Two Poems from blue gait

Poet shauna paull’s rich and meditative second book of poetry blue gait (Mother Tongue Publishing) offers witness to another way of living where human and material concerns are not at the centre of things, articulating the salient issues and sorrows of global communities. Here is sung the labour of our elders, environmentalists, of daughters and lovers, elements and simple gifts made by hands, songs to answer our longing for a loving place in the failing loom of our generous planet. Read on for two poems from blue gait and praise for the book. 


Share It:

carry my hand at the breathline                 therewhere the rumor of lightening            rustlesflesh-curl of scar or talismancarry my hand in that place it is night         we are walking            nomoon   only     stray spiltbeadlight of stars                                          we are walkingmy bare feet    under the folded notes of waterfrom whose edge I breathe  andrarer    sing you wear your shoes   laced up   carefulstep lightly on dry sand          its tympani as you movesubtle             though your bones acheas boughs of apple of pine it is night                     we are walkingcarry my hand      therewhere lightening has struck            rung you where the crack of a truth       blue-lit wiry              startles the dark           opens the hushed field            carry my hand                                                            there where breathline                                    where waverwhere night where              we

deep heat         and I walk outwildfires worry vertebrae           stack and heave                              215                         children     Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc I walk out             speechlesschest of fish hooks           hanger wirelead-boned           old knowledge haunts material a trick of light               path flashes redeach step             flasheach step             red             sunlight brash     blinds     bewilders even light conspires with mourningeven earthborne path black cottonwood rises up     across all logics of gravity                  rises upfloats seed-fruit in blue hands of air 

Praise for shauna paull

Gentle and strong, these haunting poems offer space as a balm for tense and troubled times: with delicate precision, the pages of this book ask us to witness injustice, and to contemplate the power of beauty. What harms us, what heals?”–Renée Sarojini Saklikar, author of Bramah and The Beggar Boy“Flowing like a clear stream, nourishing us with quiet ceremony and care for our ancestors, the poems in this book share the ‘wide-hipped work of love.’ ‘Brave as moonlight,’ shauna paull makes space and time for humble loves and the joys of everyday life, irrepressible despite the systemic violence of the toxic colonialism that surrounds us. In the face of grief and loss, her words sing us back to life, again and again.” –Rita Wong, author of Current Climate“shauna paull’s melodious works in blue gait express embodiment through relatedness, the wild garden, and the conflict zone. Richly flavoured west coast poetry.”–Joanne Arnott, author of A Night for the Lady“These poems temper grief scars, radically transition to transformation, desire and lightning joy, both in kneeling before the grace of received forewisdom and as gratitude to what was living light in the life of another. The hyphenated enjambments, like a treasured visionbook, create a technical hinge between realities, from well-considered sorrow, to attentively impassioned happiness, to closely examined commitment, all messaging — courage, clarity of mind, activism, intent to create progressive difference — no small thing.”— Cathy Ford, author of Flowers We Will Never Know The Names Of

* * * 

shauna paull 
is a poet, educator and community advocate, and completed her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. blue gait is her 2nd book of poetry, her first book, roughened in undercurrent was published by Leaf Press (2008). Shauna has led creative writing workshops at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, since 2000 and for many different organizations in Vancouver. She currently the coordinates the Deer Lake Artist Residencies for the city of Burnaby. In community, shauna has worked extensively with migrant and refugee women in areas of labour and mobility rights, poverty alleviation and legislative reform. Shauna represented Canada at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2006. Her work can be found in RockSalt, an Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry (Mother Tongue, 2008) Forcefield: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia (Mother Tongue, 2013) and In All the Spaces: Diverse Voices in Global Women’s Poetry, (Autopress, New Delhi, 2020). She lives in Vancouver.