I asked poet, George Bowering of Simon Fraser University if I might embed his words to the poem Wolf Between the Trees in my piece, representing the hope for peace, expressed in Isaiah 11. His poem, published on this post, is an offering on the website, Canadian Poetry Online University of Toronto Libraries. To my request that I use his words in the piece, George Bowering wrote to me,
Dear Ms Moors
I think I like what you’re doing.
So I’ll say sure, you can use “Wolf Between the Trees” in your art.
As long as I get a look at it somehow.
Wolf Between the Trees
From: : Blonds on Bikes. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1997.
His wife, his wife,
his daughter, his daughter,
his granddaughter, her brother,
knelt in a circle
in huckleberry woods,
digging with fingers, under pine needles,
a small hole in which to place
smoking sweetgrass, optic moisture,
& by the grandson, his grandfather’s ashes,
gray Douglas Woolf, fine at last,
poured from expensive plastic bag
removed from official metal box,
taken from out a brown grocery bag,
his usual appertenance.
Fifty steps from here
he wrote accurate prose
in his favourite ramshackle cabin,
juncos rescued from the cat & buried
under bushes, small daughters
didnt know what they were
his favourite knitted cap
has a rock in it, thrown
far as can be into the woods
as they call them back in New England
where few people came
to know he was from, gone
back there as well as here, wouldnt
Now the women have a picnic,
sitting close as they can to the wolf in the woods,
huckleberry cider, jack cheese, bean & chile spread,
nothing from Europe, songs from mountain folk,
holed up in dark city, sitting firm
on clear prose, tears in all their eyes,
smiles on their faces, smoke from the sweetgrass,
no airliners in the sky, no
mote in that eye.
Below Nine Mile Creek, in Wallace,
Idaho it is 99 degrees. An old man in a see-through hat
leaned on the wall outside a bar.
I said when does it warm up? He replied
moving nothing but his toothpick,
wait till next winter.
Doug will be up there next winter,
no romance, no spooks, meaning
no, he will not be writing a story, that is
over. If you want to visit, use your fingers,
open a book,
In North Bay, Ontario, I climbed deep into a gully across the street from 42 Market Street to play…to imagine…to build imaginary kingdoms. With all the moves that we had made and with a new one in the plan, I dug down deep into the pine needles. I wrote my name into the soil, when I finally hit dirt…then carefully, I covered my name up with the soft needles, smoothing them over. I thought perhaps, in doing this, a part of me would remain. George Bowering’s poem gave me words that I needed when I first read it. I’ve incorporated burnt ash and several match sticks…into the painting. This piece is a many-layered piece that connects culture, narrative and covenant.