Bancroft, Ontario, Canada

ORGANZER: Kathy Figueroa

CONTACT: fancydaylilies@gmail.com


Hi Folks!

A day devoted to poetry readings and music in Bancroft, Ontario, is currently being planned for Saturday, September 24th, 2011, and an invitation is extended to all poets, songwriters, and musicians to participate in this project. Bancroft will be just one of over 360 communities, in over 85 countries around the world, where poets will be joining together to initiate positive changes in the global community. So far, approximately four hundred and sixty events have been scheduled to take place worldwide. Called, ’100 Thousand Poets For Change,’ the concept of poets participating and advocating for the common good evolved from an idea that American poet/songwriter/author and editor, Michael Rothenberg, developed to try to make this world a better place via the spoken word.

The schedule for the Bancroft event is as follows:

1. 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. – an informal get together for coffee will be held at The Door Next Door Cafe, located on Bridge Street in Bancroft.

2. 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – a scheduled poetry reading at the Bancroft Public Library will take place. An, ‘open stage,’ policy will be in effect and everyone is welcome to read either their own work, any poems that have been written by their friends or family members, or a few of their favourite poems by well known authors.

3. 2:45 – 5:00 p.m. – another gathering at The Door Next Door Cafe, this time with live music along with additional poetry. (The cafe closes at 5:00 p.m.)

4. 7:00 p.m. to ? – depending on the number of people who express interest in participating, we could then regroup at another establishment and have an, ‘open mic,’ event with more live music and more poetry!

As well, there are a few poems currently on display at Ashlie’s Books, in Bancroft, and another collection will soon be put on display at the Bancroft Public Library. This latter group will include work by some of the earlier inhabitants of this area, current local residents, and a samples of poetry from other countries.

The main focus of the Bancroft, ’100 Thousand Poets For Change,’ event will be on the environment, so any poems or original songs that pertain to nature would be especially appreciated.

For more information about this historical event, here’s a link to the, ‘Public Event,’ page for 100 Thousand Poets For Change:

https://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&note_id=270788522947950#!/event.php?eid=106999432715571

As well, I’ve set up a page on Facebook for Bancroft:

https://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&note_id=270788522947950#!/groups/164740476914270/

(I think that these links might have to be copied & pasted into your browser to work.)

I’ll be posting additional info closer to the date of the event. If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

The leaves of the trees turn beautiful colours in the Fall.

A view of the York River on the south side of Bridge Street in lovely downtown Bancroft, Ontario.

This is what the York River looks like from Bridge Street, when looking north.

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Comments

Bancroft, Ontario, Canada — 11 Comments

  1. Hi! Any poets who are interested are welcome to join the Facebook group that I created called, ’100 Thousand Poets For Change: Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.’ I’m not exactly sure what the process is for signing up but, if there’s no option available marked, ‘Join Group,’ at the upper right hand side of the Facebook page, you could leave a message for me, here, and, as long as you’re already registered on Facebook, then I’ll be able to add you to the group.

  2. Trees (Ontario, Canada)
    a tree hugger poem from the southern edge of the Boreal Forest

    The hills, there, were brown and dry
    There were no plants or trees
    Only paths that were walked by man
    For a thousand centuries

    And though the blue Mediterranean
    Was edged with pure white sand
    Never did I feel at ease
    In that distant land

    Ancient and grand cities
    Bore testament to the history of humankind
    But I felt apprehension
    For it was a barren world, enshrined

    In Paris and Milan
    Places, throughout the world, renowned
    I looked past each stone and concrete corner
    But not one tree could be found

    There were no elegant sprays of green
    On graceful branches, upheld
    For, lost from memory, in the distant past
    The last trees had been felled

    Replaced with great buildings
    Constructs and statues, fine
    But all that man can create
    Can’t compare to Nature’s design

    Here, in beautiful Ontario
    Where many rivers flow
    Are towering pine
    Tamarack, majestic birch
    Spruce and graceful willow

    Balsam fir, cedar, sumac
    And poplar, with boughs
    That shimmer in the breeze
    This is why I love my home best
    It’s the land of many trees

  3. Bancroft, Ontario, Canada, is a small town that’s surrounded by wilderness and there aren’t a lot of poets in this area. For that reason, for the September 24th event, I thought I’d request copies of poems from people in different countries around the world. These poems would be read aloud and displayed on the wall, or in booklet form, at the local library!

    I’ll mention that the content of these poems would have to be suitable for people of all ages, including children. If interested in participating in this project, please contact me by e-mail at: fancydaylilies@gmail.com or join the page on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/h​ome.php?sk=group_164740476​914270

    The booklet would be left at the library for the public to read. (I gave the library a collection of my work, in booklet form, when I did a poetry reading there, earlier this year.) It would be great if people could include a bit of information about themselves, too, such as who they are, where they live and, maybe, what inspired them to write a particular poem.

    Of course, along with the poetry, we’ll also be having some great live music and, probably, a short play. (There might not be many poets in this area, but there are LOTS of musicians!)

  4. As part of the 100 Thousand Poets For Change event we, in Bancroft, thought it would be good if there was a change in attitude toward our natural environment. When it is adversely affected, then so are we.

    Seven Poems About Wild Things
    a compilation of verse
    by Kathy Figueroa

    Bancroft, Ontario, Canada
    2011

    This collection of poems is dedicated to all
    of the people who are aware that we are not
    the only life form of any importance on this
    planet and who strive to protect the other
    species from human avarice and folly.

    Index

    1. Like A Starry Night

    2. Cormorant (Spring, 2008)

    3. A Deer Mouse (Autumn, 2007)

    4. The Woods Of Boulter

    5. The November War

    6. Eulogy For A Bat

    7. Evolution

    Forward

    This is my second cyber compilation. The first one, which is called, ‘The Cathedral Of The Eternal Blue Sky,’ exists in cyber space in a much more rudimentary fashion and contains almost all of my poems that had been published up to a certain date. This second endeavour features poems that I’ve written about wildlife. Of course, I’d love to see the collection published in book form, with gorgeous illustrations and binding, but at least one book publisher has told me that previously published poems are of no interest to someone such as him. All of the poems included here have already appeared in newspapers, a magazine, and/or on-line. (I’ll mention that I do retain the copyright to all of my work.)

