ubterranean Blue Poetry
Volume II Issue VII
The Cover Photo/Art:
by Marie-France Bourbeau
“children of the cross
tales of the longhouse
“we are already dead”
a highway bloom scene in red
under the sky
licked by sunlight and heat
in shadows blue
Subterranean Blue Poetry
Volume II Issue VII
The Voyageur and the Shaking Tent Curing Ceremony
Pere Andre waits patiently there at the farthest reach of the quay
Where a few long necked geese strut and voyageur stroll by the post at Fort Rouet.
The French Trapper with his carefree friends calmly signs to the medicine man
Who changed myself and the three of them into the beaver that mark his clan.
He currently squats in his natural way with a daughter who nearly caught hold
Of the leg of this one lost deep in a cave of a greed for the pelt and its gold.
Two birch bark canoe hauled onto the spit are loaded down with our gear
As we wait to commence the trek into the North in search of a giant white bear.
This marvel stands four men tall with a coat as bright as the snow.
Its fur is like clouds that drift in the sky. Its voice like a thunderous blow.
I recall what the Trapper said when he came to visit my lodge,
"It is time, my friend, to move on again to ignite the powder with the match.
For us to be here as the forest turns green and the water rushes the stream
And the scent of the lily mixes the desire; how can we dare remain
Tethered to this civilized place of livestock, comfort, and book,
When fortune is but a paddle stroke true on the course of the cherry eyed hawk."
The French Trapper turns his mischievous laugh that whispers the strength of his soul,
A remarkable shout to the joy of the hunt, a release of my pain for its toll.
It is just like the wind cresting the grass before a fresh torrent of rain
Or the remembered caress of a mother's love, her heart in the touch of her hand.
Then Pere Andre strides over to me with his robe as black as my oath
To limit my drink to a bottle no more - no less than the loss of my youth.
"My son," he asks in his fatherly tone, "Are you prepared to endure this quest?
What we seek has a curious result. This will be no ordinary retreat.
For we must follow our Menominee guide to a land where the spruce and the pine
Find existence extreme like faith in the Lord when doubt is the only design."
Now the sun does alter my reverie as it bursts across the lake
Ripening waves of tawny surf with the gilding pleats of its light.
A sensual play of the fire's warmth that extends on up to my cheek
To exorcise here the shadows upon the man, and the brush, and the rock.
This morning I am a voyageur with nothing to hold me to stay,
As a seed of the maple spinning about unconcerned with the want or the day.
We carry the ends of our respective craft to launch in the bay while the mist
Traps the sweet air from the passing chill to settle as drops on its length.
I set out with the Jesuit priest, with the magician and the girl in the front,
As the French Trapper paddles with those who sing of a restless vivant.
Fingers pretend to slap the base of the hull as we work along the shore
Where a ragged line like a ruined fence marks the boundary of winter's roar.
Westward we ply at a fairly stern pace seldom taking a break
To eat twice at least a substantial stew from the catch of the pike that we cook.
The night is filled with the bark of the fox, the owl, and the amorous loon
While the earliest dawn releases one's sleep as the trout twist about in its calm.
The angry fly is aiming to bite while the mosquito samples the blood,
Many an hour grows wet and raw like the biblical home of the flood.
And as we row the watery trail the wondrous excitements prefer
To discover at last the den of the bear, a mentor to those it can cure.
In the first week the Menominee guide corrects our course to the North
With a point of the staff he colourfully wields at a prominent stand of the birch.
Slowly we go through an island maze alee the water borne reed
That tries to constrict this passageway by tangling our blades in its bed.
Then upon the second week out we discover the People's camp,
A little band of the peaceful Huron who follow a similar track.
They are coming home to their family after trading fur in Quebec,
Each one of them feeling wealthier transporting the wares of New France.
But when they hear of the purpose we seek a quiet circles these men
To speak of the bear is as serious a thing as the snake that sheds its old skin.
Père Andre reads from his breviary as the Trapper kindles the coal,
The others relax off to the side with the canoe over top of the shale.
I look for dry wood to rebuild the fire while the girl refills the pot.
It’s a mixture of bean, rabbit, and corn like a feast day of a sort.
Her father secures a bark tepee with the carefully spun twine of the beech.
It opens a portal to that nether place only his magic can reach.
I connect a stem to the bowl of his pipe to sample the mixture within,
A ritual tobacco that many believe will lead to a vision of kin.
