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