    Seven Poems About Wild Things
    by Kathy Figueroa

    1.

    Like A Starry Night

    I moved a piece of wood
    While cleaning under a tree
    And a small patch of pale speckles
    In the black earth, did I see
    Intrigued, I leaned closer
    To see what I had found
    Because speckles that look like freckles
    Are not common on the ground
    I thought I’d been alone
    As I worked in my yard
    But what I did discern
    Caught me quite off-guard
    There, in the damp, dark shade
    Under a tree of green
    Was the most dapper little lizard
    That I’d ever seen
    Quiet and unassuming
    It was tastefully attired in black
    With a constellation of spots, like stars
    Arrayed across it’s back
    Careful not to disturb it
    I continued to work outside
    But thought, “It must be very shy
    That’s why it likes to hide”
    “What’s the lizard’s name?” I asked
    The next time I went to town
    “We don’t know what it’s called,” people replied
    “But we’ve seen ‘em around”
    So, for many months the mystery
    Of the creature’s name did not unfold
    And the tale of the little lizard
    Almost wasn’t told
    But then, by chance, a story
    In a newspaper caught my eye
    About Ontario critters
    In need of protection
    Species in danger, that might die
    And there, pictured in full colour
    But dressed in black
    And silvery white
    Was the little lizard
    That looked like a starry night
    Sometimes I’m wrong and
    At times, I’m right
    If I may speak with total candor
    When I read that article I realized
    The lizard was probably..
    A Jefferson Salamander!

    Part II

    In times of old, salamanders
    Were thought to live
    In fire and flame
    But here, in Hastings County
    There’s a different terrain
    The dapper little amphibian
    With the heart so brave and bold
    Crawls across the snow and ice
    It doesn’t fear the cold
    It lives near deciduous forests
    By ponds of melted snow
    For, in late March, to water
    To lay eggs it’ll go
    If you see this salamander
    Which is a sight so rare
    Be sure not to harm it
    Treat it with special care
    We are all connected
    On this big rock out in space
    If salamanders disappear today
    Tomorrow it could be
    The human race

    2.

    Cormorant (Spring, 2008)

    Cormorant, oh Cormorant
    Lowly, dejected, forlorn
    Do not pause to question
    Why you were born

    Let not a tear fall from your eye
    For you were made to soar
    In the cathedral
    Of the Eternal Blue Sky

    Oh Cormorant, Double Crested Cormorant
    Target of the Ontario government’s ire
    What have you done
    To deserve such wrath
    And a fate so dire?

    Why do they seek to blast you
    Off the face of this earth?
    They’re obviously not aware
    Of your true worth

    The guano (bird poop)
    Cormorants leave behind
    Is, in certain countries, mined
    For example, in Chile and Peru
    An industry flourishes around
    Cormorant doo doo
    The guano is bagged and then sold
    Because, as fertilizer
    It’s like white gold

    Some fish eating men
    Claim the cormorant
    Is a fish eating machine
    That is causing Canadian sport fishermen
    To either lay awake at night losing sleep
    Or have a bad dream about
    This alleged… “Hoover”…of the deep

    Do they know that, in China, it’s a fact
    The cormorant is actually tamed and trained
    To catch fish and bring them back?

    Bayan Hangai, Patron
    Of the natural environment
    Protector of plants and creatures
    All that roam, crawl, swim and fly
    Please don’t let the cormorant,
    Through lack of public education
    Or because of callous cruelty
    In a hail of bullets, die

    St. Francis of Assisi
    Who loved all animals
    And would speak to the birds
    Hear this silent plea
    Let the cormorants know these words:
    That some pray to save them
    From a wanton, savage kill
    Like in an Ontario public park
    Near Brighton
    Called, “Presqu’ile”

    Please stave off
    The Ontario government’s
    Destructive will
    And any M.P.P.’s
    “Death to cormorants”
    Private Member’s Bill

    In this world there’s much that’s wrong
    War, suffering, poverty and despair
    Maybe some of those
    Bird hating women and men
    Could focus some positive energy there

    Peace.

    3.

    A Deer Mouse

    I needed a fork
    So I opened the drawer
    It was full of dry dog food
    And it wasn’t, before

    As I hauled an old sofa
    Out the door
    A trail of cat chow
    Was left on the floor

    Thought I’d make a cup
    Of my favourite brew
    Turned the coffee maker on
    But not a drop dripped through

    Of this situation
    I didn’t know what to make
    So I emptied the machine
    And then gave it a shake

    Got the jitters and was
    Almost all thumbs
    When out poured a pile
    Of bread crumbs

    Things were getting weird
    And kind of hard to ignore
    Three: a dog, a cat, and I lived here
    But now, were there four?

    Indisputably strange things
    Were going on in this house
    And I began to suspect
    I had… a mouse

    The evidence indicated
    No ordinary rodent, however
    It would have to be tirelessly
    Industrious and clever

    Could it be a… Deer Mouse?

    Oops, I’d better not
    Spread the word around
    Or I’ll have a deer hunter here
    With his deer hunting hound…

    4.

