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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

mid summer visit to the Al Purdy A-frame

Hi Martin,

Congrats on your inclusion in this funky looking antho   ; )- 

Thinking of Al, I visited the A-frame today for the first time in 3 or 4 years. The new writer-in-res is a young poet from Hamilton named Laura Clarke. Do you know her from your Steeltown days? Nice person and we had a good chat on the A-frame deck. I've been wanting to drop off 2 huge tomes of Big Al's correspondence for a few years, and finally got around to doing this pleasant errand today.

lithe young poet
lounging on Big Al's deck
in his chair
?

The A-frame looks sufficiently rejuvenated to last another lifetime or so, altho it basically looks as rustic as ever. The waterfront point that I always worked on on vol work days has been cleared of even more overhanging trees, which gives better views of the lake. Al's ratty old writer's shed has been repaired, and looks almost usable  :  ) Have you visited there recently?

I also have been on a bit of a poetic hiatus since the PurdyFests ended 3 summers ago. I feel I'm now in the custodial phase of my poetry calling, so I'm trying to get as much literary material as I can afford to deliver or mail to the appropriate archives. Hence the visit today to the A-frame.

bookshelves
a little lighter
ghostly whispers fading


Two prof. actor/playwrights have been writing a script based on my Eel Pie Island Dharma haibun/memoir, but I haven't heard from them in several months. I don't know if they've given up on the project, altho in March they said they had 82 pages of script.

Nice to hear from you. Are you back living in Stirling again? Attending the monthly readings in Tweed?

Oh, an afterthought. There's a new literary bookstore in Pboro which I visited 2 weeks ago, think it's called Hunter Street Bookshop. I heard the owner giving her book recommendations on a CBC radio programme a few weeks ago & decided to visit. Another writer - novelist - with 8 or 9 books published by age 50. I'm jealous  :  )

peace & poetry power!
Chris

Monday, 9 July 2018

Beyond the Mountains (haibun elegy for Angelee Deodhar by Paresh Tiwari)



On my first visit to your house, you insist I walk bare feet in the garden. You introduce me to the plants; periwinkles, chrysanthemums, frangipani, bougainvillea, holy basil, you point faster than I can follow. I might have imagined it, but the plants seemed to know the sound of your voice.

Before I leave, you press a slim volume of Issa’s translated haiku in my palms. Between its pages you have left a fan shaped leaf. One that’s browning at the edges.

On one of your trips to Japan, you recount, you had picked up a cutting near Basho’s hut. Packing the softwood cut in loam, you had covered it loosely with clear plastic. Nine hours later, back in India, you opened the suitcase frantically, pulling out kurtas and trousers and pullovers and tossed them over the tiled floor of the airport. Stopping only when you see two tiny fan-shaped leaves nodding under the clear plastic sheet.

The Ginkgo is now ten feet tall and guards your door.

Today, I pull down the books from the shelves. One by one at first and then with increasing urgency. Hung upside down from their spines, they refuse to cough up anything more than a few desolate syllables and a parade of orphan images.
 

after you . . .
the ginkgo leaf
lost forever



                                             ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~



It's been ten days since Angelee Deodhar passed. We were regular email correspondents through our mutual commitment to haiku. Somehow Angelee seemed to have adopted me into her inner email circle, and I was a daily recipient of everything from her high art haiku and scholastic projects like the "Journeys" haibun anthologies, to the wackiest of cartoon clippings. My email inbox is very sad and lonely these days.

Angelee:
bad jokes and haiku
flood Brahma


cricket

also published on bear creek haiku - thanks Daryl