At the Bottom of the Rideau Canal
My honour is swimming with me in a dark lock;
it is entwined in my long hair,
it is a thread that ties me to the one god, Allah.
Who is to say that my sins will send me to an afterlife
in a cold void worse than my death
or the cold void of this life? Not me.
I would say if I have to live with your version of honour,
with your twisted words of hate,
then I will take the chance on the cold void of afterlife.
Father, I remember your hands,
you know, the ones you wash of us so symbolically,
pulling me, pushing me, strangling me with the water.
But did you see, do you remember my smile then?
I hope to return and smile that smile again
when you try to enter heaven.
I will be there with my true Mother and my sisters
blocking your passage 100 times if necessary;
for your treachery.
You will find that no amount of prayer,
no amount of money and no amounts of bitter justifications
will buy you a passage through those gates.
Because we will wait…
Copyright © 2012 by Shelley Haggard. Used with permission.
Hugh Heffner Day
By Shelley Haggard
It’s so cold that the clouds
over my head have frozen;
Like the tree branches, the puddles,
my breath. Even the time has thickened for me
As I sit here at home.
My work is not so vital that I can’t overrule
What common sense dictates;
Work will have to wait.
I mean: what’s the point of getting myself killed?
I wouldn’t be much good to the world then.
And I wouldn’t be able to play hooky;
Take a Hugh Heffner day…
Wear my pyjamas all day
And eat and read and watch TV in bed.
Copyright © Nov 28/06 Shelley Haggard. Used with permission.
A HAND OR WORD
By Shelley Haggard
I didn’t know you then;
in your days of youth,
didn’t have a hand or
word in the shaping of you.
Now that I’ve found you,
and found how I fit with you,
I’ve taken root with you:
I will be your present
and your future truth.
You bend to your task
of re-shaping to me
with a vitality I’ve not often seen.
that you flex more than me.
But you’ll say it’s what
you were born to do;
and who am –
the recipient — to argue with you.
In time our shapes
will be found aligned;
entwined as the deep roots
of the transplanted trees
we have moved around this property.
This little plot of land we’ve
had a hand and word in shaping
manifests the love we’re making.
Copyright © 2006 Shelley Haggard. Used with permission
Shelley has just published her first book of poems The Haggard Road: Selected Poems and Photos. She will launch it on June 20th, at a Blue Moon Reading sponsored by the MSA Poets Potpourri Society (Clearbrook Library, 32320 George Ferguson Way, Abbotsford, B.C., 6:30 − 8:30 p.m. All welcome!) Copies will be available for sale at the launch.
She says of the book: “I have tried with this first book to share my love of writing and occasionally the spark of where an idea germinates from. I feel there are many poems in this volume for the reader to connect to. The photos stand alone as stories and sometimes punctuate the poetry. I am very proud of this effort and hope you’ll enjoy the ride on The Haggard Road.”
Praise for The Haggard Road:
“Shelley Haggard’s poetry has a fresh, jaunty quality that at first belies a deeper, darker, complex and sometimes sardonic voice. She uses sharp metaphor and deceptively simple rhyme to catch the reader, much in the manner that a flytrap uses nectar or a siren lures ships. There is no escaping the inevitable sucker punch to the sternum waiting for the reader, leaving them breathless.” – Steven R. Duncan (free-lance writer, mentor, producer, publicist, art promoter and poet)
Shelley Haggard was born and raised in Fort St. John, BC and now resides in Mission. She began writing at an early age and likes to say she has left no inner or outer stone un-turned. She has won several prizes in poetry contests and has been published widely in various anthologies; many of those poems are included in this first book effort. Some of her photography is included as well. Please check out her video poems at www.youtube.com/shelleyhaggardpoems