NaPoMo poetry party.14


I imagine one year later, the spring is stirring fresh awakenings in you, Margaret Macpherson.

BUDDY BREATHING

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Margaret Macpherson lives in Edmonton, Alberta. Right now she is off-grid, seeking the solitude of the lovely little cabin you see in this photograph. That sounds pretty appealing to me, Margaret.

I’m borrowing your words here, Margaret, when you say you are a writer, teacher and mentor who believes in freedom, self expression, justice and the uncanny ability of the human spirit to connect intimately with others. You love people and words and positive energy and your work speaks of your deep connection to humanity. You’re a Northern lass, a second generation feminist with three kids, a husband and a cat.

We met at Banff Centre, a decade ago, and thanks be to social media, we’ve stayed connected. Our recent lunch at U. of A. was a blast, so many things in common to chat about.

Let’s jump right in with three questions, Margaret, as they are windows into the…

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NaPoMo poetry party.13


Circling back one year later, to the poet/activist Rawle James.

BUDDY BREATHING

90013442_109996630641972_2875885736052129792_nRawle James is a mentor, a builder of creative community, and a tireless advocate for social justice. Rawle’s creative vision ten years ago birthed the Inspired Word Cafe, a hip gathering place where many emerging poets in Kelowna have shared their work for the first time in front of a live audience. Rawle led the IWC for the first seven out of ten seasons. Now he focuses his energies on personal coaching, facilitating and public speaking.

You have been an encouragement and creative friend to me over the years, Rawle. Though we don’t seen one another often, I am grateful to keep in touch via social media. It’s my pleasure to welcome you to Buddy Breathing today.

We’ve been asking each one of our guests questions that focus more on how you are rather than what you do, though that’s also important. I find the current situation in the…

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NaPoMo poetry party.11


Lesley-Anne Evans, poet and poetry party host. Again.

BUDDY BREATHING

Photo: Lesley-Anne EvansToday is Easter Sunday. Whatever your Easter tradition or practice, whether you have one or not, I celebrate your presence. Having thoroughly enjoyed our time together over the past 10 days, and looking forward to more this month, here I am, hosting myself.

Easter Sunday is a day in the Christian tradition we’d be gathering together all over the world. We’d be turning to one another and saying: He is Risen; He is Risen Indeed! Those words are a proclamation for followers of Christ; those who trust in God’s mystery and love; those who celebrate the compelling audacity of Easter’s message; those who hold holy questions and doubts and wonderings; me.

I have been wandering on the road between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. And I arrive back here: with my lack of knowledge and understanding, and with my inconsistency of practice and ofttimes questionable motivation, still I am…

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NaPoMo poetry party.12


“If the drink is bitter, turn yourself into wine.”
The poet, literary writer, editor, teacher, and trauma-informed therapist, Karen Connelly.

BUDDY BREATHING

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Welcome, Karen Connelly, to our virtual gathering. How I wish we were sitting on a couch, legs pulled up, hands wrapped around a cup of tea, but this will have to do. We’ll begin by focusing on how you are keeping in these strange, life altering days, and then move to a poem you’ve selected to share today with us. I know you read this poem on Instagram recently, so I invite folk to head over there after our time together here.

It has been a week or so since I’ve listened to one of your midnight readings on Instagram. It became a way into deeper breaths, resting in the soothing sound of your voice, and readying myself for sleep. I am so grateful to you for those late evening posts.

Here are the three questions we have been cycling back to each day, and your generous answers;

1…

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NaPoMo poetry party.8


So good to have a wee return visit with poet Bernadette Wagner who continues to take the poetry world by storm!

BUDDY BREATHING

Wagner_B-2020Bernadette Wagner and I recently renewed our decade long friendship when she swung through the Okanagan Valley with her new poetry book The Dry Valley, from Radiant Press. Bernadette stayed with me for a couple of days, and being in her energetic and encouraging presence, talking about meaningful things, was a reminder to me of how important creative community really is. Bernadette joins us from Regina, Saskatchewan, where she lives with her husband and son. She has a daughter attending university in Ottawa.

Bernadette’s way of putting herself and her work out into the world is inspiring. She is similarly tireless in supporting other poets, because as she says, that’s just what we do!

Thanks for joining in this virtual poetry hootenanay, Bernadette! In response to my three questions this is what you said;

1. What is this quieter version of life teaching you?
Bernadette: The COVID-19 times has…

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NaPoMo poetry party.9


Barbara Colebrook Peace shares a poem that resonates deeply. Perhaps we all need the reminder that we are made in love, sought by love, lavished in love, no matter whether we believe we deserve it or not.