    The Woods Of Boulter
    an eco story in the form of a poem

    Deep in the woods of Boulter
    Lived a woman who loved deer
    They’d stroll to her log house
    And she liked to see them near

    In that forest kingdom
    Which was as wild as could be seen
    All creatures were very happy
    Because that kind soul was their queen

    Each day, by her window
    She would sit and wait
    For her white tailed friends
    To step up to the gate

    By her fenced in garden
    The deer would stop for lunch
    She’d graciously serve leafy greens
    Which they loved to munch

    Thus, she came to know them
    And soon they grew quite tame
    So it wasn’t very long ’til
    Each deer had a name

    There was Dorothy and Daisy
    Rudolph and Dawn
    Then, one day, a mama deer
    Brought Hope, her fawn

    Hope looked around in wonder
    As her proud mama stood guard
    And the woman went to greet them
    Outside in the yard

    This is when the story
    Really has its start
    For it was then that something sad
    Broke that kind soul’s heart

    To the woods of Boulter
    Came people, each with a gun
    Saying, “We’re gonna go hunting
    And have us some fun”

    In Carlow/Mayo Township
    On that morning cold and bright
    The hunters did something
    That wasn’t honourable or right

    At the edge of her yard
    Near the woman’s home
    They set loose their hunting dogs
    To run and to roam

    They knew that her land
    Was private property
    It was clearly marked
    “No Hunting, No Trespassing”
    For everyone to see

    But the hunters had a plan
    A scheme, a grand design
    They said, “Well, our deer hounds can’t read
    A No Hunting, No Trespassing sign”

    With noses trained to track
    The dogs soon picked up a scent
    And straight through the trees
    To the woman’s home they went

    The faces of the hunters
    Twisted into smirks
    As they whispered
    “Look! Our little plan works!”

    Then they watched
    And waited, full of glee
    For the dogs to chase the deer
    And the deer to flee

    There was silence in the forest
    When the birds were stilled
    By frenzied howls of hounds
    Savage and thrilled

    The eerie quiet was in direct contrast
    To the sudden sound
    Of a shotgun blast
    When the mother deer was killed

    Deep in the woods of Boulter
    Is Ontario’s secret shame
    Because in the woods of Boulter
    Poaching is a game

    Sometimes they use a Walker Hound
    Often they’ll use a Beagle
    But whatever dog they choose
    Local law won’t consider it illegal

    Because of unclear regulations
    Deer hounds are not barred
    They’re allowed to chase a deer
    Right out of your back yard

    In this great big country
    Almost everywhere you go
    Off leash dogs can’t be
    Used to chase or ‘drive’ deer
    But they can in Hastings County, Ontario

    When people are persecuted
    By laws that are unfair
    They may enter a church
    And claim ‘sanctuary’ there

    But where can wild animals run
    When unleashed dogs relentlessly pursue?
    If they are hunted, poached and killed
    Will they only survive in a zoo?

    When the hunting dogs entered her yard
    And chased the deer about
    In front of the woman’s eyes
    And the shot rang out

    She came to realize
    That a doubt does not remain
    The ‘off leash laws’ for hunting
    Must be changed to be humane

    We can make this story
    Have a happy resolution
    By making our voices heard
    And suggesting this solution:

    If a hunter wants to use a hound
    To locate and ‘drive’ big game
    It’s only fair that the dog
    Be kept securely on a chain

    In years past I’ve voted Liberal
    Conservative, Rhinoceros and N.D.P.
    At the next election
    The political party that
    Vows to ban the wretched practice
    Of letting unleashed dogs chase deer
    Will get a vote from me

    Though the woman from Boulter
    Is no longer with us
    Her spirit is always near
    In the woods of Boulter
    Watching over the deer

    5.

    The November War

    Huddled together at the side of the road
    They were refugees in flight
    Frozen for a moment, for all time
    In the glare of the the bright headlight

    Four, leaning against each other
    Paused, on their desperate run
    As they sought shelter
    From the dog and the gun

    Trepidation and sheer terror
    Could be seen in their eyes
    And that awful knowledge
    Of how their kind dies

    Their days were numbered
    Maybe hours remained
    Not much more
    As they tried to escape
    The November war

    Could they sleep or even rest?
    Would they have the strength to fight?
    Or would their legs fail
    From exhaustion and fright?

    If only there was somewhere to stay
    By a house, or on a farm
    A shelter, refuge or sanctuary
    Where they’d be spared from harm

    But, anywhere they hid
    Unleashed dogs would find them
    And, immediately, give chase
    To the waiting guns of men
    Who lacked mercy and grace

    Did they silently cry out to humankind
    As, near mens’ homes, they stood
    And plead to be allowed to return
    To their place in the wild wood?

    Do they face the houses of men
    Like men turn their faces to the sky
    To ask a higher power
    For mercy and a reason why

    They must endure such times
    Of misery and strife?
    And do they ask that higher power
    To spare a humble life?

    An elderly friend told me a story
    About her history
    She and her family were captured
    Long ago, in another country

    They were moved to an enclosure
    With an open gate
    But no one ventured out
    Because they knew what lay in wait

    Though it was Christmas Eve
    No one dared to run
    Because the men were waiting
    With the dog and the gun

    When I saw those frightened deer
    That evening so dark and cold
    I remembered my friend
    And the story she told

    Those images have never left me
    So, now, I write this poem
    And hope one day
    All inhabitants of Earth
    Will share, in peace
    This planet we call home

    6.

