02 July 2007

my Canada Day 2007 poem

© Joe Blades

typewriter on the green is green

underneath black paint i added
years ago in another town
manual not electric greenery
on the clover under leafed tree
shadow of canada flag over me
sun and wind and big clouds—
clouds trailing rain not reaching
all the way down to the ground

sterling creek pony rides nearby
trap kids holding parent's hands
walk a short circle inside rope corral
a large red on white sign advising
wash hands after contact with animals
—good idea not often practised
especially as there is a wash station
and so many dogs in holiday crowd

firebird and royal fireworks music
is the stravinsky or handel in the arcs
feathers and maple leaves first layer
on the gessoed sheet of plywood
today's harder canvas for the five
paint the town red commissioned artists
wind shear and rain in a blue wash
makes deanna start to like her painting

the elephant is hidden in dana's
fields of colour layered and layered
more hidden than the stag in blue
glade in third floor studio4ward
hidden as this morning's doe
briefly on gibson trail watching
me on bicycle roll closer to her
before she leaps into tree shadows

faraway bagpipes are playing
likely part of the marshalling
parade—two long lines of people
lining the curbs of half of pointe
sainte-anne drive parade route
for the about to begin green
harmonious with ever-changing
earth creating and recreating

korean drums and percussion
kiwanis bear costume huggers
the town’s largest gideon bible
on a wagon pulled by a horse
chinese dragon dances on road
the pipes and drums approach
deanna steps on her palette
a painted heel for her art

i am sprayed with fine splatter
not from heavy clouds overhead
orange drops off dana’s brush
on poem paper clothing and me
almost mushroom cloud shape
thunderheads on northside and
i’m asked if there are still
bouncy castles or pony rides

red wine in my water bottle
my typewriter not so quiet
on this red and white day
painting with words this town
my red road red word world
charlotte paints a big leaf
green and her older sister
adds small falling light green

more than child interaction
there's parents and audience
watching them and me create
with all that we have available
self portrait smiley cat face
in the otherwise so abstract
reality of coffee cans and
large frozen yogurt pails

paint and more surprise paint
charlotte and janice the able
assistants as a truly promising
raincloud drifts along the river
writing words with the magic
buttons immediate and right there
no erase function on typewriter
x-ed out the only true edit

truly busy crowd now happening
deanna's wish for children
to collaborate has happened
the grey clouds approach
this typer a bouncy thing
never before seen by some
—not an inflated castle
or another island for no

rain still hasn't happened
burnt-out artists in public
marilyn flat-out on grass
dana returns with coffees
bag of grapes by my hand
a love fredericton t-shirt-
wearing challenged younger sister
of someone sits here talking

her father setting off fireworks
from carleton park 10:45 tonight
was in the greened parade earlier
handing out sun-maid raisins
with one way jesus stickers
on every unsuspecting box
followed by police service dog
bear on i can follow the rules

je peux suivre les règles
darth dust devils and lawnmower-
chewed 7 of spades playing card
element(s) wind water fire earth
and the pony wranglers haul out
as the music turns hard country
a little burnt sienna luminosity
meredith approaches across the grass

vocalist calls out "are there
any firefighters in the crowd today?"
answered with a few whoops
as paint splatters across art
water runs down the surface
layer upon layers whooped
and highlighted for the late
late arrival of biff the fanatic

     —Fredericton, NB

T-shirt: postes canada
loc: brokenscancentre
temP; 19 C
sound: The Cure Wild Mood Swings

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