John's current work, comes from the desire to write poems not so much to convey a message as it is to impress an image with feeling into the reader’s mind, in an attempt to transcend the boundary between words and images. His work has appeared in over 30 anthologies and journals such as Devour: Art & Lit Canada Magazine, The Wild Word, Banister, Fresh Voices, Tower Poetry, Beliveau Review, and The Ekphrastic Review among others.
TO THE BROOKLIN POETRY SOCIETY INAUGURAL ANTHOLOGY
I was asked by a friend, a visual artist, what I thought about poetry and to explain why I write.
Poetry asks us to consider our quality of life, the deeper perceptions of what lies before us, be it nature, people, emotions, morality or ideas. Poetry is one antidote to the “whatever” sentiment prevailing our lives in contemporary culture.
Pascal said “the heart has its reasons that reason can only guess at.” To write poetry, to read it, to go to readings is a way of living emotionally in the world. There will always be those people who are suspicious of poets who express this form of “divine madness” as Plato called it.To them I repeat the old adage “yes, there is no money in poetry but then there is no poetry in money.”
The assumption with the general public is that poetry is dead or at least in a coma. The truth is that this form of expression has managed to thrive and evolve its many forms in the face of all new methods of communication such as: Twitter, Face book, Instagram, ... well you know what I mean. I’m happy to report that poetry is thriving in Durham Region and right here in the “Small Apple” town of Brooklin.
Each poet was asked to select and submit eight of their best poems for this book. These poems will challenge, excite, provoke and at times unsettle the reader. A variety of voices will lyre your ears, scumble visions in the mind’s eye, and offer a delicious buffet of contemporary regional poetry. The range of poems in this eclectic collection is truly inspiring.
These ten poets through their unique voices, images, rhythms and sophistication collectively offer a sweet smorgasbord of emotions. From Andrew’s “Snow-topped shards//gather...” to Juniper’s “scanty wisps // of yesterday cling // to your skin” to Dustin’s “in your eyes; a feeling, a thing forgotten...” to Theresa’s “among torch lilies // nearing the color of blood” and on to Freda’s “Evening doused her light...” to Bradley’s “Adam and I play poker with God;” to Stephania’s “Black keys turn as white noise.” and on to Catherine’s “I yearn to smell the seaweed and the salt...” to Renee’s “the only meaning that remains: // soy poeta”
It has been an honor to compile this collection of poetry in Crossing Baldwin for this inaugural Brooklin Poetry Society anthology. A project such as this is rarely achieved in isolation. I would like to thank the discerning eyes of a few co-editors, Bradley McIlwain and Juniper Clarke. Thank you to Dru of Druworx Photography for his time and creativity. To Cheryl McNally of Campkin’s of Wellingborough Tea House, and to Kay of Remember When Tea House across Baldwin Street, for their generosity in allowing poets to take over their establishments for our monthly meetings over tea, laughter, and many budding friendships (also for inspiring the title
of this book). Thanks also to the Ontario Poetry Society for making the whole process seamless.
I hope that reading these poems becomes a journey towards ten other ways to see our world emotionally. Mary Oliver says, “It is not what the words say, but how they make you feel.” So true! The heart always has its own reasons.
John Di Leonardo Brooklin, Ontario, 2013