Library, local literati levy language love-in
It was all part of an open-mic poetry night organized by the Jasper Municipal Library and the Habitat for the Arts.
Seven poets took to the microphone in total and, at the end of the evening, Thomas was named as the recipient of the $175 prize and the opportunity to read his poetry again at an upcoming municipal council meeting in Jasper.
The prize money comes via the City of Regina as part of the “Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge,” which asks municipal councils to take some time during a meeting in March or April to recognize the work of local poets. Jasper was one of the communities invited to participate.
David Baker hosted the event at the combined café/laundromat and served as one of the judges. He said the open-mic night reminded him of similar events he has attended in Chicago.
“They have little cafés like this that are jammed shoulder-to-shoulder with people and there’s music and there’s coffee and it’s just a public exposition of writing,” he said. “I know it’s not quite as large of a town as Chicago, Jasper, but we have a lot good poets and some very talented people.”
Baker hoped the event would help renew the local literary community and lead to additional events in the future. For writers looking to hone their skills, he noted there is a writing workshop taking place at the Habitat on Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m.
That date is also the deadline for written entries to the Jasper Municipal Library’s annual Patrons’ Choice Poetry Contest. Poems submitted to that contest will be posted anonymously in the library from April 16 to 30 so patrons can vote for their favourites.
The winner will receive $50 from the Jasper Friends of the Library. Entries are limited to one page, with a limit of three entries per person.
For more information about the contest, contact Janeen at the library at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-852-3652.
The events are all part of National Poetry Month, celebrated across Canada each April.
A video of last week’s open-mic night can be viewed online at: www.livestream.com/thehabitat
My Mind, My Words, My Limit
by Peter Thomas
Words are our limit, but our vocab only skims it,
our brain tries to translate a word to your thought,
but instead of a genius answer, nothing’s all that you got.
So you try to explain with other words and a phrase,
getting more complicated like each turn in a maze.
But even when we come up with the best,
our words comingle and mix like the rest.
So even though you may understand what I am saying,
it will never be even close to what I am actually relaying.
My mind works a little different than yours,
we are both in the same place,
just walking on different floors.
My shoes fit tight, but when put on you they fit right,
what a magical sight.
Did you understand that rhyme?
Because if you did we are on the same line.
Except this line is neither ridged nor straight,
it just continues on, leaving me to wonder my fate.
What will happen and where shall I go?
All good questions; too bad only the man upstairs knows.
And who is this great god?
A legendary man or a fraud?
It’s funny because he either said no or gave it a nod.
He laughs in our face, not to amuse or disgrace,
simply because he is controlling this race.
Oh, and there will never be a winner.
There’s nothing to win.
The only good is trying to live without sin,
not because it’s the right thing to do,
simply because that’s exactly you.
You care more about pureness, simple and true.
It’s only a shame that the leaders of this world
never followed that belief, too.
by Peter Thomas
He said he was famous,
just not internationally or global.
I asked how ‘bout nationally, provincial or local?
He sighed and replied no, but that wasn’t his focal,
so I had to momentarily interrupt, I needed to be vocal.
I asked how can you be famous if no one knows you?
He smiled and replied
if a seed falls a tree will grow and I’m supposed to.
The great Redwoods were never always so great,
but the tree and I have something in common,
and that is that time has a way of controlling fate.
The Redwoods weren’t known when they were seedlings
but have grown, now they exceed kings,
they touch the sky, they fly high indeed without wings,
so I guess I’m just Redwood seedling famous among other things,
‘cause a tree doesn’t just begin big,
it’s how the seed grows and what the seed brings.
So I’m famous, it’s just no one knows yet the talents I bring.