Saturday, June 4, 2022

Laura Kelsey : west coast shorts




What drives a man to walk the streets
in a storm, the year’s strongest winds

just to feed the crows? 

What keeps an arbutus
secured above the shore

clinging to the bare

What prompts the cranes to leave
the island and become glitter above the setting sun
the night before the first frost;
and the turkey vultures to return
— like clockwork —

on the first of March?

There is a certain power around the Salish Sea that is difficult to describe; but, there might be a glimmer of it in west coast shorts. This collection is a quick chronicle of the unseen forces working, lurking beneath and between the lives we create in a place phasing in and out of this supposed reality and the dreamworld.

…racing across/a rippling hologram/of running mountains…

Every region of the world has its specific magic, something that enchants a visitor and envelops a resident — here, it is a damp blanket that bothers your bones in the winter, humming to the low rhythm that starts in the mountains and snakes through the earth to coil up the oldest firs and cedars. We can offer our limited human magic to these elements but they never intertwine; they are always separate, like hanging chimes on a tree.

Poetry is capturing hints of light in each microscopic bioluminescent whenever it’s swished by a paddle or flipper… the moments that cause people to pause… reminders of the ever-present and powerful natural world:

a moment’s reprieve/before turning on the blender/Bewick’s wren at the window






Laura Kelsey is a former newspaper editor and now a poet, performer and graphic designer living in Nanaimo/Snuneymuxw Territory, B.C. Her poems have appeared in the New Chief Tongue, the Carnegie Newsletter, pocket lint and Sea & Cedar Magazine. She has self-published three collections of poetry, and her chapbook, west coast shorts, appeared recently from above/ground press. She releases music through

most popular posts