Sunday, June 17, 2018

Goodnight David McFadden, good luck to the rest of us

Today's book of poetry:
Goodnight David McFadden, good luck to the rest of us.

Image result for david mcfadden photo

Today's book of poetry has been on the road for a couple of days.  We travelled to Cobourg where our old friend Stuart Ross hosted us for an evening.  If you want to know what paradise is going to be like, spend an evening with Stuart and his partner in crime Laurie.

On Saturday, I joined Stuart and Laurie and a rather large crowd at St. Anne's Church in Toronto to say Goodbye to David McFadden.  Say goodbye we did.  The Reverend Maggie Helwig, a very fine poet, saw me sitting at the back of the church and joined me, as old friends do.  It was Maggie who told me that the entire interior of St. Anne's, all of the panels, were painted by members of the Group of Seven.

At first I thought Maggie was making a religious reference I was too slow to pick up on, but as she continued a light shone down and slapped me in the side of the head.  I spent considerable time staring at the ceilings and walls.  The Group of Seven in a downtown Toronto church where one of Canada's greatest poets was getting a send-off.  Perfect.

Stuart Ross was one of several folk who spoke during the service for David.  There was a small and excellent choir and much singing.  Of course there were tears everywhere, Hazel Millar was sitting in the row in front of me with other in the Toronto literati, tears abounded.

David McFadden dying was certainly sad.  His funeral service was full of respect and admiration and faith.  His friends and family made sure his final Dilbert moments in public were full of humour and love.

Goodnight David McFadden.



*   *

In transit to and from Cobourg and Toronto and then back to Ottawa, Today's book of poetry visited three libraries, looking for their "for sale" shelves or rooms, and three secondhand bookstores.  One of the bookstores, in Oshawa, was going out of business, in fact, it was the last day the store was to be open.  I'd been frequenting this store recently because they always had a considerable amount of poetry on the shelf.  Their poetry books are always eight dollars or less, but on the last day they were open, the price on the covers was being reduced by 75%.  Their usual inexpensive pricing had already been reduced during the previous weeks. 

Today's book of poetry also discovered The Book Shop in Tamworth, Ontario.  We didn't discover it so much as take the directions Stuart Ross had provided.  The directions were excellent and needed.  I've lived in this part of Ontario for most of my life and had never heard of Tamworth.  But there is was, and so was The Book Shop.  What an oasis.  Robert Wright, the proprietor, couldn't be nicer and he certainly knows his stuff.  I've rarely seen such a big or intelligent poetry section in a secondhand bookstore.  Robert took my stack of post-it note lists of poets I'm looking for and promptly put books in my hand like jewels.

By the time Today's book of poetry had made it back to our offices we had somehow picked up fifty-eight new poetry titles.  A couple of those are deliberate doubles, I always keep a stack of books to give to friends, and a few will be doubles (because my brain is old and stupid) simply because I didn't remember that they were in the stacks.  Today's book of poetry has some reading to do.

Both for your amusement, and my own, I'm going to list what we found.  Today's book of poetry will be back to regular programming a.s.a.p.

This is what we unpacked from our recent trip:

There Is No Falling - Robert Hogg
The Rain in the Trees - W.S. Merwin
Museum of Bone and Water - Nicole Brossard
[Today's book of poetry knew we had these titles, but couldn't pass up the price/opportunity to give a copy on to some unsuspecting friend.]

The Ends of the Earth - Jacqueline Turner
Far Side of the Earth - Tom Sleigh
Free Will - Harold Rhenisch
I, Another. The Space Between - Jamie Reid
Under A Small Moon - Gary Radison
Previously Feared Darkness - Robert Priest
The Cellophone Sky - Jeff Park
Waiting for the Gulf Stream - Bert Almon
And The Stars Were Shining - John Ashberry
Mother's Love and Other Poems - Elizabeth Beach
Civil and Civic - Jonathan Bennett
Blert - Jordan Scott
Echo Gods and Silent Mountains - Patrick Woodcock
The Ice House - Melissa Walker
Invisible to Predators - R.M. Vaughn
WaveSon.nets - V - Losing Luna - Stephanie Strickland
Listen to the Wind - James Reaney
News & Smoke - Sharon Thesen
Late for Work - David Tucker
An Aquarium - Jeffery Lang
Reading the Bible Backwards - Robert Priest
Burns for Isadora - Hawkley Workman
Second Collection - Caroling Morgan di Giovanni
Flesh, A Naked Dress - Susan Andrews Grace
The Shunning - Patrick Friesen
Flicker and Hawk - Patrick Friesen
The Cradle Place - Thomas Lux
Ninety-five Nights of Listening - Malinda Markham
Blessing the Boats - Lucille Clifton
The Constructor - John Koethe
Bleeding Heart Fist Fight - Brandon Hahn
Till I Caught Myself - Ruth Roach Pierson
The Improved Binoculars - Irving Layton
Girl By The Water - Gary Geddes
Way More West - Edward Dorn
Work Book - Steven Heighton
Hammerstroke - Don Domanski
Water Cranes - Chris Banks
Vellum - Matt Donovan
Stone Baby - Dolores Reimer
More To Keep Us Warm - Jacob Scheier
Grid - Brenda Schmidt
Fear of Knives - Anne Szumigalski
Famous Roadkill - Allan Safarik
Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something - Paul Vermeersch
The Sea With No One In It - Niki Koulouris
Late Capitalist Sublime - Ryan Kamstra
You - Gary Hyland
Hands Reaching in Water - Gary Hyland
This Is A Love Song - Hugh MacDonald
The Nerve - Glyn Maxwell
Lard Cake - David McGimpsey
Glimpse - George Murray
Point No Point - Jane Munro
The Sentinel - A.F. Moritz

...

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