Poet Laureate of Cobourg

National Poetry Month 2020

April is National Poetry Month. Since we are all spending a lot more time at home lately, I thought I would be vulnerable to connect with you over video to share poems. My hope is to try and read you a poem each day.

All of the poems I’ve read are archived in this post.

A Bird, came down the Walk by Emily Dickinson.

April 1, 2020

“Hope” is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson.

April 2, 2020

For Presence by John O’Donohue

April 3, 2020

If I Told Him, A Completed Portrait of Picasso by Gertrude Stein.

April 4, 2020

Something Inside
By Jessica Outram

Mom’s strawberry jam in glass jars
lines our kitchen counter

boil ripe local berries in June
add sugar and sprinkle pectin
skim foam and ladle then
top jars with a warmed lid

Great-Aunt Muriel and zucchini relish 
love-grown produce from a Georgian Bay garden
stored in pantries for family holiday tourtière 

when we stop by to say hi to Great-Uncle Fred
he leans through the car window passing
to the back seat, Mom’s tidy cursive label
jelly beans light up the jar with sugar 

my spring jars of fuzzy caterpillars from tents 
punctured lids with a nail and Dad’s hammer

his jars of screws and hooks in the garage
shelves lined with leftovers for repairs 

a jar under our kitchen sink 
collects hot grease
cooled and congealed
layers of hot and cold until it fills

capturing minnows and muddy water in a jar
my brother lies on his belly on the dock 
catch and release anxious swimmers 
scoop again

some jars neglected and dusty
stacked in dark corners of the basement 
or piled in the white plastic bucket behind 
the steel bin in the green shed
jars without life or purpose
until we put something inside

we talked about catching fresh air like fireflies
to bring south the sweet mix of pine, spruce, granite
to help us miss the Bay less through winter

jars preserve, collect, capture
organize, form
we purchase things in jars
give things away in jars
glass jars lingering 
since the 1800s

these fragile jars
chip or shatter sometimes
tender ingredients
with nowhere to hide

April 5, 2020

Where the Sidewalk Ends By Shel Silverstein

April 6, 2020

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain by Emily Dickinson

April 7, 2020

Sorry, I was unable to find an online copy of this poem.

April 8, 2020

Apprehension by Rainer Marie Rilke

April 9, 2020

A house of stone by Carmen Bugan

April 10, 2020

Talking with the Sun by Joy Harjo

April 11, 2020

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

April 12, 2020

Easter, 1916 by William Butler Yeats

April 13, 2020

Ode to My Socks by Pablo Neruda

April 14, 2020

Moccasin Flowers by Mary Oliver

April 15, 2020

I couldn’t find this poem online but I found a couple others she wrote. To learn more about Jane Johnston Schoolcraft click here. To read my blog posts about her: a post about her loneliness; a post about her life.

April 16, 2020

Routine by Richard Outram

April 17, 2020

Synchronicity by Jessica Outram (If you’d like to read this one, send me a note and I’ll email it to you).

April 18, 2020

If by Rudyard Kipling

April 19, 2020

Rhapsody on a Windy Night by TS Eliot

April 20, 2020

A Light exists in Spring by Emily Dickinson

April 22, 2020

Download the Earth Day eChapbook to read this poem.

And then my days were so full I was unable to post…


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