Dusk flows with his daughter into the tent to aid the shaman in his goal
To summon the presence of the white bear in a call from the meek to the bold.
Then suddenly the ground begins to quake as I perceive an unsettling shift
From a solid foundation in the grass at my feet to the hurried beat of my heart.
The French Trapper and the Huron braves whirl with an elegant grace
While Pere Andre settles stoically in his witness to their dance.
A murmur builds into a chant of self-gratitude and of hope,
To dip and lift like the willow leaf in communion with its branch.
Overhead an absent moon is replaced by a lonely star
That resides here in my memory as an ancestral hero of lore.
A howl that drifts across the air is the baying to the pack
Of a single wolf, an echo there, as it slinks about the stone.
Then a violent convulsion decides to shake the tepee’s central pole
To render it a convenient nest where one’s spirit might ebb and flow.
It is like that childhood time when I was given the choice to elect
The meaning in the edge of the knife; to scrape at the skin or to cut.
Pere Andre makes the sign of the Cross as he hangs a chain over my head,
A medallion of my Christian faith as a protection from a ghost;
That demon with malevolent intent dwelling where I intend to explore
In a tunnel that spans this woodland site to the cavern of the bear.
This part of the journey I must travel alone unaided by my friend.
The French Trapper is the spectator, the statue adorning the pond.
For subject as I am to the will of this plant I detect in the skeletal bone,
A person to be or a bear to be - can this be a delusion or notion or dream?
Next the girl resembles a bobcat in form while I feel her palm on my own
Yet not in a threatening grip like the past but by a gentle pull am I drawn.
Together we enter this mystical fog like two raindrops adrift on a sea
Exploring a berth that may not be real in a harbour we might not achieve.
Amid the smoke the Trapper's men keen the high drone of their song
With a rattle of husk, the beat of a drum, and the staccato twitch of the arm.
The white bear now appears to me as an apparition created inside.
It spawns from the craft of the shaman's mask in the shape of a snout for a face.
It’s as unique as the point of the deadly barb from the bowstring of life's thief
That casts its scar deep into the wood as a relic of our puzzling fate.
Broken lines of orange and red display a movement in the flame,
To the distraction of a cedar sprig as it sparks and crackles the damp:
To the collapse of the hollow log like the hatchling dispatching the shell,
To the notable sound of a devilish voice, a hiss that turns into a growl.
Pere Andre shivers emphatically in recognition of this spell
In the humours that surround the tent, it’s a touch of the barren cold.
The spectre of the great bear's scowl soon dominates my thought,
As shattering an emotion to conjure up as the flash from the tempest's bolt.
The sturdy hold of the Trapper's resolve, his reach is long and lithe,
Is a means to contain my gathering unrest in his tender less embrace.
For my temper has been altered to be like those who consume their humanity.
The Witiko come when the food is gone and starvation is a common thing.
The spirit of the bear, the French Trapper, and I wrestle over the ground,
Writhing, twirling, spitting the air as if milking a poisonous gland:
A convergence of hugs and loops and rolls like a viper pinned at the neck
Or the doodles drawn by a schoolboy's hand in the margin of his page.
Time becomes as forgotten now as when otters on a riverbank's edge
Sleep in the warmth after their games each bent on the other's chest.
The tepid South wind and the soft wind of the East compete out of hand with a breeze,
This mingling of breath defying certainty in an expression of a wish to deceive.
It is much like that evening when the Trapper arrived to relate to me his tale
Of the sorcerer's reply to a thoughtless act in a story brought forth from the wild.
A harried squirrel chides a tat, tat, tat of derision in its scold.
A crow replies to a surly mate from its perch at the top of an elm.
The Huron collect their bartered goods while the girl neatly ladles the gruel.
It’s a welcome aroma of tart berry with corn as rich as the pastry roll.
The three courier de bois untangle here the rough shelter made out of stick.
The French Trapper gives the Menominee guide a sip from his wine filled cup.
The worn fur coat that is covering me forms a talisman signifying the cure
As I lie inert to this activity with a weakness restricting the limb.
Soon Pere Andre prays for everyone before returning to the Mission stockade.
The shaman departs with his daughter afoot for a visit to the tribe of his wife.
So the Trapper and I and the brash voyageur paddle on to the North hemisphere
To continue our pursuit for a soupcon of truth in the home of the giant white bear.
