Poems for Maria
Queen of the World
The St. Thomas Poetry Series (Toronto)
“A brave, original, memorable collection.”
Malcolm Guite, Poet, Singer-Songwriter, Priest, and Academic
“…fiercely present…committed to justice-making as well as to the mysteries of being…”
Susan McCaslin, Poet, Writer, and Educator
Mute Swan promotional video, filmed at Feeny Wood, B.C., by Olivia Seneshen.
Toronto Book Launch
An evening of poetry, with readings by St. Thomas Poetry Series poets, Lesley-Anne Evans, Bruce Meyer, and Bruce Hunter, was held on April 22, 2023 in the St. Thomas Anglican Church, Toronto. This in-person event was live streamed and is available to view at the link in the title above. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the League of Canadian Poets..
Kelowna Book Launch: A Celebration of Mute Swan
A celebration among a small gathering of friends and family members, was held on December 11, 2021, in Lesley-Anne’s living room at Feeny Wood, B.C.. This event was live streamed and is available to view at the link in the title above.
Testimony One: On Account of a Ripe Brandywine Tomato
From Mute Swan, Poems for Maria Queen of the World.
1. There is no angel.
2. 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.
3. When I am four. When I am electric—the white heat of want.
4. There is my grandfather’s garden.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. There is no shame.
Lesley-Anne Evans, an Irish-Canadian poet, writes from Feeny Wood, a contemplative woodland retreat in Kelowna, B.C., Canada, on the unceded ancestral territory of the Syilx Okanagan people.
Lesley-Anne’s debut poetry collection Mute Swan, was published by The St. Thomas Poetry Series (Toronto), in 2021. Her poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Antigonish Review, Cascadia Review, Catholic Poetry Room, Contemporary Verse 2, Ekstasis, Faith Today, Lake Journal (UBCO), Letters Journal (Yale), Presence, and Soul Lit, among others. She was commissioned to write the libretto Lake of Tears for Opera Kelowna, with several public performances. She also contributed lyrics for one movement of Memories of Self-Isolation, a Cantata by Canadian composer Frank Horvat, performed by the Vancouver Bach Choir. Lesley-Anne is co-founder of Red Couch, an art gallery for marginalized artists, and co-created SEE:kelowna, a museum exhibit sharing stories of homelessness.
When she isn’t writing, Lesley-Anne dabbles in photography, wanders in the woods with her lovely old dog, and thrifts for quirky mid-century collectibles.
“Thus, I am a feather on the breath of God.”
Hildegard of Bingen