    Eulogy For A Bat

    A wisp of dusk, personified
    Or should I say, ‘animalified’
    It grieves me, Bat
    That you have died
    A blight wracked your tiny body
    Slight and brown
    Stopped your flight
    And struck you down
    I wondered why
    Not long ago
    When the ground
    Was cloaked with snow
    As I looked outside
    Late at night
    I saw you swoop by
    The electric light
    “What could it possibly
    Find to eat, now?”
    Was on my mind
    How could a bug
    It hope to find
    When all was frozen
    White and still
    I know now, Bat
    That you were ill
    In the shelter where
    You were housed
    To winters chill
    You were roused
    Then, in search of food
    You left the safety
    Of your home
    Because of a plague called
    ‘White Nose Syndrome’
    This pestilential disease
    Caused you to awaken
    ..Then starve.. then freeze..
    So, sadly, your life was taken
    You had great worth
    In the grand scheme of things
    As you flew over this earth
    With fragile wings
    Humans with no sense
    Often like to say
    That they are at the top
    Of the food chain
    Forgetting that black flies
    And mosquitoes
    Require warm blood to drain
    And that, in this land
    It’s not unknown
    For a person
    To die of exposure
    When lost in
    The woods, alone
    Should the word ‘exposure’
    Need to be explained
    It can mean that the person died
    Because too much blood was drained
    So a bat is an answer
    To a prayer for respite
    And a defense
    From the attack, from the bite
    Of a blood hungry (possibly
    West Nile Disease carrying) parasite
    Though some folks
    Might express fear if their path
    With this creature, connects
    It’s good to remember that
    In spring and summer
    A bat can devour
    From half to its entire
    Body weight in insects
    This critter should never be hurt
    Or, by human hand, rendered dead
    A bat should always be
    Left alone, instead
    So it can flourish and thrive
    Because a bat is worth
    Far more than gold, alive
    One thing I know that could
    Soon become very clear
    Is that people
    Will surely miss a bat
    If bugs proliferate
    And bats are no longer here
    So Little Brown Bat
    Myotis Lucifugus
    Your good work I
    Hereby, commend
    And let it be known that
    To humans and, indeed, to all
    Warm blooded creatures
    You were a friend

    7.

    Evolution

    Long ago, a dinosaur
    A prisoner, by gravity bound
    With lumbering, heavy steps
    Did plod across the ground
    And it crushed all in its path
    With an earth shaking tread
    Unlike a bird that flies
    In the blue sky, overhead
    Maybe this massive creature
    When mired in the
    Black mud of a swamp
    Dreamed of being able
    To frolic and romp
    Perhaps this behemoth
    So long ago, alive
    Wished it were more agile
    That it could soar and dive
    Maybe in its heart
    A hidden hope held sway
    That it could change
    And be different some day
    Perhaps its wish was granted
    Implausible as this might sound
    It’s got to do with something
    Archaeologists have found
    This might seem far fetched
    Or maybe even absurd
    But recent discoveries have shown
    A dinosaur evolved into a bird
    How long the process took
    They can’t, with accuracy, say
    But I guess a need to fly
    Made a dinosaur evolve that way

    For anyone who is interested, here’s a link to a ready-to-print version of, ‘Seven Poems About Wild Things.’ http://www.bancroftthisweek.com/Blogs/PrintBlog.aspx?BlogID=9574

  5. Dragons And Dreamers: Three Poems
    a compilation of verse
    by Kathy Figueroa

    Bancroft, Ontario, Canada
    2011

    All of the poems in this collection were first published in The Bancroft Times newspaper in 2010 and early 2011. ‘The Snow Dragon,’ appeared as a three part series in the December, 2010, issues of The Bancroft Times.

    Index

    Preface: Pink Sky (2011)

    1. If Your Thoughts Drift

    2. The Great Gallery Of Canadian Art

    3. The Snow Dragon: A Long Poem In Three Parts

    The Snow Dragon, Part One
    The Snow Dragon, Part Two
    The Snow Dragon, Part Three

    Preface

    Pink Sky (2011)

    Pink sky
    Pure snow
    Fluffy white crystals
    Blanket the ground
    Silence reigns
    All around
    During this time
    Of rebirth
    If only this peace
    Could cover the Earth

    Dragons And Dreamers: Three Poems
    by Kathy Figueroa

    1.

    If Your Thoughts Drift

    If your thoughts drift
    To dragons and
    Wizards and things
    Like enchanted forests
    And magic rings
    Or a flying horse
    With feathered wings
    That can run like the wind
    And then soar…

    If you sit on a rock
    Sometimes and stare
    At the top of a hill
    That looks awfully bare
    And you think it
    Would look better
    With a castle there
    Otherwise the view
    Is just a bore…

    If you’re weary of
    Watching leaves move
    In the breeze
    And you find that
    You’re having fantasies
    About seeing
    A tyrannosaur
    Emerge from the trees
    And then roar…

    Well, it can be said
    With certainty
    That you have
    Imagination
    And creativity
    Maybe even
    Artistic ability
    So why not
    Express yourself?
    Because that’s what
    Art is for…

    2.

    The Great Gallery Of Canadian Art

    The great gallery of Canadian art
    Is vast and unenclosed
    Its pillars are the trees
    That support the sky
    Where the north wind
    Swirls and blows
    The sun, by day
    The moon and stars, at night
    Illuminate its shows
    From the grandeur
    Of a mountain peak
    To the beauty of a wild rose

    Many have traversed
    That exhibition hall
    Such as Emily Carr
    And the Group of Seven
    They’ve shown to all
    Near and far
    Their visions of
    A wilderness Heaven

    Sometimes, as a feature
    In that gallery
    There appears a special creature
    Fabulous to see
    Like the mighty Thunderbird
    That shoots lightening
    From its eyes
    And, with every
    Beat of its wings
    Creates thunder
    As it flies

    Crouching, soaring
    Writhing, roaring
    Ripping the air
    And exhaling flames
    So exist a legacy
    Of the dinosaurs
    Whose bones lie
    On the concourse
    Of the Canadian plains

    Painted by artist, John Howe
    Who illustrated Tolkien’s trilogy
    ‘The Lord of the Rings’
    And ‘The Hobbit’
    A story about Bilbo Baggins
    The great gallery of Canadian art
    Has a new collection, now
    Featuring the realm of… Dragons

    3.

