Friday, September 2, 2011

Launch of Winter Cranes and Other Poetry Readings

My new poetry collection Winter Cranes published with ECW Press has come back from the printer and it is gorgeous!

All interested parties are invited to come celebrate its launch with me on Thursday September 15th at 7:00 pm here in Waterloo at Words Worth Books. I will be joined that night by special guest Joe Denham who will be reading from his debut novel The Year of Broken Glass published by Nightwood Editions.

If you cannot come out to my Waterloo soiree, I will also be reading from my new book in Montreal on Sunday September 25th with Mary di Michele at Sparrow (5322 boul. St. Laurent).

In Toronto, I will be reading at the Pivot Reading series on October 5th with Jessica Hiemstra Van der Host, and as a special guest of my good friend Carleton Wilson who will be launching his poetry collection The Material Sublime on October 18th (Upstairs@Aquila 347 Keele St. Toronto at 8pm).

As I have done very few readings over the last five years, I am looking forward to meeting some new friends and reacquainting with some old ones. Please do come out and say hello.

Winter Cranes

My wife saw birds pass over the frozen pond
and wondered aloud if they were cranes
desiring proof of their corporeal existence
to mark them as either a tangible reality
or a fantasy born of some lack in our lives.
Their wings beat exultantly, blossoming,
a wild spume of feathers backlit by morning sun
so they looked like more than just creatures
but symbols ferried from myth or poetry
to satisfy my wife’s wishes or my need to place
a few lines down upon the blank white sheet
of this morning’s latest offering of snow.
I said they were only herons. The same ones
from last summer come back a little early
guided by an instinct, a faint signal, hard-wired
in their brains to the earth’s magnetic fields
allowing them to navigate their way here
each year to stand like sentries, silhouettes
against the pond’s grey light, if only to teach us
how even patience can be a kind of violence.
“I want them to be cranes, “my wife said again
a little more forcefully this time so her words
were now a truth or a sacrament of experience
fully grasped, making us hungry for the dynasties
of the past we believe such birds emerge from
like after-images of a dream only now recalled.
“I wish they were cranes too”, I said, watching
the pair descending towards the farthest end
of the pond where the ice was the thinnest,
the city hardening its shell in the background
still waiting for the winter storms to come.

By Chris Banks