(excerpt from the long poem) Design Charette for Blakiston Park

Mount Eisenhower Motor Court by House of Blue Skies - RE:ACT Calgary Project
Mount Eisenhower Motor Court, a photo by House of Blue Skies – RE:ACT Calgary Project on Flickr.

This poem is about the wind

that doesn’t sweep as clean as you might hope.
This is good, because the wind sways and dances
to a full vision of God.

And who will ever see it?
The same poplar stands that were here in 1961.
Just as insistent on prairie hegemony in 2011.

The giant wind-breaks arming a small farm in siege.
Where Nose Hill development schemers
met each Thursday night.

Someone owned this house. It was a cheery white.
The curly-haired girl comes up

on its windows,
before a waking dream of Nose Hill,
where she picked Saskatoons after a 30-day wait,
accomplished taste after Solstice.

A man spots her, after closing the door,
tells her to get lost.
But she cannot, for she sees herself on top of Nose Hill
picking Saskatoons in a time when she has full breasts.
The man may divine, that his time is over,
and hers yet to begin.

She takes her shell to another place, a truant ghost.

She is a woman of wind, having rested
her fear in prayer, warm and believing. She has learned
not to make much of stones, which demand a name, a sacrifice,
a hard throw into the windows of that white house.

Blakiston Drive fills with the ingredients of stone, in a liquid spring.

She forms mud in small cakes inside her girlish hand.
Hurls its grey matter against the stippled glass of the neighbour’s eaves.

Where. It clings to a glass hope of memory. Crushed pop bottles a glittered beauty of the 60s.
Where she gazes up on a frozen day through water crystalled,
on an amber afternoon in some
autumn years ahead,
a summer sloan afternoon
Where. As a woman she imagines
the mud clumps still cling, a tiny gargoyle of matter.

Thanks her God for gracing her, with space to pray,
for giving her, a place to pray,
for seeing the wind, if only with the greenspeak
of a poplar caravan, stopped.
For eighty years of praying.

~ Vivian Hansen

Vivian Hansen is a Calgary poet and activist. She has run poetry workshops for the John Howard Society/Inn From the Cold Literacy initiatives. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in many anthologies, most recently in The Madwoman in the Academy and Writing the Terrain. She has recently edited a collection of poetry entitled Rubbing-Stone: A Nose Hill Anthology, to be published by Passwords Enterprises in 2012. Her chapbook of poetry Never Call It Bird: the Melodies of Aids came out in 1998. Her first full-length book of poetry Leylines of My Flesh was published by Touchwood Press in 2002. In 2004, she published Angel Alley, a chapbook about the victims of Jack the Ripper. She has just completed her MFA in Creative Writing with the University of British Columbia.

Read more of Vivian Hansen’s poetry here

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