Two Poems by Lorne Daniel

Garry Oak / photo by D Stanley
Garry Oak / photo by D Stanley / CC BY

Island Fall

“to redefine is not always to lose” – Stephen Dunn

I am buoyed by the slowness of change
on this island, this autumn, the Garry Oak
leaves crinkling, painted with heavy dew

but holding fast well beyond this prairie boy’s
expectations, still of value like well used paper
money, glints of gold. Sure, a few fall every day
and in the boulevards everyone shuffles through

the accumulations but this could go on, I hope
for a month or more. No shivering bare
limbs. yet. Is this what Keats saw
a couple of oceans ago?

Be prepared, I have been told,
for the slowness, island time. Watch others
with patience. Cascadia moves ever so

grindingly. Half an inch a year,
plate over plate. Be prepared for the shock,
one day, of earth’s shudder

and, for now, savour what does not


The Poetry Came Back

The poetry came back like a gift
ha,ha, sure
and written in grand calligraphic
strokes on fake parchment.

No, no, it didn’t. That would be
creepy, poetry creeping
onto the desk, a flourish unexpected
from a 49 cent stick pen
as if from quill and well.
From the hand as if from the heart.

The poetry did not come back.

The poet came back, back
to the page, the page
welcoming and blank and calm.

As ever.

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