WHAT IS WORN IS WHAT HAS LIVED
The wild rose was full with winter birds
settled on the risen snow. Chickadee,
And in another house, your dying
nearly complete. And the air thickening
with snow, but the birds remained.
How the heart closes a door so silently,
nothing disturbs the quiet.
And you stood up and entered a place.
One that had been prepared for you.
And the present fell away to the past.
Winter mornings you’d wake before dawn
and in that darkness, walked to the sea
where, in silence, in unison, the mute swans
took flight, the only sound in that moment
their wings pushing the air down and down
as they rose out of sight.
And after that, you knew anyone
could rise out of sight.
“The poems in Finding What He Can of his Own Way Home: Elegy of Patrick Lane are redolent with swans and wild rose, tree frogs singing into the night, echo both the poems of Patrick Lane and the poet herself, Pamela Porter, who lives with his spirit, as those who loved him do. The poet has “risen out of sight” but those who loved him feel his presence in their lives still. These poems rise also, with passion and compassion, written with love. And what does a loved one become, after death? the flame in the candle the moth at the window, the outline of a body in a chair in the early morning, an elegy, a set of poems that continue to live in the hearts of all readers.”
— Blurb by Barbara Pelman
Pamela Porter’s work has won more than a dozen provincial, national and international awards, including the Governor General’s Award for her young adult novel The Crazy Man, as well as the Pat Lowther, Raymond Souster, and the CBC/Canada Writes shortlists. Among her 14 published books, her most recent is Likely Stories, released in 2019 from Ronsdale Press. Pamela lives near Sidney, BC with her family and a menagerie of rescued horses, dogs, and cats.
Pamela Porter is one of the finalists for the 2021 Vallum Chapbook Award for her chapbook Finding What He Can of his Own Way Home: Elegy of Patrick Lane.