Poetry Pause x Poetry In Union: Susie Whelehan – Life Boat

Poem author: Susie Whelehan Poem title: Life Boat Poem: Greenland is melting. I am reading poetry. Entire towns of Indigenous people have no clean water and I am reading poetry. Neo-fascism is on the rise refugees are still washing ashore children are legally crowded into cages another young black man was shot by police another mass killing just ravaged a school, a mall, a church, a mosque, a synagogue and I am reading poetry. When reality weighs me down in despair poetry straightens my spine, connects me with these people, their oceans of grief, and is the boat that keeps me from drowning as waves rise and run and tears flow. Poetry is buoyancy— is salt itself— as necessary as the salt in our blood. It flavours our lives cleans our wounds teaches us to surrender, dissolve, become one. It crystalizes truth which, when seen from all sides can open our minds, move our hearts and change our world. I am reading poetry. End of Poem. Copyright © Susie Whelehan Susie Whelehan‘s face still hurts from smiling after the launch of her first collection of poetry, The Sky Laughs at Borders, published by Piquant Press, in October 2019. She is not complaining. Just reporting. Before this she wrote in many genres, including children’s television. Her poetry and essays have appeared in several Canadian and American journals and anthologies, The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star, and in her friends’ and family’s birthday cards. With Anne Laurel Carter, she co-edited the collection and contributed her memoir to My Wedding Dress: True-Life Tales of Lace, Laughter, Tears and Tulle, published by Knopf/Random House. That was great fun as well. With the publication of her poetry collection she became a full member of the League of Canadian Poets, is thrilled to be a part of “Poetry in Union”, and looks forward to this spreading across the country.