    The Snow Dragon: A Long Poem In Three Parts

    The Snow Dragon, Part One

    The days grew short
    The cold grew nigh
    And the air was
    Rife with chill
    The Earth’s retort
    Was to longingly sigh
    And the wind swept
    Down from the hill
    Colder, yet
    And colder, still
    Grew the clasp
    Of the Season’s embrace
    And the great, grinding
    Wheel Of Time
    Turned to show
    A sombre face
    Gone were the greens
    Of summer and spring
    Gone, the merry flowers
    Tame and wild
    Quiet lay gardens
    Where no creature stirred
    Forsaken.. by cold, defiled
    The Sun, source of light
    And creator of days
    That were luxuriantly
    Long, warm and clear
    Along with the blue skies
    Almost seemed
    To have fled
    Which caused dread
    Comprised of
    A particular fear:
    “If there’s not enough sun
    To keep this area
    Warm and bright
    ..Then the Snow Dragon
    Will soon appear”

    The Snow Dragon, Part Two

    Legends say
    That, long ago
    The last dragon
    Had been slain
    But now it’s whispered
    In the Canadian North
    “A dragon roams
    …Again”
    When the sky
    Is a dark void
    Vast and deep
    And all wild creatures
    Are asleep
    Then, from the Arctic
    Bursts a raging gale
    That rises with
    An unearthly wail
    And moves across
    The frozen land
    Like the sweep of
    A Titan’s hand
    But the turbulence
    Is really the lashing
    Of a mighty tail
    And the sound
    Is the howl
    ..Of the Snow Dragon
    As it starts to prowl…

    Skeptics exist, everywhere
    And some have been known
    To openly declare:
    “Though supposed evidence
    That the Snow Dragon
    Traversed this area
    Has abounded
    We can neither prove
    Nor disprove
    That reports
    Of its existence
    Are either founded
    Or unfounded
    If we venture to surmise
    That this creature’s
    Existence is real
    Based upon
    Empirical observation
    We, presently, feel
    That, to date, perhaps
    This Snow Dragon’s
    Most notable feature
    Is that it’s a most shy
    Retiring and
    ..Elusive creature”

    The Snow Dragon, Part Three

    ‘By Grace’
    It’s said that
    People are saved
    But this also lets
    Some people see
    It’s Grace that lets folks
    Have visions of realms
    Of magic and mystery
    Thus, artists, writers
    And poets exist
    As architects of dreams
    They know that
    The everyday world
    Isn’t always as it seems
    Hence, those who
    Only accept truth
    From a scientist’s lips
    Believe the following
    About a lunar eclipse:
    That the Earth
    Casts a shadow
    On the smaller
    Circling sphere
    And, at other notions
    They’ll likely scoff or jeer
    But weary disbelievers
    Might one day ‘whistle
    A different tune’
    (If, by tedious banality
    They’re not driven
    To complete ruin)
    When they discover that
    A lunar eclipse is really
    The Snow Dragon’s shadow
    Cast on the moon
    And the showers
    Of shooting stars
    That pierce the
    Winter night skies
    Are really sparkles falling
    From the Snow Dragon’s eyes
    When it turns its gaze
    To the mortals, below
    And the land it has covered
    With crystals of snow

    During the winter solstice on December 21st, 2010, a complete lunar eclipse of a full moon occurred. This very rare event was the first one to take place in 372 years.

    Here’s a link to a ready-to-print version of, ‘Dragons And Dreamers: Three Poems.’ http://www.bancroftthisweek.com/Blogs/PrintBlog.aspx?BlogID=9970

  6. Six Poems About Gardens And Homes

    a compilation of verse
    by Kathy Figueroa

    Bancroft, Ontario, Canada
    2011

    These poems were first published in The Bancroft Times newspaper.

    Index

    Preface: Rhymosaurus

    1. Springtime In Paudash

    2. Furthermore, I Am A Green Canadian

    3. No Money? No Problem!

    4. Junque Maximus

    5. Trees (Ontario, Canada)

    6. Jerusalem Daylily

    Preface

    Rhymosaurus

    I’m aware that some folks
    Don’t like rhyming verse
    That it makes some people tense
    And others groan and curse

    Some just plain can’t bear it
    And call a word doctor
    ..Or word hearse
    They don’t think there’s anything
    That could be much worse

    So, hurray for all who say
    Any style is okay
    And fit to be rendered
    With paper and pen

    I think of them now
    As I sit with a smile
    And wrangle a rhyme
    … Again

    Six Poems About Gardens And Homes
    by Kathy Figueroa

    1.

    Springtime In Paudash

    Spring hath graced the land
    With a golden hue
    Winter’s ice and snow hath given way
    To gentle dew
    Bright flowers unfurl and bees do hum
    As I roam about in delirium

    Oh, mighty God
    Oh, Mother Earth
    Your creation is esteemed
    Above all worth
    You are so infinitely wondrous
    Magnificent and wise
    But tell me: Why black flies?

    Two billion wings doth beat as one
    As a ghastly shadow darkens the sun
    The spectre of frogs and locusts
    Falling from the skies
    Would be a relief
    Compared to a billion black flies

    Bubonic plague infected rats
    Swarms of hungry, rabid bats
    Hornets, slugs and buzzing gnats
    Won’t suck your blood until you die
    Like the flying piranha
    Known as, “Black Fly”

    Oh, woe to you, foolish mortal
    Who would venture through
    An open portal
    To mow the lawn
    Or walk the dog
    ‘Tis better, right now
    To be a frog

    2.

    Furthermore, I Am A Green Canadian

    If I had an Olympic torch
    I’d keep it out by my back porch
    Of course, that would be
    When all the games were done
    And all the medals had been won
    ‘Cause I’m resourceful, that is true
    So I’d like a torch
    When the games are through
    I’m not cheap… I’m frugal
    Some folks might know what I mean
    I am Canadian… and I am green
    I’d reuse that torch and hoist it high
    So it would light the nighttime sky
    And I’d be more than ready
    When I heard that cry
    Aaoo.. aaooOOoo… aaaoooOOOOO…..
    You see, the wolf has left me no choice
    When it raises that lupine voice
    Of lustful, or is it prandial, longing
    Up on the hill
    And gives my poor old dog a chill
    So, if I had a recycled Olympic torch
    I would give that wolf a scorch
    And all its buddies
    In its wolf clique, too
    And my yard, they would rue

    The End

    (With a tip of the hat to Duke Redbird who wrote a poem called, ‘I Am A Canadian
    back in the 1970s, before that famous beer commercial was made.)

    3.

    No Money? No Problem!

