Poetry

August 23, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Chad Hipolito

 

By

Penn Kemp

 

 

Tragically Hip

 

 

Gord Downie gives Trudeau kudos

as the man who’s gonna take us where

we need to go cause it’s bad, really bad,

 

up there. And we… he corrects himself

and fingers the audience. YOU can…

“until we’re talking in whispers again”.

 

Listen up, Justin Trudeau.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip Line

 

 

Barbaric, of the wild

Cultural in yoghurt, wine and cheese

Practice for ten thousand hours—

 

“We need to stand

up for

our values.”

 

Cue the hot line

Line the tipping point

Outside the line

 

Use your words

 

Trending

line up

line down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nature of Food

 

 

All summer I feed five bereft baby skunks by the river

a mixture of kibble soaked in mussel or tuna juice.

 

They first hiss and raise tails, but no spray. No sign

of mother but fading stench by the highway where

she must have been hit. No tomato juice for a while.

 

The babies know me, though I try not to associate

myself with nourishment, leaving a tray unattended.

Let them learn to find their own grub.

 

*

 

Coyote saunters

casually alongside

small incautious

skunk who by

instinct thinks

itself invulnerable.

 

Coyote hesitates,

pondering possibility

and experienced caution.

 

Then in a rush blur of fur

she seizes a striped nape

 

and carries it limp and heavily

held in soft mouth

 

home to her own restless

young.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Invocation

Remembering the Ecole Polytechnique victims

 

 

Come and say hello, women. The veils are still

thin and we welcome your presence, fourteen

plus all the disappeared whom you stand for.

 

As if you were in the prime of life now. As if

your daughters bloomed full-grown around you.

As if your mothers were crying delighted tears.

 

And if you were here to see what has changed

and what has not, would you hide your eyes in

shame for what has been done, what has not?

 

Come into the light and tell us how you are. As

if you have life beyond what we recall, remember

before this dark December claims its own again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penn Kemp

London Ontario poet, activist and playwright Penn Kemp is the League of Canadian Poets 2015 Spoken Word Artist of the Year. She received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for service to arts and culture. As inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of London, she presented poetry at many civic functions. Her latest works are two anthologies she edited for the League of Canadian Poets, launching them at The Writers’ Summit, Toronto, in June. Her new book of poems, Barbaric Cultural Practice (Quatrro Books), will be launched in October.

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