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Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Easter Rising - when poets led the way

The following is from the excellent Bear Creek Haiku blog (thanks to Ayaz Daryl Nielsen and friends):

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ken McConnellogue, Patti Smith, poetry and Easter's martyrs. . . "It all leads to each other. We become ourselves."

A century ago, about 1,200 Irish women and men - poets and dreamers - initiated a poorly organized, short-lived rebellion against brutal British rule.  Patrick Pearse, one of the leaders, shortly before execution, wrote to his mother, "Our deeds of last week are the most splendid in Ireland's history.  People will say hard things about us now, but we shall be remembered by posterity and blessed by unborn generations."  Seemingly a dismal failure, yet, stirred by the brutality of the executions, Ireland's "slumbering nationalist movement awakened" - in 1949, Ireland achieved full nationhood.

Ken McConnellogue, poet and journalist, amidst his Denver Post article: "the doomed, foolhardy, splendid effort galvanized the Irish then and continues to this day.  It was not a bad week's work for poets and dreamers who became martyrs to their nation's cause, remembered by posterity and blessed by unborn generations."

Ken McConnellogue (

Patti Smith, in her latest,
    'M Train' (winner of the National Book Award),
"Where does it all lead? 
What will become of us?. . .
                                   It all leads to each other.
                                   We become ourselves."    

Easter's magnificent martyrs, leading us back to each other.

Beloved wife Judith, with ancestors from County Derry, directed me to Ken's article, even as 
ass't. ed.'s Frosty and Tama

insisted we create this post -
"we have feline ancestors
in County Derry, too!"

(from 'A New Zealand Prayer Book')

Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven:
   The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
   The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
   Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
   Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
   sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever.  Amen.

Ok, Tama, Frosty, it's time for treats!

see you in a moment

ayaz daryl nielsen
Posted by ayaz daryl nielsen at 9:45 PM
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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Almost Easter: Katherine L. Gordon

The stream was cold and quick
rocks slippery sharp
the path narrow, treacherous.
They struggled with back-packs,
bags, all they had left,
passed their small children along
to stretching hands, the chain
of abandoned desolation,
caught on media between sports
and the comedy of U.S. elections,
so unreal this segment of suffering,
our brothers and sisters
on a besieged planet
segregated easily by the wrong side
of war and religion,
more homeless than a dying species
of expatriate wildlife.
We did our quota..the barbed wire,
closed borders not our concern now,
lest something in us snap...warn us,
for any god’s sake to stand up
cry the old “never again”
save what we can of the bombed
and forsaken.
Rescue some of our own humanity.

Katherine L. Gordon
March 15th,  Ides of March 2016

Sunday, 13 March 2016

call for papers on 'Al Purdy at One Hundred'

forwarded by Ron Dart:

Dear colleagues,

I would be grateful if you would circulate the attached call for papers to
anyone you know who may be interested. And of course I would be delighted if
you would have a look too.

Best regards,
Nicholas Bradley

Department of English
University of Victoria

                                                  ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Hi Professor Bradley,

Ron Dart sent me your call for papers on 'Al Purdy at One Hundred'. I've long been a fan of Al, and I was a close friend of his best friend, Milton Acorn. Following is a poem I wrote a few years ago about the shamanic element I find in both their poems.

I've also taken the liberty of posting your call for papers on my blog - hope this helps with encouraging submissions for this worthy project. Terry Barker and I have collected some materials for a similar proposed project on Milton Acorn, "ACORNucopia".

peace & poetry power!
Chris (Faiers)

Marmora, Ontario (Purdy Country - "The Country North of Belleville")

p.s. I've spent several pleasant afternoons in recent years assisting with the renovation of the Purdy A-frame in nearby Ameliasburgh. For eight years I organized local Purdy Country Literary Festivals (PurdyFests).

the Uncles are bird spirits now 

for Milt and Al                                                    

the Uncles are bird spirits now
flying thru realms
tricksters, obvious in their choices

Milt, the raven spirit
and Al,
the gawky blue heron

your poems foretold this
Milt cawing angrily at the dense humans;
Al, more sanguine
more grounded,  multi-dimensional:
heron lives in water
air the daily flightpath home

these only two of the incarnations
you love to fool us with now …
Uncles, so many days you visit
flying, laughing free
through the spirit world
only poets & shaman
can begin to comprehend

we earthbound beings
yearn to fly with your flocks

raven, heron floating above
trickster turtles swimming with awkward strokes
sun basking in A-burgh’s millpond

poet friends transform
before my inner eye …
Jim D. chooses heron
as does John B.
while Larwill is the new raven king

the sun shines too brightly
through your new kingdoms
water transparent
as these words

heron zazen stalks
while turtles meditate
all deeply carved
into the teaching rocks
at Petroglyphs Park

we would miss you
except you visit so often
you are almost as annoying
in the next world
as you were in this one

Chris Faiers

From my blog: Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens

Posted by Chris Faiers/cricket at 17:00
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Labels: tribute poem Milton Acorn and Al Purdy