    I need a vacation
    But don’t have a car
    Don’t have much money
    So I can’t travel far
    Once upon a time
    I made a good buck
    But things can happen
    That change your luck
    So, with the sunlight streaming
    Through the window pane
    Instead of my loss
    I’ll think of my gain
    I’ll remember it’s good to be here
    In my big easy chair
    ‘Cause sometimes it’s
    Not always comfortable
    In that world, out there
    If, at faraway places
    I still want to look
    I’ll just stick my nose
    In a travel book
    I’ll save my few dollars
    To pay my bills down
    If I want to feel like a tourist
    I’ll wear my sunglasses
    When I go shopping, downtown
    Maybe I’ll stop at a restaurant
    To see what they’re charging for food
    Then go home and make lunch
    And feel in a good mood
    But not before I pick up a bottle
    Of suntan lotion
    (If the price is within reach)
    Because the fragrance
    Reminds me of the ocean
    And lounging on the beach
    Yes, I can lounge
    In my big easy chair
    With no worries about sunburn
    Or what swimsuit to wear
    No money? No problem!
    Where there’s a will there’s a way
    Anyone can have a holiday
    And the beauty of it is
    You don’t even have to leave home
    So, on that note, I’ll end this poem

    4.

    Junque Maximus

    There’s a Higher Power
    That’s much greater than me
    To which I now turn
    And make this plea:
    ‘Please give me the strength
    To live clutter free’
    Circumstance has been kind
    Now, I have too much stuff
    If I don’t declutter
    It’s going to be rough
    Deciding what to clear out
    Will be really tough
    But, I’ll count my blessings
    That I’ve got more than enough
    Guess I’ll get some boxes
    And just sort ruthlessly
    So my home and garage
    Finally look orderly
    And not like a dusty museum
    Or ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not’
    ‘Cause that’s how much
    Fine junque that I’ve got
    Thrift shops are so tempting
    Their allure is like a siren’s call
    Garage sales exert magnetism
    I’m helpless to resist at all
    And the auction is like Nirvana
    For treasures, fine and rare
    Though I have tried
    I can’t stay away from there
    I must, must, must divest
    I’ll only keep some
    And get rid of the rest
    I’ll employ visualization
    To psychologically prepare myself
    And imagine going
    To the cupboard
    And clearing a shelf
    I’ll dust and arrange
    And then.. oh, no..
    This ploy isn’t working
    That I can see
    Because I just can’t part with
    Those fancy pots for tea
    Maybe with the closet
    I’ll have better luck
    It should be easy
    To find something
    To donate or chuck
    Clothes two sizes too small
    Are still folded with care
    But..oh, no..
    One day I might need
    Something smaller to wear
    Or maybe that apparel
    Could just use a bit of alteration
    So, for cleaning out the closet
    I feel hesitation
    Yes, it’s a major challenge
    I’ll have to meet
    If I want my house
    To look spacious and neat
    But, maybe, one day
    That work will be done
    I’ll consider this poem
    To be.. Step One

    5.

    Trees (Ontario, Canada)
    a tree hugger poem from the southern edge of the Boreal Forest

    The hills, there, were brown and dry
    There were no plants or trees
    Only paths that were walked by man
    For a thousand centuries

    And though the blue Mediterranean
    Was edged with pure white sand
    Never did I feel at ease
    In that distant land

    Ancient and grand cities
    Bore testament to the history of humankind
    But I felt apprehension
    For it was a barren world, enshrined

    In Paris and Milan
    Places, throughout the world, renowned
    I looked past each stone and concrete corner
    But not one tree could be found

    There were no elegant sprays of green
    On graceful branches, upheld
    For, lost from memory, in the distant past
    The last trees had been felled

    Replaced with great buildings
    Constructs and statues, fine
    But all that man can create
    Can’t compare to Nature’s design

    Here, in beautiful Ontario
    Where many rivers flow
    Are towering pine
    Tamarack, majestic birch
    Spruce and graceful willow

    Balsam fir, cedar, sumac
    And poplar, with boughs
    That shimmer in the breeze
    This is why I love my home best
    It’s the land of many trees

    6.

    Jerusalem Daylily
    a poem for daylily fanatics

    ‘Jerusalem,’ I call thee
    Oh, splendid flower
    With countenance bright
    A jewel of God’s creation
    Set on Earth for our delight

    When an example of
    God’s love was chosen
    To give people hope
    And banish despair
    It was of you Jesus spoke
    Oh, lovely flower, most fair

    When I behold you
    Clothed in raiment, fine
    I know that you
    Beautiful Daylily
    Are a creation of the Divine

    This poem was inspired by discovering a lovely peach coloured double blossom daylily seedling reblooming Saturday, September 4th, 2010. It was also inspired by the line, “Behold the lilies of the field,” from, ‘The Sermon On The Mount,’ and by the poem, ‘Jerusalem,’ by William Blake.

    If anyone would like a copy of this collection, this is a link to a ready-to-print version of, ‘Six Poems About Gardens And Homes.’ http://www.bancroftthisweek.com/blogs/PrintBlog.aspx?BlogID=9607


  7. This poem is about a situation that should change:

    The Fiend Of Filmdom
    a story in the form of a poem
    by Kathy Figueroa

    Though filmdom is rife
    With monsters and many
    An otherworldly beast
    Some of the most
    Evil and heinous
    Are ones you’d
    Suspect the least

    Most people who’ve
    Been to a movie theatre
    Have seen monsters
    Projected on the silver screen
    But, sometimes
    Working in the film industry
    There are people
    Who are just as mean

    They can blend into a crowd
    And look much like you or I
    But, there, the similarities end
    And here’s a story why…

    There’s a class
    Of unscrupulous fiends
    Who try to get ahead
    Using any means
    They’ll lie, cheat, steal
    And without conscience
    Commit fraud…

    To them, being underhanded
    Is quite normal
    ..Not repugnant or odd
    They prey upon others
    Who are honest
    People who have
    Worked very hard for gain
    They commit crimes
    That are so despicable
    Their victims can
    Nearly go insane..

