Canoe Travelling Along the East Coast
From spruces to palm trees
the birch-bark canoe
long hugs the coast
that watches it pitch in the distance
in the empty expanse
that embraces the country’s profile
where roads and expressways and
streets and lanes and
tracks and footpaths
initiate a network that disappears into the interior
to clasp the face of the earth
to map a history of intentions and actions.
The United States watch the empty birch-bark canoe
that drifts by in a dream
carrying a molecular impetus over
the edge of a drum
the snow rumbling.
The Invisible Sounds of a Filmed City
Deep uneasiness rises to
on the dirty surface of the swimming pool
dug out years ago
in the urban desert
the great plants and humid terracing
up to no one’s sky
that dripped from leaf to leaf
on the impassable fragrant ground.
Towers have grown up around
the almost empty pool
bludgeoned by the sun. You can smell
the heat peeling the odours.
The towers encircle clutch
the filthy reflection caught in the trap
of the land register like the eye’s image
captured by the sounds and
their echoes that cover the limits of daily life
over the resonant
or blunt shade
The city is only an ear to the mirror.
Stéphane D'Amour has published four collections of poems in French: L'île, 2006, shortlisted for the Prix de la Fondation L.A. Finances pour la poésie (Paris), La peinture, 2008, Dans mes paysages, 2012, and À demeure, 2015. His poems have also appeared in reviews and anthologies in India, Mexico, Japan, China (Hong Kong), Macedonia, Spain, Mongolia and Québec. He has read his poetry at festivals in El Salvador, Macedonia/Albania, Mongolia, and Québec. In 2009 he was awarded a joint grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Fondo Nacional para las Cultura y las Artes that enabled him to write a book of poetry in Mexico City about a house without walls. He won 3rd prize in the World Haiku Association contest, held in Japan in 2019.