painting showing birch trees in moonlight

Birches by Jo Power

If in the silence of the earliest
morning, before the sun cracks

across the sliding glass
of the wide Red River – If in that hour,

like a pocket, the cat quiet, curled
against the inner, ragged hem,

I laced on my running shoes, slipped
into my mud-caked rubber boots,

and took myself outside – If I lay on the lawn
under the wagging fronds of the wolf

willows, silver leaves snagged on the moon
we are waiting to fatten to full – If I did that –

Entered the tunnel of night,
fumbled inside its silence – If I did that,

pressed an ear against the earth’s cool
skin, opened to the muttering whisper

of wind. – If I did that –
What would I bring back?

From the iron silence.
From the night’s thick ink.

What would stain,
what truth would stick,

like starlight
scrawled on sky.


About Lauren Carter

Lauren Carter is the author of four books, including the recent novel This Has Nothing To Do With You, winner of the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and the poetry collection Following Sea. Her debut novel, Swarm, was long-listed for CBC Canada Reads. She is a past winner of the Prairie Fire Fiction Contest and the ROOM Magazine Poetry Prize, and has been long-listed multiple times for the CBC Literary Prizes. She lives near Winnipeg, Manitoba.

About Jo Power

Jo Power is a mixed media artist living in BC and Sandy Cove, Digby County, NS. She has had a varied career in theatre, urban planning, peer counselling, parenting, writing, and art. These days she can be found either creating wet/needle felted landscapes or mixed-media representational or semi-abstract paintings. Jo Writes: “I find my inspiration in the wild variability of nature and its power to affect me emotionally, especially the coasts and forests.” Jo returned to making art several years ago when she discovered felting. “I love the connection to a living animal and the texture you can achieve in a piece with wool and other natural fibres.” After carpal tunnel made felting difficult, Jo returned to painting in acrylic adding other media such as collage, pastels, charcoal, and printing into her work. You can find her work on Instagram @thefabricofart or Facebook @Heartfelt.

2 thoughts on “Nocturnal

  1. Patty

    This painting of birch trees brought me back to my childhood. I absolutely love it. The poem was very satisfying to me to read. It was quite enjoyable. The combination, perfect.

  2. Marlene Guignion

    I absolutely love this. It is so elegant and haunting.


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