PAD 2017 – Day 28

Writing that evokes or describes the senses can be difficult, and I think this is especially true of “smell” writing. Strange, since it’s often the sense that most evokes memory. Today’s Writer’s Digest prompt called for a “scent” poem, and I was reminded of my love-hate relationship with the smell that probably most sums up my Mom.


Phantom Smell



walking into a room

no one’s been in, I’ll catch

a sudden, pungent whiff

of cigarette smoke. The complicated

stink I hated when you were alive,

now makes me ache

for your hug.

For the sound of your raspy voice

saying, Don’t worry, kiddo.

It’ll all work out in the end.


Today’s Alberta poem comes from Calgary-based writer Joan Crate. Hear Ms. Crate reading “Boarding School” from her book Pale as Real Ladies: Poems for Pauline Johnson.
I’ve always loved the line: “reading poetry that floats and sinks to our polished shoes in pools of ash.”


PAD 2017 – Day 2

Doing a bit of prompt mixing today with the the suggestion to write a poem inspired by a recipe, and the Writer’s Digest “not today” prompt. Today would’ve been my Mom’s 74th birthday, so this one’s still at the fresh-from-the-sentimental-oven stage.


How to Celebrate


To do it right

I’d make you a cherry pie,

the perfect crust, flaky and just brown,

sticky sweet filling bubbling at the edges

and a fork-print “M” in the centre

for Mom.


To do it right

I’d celebrate your birthday

with tulips and a tune,

Song Sung Blue, a hot cup of coffee,

a mucky walk along

the river.


To do it right

I’d gather photos of you,

before I was born,

before any of us were,

and your hair fell past

your shoulders.


To do it right

I’d read that soft smile

for the woman you were,

more on your lips

that I wish you could

tell me.


My Alberta poem share today is by Calgary poet Tyler B. Perry, titled “I don’t teach subjects; I teach students.” It’s one of my favourites from his first book, Lessons in Falling.