Poetry of Chad Norman
A FEATHERED TUTELAGE ON THE FRONT DECK for all Ukrainian poets, past and present, who have written and still write on behalf of national independence. Learning is, or could be, continues to land safely: being there, being witness only, as the chickadee makes a decision, chooses a certain seed to fly off with. Another morning meal, no further celebration or redefined holiday feast. To know one thing now: (seated on the red lawnchair) moments here, are free, are far from a war, Ukraine, telling in a way... the next seed, unchosen and left behind for another songful beak. ACCIDENT AT THE MILL for Ken Cathers Ant large in size, a new friend found in the sticks, sticks going into stacks, stacks of two by this and two by that, destined for the kiln. Ant, fallen between boards, able to survive a journey to me, unprepared for the injury you managed to take on, your head up proud but your rear-end taken. Ant, I see your legs trying to do what they always do, carrying something, but this moment must be uncommon as I see and I don't want to. There is a different direction you didn't choose going in circle after circle, all that can be leaving me the big reckless man, trying to help those legs, legs part of your damage, part of how any escape is possible. Ant, I don't give up. I continue with a sliver of fir, holding it so still, moving it under the crushed section until I pick you up and try to prevent any further confusion. Ant, perhaps during the next shift I will know you survived, see no sign of you on any piece of wood. CHILDREN OF THE CLOCK In memory of Swedish poet, Tomas Transtromer First born. Second is his name. He wears a t-shirt if one were to notice says, "It costs money to stay alert and alive", which somehow lights up according to, better yet, in unison with his breath, a ticking that comes and goes. Born, importantly, one-armed, remarkable appendage for a future of control, how lives will be lived, the duration of them a loud endless repetition of click click click, steady show of telling nerves. Second born. Minute is her name. She wears a round mask if one were to forget says, "I am clear plastic so all can see my face as well as my servant's, he or she seeking a decision." On the sunniest of mornings reflections of their faces can be seen as Minute provides, explanations on when to leave, or why to stay; face to face, private acceptance, a hand offering losses and wins. Third born. Hour is his name. He wears a hockey jersey if one were to choose says, "I am on backwards so number 12 is celebrated, a reminder teams need games expected to begin when I say". Hour is unlike the others. He is the longest. Closer, perhaps, to clock's other larger and older family with locally known names like Day, Week, Month, Year , and that one unforgettable uncle nick-named, Time . MAKING THE CANDLES FIT A wish in the snowflake with the aimless wind finds my exposed tongue. Inside now where I live on fewer doors to open as the hallway of my life continues to shorten. Standing by room sixty-three a day before I am reminded about the date of my birth. Downing my youth a certain aged mix makes it taste so fine, makes it all easy to swallow. Casa Harris Truro, N.S. February 12, 2023 NO AUDITIONS NECESSARY After the hatching and flight is possible, after parents' rapid care, dry catfood in the beak, baby starling has no use for any idol show: to possess the exclusive talent no human will ever master, to land and rest on a tiny stuffed belly, return to the safety of a wire . Chad Norman lives and writes in Truro, Nova Scotia. In 1992, he was awarded the Gwendolyn MacEwen Memorial Award for Poetry, the judges were Margaret Atwood, Barry Callaghan, and Al Purdy. His poems appear in journals, magazines and anthologies around the world. His most recent book, 'A Matter of Inclusion' , is out now, with a new collection, 'Parental Forest', scheduled for Spring 2024.