Tilted Equilibrium is from Hidden Brook Press (c) 2006
The poems in Tilted Equilibrium will knock you off-kilter, pitch you over the handlebars and into the mud, tickled by dazzle, splashed in the loblolly of language, word-spiced by varieties of experience as you move from girlhood, through adolescent awakening, to childbirth, motherhood, and onto the bittersweet triumphs and disappointments of adulthood. As you read, you might weep a tear of sorrow, a tear of joy, a tear to bless us all as we are caught up in the beautiful salt-washed benedictions of the human predicament. As Kate Marshall-Flaherty writes by way of a self-embrace in the closing lines of her coda:
become a benediction
may your purging water
mist of celestial
your bright white dust be
left like manna
powderfine blessing of salt.
- John B. Lee, Poet Laureate of Brantford
Kate Marshall-Flaherty has skilfully sewn her poetic homilies into a circular quilt of slanted perceptions that illuminate realities as wistful as a dandelion seeds and as magnificent as grief. The light falls on every well chosen word. — Linda Rogers, People’s Poet 2000
Sample poems from Tilted Equilibrium
the bug on the pavement, curl of leaf,
prism refracted in a popsicle drip.
Such strange love, and praise.
(Whisper this secret to another,
repeat this and
in a mirror until it changes
like a funfair, rippling, stretched
big as life!)
Then just when tickled by the dazzle,
press your handheel into your eye sockets
until darkness goes redblack.
Stay in this place of
staying in this place,
a little longer still. Wait until
you glimpse that jagged flash
of colours arcing across your retina. . .
Turn this picture upside-down,
shake the coins from your pocket.
Punching down the warm dough
gives rise to yeast energy,
like the outgasp
needed to draw in air
when the wind’s been knocked out of you.
Pitched off my bike!
I sit on the pavement, sun
in my salted eyes,
inhalation deep as a bellylaugh,
robin redbreast after a shower,
first birthday balloon.
Surrounded by light.
The mud and spittle
falling away in flakes, and me
look: no hands!
Tink! tink! tink!
this is the sound of the buzzyfur
angry droning hornet
as she bangs her helmet head
again and again against
the hot lightbulb
in my dull rose-soapy bathroom.
She circles with blind eyes
smashing against glass
stupidly snoring her buzz
bonking the thick wall only
inches from the open door.
Her whine fills the still room
and heats it up with her angry waspishness.
I shall call her jealousy.