where is here?

man with blue collared shirt, grey hair, black glasses, standing in well lit modern building

“The essential question of Canadian literature is ‘where is here?’” — Northrop Frye, A Journey Without Arrival

Here is a garden I call my own,
peering through a window at dawn
to tell me how to spend my day.
Here is what I make from living.

Here is the pleasure I take by doing,
the students I give my language to,
the patience they take in learning it.
Here is what we talk about all day.

Here was my lunch, but I got hungry.
Here is the paper bag it came in,
a puppet I place over my hand
to let it do the talking for me.

Here is the chair where I like to read,
and a toppled stack of poetry books –
two per day as a steady diet until…
needing companions in a city of books

they desire to be conversant with time.
My library is here to twenty-thousand,
and the conversation goes on all night.
Here, a table where I paint toy soldiers.

Here is the room I lie down to sleep,
having read, painted, and talked too long.
Here is where I dream a language
others will speak when I am mute.

Here is a night where snow is falling.
Here is the silence where stories wait.
Here is what I should try to do better.
Here is the reason I ask my questions.

Here is the clarity of fragile silence.
and here is where I hear meteors flare.
Here is the distance the eye can see,
beyond pines, and moon, to eternity.

Here is my moment in a small forever.
Here are my words as anxious as flies.
Here is a humming bird at my window.
My answers are in the drone of its wings.

– Bruce, loquacious, overly imaginative (good and bad), productive, curious, eccentric, restless, perspicacious, autodidactic, Georgian professor and University of Toronto visiting professor, former City of Barrie Poet Laureate, author of 48 books (and counting), award-winning poet and writer, storyteller, photographer, speaker, literary critic, cultural activist >> learn more