Today's book of poetry: The Flicker Tree, Okanagan Poems. Nancy Holmes. Ronsdale Press. Vancouver, British Columbia. 2012.
This lovely book has been nominated for the 2013 Raymond Souster Award, and for good reason.
Holmes is the author of four previous collections and is a writer in full stride in The Flicker Tree. There are moments of hilarity, passages that will break your heart, and a consistent voice of reason tinged with beauty is everywhere.
These are "nature" poems if they have to be labelled but I would resist - this sort of wisdom is universal.
Don McKay said that "Nancy Holmes increases our awareness of what real ecological dwelling might be like. The Flicker Tree establishes a benchmark among Canadian nature poetry - a book, and a practice, to savour and celebrate." And he should know, Don McKay is a national treasure.
Toads Are Us
I just read this:
"The planet's health can be measured
by the state of its amphibians."
So, I am proud of the toad in my garden.
My grass and dew are clean.
My shade is certified organic.
The dandelions in the lawn
sing like canaries
in their light green cages.
I watch you cling to the lip
of my flowerpot,
and feel a little worried.
you look like a piece of my lung
Nancy Holmes The Flicker Tree, Okanagan Poems is a tribute to the land and a beautiful offering for us.
This sort of poetic wit, intelligence and splendour is a rare combination. This book should be savoured.