“Bowering is one of our essential poets. Despite her unflinching acknowledgement of the horrors humans visit on themselves and others, her vision is grounded in the subtle integrity of love. Her brilliant imagistic gift is always offered in service to the mystery of insight, the other invisible worlds gathered close in this one.” —Jan Zwicky 



Woods, you are very sly, picking those moments when you are quiet and off guard to reveal yourselves to us, folding us into your calm, accepting us to the sway, the rhythm of your space, space interwoven with the calm that rests forever in you….

—Emily Carr


Everywhere I looked, even on dark days,

sun eluded the trees and became the open palms 

of skunk cabbages (Lysichiton americanus), 

their yellow spathes soft and wet in the sponging air. 

I turned off the road, and the caravan wheels sank

in the marsh of the track. Nobody came this way,

but once—see the apple trees and the cut marks?—

a family planned to make a home in the forest banks.


I did not know that trees come quietly, 

their roots advance so slowly

I would not sense their approach

until their mouths opened high up,

within birds’ nests.


I lay down on the moss,

and listened to all they had to say—

because nothing could ever extinguish

the art of this green Earth,

as long as I did. 


From What is Long Past Occurs in Full Light, new poems by Marilyn Bowering, Mother Tongue Publishing, August 2019. Appears with publisher's permission. 


Marilyn Bowering is a poet, novelist and librettist. Her awards for poetry include the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, the Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Prize and several National Magazine Awards. She has twice been nominated for the Governor General’s Award. Her most recent books are Soul Mouth and Threshold: An Encounter with the Seventeenth-century Hebridean Bard, Màiri nighean Alasdair Ruaidh (Mary MacLeod), and the novel, What It Takes to Be Human. Marilyn Bowering lives on Vancouver Island.  www.marilynbowering.com

August 15, 2019
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