Joan’s Featured Works

Artistic Statement Gallery & School of Fine ArtWoman In A Wedge Title Poem From Book of Poetry (Published 1989)

A Kind Of Touch From Book Titled “Uneasy Rhythm” (1992); Available for Publication

Prairie Roots Narrative Poetry (1996); Available for Publication

Artistic Statement Gallery & School of Fine ArtIntroduction by the Author:

“’Woman In A Wedge’ was written while in the throes of separation and subsequent divorce from an 18-year marriage. The writing of this book was cathartic in that it helped me through the process. The poems deal with those very difficult emotions.”

Woman In A Wedge – Title Poem From Book of Poetry (Published 1989)

She said she had a dream of me

Crying because my hair had been cut too short

It stuck out in all directions

I try to find a meaning in dreams

But curiously

Don’t remember any

My drawings have overtaken my dreams

Appear with minds of their own

A soft overstuffed sofa

A winding staircase

Viewed through shattered glass

A woman’s shape

Is wedged between

A tall white building

And a house

Reduced to an outline

Artistic Statement Gallery & School of Fine ArtIntroduction by the Author:

“’Uneasy Rhythm’ was written as an expression of middle age and facing life alone without a husband while caring for a teenage daughter and son.”

The following poem is the last rendering from the book “Uneasy Rhythm”.

A Kind Of Touch

In the restaurant after the night crowd fades,

light from the lamp outside reveals a splendid red sun

blazing over a mountain lake

in the stained-glass window opposite.

It nudges a longing for the Valley

packed away years ago.

I can almost feel the wind

breathing through poplar trees

tall and slender

shooting green-gold leaves

into the sun.

See pink blossoms of cherry trees

like snow on the ground.

Remember how the beauty faded

like a mirage on the highway

where further round that bend

the farm stood

at the end of a twisting road.

There’s a hole in the fence

where the cow broke through,

paint peeling from the boards

of the chicken house, gate hanging

by strands of wire, clinging to a post

loose on the eroding earth

flooded by winter’s run-off.

How when winter crept back

friends were the only warmth

in chilling whiteness.

I can still see my friend

as I reached her cabin,

smell the coffee she’d make for me

see her smile

as warm as the waves emanating from the wood stove.

This stained-glass image unlocks

part of me remembering

those friends whose lives

intertwined so closely with mine

that the hush of light

shining on the window

is a kind of touch.

Introduction by the Author:

“’Prairie Roots’ is written as a reflection of my childhood and growing up on a small farm in rural Manitoba. This book of narrative poetry is currently in progress. Featured on this page is an excerpt from the Title Poem.”

Prairie Roots

On mornings like this

the sun spins marsh grasses into gold.

I walk my dog to the bird sanctuary.

She leaps ahead.

Disappears into a rippling sea of yellow.

Prairie roots lead me back

to wheat fields

honey gold.

Rows of burning chaff.

Mother and me

silhouettes against red sky.

Days when she’d pick strong shafts of straw

left over from the burning.

Teach me to make pipes

from corn husks.

I’m swept back

to my Uncle’s house on Highway 59

somewhere between Winnipeg and Birds Hill.

To Uncle Stanley

hurling a pitchfork at rats

big as cats.

Eyes flashing.

Early mornings

30 or 40 degrees below zero.

Ice crystals glisten on Stanley’s moustache

as he cranked the old blue ford to life.

Pigs squeal inside.

Bright marble eyes

peer through swaying slats

We groan out of the driveway at 5 am.

sun just beginning to meet

open fields and drifting snow.

“Prairie Roots” Published in FIREWORKS XVI Fall 1996

Write Away! Courses & Manuscripts Victoria, BC

Editor: Margaret Dyment

Cover Design and Vignettes: Joan Hill

Complete Book of Poetry Available for Publication!