There’s a foot of snow on the ground. Mid-February and Toronto is in a deep freeze.
I woke from a vivid dream early this morning. I’d been flying down a hill in a toboggan. When I reached the bottom, great swaths of snowy flowers greeted me. They were everywhere. Beyond, the sea was bubbling with ice and chunks of snow and more and more flowers that were being pulled apart by the waves. The dream left me with a sense of newness and uncertainty.
Yesterday, I finished the main work of Juniper 4.3. I stood up from my desk and wandered away – a little lost as to what should come next.
Shortly after the pandemic began, Ellen Bass started a series of craft talks online. I was lucky enough to attend the first and second series. I’m reminded now of a passage Ellen often shared to emphasize the importance of allowing the strange to enter and stay in our poems:
What is the knocking at the door in the night?
It is somebody wants to do us harm.
No, no, it is the three strange angels.
Admit them, admit them.
— from D.H. Lawrence’s “Song of a Man Who Has Come Through”
The poems in Juniper 4.3 have been brilliantly built and have made room for the strange. The issue begins with Fiona Tinwei Lam’s “The Great Fog,” an apt title for these times. And what follows is a dream-like journey.
Visit the “Debris Queens” in Cairistiona Clark’s poem. Become a sugar cube in Khashayar Mohammadi’s “Dialogue 1.”
Experience a “sky-sized freedom precipice” in Ronna Bloom’s “Vows.” The fresh impressions in Mormei Zanke’s “Kobe City” and paul Bluestein’s “View from the 23rd Floor.”
Skate into the past in Susan Gillis’s “Oxblood.” Drive down a dark road in Katherine Szpekman’s “December Visitation,” and much more. May Juniper 4.3 find you safe, warm and as ready as you can be for what comes next.
— from Juniper Volume 4, Issue 3