Kate Marshall Flaherty offered a session on May 18.
Kate Marshall Flaherty has over 30 years experience in animating and facilitating interactive and inspirational workshops in writing, editing, and poetry writing, fiction and memoir.
She is certified in the Amherst Writers Method of facilitating workshops and has worked with every age group and community, from Grade Two Classrooms to Seniors’ communities. She has been a “Poet in the Schools” throughout Ontario and all of Canada. She works with musicians as well, and has created a fundraiser music and poetry workshop that has been around Canada, from Cobalt out to Jasper; which has raised over $1600 for the Alzheimer Society of Canada alone.
What a thrill it was to have a full house of poets for Write Around the World on May 18th. We started with an intro, the land we are on and one image each, then had a meditation to ground us and settle in that liminal state of image and dream; we took risks, made word webs of associations, lists, chose lines from powerful poems, and played with words. It was an inspiring morning of awesome sharing and affirming mirroring, all in the safe container of the AWA Method.
Jump to Barbara Krasner’s piece.
Jump to Jenn Pipp’s piece.
Jump to Debbie Kuchciak’s piece.
Jump to Laurel Karry’s piece.
Jump to Kate Marshall Flaherty’s piece.
Ancestor Manifesto by Barbara Krasner
I believe in the collective memory
of my ancestors, especially the females,
that seeps through my DNA
and courses through my consciousness.
I believe in the traditions of my people
practiced over five thousand years
that connect Ukrainian President Zelinsky
to all of us no matter where we live.
I believe in the voices of my ancestors
whispering to me in dewy moments
their sacred and sage advice
that I cannot ignore.
I believe that I still have much to learn
and with the guidance of my ancestors
I will seek and secure those lessons
I can pass on to future generations.
That Becomes Song by Jenn Pipp
(dedicated to Staghorn Jenn Pipp Sumac) ©2022
Staghorn sumac. I think that is you. But like many in your youth you resemble others.
Tree of heaven. Other trees with their many pointed leaves. Soon your fuzzy red limbs and your nearby elders make it clear who you are. I delight in your abundance.
Your abundance is the abundance of birds
And the abundance of insects
You generously lend yourself to the human practice of dying fibers
Your fruits delicious to beings of all kinds
But you are more than that
You also exist for yourself
Although I don’t know quite what your existence is like. And although I know I can never slip far enough out of my humanness to be fully in your flesh, I imagine what it’s like to sit in the warmth of the earth in your body pushing upwards towards the sun.
Your slow stretch upwards to my eyes for you feels like
Something I can never know.
What is it like to know what you know?
The turning of the land and arrival of square houses
Is your presence here the action of birds and oversight of distracted people? Or did the people before me allow you to stay while shovels dug your kind out of the earth nearby?
I want you to know we share this place
We belong to each other
Today I organically move about the yard, pushing out clicks of a mechanical mower acquired at our neighbors garage sale. I dodge you and our slender bright green neighbor Pennsylvania Sedge.
Host to dozens of caterpillars
That become butterflies
That become birds
That becomes song
That powers the earth
And today I noticed a new friend, cinefoil on the hill and made a touchdown-like gesture.
Excited that this plant arrived on its own to a slope that is rewilding itself.
This is what I live for.
Return to Childhood by Debbie Kuchciak
I believe in the winnowing hands of Mother Ocean, washing out to her depths the chaf of adulting. In the wracklines of her ebb? Childlike delight and joy.
I believe in sunny prides of dandelions spreading golden lustre dust to bumbling bees in a dance along a hillside. Bumble along in mirth, make a wish, blow and join the dance.
I believe in marshmallow clouds that shift high on a warm spring day. Cottonball giants feint, parry and flunge serpentine wyrms, writhing round sabres of pearl vapour. A fount of treasure for the young at heart.
jaune by Laurel Karry
a juicy tang of lemons
a parched tongue
on an August afternoon;
tansy, and broom
on a Provençal highway;
goodbyes imprinted on
snot-stained panes of glass;
by social viruses;
steeped in nicotine;
spit and spewed
over checkered slacks asleep
ricotta, cottage, and camembert
after 2 a.m.
It’s the colour of finches.
Poem of the Moment by Kate Marshall Flaherty
Her baggy pants held by rainbow suspenders, men’s
pants, perhaps, but they suit her frame and are loose
for foraging; she rides a grown-up tricycle
with a green milk crate duct taped to the back, bottles
and cans rattle as she pedals, whistling to stop, dismount
then open blue bins to peer inside for glass. I ask
does she want our Mother’s day wine bottles? Her smile
alights on me like a sunny May moth. She winks. Mother’s she whispers like a prayer.
Thank you for joining us for Write Around the World!
For the rest of the summer, watch our blog! We are sharing writing from AWA’s yearly marathon fundraiser, which happened this year all-online throughout the month of May.
We offer this series in appreciation for the incredible community of writers and workshop leaders that sustain us. If you’re inspired and would like to be part of the fundraiser, please donate!