A Brief Poetic:  The Walk to Basho's Pond  

I don't really think I've gone very far with it all -- whatever "it" is -- a most (maybe) of a life's work, or whatever, 

except to reverse, in a sense, the Rimbaudian revolution (what a sonorous phrase!), and thinking here of the Lettre au voyant, so called, the thing that made, or at least denominated, us poets as prophets or seers (or shamans, as my old friend from Kingston, the late Tom Marshall, once opined); and I think -- 

no; not for me now the rich, shocking move from scribbler to seer but, yeah you guessed it, simply back to scribbler again; and listen for the suggestive sound of my own pen as whenever it -- whatever "it" is -- becomes silent enough, it begins to speak; 

as in the early 1970s, for instance, while working a way through my Poem in Three Parts, I somewhat raucously complained that "I / have given twenty years and more / of confused but constant service / to that master mistress of / silence"; and in the early 1980s Robert Sund reminded me, in a note to his book Ish River, that "The poet is in love with silence"; and more recently, when 20+ had become "forty years and a few," in Each Long Root ascending, descending, and still the waiting silence for that fisher's cast of a chance of whatever into whenever's mind and, 

well, you listen (as well as possible) to the silence; and you get an idea -- something comes to mind, as Stephen Spender put it; and you try it and if it works, you keep it, and if it doesn't, you don't and plough it under, build soil -- as Rbt Frost in another context said -- or a muddier bottom maybe, and listen some more, and go on listening until Basho's frog again plops into the old pond. 

A Brief Biographical Note: 

Born in Victoria, B.C.; married; B.A. and M.A from UBC; also studied at Queen's - Ph.D. all but dissertation; lived in Kingston from 1970 to 1992; presently in Powell River, teaching at Malaspina University-College; member Federation of B.C. Writers; artistic director of Malaspina Writers Association; former literary editor of Quarry (1982-84), guest editor for two issues of Nebula (in hardcopy), presently contributing editor to Jones Av.; Writer in Residence at the Kapuskasing Public Library, 1987-88; poetry published in various Canadian magazines and newspapers since 1962, book reviews, etc. since 1976; nine books and collections of poetry. 

| Nebula Title Page | Contents Page | Back To Feature | Previous Features