Tag Archives: Victor Schwartzman

World Poetry Celebrates Barry Plamondon!



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.

Barry writes:

“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.”

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!”

“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. 



World Poetry Celebrates The Great Michael Mirolla!


Ariadne’s Notes: I am back on the World Poetry Café Radio Show, CFRO 100.5 FM  after a three weeks break. Thanks to Victor Swartzman and Diego Bastinutti for keeping the show going. We have been going through a lot of challenges with our electrical problems and are now in a hotel for an extended time. I am doing my best to keep up with all the wonderful e-mails and offers of help and prayers. Please be patient with me. I had hope to launch WP Media with correspondents from all over the world but will need to postpone this.

Last week, we had the honour of having an amazing  guest call in and to help us celebrate our 21st year of being on the air. Michael read his poems talked about his life and even answered a question from a 14 year old Nigerian boy who wanted his advise about writing. The answer was greatly appreciated by the young man who sends his thanks.  Also, we want to welcome Michael  Mirolla as the new writer in residence at the famed Joy  Kogawa house starting in November and hope we can do a welcome program for him.

*Photo: Happy New Year from Afghan Peace Poet Mahmood Jan in Kabul.







Michael Mirolla is the author of a clutch of novels, poetry collections, short story collections, and plays. He is a three-time winner of the Bressani Literary Prize. His novel Berlin was a finalist for the Indie and National Book Awards. The short story, “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence,” was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology; and “The Sand Flea” was a Pushcart Prize nominee. Born in Italy, raised in Montreal, Michael now lives in Oakville, Ontario. For more information: http://www.michaelmirolla.com. For an old WP Link:http://worldpoetry.ca/?p=11150

To a poet struggling to recover her words

Please note: this is not a metaphor.

In the spongy grey room, walls reticulated,
bony chair bolted to upheaving floor,
spotlight at 10 flickers per minute,
she sits. There’s a hole in the side
of her head. There’s a hole where they
extracted the over-eager building blocks,
the out-of-control tidbits of DNA.
The incisions were precise, one must assume.
But it didn’t prevent the words … her words …
from escaping into the sterile air.

Now, a saintly smile framing her face,
she sits in the bony chair inside
the spongy grey room with reticulated walls
and reaches out to recapture
the stray letters that may or may not
have survived without her tender care.

I sit across from her, spoon-feeding
alphabet strands into a hungry mouth
fearful that the words that have kept her whole
that have defined her
that connect her to herself
that have built this grey room
will be unable to make the return journey.

Please note: This has not been a metaphor. 

Also, he read the following  poem which is a favorite since I remember siting in a cave listening to my dad read Plato (The Cave)  to us.

In The Cave of Lost Language

When rifling the pockets that hold
the day in thrall there is always
some thing that slips through the fingers.
No matter how tightly we grip
the fabric. Or fingernail dig
into its deepest corners. Is it
possible the contents change each time
we reach in? Or does the pocket
itself become altered by the hand
as it latches onto a fistful
of what was previously there
but is no more?

And then, one day
without warning, from hand to mouth,
the familiar phrases themselves
decide to come and go as they please,
shape shifting before they disappear.
And you’re prone to ask: What was … what is …
that word once so strong, so anchored
now fluttering out the window
like a stale balloon’s flaccid breath?

At first, you tell yourself: Worry
not. So what if within your grasp
“brother” of a sudden becomes
anaia and “crow” re-turns
to belex? As long as one word
simply morphs into another.
As long as reaching down dislodges
those helpful phrases you can use
as place-holders for who you might be:
wolf/hirpus tongue/osvache. As long
as those scratches, familiar or not,
re-appear on the wall at day’s end.

There is that comfort of finding
something … anything, is there not?
Until your hand comes up empty,
an open palm holding a blank space.
And your heart stutters and you grope
about in your Kline bottle pocket
in search of one word … one fragment
that you can inscribe … just one clue
that’ll keep you from vanishing.

Michael Mirolla (C) All rights reserved by the author.

World Poetry Celebrates the Talented Chris Bailey!









Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café Radio Show welcomed two very special guests December 6, 1-2 pm PST on CFRO 100.5 FM.
Calling in at 1:10 PM PST was the lovely Nigerian, Canadian filmmaker Shasha Nakhai with her new doc, Take Light which will be shown on the documentary channel at 9 pm across Canada on Sunday December 9. https://www.takelightfilm.com/

Our second caller at 1:30 PM PST was the talented poet from PEI, Chris Bailey with his new book: What Your Hands Have Done by Nightwood Editions , www.nightwoodeditiond.com The book is a masterful portrayal of fisherman and family as well as a vivid description of culture. Having lived in Kodiak, Alaska among fisherman, I was fascinated by certain similarities, among them being fiercely independent and proud of their lifestyle.
For the first time we welcomed a girl nature poet Tshering Zangmo Namsa from Bhutan with her moving poem on unity. Thanks to Victor Schwartzman , our technical engineer for reading her poem.
We read two poems from n’s new groundbreaking book, Caution: Deep Water about the concerns of seniors and retirement living.
CD music was by Stan Rogers and Djelimady Tounkara. A special treat was a beautiful Seasons Greeting From Yoshifumi Sakura , World Poetry Music Director and composer of our anthem as well as a great postcard and message from World Poetry Correspondent, Rui Carvalho with a message in Portuguese “Tudo De Boh or “All the Best”. Author Sharon Rowe had a brand new story for her second book: Big Bessie Goes to Mars, read by Victor Schwartzman.






Chris Bailey is a fisherman and award winning author from North Lake , Prince Edward  Island, He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and is a past recipient of the Milton Acorn Award. His work has appeared in numerous journals .


The way your father tells you is simple. To the point.
Speaking with the tone he’d use to say the direction
of the tides, what your brother Tom in Fort Mac said,
or describing the noise the truck axle makes.

His hand on the thing sprouting from his neck:
The doctor says it’s probably cancer. They’re cutting
it off next week. A strip of paper towel in front of him.
A cup filled with tea. A new pack of cookies that rattles

when he reaches in, not looking at you. He endures
your stunned silence, says, I asked if he had his pocket
knife on him, said he could do it right there
if he wanted. Then: Sit down, boy. Have a cookie.

Not knowing what else to do or say, you sit.
Take a cookie. The kind with icing in the middle. One
half vanilla, the other chocolate. He fills ice cream
dishes with these for long days on the boat.

Something to snack on when working in the sun.
You snap the cookie in two, then four, and stare
a while at what your hands have done.

Chris Bailey (C) all rights reserved.