Grass Widow

poetry by Apryl Leaf

Synopsis

Libros proudly presents a new passionate poetic voice in the Canadian literary landscape. These poems suggest the sounds of a rich inner life resonating with multiple hidden worlds in and outside the poet. Grass Widow prospects boldly over the exposed surfaces of natural phenomenon, exploring dark and hopeful places that are scorched with loneliness and yearning, quenched with tenderness and optimism. The author distills with precise technique, her ventures through novel places, memories and relationships, using layers of imagery to inform her experiences and emotions. Through appreciation for all the elements of life, a determination of spirit allows the poet to explore fulfilled or unresolved questions and desires from a unique perspective.

Excerpt

Dig
Loving night's gift
rowed through the canyon of low tide
arbutus and fir silhouettes
the broad welcome of the old constellations
swelling on my mercury oar wake
lending courage
to drag the skiff over the bony spit
gravel beds sculpted by the last storm
to rise sharply and fall like the winter night
low  low tide with no moon
in the dark we grope the garden
for smooth little mounds from under sand
we weigh the fruit in our left palm
the other digs with an oyster shell
Wild Currant
Kingfisher glides  scolding
cuts the green bay  sun chopping clouds
between my blows into firewood
echoing off the island bluffs
buffered between the
island gap   my cue  I leave the ax
launch the skiff with the current
to the spring while there's never anyone
but minnows or kids that play at low tide
at high water it's just the top of a bonsai cedar
and icy water overflowing  I carry the filled carboys
aiming for barnacle-sure footing
the gunwales lowered to
water on water reflection
befriends my smooth strokes over
a long sand dollar bed  black velvet coins
and hermit crabs within reach
we glide with oar tips up  then the painter line clove-hitched
to home  Fresh water for a week  I declare
while kingfisher on the scarlet
wild currant bush ignores
school lets out in an hour and
I can row you from the trail head
to the boat in time for tea 
Boulder
Four black cormorants
pictographs  ominous and silent
long neck silhouettes on silver  
clinging to shore  their home in winter   
four on one giant boulder at half tide 
hang their vees upside down
one white gull swimming beside them
"Leaf explores the perception of time, loss of innocence and persistence of memory with compassion, feeling and depth, creating her own mythologies."
– Christal Pshyk

About the Author

Apryl Leaf was born in Ashcroft, B.C. and was raised in the Interior town of Falkland. She composed her first poems at the age of 11. After graduation she enrolled in outdoor school and then studied music, creative writing and literature in North Vancouver, joining others in the summer months for reforestation work in the Interior and Coastal mountains.

She became employed in a variety of marine-based work and marine studies as well as raising a daughter. She earned a journalism diploma, then worked as a reporter for small North and South Coast newspapers. She edits poetry for a Lower Mainland book publisher.

Praise

"Building on observations of place and landscapes that surround her, Apryl Leaf weaves themes of longing for acceptance, homesickness and nostalgia. Throughout the collection, the reader is treated to Leaf's fresh take on transient beauty, individual struggle, finding meaning through memory, knowledge and experience. Growing up and residing in some of the most beautiful and distinct areas of Canada, hasn't hurt the author's ability to create precise and memorable imagery that provides a distinctly resounding and accurate representation of the landscape and its mythologies. Leaf explores the perception of time, loss of innocence and persistence of memory with compassion, feeling and depth, creating her own mythologies."

– Christal Pshyk,
Arts Consultant