PAD 2017 – Day 13

The NaPoWriMo prompt today asked for a ghazal. I’ve never written one before, though I’ve enjoyed reading many. Sometimes I find repetition in forms off-putting, but that’s not usually the case when I read ghazals. I used the Writer’s Digest family prompt to give me my subject, and kind of free wrote from that. This seems so far from done, but I do think (hope) it will be something I come back to.


Ghazal: Sister Memory


Take me there again, with a nose full of home memory,

puff of lemon dish soap, cigarette smoke haze in my memory.


Each of us carries one, sometimes many, clenched in our fist,

moulded by pressure, the certain shape of our memory.


My sister recalls an action scene, shot wide in CinemaScope,

a drama I can’t recall, or one I’ve scrubbed from my memory.


Another moment, snipping wild baby’s breath from a roadside,

holding bouquets too big for our hands, sun bleached memory.


One we both need, smudged like a fingerprint, we try to recover with dust.

Using our own sharpened pencils to colour the edges of the memory.


I tend to write a lot of family poems. Awhile ago I had the extreme pleasure of receiving feedback on some of my writing from Red Deer poet and author Kimmy Beach. I showed her a poem about my Mom, with towels being a sort of symbol for comfort. She said it reminded her of a poem she’d written for a friend, called “Most Trusted Remedy.” The emotion in it is just beautiful, without being too familiar or sentimental. I love this poem.



I hope that title put Bay City Rollers in your head, because, fun! Speaking of fun, if you’re in the Edmonton area tomorrow night, why not come down to Robertson-Wesley United Church (10209 123 Street) at 7:30 p.m. for Five New Alberta Voices,  featuring wrap-up readings by the apprentices of the 2016 Writers’ Guild of Alberta Mentorship Program. I am so fortunate to be one of those apprentices, and excited to share a few of the poems I’ve been working on over the past few months with my stellar mentor, Sue Sinclair. But if poetry’s not your thing, don’t despair. The evening will also feature wonderful readings by fiction and non-fiction writers Bruce Cinnamon, Shannon Cleary, Susan Carpenter, and Katherine Koller. Plus, wine and cheese! For details, click the Facebook event here. Love to see you there!