Poetry Friday012


Old Growth

Driving through I couldn’t help but notice
how the forest flourished,
to the very edge of the asphalt.

As if, at any moment
the deer ferns might grow legs,
tumble down the loamy banks
and run, unhindered, with long lost cousins

on the other side.

As if the Sitkas waited, breath held,
for our transient passing
only to close in upon themselves
in an ancient prayer circle, and

again offer up forgiveness for our misguided intrusions.

Lesley-Anne Evans
July 2009

Poetry Friday007


It’s been a while… trying to recapture ‘normal’ in my life after the passing of my Buddy. Words have not been flowing, nor has the desire to post much other than a few pictures and comments on Facebook. Yet, there’s a growing tickle in my gut that prompts me to take steps back toward creative expression, rather than holding it all close and tight inside me. God’s gift of life purpose has been marked by the discovery of my voice, and knowing that, I cannot long be silent. In the past five years, God has taught me that the posture of my hands needs to be open and surrendered to what He has for me. Although right now I feel like curling up in a ball and crying, I know that’s not a posture of acceptance or expectation for what comes next. While I must grieve, I must also step into God’s future for me. Today’s post is just that. Although these poems are not new, they are some of my favourites.

Here then is a collection of poems and photographs for your pleasure.

Gulls 2
by Lesley-Anne Evans, Jan. 2008

Gulls are drifting inland on updrafts from the sea.
Wantonly weightless they float overhead,
Calling boldly of flight and freedom.

Creature of the middle earth I stand in salt spray, toes
Sink in wet sand, thoughts sink deeper.
I lift my face skyward, consider their foreign tongue.

Then, rusty hinges on the screen door and
You call from the cottage.
Warm voice carried on the wind, you beckon me.

I turn.

Choose the welcoming parameters of our love and life.

Caged
Lesley-Anne Evans, Feb. 2009

Shredded strips of newspaper
On the bottom of your fancy cage —
Evidence of neurotic tendencies, as

You wait for daily offerings
Of fruit and seed in outstretched hands.
Still, a hunger is embedded in

Your dull remembrances of
Open skies and temperate winds
And clipped wings healed.

Okanagan Harmonic

by Lesley-Anne Evans, August 2009

There’s music in the vineyard
A rising tympani of leaves
Exposing their soft bellies to
The western wind.

Harmonies of vine and wire
Vine and wire, vine and wire
And the rhythm of staccato posts
Support the melody.

Bees buzz, tasting floral hints
Of autumn’s fruit
While heavy hot summer sun
Pulls the song from root to blossom tip.

There’s music in the vineyard
A complex composition carries on.
And, the cry of red-tailed hawk
A grace note.

Bud Hunting
Lesley-Anne Evans, December 2009

It’s not like you haven’t tried to adapt to the new ways
In your old age. Like gun licensing – forcing you through bureaucratic
Hoops to hang onto that part of you that only comes alive in pine
And birch, aspen, fir and poplar. Then you gave in, gave your guns away
To your brother, left you having to ask him to use them. Instead,

You told hunting stories, like the time you were about a hundred
Miles up on the Spruce River Road with a bunch of buddies, came around a corner, and
There were all these white birds — Snow Ptarmigan — white and fluffed up and floating
Over the first dusting of October snow.  It stopped all of you in your tracks —

The sheer blessing of that moment.

In contrast to your most recent conversation with the clerk at the
Ministry of Natural Resources, who advised you in no uncertain terms

That you couldn’t even buy a game tag anymore. You felt the door closing

On yet another chapter of your life.  So you fought back, 83 year old

Disarmed hunter, in the only way you knew how —

Told the guy to ‘Go to hell’, as you hung up the phone.

Poetry Friday004


It happens often without explanation

We stop and stare seaward

Mona-Lisa-esque smiles on intent faces

Books open to paragraphs read and re-read

Awestruck and silent, but for the occasional

“Oh!”, and

“Aw!”

As leviathan launches from watery horizon

With slaps and splashes and foam

Do we remember the day we stood

Naked and knew it not?

When God showed us, and we named it, “Whale”?

It is still good.

Lesley-Anne Evans

March, 2010

Photograph of Humpback Whale breaching from John Fenzel’s blog.

Poetry Friday 003


Inspiration of salt water horizons, our family holiday to the Oregon Coast last summer was a time of prolific poetry writing for me. Here is a selection of three poems from that time.

Pelicans

Troubadours
Airborne units fly in formation
Low
Heavy
Skimming the space between sea
And sky
Mammoth
Undeniable, like
Heat-seeking missiles
Transcending the deep
And drawing up fish.

Lesley-Anne Evans
July 2009

Forgiveness

I look down but for a moment or two
To scribble something
I don’t want to forget
Into my journal,
Look back up and it is gone.

All of it —
Foreshore,
Headland,
Horizon.

Suddenly shrouded in a veil of soft grey mist
Making mystery of what was,

Covering all of my sins.

Lesley-Anne Evans
July 2009

At sea

How does it feel
To leave land behind
Take to the sea
Live on silver offerings
And faith
In your ability
To stay afloat
Regardless of weather?

Such humble beginnings
You wake alone to dirt walls
Glimmer of light at the opening to beyond
Hunkered down in your snug burrow
Fed by frequent visits from
Swift sleek parents, then

Pushed from your nest
You fledge quickly to cries of their approval
Now it’s time

No backward glances
Or salt pillars
You fix your eye on the watery horizon

And fly