Posted on behalf of Evelyn Schofield
On November 17, we gathered online to find respite from storms and floods and appreciate some poetry, knowing that even in the midst of disaster, poems can serve us well: they bring us together to find comfort and a new resolve to overcome our hardships. At the Open Mike, we welcomed back many regular contributors and also saw a new poet or two step up to share their words.
Our first featured poet of the evening was RC Weslowski, who gave a lively reading of selections from his newly published first volume of poetry My Soft Response to the Wars. The poems offer a delightful discovery of ‘sense in nonsense’, like a conversation gone sideways, highlighting the absurdity of life with a touch of sardonic humour. A line from his poem ‘PNE Love Affair’ shows how skilfully he can spin common idioms into something unexpected: “your legs were scissors I wanted to run with”.
After a short break we gathered around the laptops again to hear from our second featured poet, Isabella Wang, who slowed the pace to read poems in memory of three local and much-beloved poets who have recently passed, focusing on the cycles of nature and passage of the seasons. She also read from her just released debut collection of poems, Pebble Swing, and explained that the title refers to skipping stones, like “syllables of my mother tongue bouncing back at me from water’s surface”. Shortly after nine o’clock, we parted, saying fond farewells and feeling much better after gathering around the digital fire to share our stories. Please join us on December 15, for more fine poetry and a feeling of community.
Photo credit: pne.ca