The Stage

Posted: January 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

CONTEXT: October, 2011

Returning from CFSW in Toronto in 2011, ArRay-of-WoRds asked Ruthanne and I to run the Ottawa Youth Poetry Slam that week as he wasn’t going to make it back in time. The feature that month was Charles Hamilton.

At OYPS the feature also runs a workshop for the youth and I sat in on the one run by Charles. He spoke about metaphor and during a writing exercise I wrote the following poem.

Not one of my best, seeing as it was written in less than 10 minutes, but there is some nice imagery in there.


My mother is the stage
Lifting me above the crowd,
Demanding more than a pedastal,
Insisting that I have something to say.
She is the step up and the
Picture frame
Ready to drop the curtain
Whn I needed to be alone
And kicking the live mic
When I didn’t realize I
Had something to say.
Then she sat back and waited
When I looked out over
The poetry mosh pit –
Ideas thrashing about in the
Rain and mud of an
Outdoor festival knowing that
Every stage is more than
Platform and crowd,
Is more than arm’s-length aristocracy
With a Pink Floyd
Security detail keeping
You safe from interaction.
A stage is also the place you
Plant your feet – that moment
Before you dive.
A stage is a plan
And my mother knows that plans
Are maps laid out on Etch-a-Sketch
Easels and she couldn’t reach the
A stage is stable, even when you are not.
A stage is backbone.
A stage is home.

The next entry is about one of the most disappointing times I have had since taking up poetry.


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