A LETTER FROM CATHY FORD, poet and fiction writer, publisher, editor, and teacher — on GOLD IN THE SHADOW
[photo of Cathy by Dwain Ruckle]
Without going too far into the places where many – myself, certainly – have honed our ideas about poetics, and books of poetry, and the various véhicules of the poetic voice, may I say this is the most beautiful book I have yet held in my hands. You may know, since we have shared a marvellous publisher, and much west coast sensibility through the years, that I have certainly seen and read some truly glorious books already. Including those so special due to their sheer simplicity in serving the poems, their margins, type, illustrations, their endsheets, their care and contribution to poetry, all attentiveness, especially poetry by Canadian women. Continue reading “GOLD IN THE SHADOW: Twenty-Two Ghazals and a Cento for Phyllis Webb”
Written as a mini-autobiography for Susan Musgrave’s “Imaginary Gardens” writing workshop, Nanoose Bay, August 17-20 2017
A sky I had never seen, a version of red in fact that does not fit into the spectrum of colour visible to the human eye. Far from cinnabar’s vermilion that appears on a clear evening at sunset on the western shore of a nameless beach, so very bright but soothing as a shawl worn by the woman with no worries or regrets, after a long meandering summer day. Continue reading “It all begins with the colour red…”
My Allium photographs, titled “Family Constellations”, are intended as a linked set and counterpoint to prairie realism. The ornamental Allium appeared in our garden this spring and became a representation for my family tree; photographed at varied stages of bloom and decline, in alternating light and shadow, sometimes mingling with stars and blue skies, shape shifting as my great-grandfather drifted in and out of my research and dreams.
“The music of steel came with ease and regularity in the life of the railways. You could hear it from miles away. You could see the puffs of smoke that accompanied the music. It happened at every crossing, at every bend in the road, at the approach of every town and hamlet along the way… Trains talk. The sweet music of the train whistle was surely a sign of the deep bond that existed between farm folk and train crews all over the west,” wrote my father, in his book about life on the Canadian Prairies, ‘Where Did You Come From?’ The railway was what linked families and farms and provided employment for many pioneers. It was an integral part of growing up in isolated prairie communities.
The Fulni-O Indians of the Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil
The Fulni-O Indians are only modestly known within and outside of Brazil. Prior to the European invasion, they were numbered in the hundreds of thousands and lived in the lush coastal lands near Recife. Those that survived fled several hundred miles to a semi-arid, drought-prone land. They now number about 6,000 and have lived on their current “reserve” of land for more than 500 years. Their name, Fulni-O means “people of the river and stones”.
THE BARDO OF DHARMATA, Five Days Following the Vernal Equinox, 2011
The Bardo of Dharmata is a storybook image, something that might fall out of a book years after the shutter was released. It was my wish to capture the timelessness and serendipity of love which took place just past the Equinox in 2011. The formations in nature and rock speak of a wisdom that we all possess but frequently forget. The print mirrors yin and yang, earth and water, masculine and feminine, light and shadow, flowing inward and outward, taking a path beyond the physical.