Geomantic riposte: 'Here Is Where We Disembark'
Clea Roberts lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, on the Takhini River. Her first book of poetry, Here Is Where We Disembark was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award, the ReLit Award and the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award. Roberts is recognizable for her many efforts to encourage Canada’s poetry scene, and particularly for those she has concentrated on the Whitehorse Poetry Festival. Here Is Where We Disembark is divided into two sections, with the first comprising lyrics on life in the Yukon and northern British Columbia and the second focussing on the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 19th century. As Barbara Colebrook indicates in The Malahat Review, “The ethos of Roberts’ writing is ecological, taking only what is needful, retrieving more from less. Survival is a major theme, but there is a transcending joy and beauty in these poems. Throughout the work, the poet holds the tension between the small edge of human settlements ... and the vastness of the terrain.
Here Is Where We Disembark by Clea Roberts (Freehand Books, 2010, Page 55)
And the stand of poplar
fenced against the beaver—
its leaves shimmer and click
as if in applause.
At solstice we clomp onto the deck
drink retsina and watch the sky
like a dog doing improbable tricks.
The backwards flip, the tap dance,
the spontaneous operatic, all more believable
than the myth of night.
Geomantic Riposte: Backwards
The longest day in recorded history did not
belong to us say, do Phoenicians ever get mal
de débarquement or was that you there in spirit Tosca
è un buon falco the server was a sculptress a furtive
word with Jane blossomed into abandoned cave stains petro-
glyphs hey, maybe I can Google your window on Jarvis
and still see you working il sole allegramente
batte ai tuoi vetri that’s how to operate leaving
operatic traces moving from town to town positively
gastropodic those psychical trails then the te deum was
ringing for Puccini in Lucca busy dropping into
Miles Canyon would not be the most poetic end
like that time Tosca had a big trampoline
nor in mid-combat with seasonal affect
but we never watched the sun
NOT set together, not once