Kissing the Earth
September 28th, 2020
Bowen Island poet, Lisa Shatzky is set to launch her sixth book of poetry in November (time and place TBA).
A Thousand Ways to Kiss the Earth (Black Moss Press 2020) consists of 35 new poems that speak to the human condition as well as the fragile state of the planet and what it means to fall in love with the world again. A central theme in this collection is the impact of witnessing and experiencing beauty in the world while being keenly aware of the destruction of this beauty’s source and the heartbreak this creates in daily life and what to do with this heartbreak moving forward.
Shatsky’s first two poetry books, Do Not Call Me By My Name (Black Moss Press 2011) and Blame it on the Moon (Black Moss Press 2015), were shortlisted for the The Gerald Lampert Poetry Award and the Acorn Plantos Award for People’s Poetry respectively.
You can not decide anymore
what you are
lover or fighter
poet or activist
optimist or pessimist
all of these and none
and maybe it doesn’t matter.
Maybe most things exist outside of words.
Maybe it’s okay to simply know how something feels
in the mouth and in the hands
and in the heart
for sometimes the words get in the way,
make the story too small.
To arrive here after all this time
and realize this:
It doesn’t matter one bit
if the poem makes it as a poem.
The only thing that matters is what happens next
when the reader’s eyes look up from the words
and the heart is revived
and reminded it’s a heart,
and the pulse quickens
and a sense of wonder returns to the scene
and maybe mystery too,
and one small thing changes.
It was never about the words anyway,
but only about the dance
the endless burning turning churning questions
you have been asking for a thousand years:
who and what am I
can we walk together for a small while
before we both disappear,
and will you meet me where the road ends
so we may touch the wonder
of this place
and try to make sense of all this twirling
around the sun
and have some way of holding on
and say what we need to say
how love and loss
walk hand in hand
and how we must expose our naked hearts
to be made whole again,
and how we must remember the small things
butterflies dragonflies fireflies
if we are to survive.