Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Monday, 30 December 2013

6 poems by Ani Arnott

      A solemnity of crows

Crow eating persimmon, Ohara Koson, 1910

Six Poems
by Ani Arnott

Common Crow: seasons
raucous flocks
roam widely
small bands deeper dig

breeding brings us
 closer to family

wandering takes us
closer to friends

a few at a time
we follow our flight lines
home to the roost

before we gather
calling loudly
diving among trees
chasing each other

with kin in our place
bonded and gathered
silence now takes us
deepens and dims

nest making, egg laying
waiting for hatchlings
a solemnity of crows
we wait for descendants

crow courtshipbattgurl, 

Common Crow: spring
bobbing and rattling
I bow to you deeply
spreading the wingspan
spreading the tail feathers
fluffing the body feathers
rattle and coo

you know who you are
meet me half way

crow nesting material, birdwordgirl

Common Crow: nesting
year after year
we return to the same place
friends move on
only last year's children stay

high in the dry pine
I break a brittle twig
carry it back
to the old nest
keeping the old faith
giving new life

Crow Nesting, Pam Van Londen

Common Crow: breeding
the old season's young
not ready for fullness
bring nesting materials to the folk

watching, defending, learning the places
she's hearing the song of the old ways
learning the skill of the hearth

Common Crow: nesting and fledging
A full moon of silence and secret behaviour
gathering in power
guarding our treasure

with a full hoard the song rolls out
the young wail!
the old, crow!

Newcomers perch at the edge
and they fly well

Gathering 1, Helen R. Klebesadel

Common Crow: gathering flight
after the nesting
great flocks gather
voices and bodies fill autumn skies

flying to lands
where good food beckons

flocking together, the tribe flies

roosting and resting in high trees
marking the path to low country

this is the winter of our kindred gathered
in joyful community

Crow & Chicks, Penn Provenance Project



By Ani Arnott.

 Originally published in Freyja’s Space, 11 April 2012

Cover: "Crow Eating a Persimmon" by Koson. Woodblock print.

"The Crow makes wing" woodcut, 1970

“Springs not even sprung but crow love has,” photo

“And here is a crow in transport mode:” photo (detail)

“Crow Nesting,” abstract original acrylic painting by Pam Van Londen

“Crow watches the Moon Rise” woodcut by Kent Ambler

"Crow Gathering 1" water colour by Helen R.Klebesadel

“Woodcut of a crow and its chicks”
Penn Libraries call number: IC C3230 476a 1514

 Please follow the links to find out more about these gifted artists, devoted bloggers, generous poet, and inspirational crow!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Hunting the Hunter

Khajoo-Kermani Tomb photo 085.jpg
Khajoo-Kermani Tomb
Hunting the Hunter

Reason is a bird
            from our nest;
Galaxies are some dust
            risen from our doorstep.

The world-illuminating sun,
            the sovereign of the East,
Is an ornamental image
            on the ceiling of our hall of mirrors.

The bright blood hue you see
            in the eye of the horizon at sunset
Is a reflection of the wine
            in our nocturnal flowing goblets..

What we hunt
            is no one but the hunter;
Our snare is the same
            as our bait.

Our arrow pierces
            through the armour of the firmament,
For our target is
            the heart of the universe.

No charm can lure us
            away from the path
Since the two worlds
            are full of our fascinating tale.

Though with the people of the time
            we are not happy,
Let us toast to the happiness of  those
            who live in our time.

If there exists a paradise,
            it lies in the dust of his doorstep,
Where we have
            our eternal abode.

            now our songs are sung
All over the world
            with the music of our fame.

Translated by Mahmud Kianush


(1290-ca. 1349), Persian poet and mystic. Ḵᵛāju was undoubtedly a versatile poet of great inventiveness and originality. (more)

Kwaju Kermani ~ List of Poems

  • Divan (Persianدیوان خواجو‎) - a collection of his poems in the form of Ghazals, qasidas, strophic poems, qeṭʾas (occasional verse), and quatrains
  • Homāy o Homāyun (Persianهمای و همایون‎) The poem relates the adventures of the Persian prince Homāy, who falls in love with the Chinese princess, Homāyun.
  • Gol o Nowruz (Persianگل و نوروز‎) The poem tells another love story, this time vaguely situated in the time shortly before the advent of Islam.
  • Rowżat-al-anwār (Persianروضة الانورز‎) In twenty poetic discources, the poet deals with requirements for the mystical path and the ethics of kingship.
  • Kamāl-nām (Persianکمال نام‎)
  • Gowhar-nāma (Persianگوهرنامه‎)
  • Sām-nāma (Persianسام نامه‎) A heroic epic about the grandfather of Rustam

Saturday, 21 December 2013

"Poems journey around the world"

"For Joanne Arnott, the poet, who wrote: I do hope that you feel inspired, as i do, by the pleasure of a poetry exchange across the miles."

