Every year, in celebration of National Poetry Month, the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s (RMOW) Public Art Committee invites writers to submit original poems for the Poet’s Pause Poetry Competition.
The winning poems are displayed for one year at the Poet’s Pause sculptural sites in Alta Lake Park at the southwest lake shore alongside the giant chairs and alongside timber chimes.
2014 Call for Poets
The RMOW's Public Art Committee invites writers to submit original poems to the sixth annual Poet’s Pause Poetry Competition. Winning poems are commissioned for display at the Poet’s Pause sculpture sites in Alta Lake Park and, as part of the Mayor’s Poetry Challenge, will be read at a municipal council meeting in April to celebrate National Poetry Month.
Poet’s Pause Poetry Competition and Mayor’s Poetry Challenge Terms of Reference.
2013 Winning Poems
In 2013, the RMOW received 20 poems on the two themes (Togetherness and Listening). The winning poems were presented at the April 26, 2013 council meeting.
Pemberton resident Trish Belsham won for her poem “Let Birds Fly,” and Whistler resident Joan Baron won for her poem “Your Turn.” Joan Baron is the creator of the Poet’s Pause sculpture in Alta Lake Park, and this is the first time she has participated by submitting a poem.
By Trish Belsham
You came here first.
Water softly lapping shore, the island calling out ‘there’s more’.
Ducks quacking, bills snapping – here you stand.
Strong. Silent. Waiting to be heard.
Who should be so bold to begin, amongst this world of calm.
Is there something else we should hear,
As we inch closer to be near.
Hold me tight, hear my song, ringing out amidst all this throng.
Now closer to the notes held in our hearts,
Let them dance.
Let Birds Fly
By Joan Baron
Skirt hem scraping dips and folds into
The rough wooden floorboards
Open spacious barn, I circle palm
In hand to his velvet touch
Starlings swoop and scream high in the hole
To sky, where the roof peaks,
Making room for clouds to enter, curious.
I walk slowly now
Dragging my treasures behind me,
Small nuts, gathered broken branches
And beetle carcasses, remnants
Of a dead forest salad on loaded plate
Hard to Mother’s floor
Swiftly passing, like my lover.
He steps lightly tween my dancing slippers
Hand pressed firmly to my back
Timely footsteps push blistering
Courtly rhythms scratched out of tune
Twining the shuffle of older shoe music.
We meet and list to a new candour
Cheek on cheek
Jacket and skirt flying out to the shredded walls,
Where light seeks our broken bodies,
With fond memories
Printed on our fragile skins.
We snuggle warm in comfort
There for each other, sweet
Medicine for our coming demise.
Cradled in the lap of the big wood chair,
The dreamer awakes, birds fly
The mountains shake their wild hair
Breathing a love song
For the lake and the silent fresh air.
2012 Winning Poems
In 2012, the RMOW received 20 poems on the two themes (Togetherness and Listening). The winning poems were presented at the April 17, 2012 council meeting.
Pemberton resident TJ Cheverie won for his poem “Time” (Togetherness theme) and Whistler resident and former Poet’s Pause winner Mary MacDonald won for her “Homage” (Listening theme).
Previous Winning Poems
View a compilation of previous winning poems.