Love poems to Ladysmith and Stz’uminus
The Arts Council of Ladysmith & District presents a wonderful event that showcases the community and it’s love for where they live.
From the general public to Ladysmith Primary School and Stz’uminus First Nation School we received an overwhelming amount of LOVE that came in the form of poems. Those poems will be making their appearance in the community, in business windows, along pathways and in the Ladysmith Chronicle newspaper.
Please stay tuned as we work on getting the poems up for you to view (click on image to enlarge)
Stz’uminus Primary School
Ladysmith (Gratitude 1)
Ladysmith (Gratitude 6)
I signed on the dotted line in 2014 and bought in Ladysmith because of Holland Creek Trail; a healthy black bear thundered into the woods at the frightening sight of me and I knew, at once, I was welcome.
Each spin around the sun, greater love for this singular town, more kilometers on my running shoes in the forest's shivelight— someone said time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once.
But all at once the water spills over Crystal Falls, all at once the dogwood flowers glow like small white planets and my palm fills with salmonberries.
—Will I ever stop believing this magic?
Above, the bald eagles pay me no mind—
they harbour more important business—
and path-wise, small brown birds flutter low to the ground, like secrets. I run to the marina to find sea creatures, glance over my glistening bare shoulder from the far end of the dock: my town climbs into forever and ever. At Transfer Beach, the grand willow weeps toward dewy grass. A solitary sailboat so vividly graces the vista you'd believe it was painted in place.
Oh, rust-red and twisting arbutus. Oh, otters performing ballet. Oh, waterfalls, whispering ferrns, and wisteria—
what is worth everything is knowing one is exactly where she belongs.
-Shelley A. Leedahl
Searching for Love. Dating as a single Mom in the eWorld
By Gaylene Olyniuk
Thanks for asking me for coffee I’d like to meet you too Before I do I need to check If the teens are working If the little guy needs a sitter If there is something I need To rearrange or have a friend pickup Maybe prep a meal or pack lunches Throw in a load of laundry Sign some permission forms What do I wear Always hiding my mum tum from men who didn’t get me pregnant Leggings Dress Alluring yet comfortable Pluck those stray eyebrow hairs Do my hair Haven’t had time to wash it Clean kid stuff out of my purse so I’m not hauling a 30 pound bag to coffee Do I own lipstick Is that too much for coffee Okay It’s time I actually don’t drink coffee I get a tea Your late I think that’s you Nope you are approaching that girl 10 years younger than me Oh It is you Bet you grabbed your wallet and phone Ran your fingers thru your hair and drove here You talk about yourself for an hour and a half I try to be pleasant You are cute Maybe if we went for a walk or something next time A hug goodbye I return to my single mum life and adult the hell out of it Later that night I text Nice to meet you, hike next time You text back Nice to meet you That’s it Thanks for asking me for coffee I don’t have that kind of time and effort to waste Could been dinner Movie too An evening to get to know us Coffee No connection Nothing there Thanks for wasting my time & effort Happy fishing Swipe right Next
Old Trails, New Eyes
Thousands of days in warm embrace, Upon beach and forest, Sun and rain-kissed face, Within each trail, Nostalgia's trace, Love from Diamond to Heart, Flush with grace, Grow in benevolent impunity, Understand the hands of this community, Where every word breathes opportunity, Relish and give back unto this unity.
Sonnet 757 Why I Love Ladysmith John Edwards
On the High Street or Transfer Beach, and along Holland Creek Trails Or over in Yellow Point or Kulleet Bay People you meet look you in the eye in greeting Cause here its Island Time and not a threat And for neighbours there’s no imperative to walk away And below the hill there’s a harbour safe both for work and play Where logs are milled in Oyster Bay and the great freighters stay And a beach where artists sketch and poets draw With words what they need to say The its only a step or two from cinnamon buns and coffee On First Avenue to Heart Lake and Stocking Creek Jewels of silver set in Vancouver Island’s sylvan sea With the colours E. J. Hughes made to shine on Mr. Brenton’s guardian Peak Where bears browse by day and cougars steal upon a silent night But Beyond all these I mostly Love Ladysmith Because she’s like someone I once knew long ago And I’ve found her again and now she makes me feel I’ve come back home to stay
-Shelley A. Leedahl
The sun in the southeast sky was a bonfire
and above me, a bald eagle arrowed through the fog
like she knew exactly where she was going.
