Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Saning

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The Saning

Sono Nis Press, 1999

"The Saning is her deepest, most startling book yet, a fabulous swirl of imagery borrowed from fairy tales, world religions, surreal dreams, atlases, newspapers and magic spells. Whether she is writing about the ravages of war and poverty, or the mirages of happy love lives, she strides heart-first into each poem, boldly stirring up trouble and compassion. I love her recklessness, the way she welcomes the world with a wide embrace." - Barry Dempster


From The Saning:

Silver Foil

A match strikes in the dark
and another silver
paper floats to the ground
in cities where lost children
lie in the same direction as snow.

A woman who gathers them up every
morning and sells them to tourists
says they are sacred relics.
Burn marks on the foil
could be nails from the Garden
of Gethsemane, where white
flowers with opium seeds
grow out of the bodies of men.

She believes they are beautiful
just as the lost children
living on sidewalks all over the world
believe a sky full of babies in pale
dresses could land, just once,
with a prayer on them.

This is how the sky falls down on quiet
streets in London, Paris,
Havana and the Bario Gotico in Barcelona,
where snow has the sound of mercy
and stoned children come out of the shadows,
take off their gloves and wait
for angels with trumpets and small feet
to march across their outstretched hands.

The woman who collects the silver
foil and trades them for food
for the hungry calls them
her veil of tears when the solstice
moon blossoms in fields of poppies
and small addicts with their arms held out,
chasing the dragon, stand still as white
crosses in the middle of the road.

Read more about The Saning at Linda's website.