FRESH VOICES: MARIA FIGUEREDO, LINDA CROSFIELD, KAMAL PARMER

Welcome to the tenth edition of Fresh Voices, a project from and for the League’s associate members. The League’s associate members are talented poets who are writing and publishing poetry on their way to becoming established professional poets in the Canadian literary community. We are excited to be taking this opportunity to showcase the work of our associate members in this series!

 

Pen    

by Maria Figueredo

The pen bleeds life star shapes curving gliding script towards, always towards

The grain of the wood and leather, silver and smoothly Chet sounds into the way the light makes

it golden

White feather chapter poem of whispers holding breath

And life itself stands peering over my shoulder waiting as I write this page into what it holds,

where it wants to go

Mining spilling forth

little whispers across the laptop screen

 

Dr. Maria Figueredo is Associate Professor with the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics at York University, where she teaches courses in Spanish and Latin American literature. Her research focuses on the relationship of literature and music in Latin America, music as a subtext in women’s writing, and contemporary innovations in Spanish American literature. She received the President’s University-wide Teaching Award in 2016. At York University, Maria established a trilingual journal to publish student work in Spanish or Portuguese with English translation, and the Pan Am Games “Poet-Tree 2015” community Ignite project.

 

Pancho

by Linda Crosfield

Half-submerged in dark water

Pancho dreams his old crocodile life,

— the rush, the catch, the roll that drowns —

before men brought ropes, lassoed his head,

duct taped shut his mouth,

sat on his back while cameras clicked,

hauled him away.

 

He took too many dogs.

What if a child was next?

 

In the brackish pool beside him

dozy with heat, babies of his kind

crawl atop each other.

 

He’d eat them if he could.

 

Linda Crosfield’s work appears in several literary magazines including Room, The Minnesota Review, The Antigonish Review, The New Orphic Review, and in several chapbooks and anthologies. As overseer of Nose in Book Publishing, she’s published chapbooks by several Canadian poets. She’s been short-listed for Room Magazine’s annual poetry contest and participated in Rocking the Page, a program that involved presenting poetry online and in classrooms. She’s spent the past eight winters in La Manzanilla del Mar, Mexico, where there’s a mangrove with about four hundred American Crocodiles. The rest of the year she lives in Ootischenia, B.C., at the confluence of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers.

 

Do you speak to me

by Kamal Parmer

 

I watch you lining the roads

like sentinels, braving the vagaries of the season.

I watch you,

a tiny sapling curling its way, blinking at the sky,

crinkled sepals unfold,

soft buds open their pouted lips, like a baby out of its womb.

A life is born.

Time moves on.

The tree grows tall, sheathed in dense foliage,

bright blossoms, hanging heavy on branches.

The Spring of youth.

Summer ripens into juicy fruit,

 A new generation is born.

Summer fades into Fall,

then to cold wintry days.

The tree grows leafless shorn of its vestments,

a skeleton of branches, like the bony figure of an old man,

bald and toothless.

The tree, a mirror of Life,

a reflection of seasons that come and go.

You sing to the evening breeze

in soft whispers–

the flapping of the wrinkled oak leaves,

the tremor of the flimsy maple

and the soft sighs of the willow.

You speak to me, in muted tongue,

a language unknown to me,

Yet I know what you mean.

 

Kamal Parmar has been passionately involved in writing since high school and University years. Her genre is poetry and creative non-fiction and she dabbles frequently with Haiku poetry. Her poems are simple, though poised and evocative enough to set the reader thinking. She has a few books published in UK, Canada and India and many publications in reputed US and Canadian literary journals and anthologies.

Kamal has been a member of a several writers’ organizations and Writers Guilds. Currently, she is an Associate member of the League of Canadian Poets and the Secretary of The Ontario Poetry Society. She is also a member of Haiku Canada and of The Writers Union of Canada. She is, at present working on a new manuscript of poems.

 

Curated by Lesley Strutt and Blaine Marchand, these poems represent just a small portion of the great work being produced by our members, and we are excited to have this opportunity to share their poetry with you. If you are interested in contributing to Fresh Voices, please send 3-5 poems to lesley@lesleystrutt.ca. You may submit only once per month, but you may submit every month until your poetry is selected. This opportunity is open only to associate members of the League–if you are interested in joining the League, please visit our membership page!