Geomantic Riposte: Mongrel Love

Co-winner of the Ralph Gustafson Poetry Award and born and raised in Regina, writer Judith Krause is the current and fifth Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan, an appointment that acknowledges her having “meaningful connections with other writers and experience organizing occasions for thinking about poetry differently” and that includes her teaching experience at Sage Hill, an inspirational place for visiting writers. In an interview with The Leader Post, Emma Graney indicates that Krause’s main goal is to raise the profile of Saskatchewan poetry and “celebrate the spirit of poets” in the province, despite the genre's “quiet profile.” In her most recent collection Mongrel Love, we may admire her uncanny mix of wry humour and mammalian sympathies that Dante Alighieri would surely agree flow along absolutely caninamente.

Mongrel Love by Judith Krause (Hagios Press, 2008, Page 73)

 

The way songbirds call the park home.

The year beavers chewed every tree along the creek bed.

The rotten egg smell that fills the air when the ice breaks up.

The place under the bridge where a man’s body was found,

one of the oldest unsolved crimes in the city.

The way fireworks douse the park with light.

The way lovers park, lights off, engines running.

The way police drove up and down the snowy lane a January night in 1984

looking for signs of a neighbour’s murderer.

How tadpoles invite you to shed shoes and socks. And how, on a hot day,

the fountain in the paddling pool invites you to shed even more.

How a sudden bloom of dragonflies becomes an iridescent veil,

a living scarf, floating through the evening air.

The sound your bicycle makes as you clank clank your way

over the wooden footbridge.

  

Geomantic Riposte: Footbridge

 

Beavers are a-okay with David Suzuki and may save the world       A giant

beaver sculpture is testament to this although one of my characters tries

to drown himself on that lovely little bridge before an RCMP officer asks

to see his Status card           Now that “one of us” is in power we hope you

will deconstruct matters from within            Creative Saskatchewan is not

what we hoped it’d be and it’s still hard to get from here to Les Sherman      

Park on a Sunday or holiday how about a few hours grace for them folks

who clean the malls for our Sunday shopping pleasure      oh did you say

murder     how quaint     in the “big city” we have a lot on we don’t really

have time to stop for that      also those barking dogs on Robinson Street

near 13th need to be let out in public park        Unacknowledged legislator

please see to that        Poetry is UP but short fiction is down but since your

reign began the cyclists walk their bikes across footbridge    Skateboarders

cease their shreds and curtsey right where the circle of red serge starts to

tighten around my character        it’s a courtesy and out of respect to you

and what that dude and his kid think is        a muskrat         or even afanc

adorably shiny otter or beaver      according to the OED Word of the Day