Claudia Coutu Radmore

Claudia Coutu Radmore has published several collections. Accidentals (Apt. 9 Press, Ottawa) won the 2011 bpNichol Chapbook Award. On Fogo, poems short-listed for the 2017 Malahat Long Poem Contest, was published by The Alfred Gustav Press, Vancouver, in 2018.  A poem from the camera obscura (2019, above ground, Ottawa ) is included in The Best Canadian Poetry of 2019. Including three years training teachers in Vanuatu as a CUSO cooperant, Montreal-born writer Claudia Coutu Radmore has lived, taught and created art in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and China. She writes lyric and Japanese-form poetry. Claudia started catkin press in 2012.

the pebble collector

 

 

his dawns his evenings his delivering mail

over iced roads flooded roads potholes

 

camera ever at the ready despite rain sleet mist snow

he snaps what he sees day and night and almost daily records

 

his lake and invites us into his world invited to join

with him in his enthusiasms and celebrations of his

 

gulls and his shoreline and his ice and snow and grass

as he records it and the pebbles that catch his eye

 

smooth or differently coloured and their striations

lucky finds of smoothed or heart-shaped mineral matter

 

witch stones wish stones hard to resist stones

he worries about their accumulations on shelves

 

in dishes bowls and plant pots on shelves tables

tucked in corners of the room or between book spines

 

the way we are inclined to move material things

put them where they best serve one way or another

 

how their placements are critical though not serious

a pebble’s warmth when held for a while in the palm

 

not warm in itself but which simply on view gives warmth

the Japanese say that the heart thinks and the mind feels

 

as what we think or feel is seldom clear to our own selves

not as clear as the sight of a pebble just brought in from rain

 

 

possibility warehouse

 

 

in the possibility warehouse

 

poetry tiptoes past caged birds

 

here the heart thinks and the mind feels

 

and coffee is the person upon whom one coughs.

 

lymph is to walk with a lisp

 

 

in the possibility warehouse

 

I have become intent on remaking you.

 

have you replace the letter w with t

 

so you will have the answers to what where and when

 

it is cold here

 

 

flocks of birds stretch boundaries

 

turn into shoals of fishes

 

swimming in opposite directions

 

and they are all talking chattering endlessly

 

in this warehouse

 

everything is hitched to everything else

 

and there is more to life than death

 

your future self is watching you right now

 

such a tiny pump, the heart

 

under thin slice of moon

 

the onion blooms

 

when I come into the room

 

you startle me

 

 

as tumbled over rim

 

 

she would have loved

 

the mason bee that pulls nails out of walls

 

and videos of Monty Python’s silly walk

 

she said of course I know the sun doesn’t rise or set

 

and of course the stars and sky are not above us

 

her reasoning not scientific but based on chthonic evidence

 

we had long acknowledged her mind to be simply different

 

close to that darker shade of crazy

 

to put it another way we were used to not paying attention

 

never saw our mother as new type of mineral

 

harder and more valuable than diamond

 

and we thought

 

we thought

 

she would last forever

 

 

as tumbled over rim…from As kingfishers catch fire, Gerard Manley Hopkins