BUDDY BREATHING

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Barbara Colebrook Peace
joins us from Victoria, Vancouver Island, where she lives with her husband, Terry Peace.

Good morning, Barbara. It’s lovely to connect with you again, albeit virtually. The last and only time we met you sat beside me in a beautiful seaside church, St. George the Martyr, in Cadboro Bay. We were attending a Poetry as Prayer workshop led by Richard Osler, who was our guest poet here just the other day. It was such a joy to meet you then, knowing you through your beautiful poetry collection Duet for Wings and Earth. And here we are again!

We’ve been focusing on three questions as we visit together each day, and so I’m going to ask you the same ones with gratitude for your responses;

1.What is this quieter version of life teaching you?

Barbara:I’ve been blessed to live a quiet life for some years; what’s…

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NaPoMo poetry party.10


Missing this man, so grateful to have received the gift of his friendship.

BUDDY BREATHING

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Norman Bradley Millross
7 February, 1964 – 23 August, 2020
RIP Norm, my dear friend. My heart aches knowing you are gone from us. Until we meet again.

Norm Millross is a creative spirit who finds truth and healing through visual art, guitar, songwriting, poetry, and his faith. His resilience is contagious. For several years Norm and I met at Metro Community for our weekly poetry circle, where he wowed me with his prolific writing. Norm’s poem I Can is installed as one of two bright blue panels in the courtyard of Kelowna’s Gospel Mission where it lifts spirits and speaks of a power to overcome. I’m so thrilled to have Norm here, and for him to share a new poem with us.

Norm, we’ve been asking everyone a series of 3 questions, focusing on current circumstances and how we are coping in them. Here is what you said in…

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NaPoMo poetry party.6


And around and around we go! Poet Rob Rife, for the 2nd time one year later!

BUDDY BREATHING

Rob @ the churchRobert Rife is the reason I’m hosting this daily poetry party for the month of April. Rob invited me to participate in his NaPoMo blog, and in that I recognized how much I was missing creative community. So, here we are. Thanks, my friend.

Rob lives and works in Yakima, Washington. He is Canadian born, with the soul of a Celt. I’ve known Rob for decades as a talented singer-songwriter, poet, essayist, and I am drawn as he is to the Christian contemplative way. The standout memory I have is of Rob and his wife Rae’s visit one Canada Day not long ago, when Rob serenaded our captivated family and friends as the sun set over Lake Okanagan:

9EDFA310-F6F5-4436-9CD0-14222657E576_1_105_c(Unfortunately I’m unable to play this video without upgrading my blog platform…but imagine how hauntingly beautiful this experience was, and then multiply by 10.)

It’s just great having you here, Rob…

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NaPoMo poetry party.5


Lowell, there you are just up the road and here I am, here. One day we will meet again and share word and song. Until then, my friend, thanks for coming to my party last year.

BUDDY BREATHING

promo pic 1 pic 1Lowell Friesen is from Coldstream, British Columbia. He is the first of a few singer songwriter guests who’ll be dropping by. Lowell’s creativity spills over in a number of ways: he is an accomplished potter with a studio Nautilus Clayworks, a poet/lyricist, a talented musician, and also a co-steward of the land his family has tended for generations. It’s wonderful to have you here today, Lowell. And Happy Birthday tomorrow!

Here’s a link to your Facebook page so folk can check out some of your past and upcoming live stream music events.

As you know we’ve been asking everyone to share their thoughts around three questions related to the unique times we find ourselves in. Thanks for offering your insights here:

1. What is this quieter version of life teaching you?
L:
I think this new, although I wouldn’t say quieter, life has clarified whats truly important. Things that…

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NaPoMo poetry party.4


So good to return and read Daniela’s words again. Happy National Poetry Month, everyone!

BUDDY BREATHING

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It’s my pleasure to welcome Daniela Elza to our little gathering. It amazes me how it is possible to create online relationships, and I appreciate ours. It’s been years since I met you in person, just once, at a reading at the Okanagan Regional Library when you launched your first poetry collection. You are a friend, inspiration and encouragement to me.

I appreciate the considerable depth of your responses to the three questions that are becoming our unifying party chatter here. Thank you for that.

1. What is this quieter version of life teaching you?
Daniela: The quieter version of life that leads to the quieter version of me has always taught me that there’s so much wisdom there. That I’m wiser than I think, if I can still myself long enough to listen. It takes getting very still, very quiet. Now the whole world is cooperating with me to…

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