Featured Poet: Dylan Thomas
Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.
And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.
All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.
And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise.
And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
In the sun born over and over,
I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
Before the children green and golden
Follow him out of grace,
Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.
Craigslist Montreal – Missed Connections – February 14th, 2014 - H.
Apple Store Girl - m4w - 24
age : 24
As always, Raven-haired.
Have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth
it's no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners
the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn't need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water
I wouldn't want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O' you
were the best of all my days
I couldn't not do it.
That is all.
(N.B.: "I remember the full moon" - note from the editor)
Further Freedoms: a brilliant New Age Chapbook
by Subterranean Blue Poetry
Title: Further Freedoms
Author: Adam Cramb
Publisher: Leaf Press
Date of Publication: 2014
Page Count: 7
Further Freedoms is poetry in the style of the New Age, a love missive from Nanaimo, British Columbia by Adam Cramb. Poet Cramb is an impressive visual artist, creating
photographs and paintings as well as pursuing the fine craft of poetry.
This is a beautiful tome in 5 short poems, soundbites that left me wanting more. This love missive is fantastical, in the New Age style. The poetry is pared in, with creationist
symbols of nature, seagulls, clouds, island as well as elements of Symbolist poetry, the disconnected intuitive thought train with illogical grand significance. And elements of
the profound, not unlike Haiku in two breaths, the poetry writes, spinning new mythologies with childlike wonder.
“The Joyful Life
we push together
to make one big
our sheets the clouds
above swept island
let me in
the marvelous flow”
Further Freedoms is fresh, new, a recreation of the poetic form that presents the dance of love, reclaiming romance, and yet at the same time is enigmatic. Perhaps presenting a
hidden dialectic of the Poet Cramb, as the Artist, the one that struggles with life and love, and out of the thin air creates the ultimate celebration in poetry.
This book of poetry begins,
Seagulls so white
you would have thought
they had been Tom Sawyer
And they drifted aimlessly to no
Mindless and free.
Wind swept and sullen gulls.
Pickpockets of Nanaimo harbour.”
A quiet celebration of watching the seagulls, perhaps masking boredom and frustration, setting the stage and with a subtle humor/sarcasm he calls them “pickpockets.”
The next poem continues,
“Night as Belonging
My thoughts flutter around
so caught upon the glare, that confu-
by the moths feet
upon burning glass”
Perhaps all is not well, a certain detail of moths against the hot glass of a lightbulb and a certain longing in the title.
The continuing story of contemplated love unfolds. It is good to remember the Holy Spirit/Karmic paradigm in the background of life and the fine science
of discernment in love (World Peace Newsletter, Noel/Christmas Special 2011 @ Tea at Tympani Lane Records, www.tympanilanerecords.com),
plus there are a few other gems, most at the beginning of the World Peace
Newsletter page and this Writer has a rolling Twitter account with short universal truths on life and love.
New Age Poetry that is a fresh presentation of love in the dance, awake the day and night, Further Freedoms by Adam Cramb.
We look forward to seeing more art and poetry from this artist.
Available @ Leaf Press.
Communion an exploration of the dance of love
Byline: Subterranean Blue Poetry
Title of Book: Communion
Author: Nettie Farris
Publisher: Accents Publishing
Date of Publication: 2013
Page Count: 32
“Poetry into the night” Communion is a Chapbook by Nettie Farris, an American
teacher of the craft of writing, wife and mother. She has been published in the anthologies,
The Dark Woods I Cross: An Anthology of Contemporary Louisville Women Poets and
Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems.
A great long poem, introducing a new poetic form of one word lines, yet telling
a story like a narrative, stereographic poetry. Perhaps borrowing from the pared
in style of the Beat Poets, but with no rhyme, yet a certain rhythm. The theme
of Communion is a love affair, the dance in sanskrit, perhaps a love
affair of teenagers.
n and s look at the stars
s names the con- stellations
n tells stories from folk- lore
s recites a nursery rhyme
n imagines the Man in the Moon
n and s look at the stars
n and s look at the stars and the moon”
The pared in sensibility is enigmatic, each word is a very careful ouvere, like
careful openings, looking for clues in a glass bowl.
n looks at s
s looks at n’s wine goblet
s looks at n
n looks at the table- cloth
n and s gaze into each other’s eyes
s makes himself invisible”
This is the first poem in a series, setting the stage for the love affair of n
and s. Everything is fine until 6., why is s making himself invisible? is he
hiding? why? is he afraid? does he know something she doesn’t? is he
noncommittal? he is not fully there somehow, why?
