Decoys

By William Robertson

Decoys
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William Robertson writes with a quiet, unpretentious gait. He leads us through the beauty he finds within the simplicity of an honest life. His poems explore how his roles as father and grandfather allow him to share his love of the natural world, and his passions ignite especially ... Read more


Overview

William Robertson writes with a quiet, unpretentious gait. He leads us through the beauty he finds within the simplicity of an honest life. His poems explore how his roles as father and grandfather allow him to share his love of the natural world, and his passions ignite especially when he writes about his love of birds. He asks if it would be possible for us all to be lovers of birds with the ardour of St. Frances of Assisi. “In the creek, birds I’ll probably never name explain their desire.” He writes as if quiet devotion just might release their thoughts.

William Robertson

At the time of writing this book, William Robertson was a homemaker. He now lives in Saskatoon.

Excerpt

“August’s Gravity”

Walking home in early evening
I see in unkind relief
dragonfly on pavement
stranded by season’s end
flopping helplessly

finger to its searching legs
it clings
so I can hold it upright
survivor from the times
of Tyrannosaurus
unable to last much
beyond the first frost
it attempts an escape
but cannot overcome
late August’s gravity

picking it up again
I cup it from the breeze
so this fierce navigator
of summer gardens
can endure the indignity
of my hot breath
the way home to my young son
who will shriek
try to hold it

sensing this final
humiliation
it gathers up its memories
of midsummer air
rises on invisible wings
leaving me heavy and human
on the sidewalk
staring it to a speck
in the darkening blue

Reviews

William Robertson’s engaging animal encounter poems come from that place where experience segues into anecdote and anecdote into kitchen table wisdom. Walking-paced, often wry, low-falutin in manner and speech, they channel the music of the vernacular, where ‘official’ walleye are still pickerel and even fish tales need no inflation to make them sing.
— Don McKay

This long overdue new collection by William Robertson celebrates the transformative moments that illuminate the everyday — a raven in flight, a son’s laughter, a fisherman’s perfectly-cast fly touching down on the surface of the stream. As the title suggests, the poems search for the true sentiment, the true image or insight to light out way, to guide us through the losses that accumulate in every human life.
— Elizabeth Philips, award-winning poet and novelist, author of Torch River and The Afterlife of Birds.

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