“A brave, original, memorable collection.”
“…fiercely present…committed to justice-making as well as to the mysteries of being…”
Mute Swan promotional video, filmed at Feeny Wood, B.C., by Olivia Seneshen.
A live streaming celebration held on December 11, 2021, at Feeny Wood, B.C.. This event is recorded and available at this link.
Testimony One: On Account of a Ripe Brandywine Tomato
From Mute Swan, Poems for Maria Queen of the World.
There is no angel.
There are cicadas clicking like a vinyl record riding one relentless everlasting note. There is occasional lowing—dairy cows content with alfalfa beyond the electric fence. There is my cotton sundress. And my dusty feet. There are damp curls sticking to my sunburned neck.
When I am four. When I am electric—the white heat of want.
There is my grandfather’s garden.
There is a blood-red globe larger than a grapefruit. There is a scent—green, sharp, hard to wash off. There is beauty. When I see. When I reach out and take it into myself as though it is the only answer I will ever need.
There is red. There is red blood like wine. There is thin skin. And sharp teeth. There is puncture, bite, and softening of jaw and lips. There is the making way for sun warmed flesh. There is the haloed aroma and the tender glabrous leaf. There is swallow, saliva, and licking lips, there is abundance and ambrosia that cannot be contained, there is spilling, and washing, and dripping, and there is wanting more.
There is no shame.
Lesley-Anne Evans, an Irish-Canadian poet, writes from and stewards Feeny Wood, a contemplative Christian woodland retreat in Kelowna, B.C., on the traditional unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation.
Her periodical publications include The Antigonish Review, Cascadia Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Faith Today, and Presence Journal. She helped found Red Couch, an art gallery for marginalized artists, and co-created SEE:kelowna, a museum exhibit sharing stories of homelessness.
Mute Swan is Lesley-Anne’s first collection of poems.
“Thus, I am a feather on the breath of God.”
Hildegard of Bingen