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Okanagan Arts

Culture and Community

Summer 2007


An Ongoing Series of Lectures and Presentations that Celebrate the Creative Okanagan

Okanagan Institute
4:30pm Thursdays
at the Bohemian Cafe

Click here for schedule
and information.


Arts Council of the Central Okanagan
Arts Council of the
Central Okanagan

8-1304 Ellis Street
Kelowna BC Canada V1Y 1Z8
Email: Click Here.
Elke Lange, Executive Director

Produced in association with
Okanagan Bookworks


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Okanagan Arts, Summer 2007Okanagan Arts, Summer 2007
Okanagan Arts: Summer 2007

Nancy Holmes: 4 Poems

Finch Feeder

I am a dealer.
The junkies sit all day
at the dangling syringe,
shooting up black seed.

In my backyard,
it's opiate, pine needles,
dopy heat, sometimes owls, but still
the addicts shove each other off
the stools to get to the bottle.

Goldfinches hallucinate.
House finches cling to perches,
aprons still stained
with raspberry preserves.
Siskins, high and crazy,
attack my windows.

But I'm a dealer,
so nothing-
no broken home,
no mental case-
nothing will stop me

Giant's Head Mountain Ghazal

Two bears in the backyard, like arthritic apes,
fall off the fence and crush the garbage can.

Centuries ago, a boulder broke off the mountain.
A petrified heart, split in two, lies in a basket of grass.

Machines and houses are crawling into the woods.
Bears take their morning walks earlier and earlier.

"There is no bed yet," the nurse said. "Not until someone's sent home
or passes away. Believe me, we're working on it."

Black and white, black and white, black
and white. The magpies write notes all over the mountain.

Bear scat on the path:
blackblood jam and bony cherry pits.

Prickly Pear
(Opuntia fragilis)

like puppies they jump onto the path
where you are walking

they bite your ankles and shoelaces
with sharp annoying teeth
and miniature snarls

you can't kick them off
that's part of the game

you can't pry them off
they nip your fingers

so steel yourself

you've got to take a stick to them
it is the only way

Stroke (a palindrome)

The flood rose soundlessly
at night
while she was sleeping.
Membranes broke,
began to leak.
The arteries
in walls,
which one burst open first?
She couldn't know.
In the dark
so blind with dreams
she couldn't see or feel
the collapse.
The flooding was
Finally. Silent.
The flooding,
the collapse.
She couldn't see or feel,
so blind with dreams.
In the dark,
she couldn't know
which one burst open first.
In walls,
the arteries
began to leak.
Membranes broke
while she was sleeping.
At night,
the blood flowed soundlessly.
Nancy Holmes has published four collections of poetry, most recently Mandorla (Ronsdale Press, 2005). She teaches Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia Okanagan and has worked as an editor, writing instructor and a mother. She lives in Kelowna, British Columbia where she is working on a collection of poems about Okanagan plant and animal life.

Wild Blue Yonder at Thursday Express