Poetic Response by Yvonne Blomer

Yvonne Blomer is the 2015 poet laureate for Victoria, BC.

She has been moving through town, responding in poetry to art works around the city. My book launch coincided with her project and this wonderful poem came from her to me. 

String lessons
after Spine: The String Figure Project by Anne Steves
by Yvonne Blomer

1. Tea Bag String

As a toddler, my son would take from tea bags
the squares of paper, the fine dangling thread.

He would dance the string away from my steaming cup,
dance the string before his eyes.

blue eyes dancing
to the twitching string.

My mother-in-law
crocheted hearts
on a string of red yearn

With this she tied herself,
after death,
to my son.

2. String collecting and/or lepidoptera

Artist Anne Steves collects string figures:
fingers held
in Cat’s Cradle, then
extracted. She pins string back into shape.
Nabokov was a butterfly collector

who pinned genus Nabokovia.
A square-winged fuzzy creature
found in Peru.

I am learning about string, how limp
when loosened from fingers.
Butterflies stiffen with death,
while skin loosens with age;

my mother’s delicate arms, a lustre
in what is taut and what flaccid.
The rufous whistler collects, to tie its nests,
slack spider webbing. 

3. Childhood

What are we/have we been weaving?
Theories, sitting criss-cross
apple sauce in the school gym, lunch time,
our knees bare and warm, touching

as we lace, intertwine Cat’s Craddle.
Amber prefers purple twine,
me, black, and I love the charcoal fine lines
of her Boy George sketch.
She will weave beads, make jewelry, gothic songs.
I will string together lines of thought.
Sometimes childhood is taut
as new skin. Sometimes loose
as string woven on wind 


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