Sad Child, Happy Child
You were an unhappy child in an unhappy world.
The world hugged you
like a mama anaconda.
You spat in its eyes
You were an unhappy child in a happy world.
You pissed on your privilege
like a drunk on a sacred monument.
The flowers wilted at night;
weeds sprouted in the morning.
You were a happy child in a happy world.
You loved encyclopedias!
The sparrows chirped
beautiful songs, but sad.
You drew them with crayons for high praise.
You were a happy child in an unhappy world.
You logged an old forest
to clear a small plot
for your cottage. The flames a beautiful sight,
the stumps a fine source of fuel.
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
celebrating twenty-five years of above/ground press
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy
Stephen Brockwell cut his writing teeth in the ’80s in Montreal, appearing on French and English CBC Radio and in the anthologies Cross/cut: Contemporary English Quebec Poetry and The Insecurity of Art (both Véhicule Press, 1982). All of Us Reticent, Here, Together won the Archibald Lampman award for best book of poetry in Ottawa in 2017. Brockwell currently operates a small IT consulting company from an office in Ottawa’s By Ward Market.
This is his fifth chapbook with above/ground press, after Marin County Poems (2001), Impossible Books (the Carleton Installment) (2010), Excerpts from Impossible Books: The Crawdad Cantos (2012) and Images from Declassified Nuclear Test Films (2014).
[Stephen Brockwell will be launching this title as part of THE ABOVE/GROUND PRESS SILVER ANNIVERSARY READING/LAUNCH/PARTY on August 25, 2018 at Ottawa's Vimy Brewing Company!]
To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at www.robmclennan.blogspot.com