At the Bookmobile: Helen Keller Gives Counsel

Joie de Vivre by Judith Leidl

Joie de Vivre by Judith Leidl

Suppose we live out of darkness.
Are our bright words any less true?
If I say the sword-flash of river or
you say the streets of Paris,
is it forgery? We are kin,
raised by women who ran their lives
against the poor house, magnolia
and bog laurel pressed between
the same dusty pages. Some
would have us own nothing,
least what we’ve seen in the mind.
One small window, a sudden crack,
a persistent wind.
Our room will never stop filling.
Who says we are empty or arranged?
Tell them to sit in the worn chair
by your window, close their ears and eyes,
try to stop what pours abreast of the senses.
Cowards call it an ill draft.
They deserve their pitiful world.

*The image “sword-flash of river” is Helen Keller’s (found in The New Yorker, June 16, 2003: “What Helen Keller Saw” by Cynthia Ozick).

About Alison Smith

Alison Smith lives on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. She has published two full-length collections of poetry and one chapbook with Gaspereau Press: Wedding House (2001); Six Mats and One Year (2003); and Fishwork, Dear (2009). Her poems have appeared in The Malahat Review, Event, The Gaspereau Review, Pottersfield Portfolio, New Germany Connections, and Small Scales, the Ecology Action Centre's sustainable small-scale fisheries blog. She was recently shortlisted for the 2013 CBC Poetry Prize.

About Judith Leidl

Judith Leidl received both her BFA and MFA from NSCAD University where she was awarded scholarships for both academic and artistic excellence. Since then, her art work has been featured in over eighty prominent group and solo exhibitions worldwide. Judith has also received numerous awards for her art work. Judith Leidl has taught printmaking at NSCAD and Nunavut Arctic College, Baffin Island. Judith has also worked for several years at the world renowned Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Crafts in Pangnirtung, Baffin Island as Artistic Advisor to the Pangnirtung Community Print Collection. She has also been a faculty member at Acadia University since 1998, teaching both drawing and painting. Judith Leidl’s art work is included in many private and public collections nationally and internationally. Please visit her website.

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