Not All Words Are Birds


I wrote a poem
With crimson ink
On a piece of paper
In turquoise blue
And went to the window
And opened it wide
To welcome the morning sun
Of a serene spring sky.

               before my eyes,
There appeared
                      a flock of birds,
With their plumage
                             of rainbow colours,
                          in a rhythmic motion,
As if performing a ritual
Of a mystical cosmic dance,
And by reflecting the rays of light,
They created something like a micro-image
Of a supernova;
 And, after
              some long moments
                                  of self-manifestation,
They flew away,
                        and out of my sight.

I returned to my desk,
To read once more
My new finished poem,
        to my wonderment,
The crimson words had disappeared,
And the blue paper
Had turned to white.


It was the sunset
Of a mid-autumn day,
And the blue sky of the horizon
Had begun to fade into a burning crimson,
Setting the windowpanes on flame.

On my desk
A piece of blank paper
                             in turquoise blue
Was looking expectantly at me,
And on its right side
My black pen,
Filled with crimson ink, 
Was left in boredom of silence,
But the poem I had in my mind
Suddenly burned out
And was lost in oblivion.

The flaming radiance of the setting sun
In the receptive,
                       gleeful eyes
                                        of the window,
Mysteriously urged me to walk over
And watch the magic
                             of light
                                       and air
                                                and motion,
But what I saw,
                       I think,
                             was a visual message
From the God Unknown,
The Almighty Poet,
Whose one and only poem
                             has been Himself,
Manifested in His creation of Life:


In the fiery light
Of the glowing gold
                             of the setting sun,
Within the clear range of my sight,
It was my long disappeared flock
Of the rainbow coloured birds,
In their glorious flight,
Returning from an unknown journey,
Each bird of the flock, now
                   accompanied by one bird
From a flock of someone else’s
Not in the same rainbow colour,
But in plain turquoise blue.

They circled so close to my window
That for a moment I felt
I was a mirror held
To the firmament of peace and serenity.
Oh, how much more beautiful
                                       would a rainbow seem,
If it could appear
In a turquoise blue sky!


After circling seven times
                             in front of my eyes,
My extended flock of birds
Suddenly flew away,
And disappeared again.

Poems journey around the world
And bring more poems with them,
Because poets have always been
The scattered citizens of one eternal nation.

Mahmud Kianush
21 October 2013

A poem for Mahmud Kianush

Pensive and beyond

In a quiet house
In a quiet room (in a room where music plays)
In a quiet heart (in a tumultuous busy crossroads)
In a quiet moment (in a moment poised at the top of the wave)
In a quiet pen (in a pensive eye within a hurricane)
In a quiet sweep of pen on page (in a sweeping move from never was to fully made)

The scritchscritchscritch (sound of rich colours released in the world)
The house or room, window or page, poem or bird (visited and revisited, flocks and migrations)
The gift (from the well of plenty)
The gift (from the unseen)
The gift (of return, from that which was freely given)
The gift (some birds are angels)

Joanne Arnott

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Nelson Mandela, flow of farewell

Cascades of love and memory flow
 through the realms of the world,
one spirit released from human form, 
millions more gather and unleash,
the smoke of the spirit gathering 
circling the high realms 
as the living unleash,
each touch gently on the place 
where he is held, 
held and released

“My life is a void, 
and I do not know who 
to turn to.”

Griefstruck tender memory 
upholding the anguish 
of the living

Joys of our youth and 
shared horrors of 
the elderstruggle

Unity in honour 
of the destruction 
of injustice

Breeze of rekindling to 
complete the tasks, 
passing the song on
shared breath

From void
to tender
of the heart

All of our languages of thanks, 
honouring, and 
safe journey

A wave of spirit, 
a flow 
of farewell



'Free Nelson Mandela' 

early version/studio rehearsal 


source (image) 

poem by ja, here & now

More about Ahmed Kathrada

Sunday, 1 December 2013

AWCWC ~ Winter Words ~ 14 Dec 2013

  Winter Words Sale
Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast invites you to attend our First Annual Book Sale in Skwxwú7mesh, Xwméthkwyiem and Tsleil-Waututh peoples’ unceded territories

AWCWC members will bring our books, cds, dvds to sell, direct to the public. 

Some participating artists include 
Cease Wyss 
Wil George 
Wanda John-Kehewin
Joanne Arnott
Sandy Scofield
& more to be confirmed

Saturday December 14th 2013

12 noon to 9 pm

Location: 1571 W 6th Ave @ Fir St, Vancouver BC
One day only! 

Some of the featured books on sale:

More about Salish Seas: an anthology of text + image (AWCWC) incl. Table of Contents

More about Rice Paper Magazine Special Double Issue : Aboriginal & Asian Canadian Writers  incl Table of Contents