Friday, 11 May 2012

Fertility Festival Warm Up and Sneak Peek

In the Okanagan, and honestly in all of British Columbia, we are so lucky to have a wide variety of festivals to experience come May. This year we plan to explore more areas and in particular attend a festival every month. I will fill you in on those details once I finally find time to really plan our mini excursions of music, art and camping. For now though, my head has been wrapped up in my performance tonight at the Fertility Festival! I have been working on expanding my untitled poetry manuscript to full book length and new material is key to continuing this project. I have completed a couple of new poems for the manuscript that are no longer than 3 minutes but am really transfixed by the idea of completing this long poem I have. I really only have the very beginning written but I will share it with you here and will be performing it tonight, along with a couple of other new poems and two older, eco-poems.

This poem entitled "Late Winter, Frost Unsettled", is intended to be a surreal narrative journey. The other night, as I mulled over the words and the images and where I imagined the poem going, I thought it would be such a fun and exciting idea to take this long poem, and depending on how long it really becomes, find an artist to draw small pictures to go along with the words creating either a poetic picture book or a poetic chapbook. The narrative itself will feel like a fable as it progresses and I see the pictures being quirky drawings and sketches, maybe even water color for some and not for others. Who knows, just an idea, but a sweet one at that.

Here is the beginning of my poem "Late Winter, Frost Unsettled"

We turn leaves collected from years
past and silt through dirt and garbage, discarding
of dead tomatoes, rotten zucchinis, and stunted
radishes. Your small hands break down
heavy chunks of soil as I open up earth, 
arms fired up slash burnt anger 
from last sleepless night.

Dirt circles your babbling mouth as your feet fade 
in to the mud. Startled
you squirm and kick, loosening
soil and worms --- freeing
my deep rooted resentment.
Our dried and dirtied hands
twine and tighten, branches
sprouting out of flesh
fingers become twigs
nailbeds bloom as petite yellow
flowers. Peach fuzz grows into rounded
pale green leaves, so new and fragile the sun’s
radiant smile blotting and burning exposure spots.

Arms harden off and cake over
with patches of bark scratchy like eczema 
skin dead of winter dry.
Shoulders curve and slouch towards
earth, weight of your sinking roots
dragging me down. Our eyes meet
and I panic, hollow heart echoing
in my chest trunk. Ocean deep soul
reminds me that this is normal, all apart
of the big picture of life and cycles.

I scream and out comes the cackle
of the magpie, the jeering laugh
caw we mimicked during sun down
days earlier. Porcelain skin
is browned, cracked by wind whips
and a lack of water. You are growing
away from me and now is the time.

I tug so harshly I fear I may rip
you fresh from the earth
and I want to
need to transplant you yet
we are both a series of connected
pathways immobile under the setting sun.

Clouds ebb and flow as the sky darkens
from hues of red, yellow, and orange
to subtle blue and finally light
absorbing black. Our branches
creak in the wind and I forget
for a moment
you are trapped in the soil
as I pray to the sun.
Your compact body is a web of roots 
branching along the earth floor
acclimatizing you to the cold, dark
hum of beetles, worms and maggots.

Weeks pass like trapped moments
in sand and nothing shifts.
I weep constantly, certain this is the end.
All humanness gone
and we are but a bush bound
together eternally in a bed
of dirt and sun
of worms and robins
of growth and decay.

To be continued....

The festival tonight will be held at the amazingly innovative and organic winery Summerhill.

View from the top of the Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Photo cred. Kevin Trowbridge
Art will be set up in the vineyards for you to saunter through and experience.

Vineyards and barnhouse.

The kekuli (a traditional Syilx nation under ground house) will have drumming and a fire, as well as discussions and seed trading.

This is not the exact Kekuli from Summerhill but this helps you imagine it.

The pyramid will have performances as well as discussions on the biodiversity and permaculture for the future, as well as setting up below the bistro and wine shop, on a nice little grassy hill, will be vendors and artisans and a second stage, where I will perform my spoken word poetry.

Where they distill the wine and will have drum circles, performers, discussions, and art installations. A true energy force.

Honestly, I'm stoked. Local organic wine and beer, food, and all the creativity you could need. And its happening just as the trees fill out, the flowers bloom, and the gardens are ready to be sowed. Spring is here, bring on the fertility festival!

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