Saturday, April 17, 2010

All Photos by Kim Goldberg

April 10, 2010

The following poem is a collective work assembled from couplets written on-site at Buttertubs Marsh by nine of the participants in our Poets in the Marsh event on the weekend. The authors are listed at the end, but not in the same sequence as the couplets since the poem now stands as an organic whole authored by all of us.

Poets in the Marsh was a National Poetry Month event supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the League of Canadian Poets. I am indebted to Leaf Press publisher Ursula Vaira for this idea of generating a collective poem from couplets written by many different people. Ursula does this annually on the Leaf Press website and has come up with some remarkable poems.

Last year's tuffed rushes give way to iris shoots
Frisky mallards mate, red-winged blackbirds sing

What is it like to be a bird
Peered at through eyes that spring forth?

Island of cattails unmoored
Sailing to new shores

Birds, turtles, poems, sky and water
Combine in sunshine, sound, quietude and power

Yellow-rumped warbler climbs high
Out of sight

There must be many things involved in creating poetry
As many things as are involved in creating birds, I wonder?

Poets birdwatching sacred life, but even more sacred
Are the people - faces reflecting this story of God

The clarity of birds is appreciated
The contemplation of the marsh refreshing

Birdwatchers turn this way
And the silence is broken

Marsh wren building sixth nest for picky mate
Behind new subdivision

Writing on the back of a book
A poet names a bird

Bullrushes sway in the breeze with red-winged blackbirds
Collecting seeds - Buttertubs Marsh in the poem storm

* * *

Poets (in alphabetical order): Barbara Botham, Rod Corraini, David Fraser, Leona Gallant, Kim Goldberg, Cathryn Gunn, Marjorey Hope, Leanne McIntosh, Tim Merrill

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