • If not, stop chiding self for losing a once-in-a-lifetime thought
  • When it shows up again, write it NOW, it’s good. Multiple tries at same poem, esp. haiku.
  • Stop thinking about what’s good, but also stop writing bad stuff.  I think I know when it’s good if I have little doubt about where to place it
  • During the day, practice restraint.  Not everything is to be written about, life is no storybook nor poetic commentary,
    not everything need be composed by you, even if you’re the only one to see it, but don’t be lazy


Next on the blog tour:

                                  Julie Mahfood                           

                                  Joanne Arnott                          

                                  Brandon Wordsmith Crilly

Resisting the poem

5 Apr

a shopping bag in a tree

I resist the poem that buds

too complaining but

it’s not one bag

there are three more

flapping in a row

blinking sun-spangled

in the breeze.

Still I dismiss

the poem and then

a fifth bag appears

clear plastic flashing neon

arranged to balance the others.

There are no more, but 

their multiple messages mean

I have to write out resisting

folded poem

28 Nov
  • because we have been naked
  • on baked stones in the forest
  • an embryo on the side of the road
  • in its slippery water bag
  • is passing strange