Ariadne’s Notes: Special Book Launch for the talented and prolific poet Barry Plamonom , Jan 17, 1-2 pm PST on the World Poetry Café Radio Show, CFRO 100.5 FM now in its 21st year of being on the air. His 7th book 7 Fold by Silver Bow Press was full of meaningful poems and in a fascinating interview , he said that his hearing senses and compassion had increased dramatically since his two strokes. He also read some cowboy poems and talked about the Oregon trail which brought back stories from my grandmother about her great , great grandmother that walked the Oregon Train when she was 8 and refused to be giving a ride by her family in their wagon. When I had polio and was learning how to walk that story motivated me to keep on trying despite everyone telling me I would never walk again.
Photo: Barry and his lovely wife at a previous World Poetry Radio show.
“I was born in Penticton and
grew up in Vancouver. After high school I attended both U.B.C. and B.C.I.T.before obtaining a diploma in Practical 22Horticulture.I then worked for 20yrs. as a landscaper before2 strokes ended my career. After spending a yearin various hospitals and care homes I came home to find that I didn’t knowwhat to do with myself. I started writing poetry. There were many failuresbefore I wrote one about my daughter that I was proud of. It was like alight had been turned on,55 years of living just came pouring out onto thepages and I haven’t stopped yet. I self-published my first book “Thisn ‘That. Bric a Brace in Mar. 2016 and followed that with” Crackers and Crumbs” in Oct. This effort was published by Silver Bow Publishing. I am now on my 7th book.
I have resided in Maple Ridge with my wife and seven children for many years. I am proud to be a member of the Holy Wow Poets here. My hobbies and interests include hockey, gardening and listening to music. I did play the guitar for 30 years, but no longer. I also have a keen interest in nature, especially birds and plants. All these interests are reflected in my poetry as well as children and disability issues and sometimes a love poem or two. I have also written quite a few Cowboy poems The following is a fairly recent poem I have written entitled Ripples:
There is a ripple on the pond from the stone I cast. It is strong but cannot last. Only long enough to set the next one in motion. Together they would never cross the ocean. But they can lead by example.
Just a small sample. Of how things could go for people too. If each
said a simple “How do you do?”. To the strangers that they meet. At work or on the street. And if each in turn would pass it on. Maybe one day all hatred would be gone.
Barry wrote: “Hi Ariadne, here is the poem I just read on the radio show, The Old Tree. As well here is the second poem about Oregon Trail called The Longest Graveyard.”
THE OLD TREE
They left one lone Cedar standing
And the rest they trucked away to the mill
“See, we are not so bad” a company spokesman said
“At least we left one tree standing”
“Look how impressive it looks here by itself”
But the old tree did not see it that way
For the first time in centuries he was all alone
No companions to cast shade from the sun’s light
No other trees to keep the air fresh and moist around him
Not only this, but he was lonely now as well
Gone too was the undergrowth from around his trunk
The old fellow lasted a year before he started to decline
Brown scales fell like tears to the ground
And the bark from his massive trunk began to peel
Before long the old tree was no more
Just a brown wilted husk where once
A great giant Red Cedar had stood
“Well,” said the company official “we tried”
“Next time we’ll take the whole stand”
“Every single last tree!”
THE LONGEST GRAVEYARD
“Here lies an early traveler who lost his life in quest of riches in the west”
These the words found on a gravestone along the Oregon Trail
Thousands of would be settlers died on their way westward during the eighteen hundreds
Though most graves were never marked for fear of grave robbers
A person risked it all to go in search of the so called riches of the western frontier
Simply to fall could mean being trampled by the wagon behind you
Accidental gunshot wounds were all too common here
Cholera from contaminated water, bad weather and Indian attacks all caused numerous deaths
If you became sick or injured along the trail there was no doctor nearby,you were on your own
Still two hundred thousand brave souls started the trek westward
The majority reaching their destination in Oregon or California
Though many are the unmarked grave along the trail
Twenty five thousand people lie buried in America’s Longest Graveyard
Barry Plamondon (C) All rights reserved by author.