    Their actions
    Can be vicious
    Dirty, devious and cruel
    These people amply
    Demonstrate that
    They don’t believe in
    The Golden Rule

    ..Which states that you
    Do unto others
    As you would like people
    To treat you in return..

    No, these fiends
    Will do anything
    To deceive and cheat you
    To get what isn’t theirs
    Things they didn’t earn

    They seem to be drawn
    To positions of power
    Often catching
    Honest people unaware
    Behind the scenes
    They don’t hesitate
    To break all the rules
    And appear to believe
    That to tell any lie is fair

    They’ll often seek
    Positions of authority
    Because, then, it’s easier
    To push people around
    Where ever there’s money
    Power and fame
    These predators can be found

    They look normal
    On the outside
    As they charm people
    …So deceptively
    ..Waiting, always waiting
    For that chance to pounce..
    To get something
    They don’t deserve
    ..For free…

    If in danger of being caught
    They just deny, deny and deny
    Then look you in the eye
    And lie and lie and lie…

    They can smile charmingly
    Then mock you
    Sometimes they’ll laugh
    Right in your face
    As they use fraud
    To propel themselves
    On the road of success
    Because it moves them
    At a lightning fast pace

    With the money and prestige
    That these predators
    So ruthlessly accrue
    They seem to think
    They can get away
    With anything
    That there’s nothing
    They can’t do

    They carefully curry favour
    And use influence
    For them, crime seems to pay
    With laughter and mockery
    One once implied
    ‘Look! She’s so poor, now
    She can’t even afford a lawyer!
    Why doesn’t she just go away?’

    But, the Canadian Wall of Infamy
    Has many a fraudster’s name
    ..Because many
    Were eventually caught
    When they got sloppy
    At their game

    You have to consider
    That some really
    Can’t be too bright
    To think that no one would
    Eventually find out
    That they pulled a scam
    ..That they’re a sham
    And, on society
    They’re a blight

    Yes, most people get ahead
    With hard work
    And, occasionally
    There’s an element
    Of good luck
    But then there are
    Some fiendish people
    Who will say
    And do anything
    To make a crooked buck

    Which brings us to
    The Fiend of Filmdom
    This is a Canadian
    Cautionary tale..
    It’s the story of a fraudster
    Who lives the high life
    But who really should go to jail

    It’s in the best interest
    Of the public
    To make this story
    Known far and wide
    About what the fiendish man
    And his accomplice did
    ..And how he monstrously lied

    How he behaved dishonestly
    So he could accumulate
    Fabulous power and wealth
    How he destroyed
    People’s film careers
    As he committed crimes
    By stealth…

    Many people think he’s brilliant
    And regard him with
    Adoration and awe
    But what many people
    Don’t know is
    How he broke Canadian
    And, possibly, foreign law

    Multitudes thought he
    Possessed a talent
    That appeared almost limitless
    That’s how it seems
    Feted and celebrated
    He was the toast of the town
    His life became
    The stuff of dreams

    He attended all the big parties
    The media trumpeted
    His successes frequently
    Wherever power
    And film money converged
    That’s where he would be

    Though, physically
    A tiny man
    He became a giant
    In people’s eyes
    But what covert things
    He did to achieve
    The look of success
    They didn’t know or realize

    In the world of film
    Many people strive
    To forge a good career
    And, before success
    Is attained they
    Often have to struggle
    Year after year

    Canadians support culture
    And have funded
    Arts councils
    All across the land
    So that artists, writers
    And filmmakers
    Can apply for a grant
    To get a financial
    Helping hand

    Every year
    To these arts councils
    A multitude of people apply
    Enthusiastically they
    Submit applications
    With their hopes up high

    Along with the paperwork
    They have to include
    Samples of their art
    And into their
    Carefully crafted work
    They often pour a large part
    Of their heart

    Artists are required to
    Submit photographs
    Of the art they’ve created
    In many different ways
    And people who make
    Dramatic films
    Have to include copies
    Of their screenplays

    Much effort goes
    Into creating a screenplay
    Which is also called
    A ‘film script’ and an
    ‘Intellectual property’
    So you can’t just use
    Someone else’s work and
    Make a film from it, for free

    Creating an original script
    Requires a lot of talent
    And a lot of time
    That’s why, in Canada
    ‘Intellectual property
    Copyright infringement’
    Sometimes called, ‘plagiarism’
    Is considered a federal offense
    In this country, it’s a crime

    For a grant application
    And each film
    Business transaction
    Like production financing
    Distribution or a sale
    Filmmakers have to declare that
    They have the legal right
    To use that intellectual property
    Or, theoretically
    They could be sued
    Or fined, or even end up
    Trying to get bail

    Researching, drafting, and
    Revising a feature length
    Movie script
    Can take months and
    Sometimes, even years
    So, just try to envision
    What it would be like
    If a situation, such as
    The following one, appears

    You happen to discover
    A newspaper movie review
    About a film that has
    Just made its public debut

    And the parts of the movie
    That are highlighted for praise
    Appear to be plagiarized
    From your work
    In various ways

    Imagine the shock
    Horror and sense of ruination
    When you discover that
    From your feature length script
    Someone appears to have
    Seriously infringed your intellectual
    Property copyright and made
    An ..’unauthorized adaptation’

    And then you come
    To the realization
    That the point of
    Access to your work
    Appears to have been
    Your arts council
    Film production
    Grant application

    Thematic, dramatic
    And structural similarities….
    Locations like the strip club
    Pet shop and field
    Characters such as
    The stripper, father
    Daughter, gay guy
    Scripted visual effects
    The soundtrack was to include
    A song by Leonard Cohen
    Character names: Harold and Kelly
    Almost too many similarities to list
    Imagine if it appeared
    That he took your
    ‘Director’s shooting script’
    Which is a ‘blueprint’ for a movie
    And just tried to
    ..Add his own ‘twist’

    The fiend must’ve thought
    That the screenplay
    Was exotic, a real score
    And along with infringing the
    Intellectual property copyright
    Of the screenplay
    He did even more

    You wouldn’t think that
    As far as being worse
    It could ever
    Get much more so
    But then you find out
    That he even plagiarized
    Your poster art
    …Of a woman’s torso

    And how would you feel
    If a police officer
    Investigated the situation with
    The plagiarized poster art
    But was told it was created
    By a company in France
    A country outside of
    The R.C.M.P.’s jurisdiction

    Then, sometime later
    A film person wrote in a book
    That the guy always creates
    His own poster art
    Which means that
    What was told to
    The R.C.M.P. was
    Apparently, fiction

    Because it appears that
    He massively cheated
    All the prestigious
    Film festival prizes
    Should be taken away
    Including the multithousand dollar
    Award he received for
    ‘The best original screenplay’

    It was through
    Fraud and dishonesty
    That all those film
    Awards were won
    So a person like that
    Should be arrested
    Charged and then
    Go to jail
    For all the terrible
    Things he’s done

    He appeared
    Wildly successful
    But he wasn’t really
    Among the best
    He operated on
    The wrong side of the law
    That’s why he always
    Looked better than the rest

    It hurts the Canadian film industry
    When the screenplays of
    Young, struggling filmmakers
    Are plagiarized and
    Produced by fiends with
    A lust for power
    Wealth and fame
    Destroying the dreams
    And careers of others
    Who are just starting out
    Is a very dirty game

    The career of the victim
    Can be devastated
    And never be the same
    While the plagiarist
    Can go on to win
    Many prestigious Canadian
    And foreign film awards
    And receive international acclaim

    ‘Infringing’ the intellectual
    Property copyright’ of others
    Is, itself a monstrous deed
    But the fact that
    The fiend’s accomplice
    Worked as a public servant
    In the film department
    Of an Ontario government
    Funded arts council
    Means that it’s with
    Great caution that
    All new filmmakers
    Who apply for grants
    Should proceed

    His accomplice also
    Behaved like a fiend
    But one of a different stripe
    She had access to all
    The grant application material
    And, it appears, information
    Was easy to …swipe

    There are rules
    About confidentiality
    And privacy that
    All public servants
    All government employees
    Have to abide by and heed
    But it appears
    That the fiendess
    Just ignored them
    Because of her
    Career aspirations
    And greed

    It appears that she passed
    The intellectual property
    To her partner, who
    Was actually her spouse
    And they used it
    To make a film
    Which made them
    Very famous and rich
    So they could afford
    Expensive things
    Including a very big house

    After the aspiring filmmaker
    Who wrote the screenplay
    And submitted
    The grant application
    Was attacked
    On the street one night
    And sustained injuries
    That were very severe
    She contacted the
    Film department of the
    Arts council so that
    They knew of her state
    This included
    The Fiend’s spouse
    That’s very clear

    In school, students aren’t taught
    To copy other people’s work
    And then call it their own
    But, in the business of film
    It’s a skill that some people hone

    Instead of being congratulated
    And given awards
    A student would get
    A failing grade
    Plagiarism by public officials
    Can cost them their job
    But in the movie business
    That’s how some careers
    Have been made

    Perhaps, in the
    Darkest depths of Hell
    There’s an obscure pit
    That’s infinitely
    Uncomfortable and deep
    And, perhaps, eventually
    That’s the reward
    That the Fiend of Filmdom
    And his accomplice
    Will ultimately reap

    When stripped of the awards
    And prestigious honours
    That the Fiend
    Did so fraudulently claim
    It’s certain to torment
    Someone with
    An ego like that
    When no one
    Remembers his name

    In the annals of
    Canadian film lore
    You’ll find this horror story
    About how the Fiend of Filmdom
    Infringed the ‘intellectual
    Property copyright’
    Of someone else’s work
    Called it his own
    And got undeserved wealth
    Fame and glory

  8. Every month, up here in Bancroft, Ontario, we hold an open mic event. Musicians, poets, storytellers, comedians, dancers – all people involved with the performing arts – are invited to take a turn on stage. Since 2006, I’ve been one of the main organizers of this event and frequently read my poetry there. Here’s a link to a Facebook site that I created for it, where you can get more info about what we do. (If the link doesn’t work, just do an Internet search for, ‘Chameleon’s Cove.’) https://www.facebook.com/pages​/Chameleons-Cove/1005559666695​40

    For the, ’100 Thousand Poets For Change,’ event we’ll hold our open mic night on Saturday, September 24th, instead Friday, September 30th. I’m also in the process of making arrangements to have poems from around the world displayed at the public library and the art gallery, for at least a week, prior to the event. There will probably be a poetry reading at the library on Saturday morning, also.

    Earlier, on July 8th, I posted a link, here, to the, ’100 Thousand Poets For Change: Bancroft, Ontario, Canada,’ Facebook, ‘Open Group.’ I’ve just realized that the link isn’t working, so I’m posting another one, now. If, for some reason, it turns out that this one doesn’t work, either, it would be possible to locate the group by doing a Facebook search for the name. https://www.facebook.com/groups/164740476914270

  9. Good news! I’ve just made arrangements to hold a poetry reading at the Bancroft Public Library, between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., on Saturday, September 24th. Also, I’ve gotten the ‘okay’ to put a variety of poems, from around the world, on display starting at the beginning of next month. Because Bancroft will be officially celebrating its 150th birthday in August, the first poetry to be displayed will include poems that were written by earlier inhabitants of this area.

    I’m now welcoming submissions of poetry that’s suitable for viewing by people of all ages, including children, which will be put on display at the Bancroft Public Library. I’d also like to include a copy of each poem, that’s displayed, in a booklet to be given to the library. If you have a poem, or two, that you’d like to share, please contact me either by Facebook message, or by e-mail at: fancydaylilies@gmail.com Thanks!

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