Today we are featuring a poem from Patrick Warner’s poetry collection Octopus (Biblioasis, 2016).

Octopus has been shortlisted for the 2017 E.J. Pratt Poetry Award, along with Michael Crummey’s Little Dogs and Robin Durnford’s Half Rock. The winner will be announced on Wednesday May 3rd at a ceremony at Government House in St. John’s.

Warner has already twice won the EJ Pratt Poetry Prize for his books Mole (Anansi, 2009) and There, there (Vehicule, 2007). His first poetry collection, All Manner of Misunderstanding (2001), was shortlisted for it. His novels include Double Talk and One-hit Wonders; the latter was recently favourably reviewed in The Overcast.

“The Watercourse”

The watercourse is a system of meaning
in which the sense of freedom that comes
with being a flowing body depends heavily
on restriction which in worst cases becomes
a prison though mostly it doesn’t come
to this because the watercourse has a
release valve by which the cloudiness
of such thought becomes the means of
rescue and by the same process we are
subject to a beneficial downpour with
excess rain collecting as surface runoff
and carrying some surface with it
dipping into drainage basins and joyful
is the thought of groundwater recharge
inspirational the springs the melting
snowpack and glaciers that push the
streams creeks rivulets rills and brooks
as well as burns and becks to natural
confluence with other bodies, salt or sweet.