Geomantic riposte: 'The Aviary'

Miranda Pearson moved to Canada from England in 1991 and has made many important contributions to the literary scene in Vancouver, BC through her work as an editor, teacher, and poet. Pearson’s poetry has been published widely in literary journals and anthologies, including The Bright Well: Contemporary Canadian Poems about Facing Cancer and Forcefield: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia. The Aviary, Pearson’s second book of poetry and the winner of the Alfred G. Bailey Award in 2006, is an intriguing collection in its progression from shorter poems with more recognizable lines of verse to longer poems that dance to the very edges of the page with increasing finesse and innovation. Amid all the Dickensian by David Lean greyness in quizzical stills from Westerham to the West Coast of Canada, the might and charm of Pearson’s lyric personality is certainly a silver lining woven through each silence upon the page. As Robert Kroetsch indicates: “I delight in these poems. Their verbal strategies, their echoes and replies, their life-givingness.”

The Aviary by Miranda Pearson (Oolichan Press, 2006, Page 54)


You were not born for this. You have always

gone too far, stretched thin the miles

till nothing and no one could reach you.


This elongated winter has ground on

for too long, contentment has been refused

like food or the delicate wrought-iron chair

you prefer to leave tipped over, with its

small burden of snow.


For years you have been a child in the dark, searching

for clues, believing you were not wanted but

if you were good you might be safe. And the inverse of that.


Geomantic Riposte: Bananas


For the warbride, it must have been a shock from sea to sea

railing on through all that nothing and winter nothing     Held

in her husband’s arms outside the CN station and snapped on


the front page next to that riveting piece WARBRIDE BABIES

FEAR BANANAS        probably the conquest of the new world

was a bright pamphlet with sexy cartoons           shiny bullets

about the finer points of plots that were not theirs to shill

in this limited-time offer subject to Depression and snow


A Dagenhamite Jew and an Irish cop is kind of cliché come

Christmas when “diversity” smashed a window to bring the

tree inside   Yes they looked happy next to words and facts


checked, when The Vancouver Sun did its caryatids proud