n eats a peach
n pricks her finger on a thistle
n falls down a rab- bit hole
n reads Witt- gen- stein and Anaïs Nin
n touches a ripe peach
n touches the key of Middle C
n touches the pages of Jean Rhys
n touches s on his left cheek”
The poems titled Curiosity and Tactile Art imply that the girl, n is smitten and
perhaps they have made love, “n touches the key of middle C”. And something is
wrong, “n pricks her finger on a thistle” and “n falls down a rabbit hole”.
In the following poem, Observation, “n notices the slant of a shadow” etc. n is
s and n play tic-tac-toe
s always wins
re- sent- ment slips in
s and n are not friends”
As if illustrating that the love affair is conflicted, s is not as interested in
n as n is in s, presenting the psychological truism that the least interested
love interest holds the power in the relationship. In the poems Etude, Indolence, Submersion, Focus,
Wallflower, there is a game of time as n perhaps has other affairs but still
dreams of s. In Willy Nilly, “n sends an incomprehensible message to s”. Flowing
into a rather incomprehensible and cryptic ending. As if a warning, sometimes
young people don’t know what they are doing in their first intimate
relationships, either they don’t know themselves well enough or don’t understand
the powerful emotional dynamic, or the rules of culture and/or Spirit/Karma
rules. Perhaps underlining the importance of honesty, forgiveness and a personal
honour code in love relationships set within the context of strong local and
international Community, with the ease of information flow and influencing of opinions
in the New Age Internet Era. A powerful read into the night, Communion by Nettie Farris.
Available @ Accents Publishing and Amazon.
Rebecca Anne Banks
o’ the misbegotten
where is that misplaced ____________________
that and time that moves
things that are missing
cannot be found
tugs at my heart strings
staring out windows
the shadow of a cat
wishes for ice cream
falls back to sleep.
- from Tales of the Soucie Man
Rebecca Anne Banks
is at home in Montreal. She is the CEO/Artist at Tea
at Tympani Lane Records (www.tympanilanerecords.com
) and the Book Reviewer at
The Book Reviewer(www.thebookreviewer.ca
is a Quebecois painter and sculptor extraordinaire,
she sculpts in clay and works with wooden branches. Artist Bourbeau has a
Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Quebec and
has studied at the University of Aix-en-Provence. She exhibits her work
throughout Quebec, at the Galerie point Rouge in Montreal and at La Maison
Villebon de Beloeil and Galerie Dosha. www.mariefrancebourbeau.wordpress.com
. My poetry has appeared in sub-Terrain and Leaf press. I am also a
visual artist who's work has appeared in coastal galleries. The LACDA in Los Angeles
and the Canadian Federation Gallery in Vancouver. My photography has appeared in le
Journal de la photograhie and F-Stop. For the last 2 years I have made it into the final
round of the International Fine Art Photography Award: Grand Prix de Decouverte.
teaches writing as an adjunct instructor, roams the grounds
of Mount Saint Francis Nature Sanctuary with her dog, and hikes the Millennium
Trail at Bernheim Forest. Her work has appeared in the anthologies The Dark
Woods I Cross: An Anthology of Contemporary Louisville Women Poets
Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems
. She lives in Floyds Knobs,
Indiana with her husband and three sons.
. I have been writing poems for over 50 years with modest
publishing success. In 2012, I won the Monica Ladell Award for my poem "On the
Waterfront of Toronto" in the digital publication (The Big Art Book) by the
Scarborough Arts Council. Another poem "Glass" received an honourable mention in
the chapbook titled Open Heart 5
published by the Ontario Poetry Society.
was born is Swansea, Wales, a beautiful city by the ocean.
He was educated at Swansea Grammar School where his father was a teacher of
English literature. There were regular trips to his mother’s people at the farm,
Carmathen. He married Caitlin Macnamara and they had 3 children. He is
considered one of the most brilliant Poets of the 20th Century, a leader of
Anglo-Welsh literature and known for his lyrical style. His best known works are
And Death Shall Have No Dominion
, Under Milk Wood
, Fern Hill
, Do Not Go Gentle
Into That Good Night
, From Paris to Bahia
, A Children’s Christmas in Wales
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog