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Pamela Porter

At evening my father lays down his tools
while the sun sets the sea on fire.
Who among the heavens knows
why he heaped lumber in the yard
as when he was a young man, and now
my father, sudden maker
of a shed,
            is Noah building an ark
for his hammers and his saws.
Rain-tight, mitres snug. Plumb.
            It will outlast him.
The rains, when they come, will be long.   
Destiny shook her head at me and said
at the appointed time, he must cross alone.
Then bring your lamps, your bundled flowers. 
Bring lupines, lilac, apple blossom.
Leave your oars and your grief. 
                        See the waters blazing, lit.
The darkness may not have him yet.
From No Ordinary Place (forthcoming from Ronsdale Press in Spring 2012).
Used here with the author’s permission.



Pamela Porter lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of rescued horses, dogs, and cats, including a formerly wild mustang. The author of three poetry collections, Pamela won the 2005 Canadian Governor General's Award for her novel, The Crazy Man.  In addition to teaching at colleges and universities in both the U.S. and Canada, Pamela has traveled extensively in Africa and South America to assist children in need through both her words and actions.

Post New Comment:
What a beautiful poem, Pam. Haunting.
Posted 06/15/2011 08:19 PM
bring lupines, licac, apple blossom... what a fine line. LST
Posted 06/14/2011 05:52 PM
Wow! Now this is a poem!
Posted 06/14/2011 05:33 PM
Grace Cockburn:
Oh Pam!
Posted 06/14/2011 11:55 AM
wendy morton:
Another exquisite poem from Pam Porter. Her spare images make a world.
Posted 06/14/2011 11:39 AM
This is absolutely lovely! Like jeanie, I am in awe of the last two stanzas.
Posted 06/14/2011 08:38 AM
i like this as well. the last two stanzas are especially beautiful.
Posted 06/14/2011 08:21 AM
I am very touched by this poem. The allusions to ancient losses connect me to my present ones. I am comforted in knowing that this is all part of the human condition. What has been will continue, and I feel less alone. Thanks for this gift.
Posted 06/14/2011 07:16 AM

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