At Last

Today in my garden.


Spring in Montreal

is a breech birth.

We can feel it coming.

We can feel the earth groaning,

absorbing the ice and snow

of months of frigid darkness.

The sun, it’s warmth

no longer faint, fickle, theoretical,

coaxes, wheedles the first snowdrops, crocuses.

These are never picked.

Now come the shoots of daffodils and tulips

and grass, that universal miracle


The sound of hardy birds, but still not a leaf.

A few closed buds along a twig

and heavy rain – the waters breaking

cold and painful.

The brave yellow blooms

stand against a meager unkind frost one night

and then, sap drips from a vine

and the whole city knows

a long warm day

with magnolias, pink or white like waxy cups or earth

stars opening on the leafless branches.

The moon rises soft and silvery

over the city blessed by newborn Spring.


poem from ” Northern Compass” available on Amazon




Publc Poetry Reading


On Tuesday I read at a charming Cafe in Ste Anne de Bellevue.  Twigs and Leaves is located on the main drag just above the waterfront strip and almost under the bridge that leads to Ile Perrot.  Street number 73 I think.  Search it out and go there. Although it was only my second reading I was greeted as an old hand.  I guess in today’s Quebec, English language poets constitute a little pond and even new frogs can loom large.  I came with a dear friend in tow.  She was a very good person to have with me because I know her to be both sensitive and tolerant.  You never know what you might hear at poetry readings.  There is a reserved, mostly hidden English strain of DNA that has my toes curling sometimes at poetry readings.  Fortunately the Celtic part usually wins out and I can allow waves of unrequited love, deathly disease, raptures on nature, roiling rap and yearning homesickness to wash over me, amaze me, stick wih me if only for a masterly turn of phrase.

I admit I have never met a microphone I didn’t love.  I am a ham but one who does not believe in making announcements, explaining the inspiration of work, “helping” the listeners to understand.  Most of the “explainers” are teachers, I note.  Perhaps they are operating on the principle ,” tell them what you’re going to teach…teach it….tell them what they have just learned.”  Ok for geometry but not for poetry, I think.

I read something  new, something not in my one and only book, ” Northern Compass”. ( I admit to a four-second  pitch of my book before launching into the read). Oh, and it’s not a read.  I have to think about what it really is, but it’s not a heads-down read every word without looking up, whew, that’s over – read.  There’s something to love in what comes out of the mouth of the poet and at least he or she should love it.  What happens in the ear of the listener, drinking his espresso or chewing a sandwich, is another matter entirely.

What sounds good to me? . Go on You Tube and hear Sylvia Plath read “Lady Lazarus” perfect as Lazarus Saturday is coming up.  Anything by Dylan Thomas on You Tube is good too.  Reading..saying the words…..breathing the words out.

Giveaway on Goodreads



The continuing saga of marketing!  Book publishing and promoting has a steep learning curve, but it can be fun!  I don’t dabble in Goodreads too much.  I have lists and lists of books I want to read but, I must say, Goodreads is an interesting website if I want to see what’s new in the reading world and what my friends are recommending.  One very interesting feature is the publisher or author giveaway.  As soon as I understood the principle, I jumped on this opportunity to get my book out into the world. So, for the next seven days, my signed book will be eligible for a free delivery to five lucky people that Goodreads chooses in a sort of lottery at the end of the week.  So, bloggers, blog readers, poetry lovers, get your name in there and I hope I’ll soon be wrapping and sending a brand new signed copy of my book to you.  Even if you are one of my already devoted fans ( just kidding) and you already have a copy of my book, enter the lottery and win it as an unusual gift for family or friends…enemies?? Check out Goodreads, the giveaway section and off you go!  Of course, if you can’t leave anything to chance, just get on the AMAZON site and put in your order.

Happy Christmas to all celebrating with the Julian calender.  Happy name day to John, Joanna, Fotini, Clare and ……..happy name day to everyone.  Your name is special and blessed every day.

You are cordially invited…..


to a book sale and signing at St. Mary’s Hospital Library. Date : November 19 from noon to 14hrs. I want to thank our librarian M. Gilles Teasdale for his kindness and encouragement in allowing me to hold this event. My book of poetry is priced at $15 and I will be happy to sign a copy with a special dedication to all my work colleagues. For those of you unable to attend, the book is available on Amazon and there are plans for another event at another venue in December. If you do decide to buy the book on Amazon, please do so next Wednesday, November 11 as I am aiming for a high sales day which will put me on a special page with Amazon. ( who knew? ) Oh, and write reviews too pretty please. Thanks to everyone for your support and ….see you at the book table! Isobel