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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Big Al On Point: Chris Faiers

Big Al On Point

for Patrick Connors

Barrow by barrow load
Big Al built his special point on Roblin Lake
waterfront sells by the foot
& tho Al & Eurithe wished for a secluded spot
a small space for coffee meditations, well ...
poets can handcraft more than wordy magic

Always resilient (and poor)
this was before fame
Al lugged his barrow loads for weeks & months
planted some soft maples and a few firs
sat back & drank - composed - relaxed
and let Nature do her work for a few decades

Years on I finally found his reclusive retreat
...  found Al's grave marker first
made many treks from Marmora to A-burg
to honour Al & his best bud, Milt
But it was years before I finally found
the magic landscape of Al & Eurithe's hand hewn refuge

on the work day last summer
prepping for the inaugural A-frame Open House
I gave myself the pleasant task
of gardening Big Al's special point

on the way in for my restorative chore
I wandered the dirt road for a place to pee
for my little dog Chase & me
and I met a neighbour woman with her young in tow

I asked if she had ever met Al Purdy
as her family cottage is but three doors away
& she replied that Al was almost a recluse
so shy that when she was a teen
eager to see the now famous poet's abode
she and a boyfriend (husband now)
paddled slowly towards Al's point

in the shade of his fully grown arbor
Big Al himself sat in a deck chair
reading perhaps, or composing deathless lines

the People's Poet looked up
saw the canoe of teens approaching
abruptly turned his chair away
back towards the A-frame
and his meditations

Chris Faiers


in the shallows
blue heron awaits
his old friend

Marmora, Ontario
Jan. 25, 2014

inspired by A-frame email from Patrick Connors

published in Umbrella (Quinte Arts Council magazine) September/October/November
issue 2014, p. 29

published in Crossing Borders, Bruce Kauffman, editor, Hidden Brook Press, 2015, p. 29 


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This is a lovely image Chris...the bombastic drunken poet hiding in plain sight on his point of land in Roblin Lake.
Have you been following all the buzz generated from last Monday at the Monarch? Descant interview? etc.
Advance notice - August 30 - we have another event at the Active Arts church in Rednersville. More complete news as soon as I hear back from our Writer in Residence. And the Picnic's scheduled (did I tell you that already?) for July 26.
Exciting times...I can't keep up to it on the blog (which I am sure has an international following hungry for news of Al, she said, sarcastically)
I have been hiding on my own point of land, scribbling an architectural essay for a local magazine.
Is Chase keeping his head above the snow?
Are you?
hugs, Lindi

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On 2014-09-12, at 11:52 AM, James Deahl wrote:

September 12, 2014
Dear Chris,

         Thank you for sending the new UMBRELLA. I enjoyed your poem as well as Patrick's review of PurdyFest.

Poetry Power!
         . . . James

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