Dogs were taking their masters for walks. I smiled
at several drivers and said hello to backpack-wearing teens
trudging toward school. A dozen doves
exploded off a power line. The ocean was soon in sight:
a wedge of it bronze-shining between house shapes.
Also roses, still on the vine. In November.
At the beach I was alone and the waves were plucky.
I tucked my jacket beneath me and sat on a wet cedar log,
studied stones and maple leaves; a distant island
was a reclining woman in grey-blue silhouette.
(There the shoulders. There the hips.)
A pleasure-craft mutely motored through the Ladysmith harbour.
A log bobbed in the water and was not a seal.
I inhaled cedar-scent, the aroma of wet leaves,
rippling ocean, the flamboyant weeping willow.
I inhaled the clouds.
A lone seagull squawked and sailed above me.
My heart was full of sparks setting off new fires.
And I knew, intrinsically, that we are, all of us, blue sky.
Ladysmith (Gratitude 2)
Shelley A. Leedahl
Everthing anyone needs to know about me is spring-melt.
Is moss embellishing stone and the great fallen firs.
Is sun's velvet glove, equally generous on my face, the thriving
salal, rust-red arbutus.
All of a morning, I've fallen in love with the world again.
From Rotary Hill my little town is a fairytale told in white squares
and school yards. Beyond it, the blue-eyed harbour,
then Yellow Point Peninsula (undeniably green), and Georgia Strait,
where a ferry's doing its important work.
When I walk in the rare snow I know I'm born of prairie,
but the Steller's jays have adopted me. Crocuses,
so dang earnest I could weep.
And when others notice me—the larger animals,
those who might walk dogs in the deeper woods—
can they know my heart's exploding?
I want you here. Leave everything behind.
Mountain water in the cups of our palms,
there is nothing else to need.
Ladysmith (Gratitude 3/Wu Style Taiji Quan Square Form)
-Shelley A. Leedahl
Any morning that begins with Tai Chi
on a marina dock is fine by me.
But what do I know?
Only that we are red poppies
for the ambrosial breeze and the moored boats
pay no attention; they exist
only to counterpoint
the ocean's blue scholarship,
the arrow shapes of trees
that ascend the mountain we face—
where I live calmly
with few things
in a tall white box. Today:
pewter clouds grasping the bird's tail.
White crane, of course, flaps its wing.
Ladysmith (Gratitude 4)
-Shelley A. Leedahl
Wednesday afternoon hikes with Rachel,
who lives, as I do, in awe
of even the smallest wonders: sprays of grass
that end in star-flowers.
Pine scents. Ravens, and the birds we guess
through the memory-pull of song.
The multi-coloured salmonberries. Plucking season.
Appetizer before the full blush of blackberries.
Arbutus, peeling one page at a time.
They say Red. They say West Coast. They understand
that if I could paint, my life
would be altogether different.
It is good to sit on a ledge above the town
that is above the ocean. We point at islands
and hear nothing but tree-bones.
Silver lichen is good. And the rainbowed tinder fungus.
Also salamanders, remembering Slippery. Manifesting rain.
Ladysmith (Gratitude 5)
-Shelley A. Leedahl
I run to the marina to be mesmerized
by jellyfish, and to forget
I may forever come home
to an empty house.
There is Syria and violence,
hunger and political scandal,
and I do nothing about these matters,
captivated by my petty griefs.
I have no commerce, no potentiality.
Fridge bare but for dead-fallen apples
donated by friends. And who could understand this
planet of no small desire,
or the joy found in valentines
masquerading as maple leaves?
Easy to blind facts of profound importance:
even the ragged moments are beautiful.