Poet's Pause Poetry Competition and Mayor's Poetry Challenge
The Resort Municipality of Whistler's (RMOW) Public Art Committee once again invited writers to submit original poems for the fifth Poet’s Pause Poetry Competition.
Poems were commissioned for display at the Poet’s Pause sculpture sites in Alta Lake Park (North and South Sites) and, as part of the Mayor’s Poetry Challenge.
In 2012, cities and towns across Canada participated in this initiative to celebrate National Poetry Month in April. Whistler combines the Mayor’s Poetry Challenge with the community's annual Poet’s Pause poetry competition. In 2013, the RMOW participated in the Mayor's Poetry Challenge for the second year in a row.
2013 Winning Poems
In 2013, two poems were selected to be displayed for one year at Alta Lake Park at the southwest shore of the lake. The sculpture part of the Poet’s Pause project included the giant chairs in the park and the timber chimes by the lakeshore. Poems submitted for the chair location responded to the theme of Togetherness. Poems submitted for the chimes were for the theme of Listening.
During the April 16, 2013 council meeting the winning poems were presented.
The RMOW received 20 poems on two themes (“togetherness” and “listening”). The poems were submitted and judged anonymously. Pemberton resident, Trish Belsham won for her poem entitled “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.
The 2013 winning entries are displayed below.
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
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, two poems were selected to be displayed for one year at Alta Lake Park at the southwest shore of the lake. The sculpture part of the Poet’s Pause project included the giant chairs in the park and the timber chimes by the lakeshore. Poems submitted for the chair location responded to the theme of Togetherness. Poems submitted for the chimes were for the theme of Listening.
- Click here for a compilation of previous winning poems.