Many illustrations on this page by Susie Whelehan. Those that aren’t will be acknowledged on the individual poem pages.

Why I Write Poetry

Why I Write Poetry

After Major Jackson

 Because words and rhythm are medicine
covered by God’s Socialist Health Care Plan for Humanity….(cont.)

Mourning

Mourning

I saw videos
of mother whales (cont’d…)

Homesickness

Homesickness

When I think about my childhood home
Mom is hanging the laundry in the back, (cont’d…)

Dr. Seuss Meets Ram Dass

Dr. Seuss Meets Ram Dass

After Ram Dass
Hold hands for comfort, connection, protection
regardless of language, sex, age, creed, complexion. (cont’d…)

Ode to the Onion

Ode to the Onion

I open the front door
and walk headlong into the scent
of onions sautéing on the stove. (cont’d…)

Semantics

Semantics

In the beginning was the Word—
an exhalation of… (cont’d)

Life is the Only Way

Life is the Only Way

after Wislawa Szymborska 

Life is the only way to catch that last wave at Wasaga
Beach and ride it full length (cont.)…

Lifeboat

Lifeboat

Greenland is melting.
I am reading poetry. (cont’d)…

PERSONAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FROM The Sky Laughs At Borders

When I think of everyone who taught, prompted, listened, critiqued, encouraged and supported me in my writing life over the years, I smile and shake my head in wonder. I begin with my husband, Francis Corrigan, and our boys, Ben and Jesse, who contributed material, endless computer help (sorry if I said bad words), thoughts and thoughtfulness. My love and thanks.

Now for remarkable friends beginning with Kate Marshall Flaherty for her generosity and beautiful heart. Other writing friends and loving, steadfast supporters in no particular order other than alphabetical: Cristina Austin, Rebecca Cunningham, Trish Fink, Kathleen Boyle Hatcher, Bridget Lynch, Bianca Marais, Anne McTaggart, Priscilla McLellan, Deborah Murphy, Elaine Orsini, Elyse Pomerantz, Kathy Richardson, Casey Rock, Jackie Ryan, Lauretta Santarossa and Cheryl Wagner. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sue Reynolds, my editor and publisher, has had a major impact on my writing life. I attended her inspirational writing “Sanctuary” circles many times over the past nine years. As well, she trained me in the Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) method of writing facilitation.

That started me on my own path of leading writing circles for the past eight years (special shout out to all the writers at the Swansea Area Senior’s Association!), during which many of the poems in this book were written. Working with her on this manuscript was a course in itself, for which I give thanks. I am also indebted to Sue’s partner, the poet, James Dewar. The two of them led free monthly “Inkslingers” and “Hot Sauced Words” workshops over many years with open mics, followed by audience feedback where I, and hundreds of others, could hone our skills.

In the Creative Writing Certificate Program at the University of Toronto, I studied with the talented Catherine Graham and Susan Glickman. I have had the good fortune to have taken workshops and retreats with many other gifted poets, including Ellen Bass, Suzi Banks Baum, Lorna Crozier, Marie Howe, Dorianne Laux, Molly Peacock, Gwynn Scheltema, Pat Schneider, Holly Wren Spaulding and Ruth Walker.

How lucky am I? Very. How grateful am I? My heart is full.

Why do I write poetry? Because…all of you.