Chad Norman – A Raven’s Sermon

P Chad Norman LE P&W Vol 1 2019

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Poems by Chad Norman

For the past 35 years Chad Norman has been writing, publishing, and reading poetry aloud to many audiences in Canada, U.S.A., Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. Over the years he has also given different workshops on writing and reading poetry aloud in all levels of educational venues. In July of each year he hosts what is known as RiverWords: Poetry & Music festival, held in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Norman continues to be a member in The League of Canadian Poets and the Fed. of NS Writers. At the moment he is working on a new manuscript of poems, A Small Matter Of Inclusion, a works he says is being written to teach him how he feels and thinks about people having to leave their homelands and make a choice to move to Canada. His latest collection is Selected & New Poems, out from Mosaic Press, located in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
Munyori Literary Journal:
Stand Magazine: www.stand-magazine/two-poems-by-chad-norman
Prachya Review:
The Galway Review:
The Nova Scotia Advocate:

A Raven’s Sermon

An urbane couple united in more than marriage
wanders the weekend streets of Charlottetown
with many kinds of roofs partly wet and dry
enough to lift their exploring heads & eyes,
both open to not only the shocking nest
in a tree ready for the return of leaves
they could see as the shade soon to be,
how the stunning old church will stay cool
long after he & she return to lives in Truro,
the town known as the hub of Nova Scotia.
But it was the walk under that wild-tied nest
the way it sat so perfectly in the waking tree
like an unpacked family photo placed on
the corner of an old undusted night-table,
yes, the walk to locate a venue where poems
join the coffee and wine to entertain the minds
of a special gathering kind of feeling at home,
takes them back to the sight of the church, tree,
another home they now know the nest to be.
And, now, when they think about all they can,
and those thoughts are about the homes they
can say have been homes, kind of where they
began knowing others are alive too,
breath allowing a life, those able to be
part of how their homes seem so far away,
high up in the memory, what may be a tree
there with a nest in it, a time when a season
could be compared to a town, city, province,
may even be a country, homes at one time
or another, inside or outside the memory.
Briefly, down below, both of them begin to hear
what in the moment sounds like advice,
sounds like a sermon they said went over well
when the church was in their lives, down below
a choice they hadn’t made or found at that time,
when the nest seemed to be speaking to them
or the occupant covered in feathers unlike the
colour of the lone vocal gull, passing through
like some photo-bomb they both found hilarious.

In time their walk left them back in the hotel room
full of the sounds of the day and evening spoke,
enough to begin their own speaking, a conversation
made up of a quick need to reveal, to ask just once,
“Did you hear it? You know, when we were under
the nest in that tree beside the church we found
old and so mysterious. You know, it was like
a voice but not a human voice, more like what
would be heard when, perhaps, someone who
was new to the Maritimes, a Canada to share,
speaking in such a happy and relieved, almost
unusual way about how it had been finding a home.
A new home, far from the one home others
somehow had to agree they must leave, try
to attempt another life, one they hoped would
one day simply sound and seem as beautiful
as two, better yet, four wings flapping, a rhythm,
a beat some people have heard at least once, or
in time, like the smiling couple, believe to be
a gift their travels have brought, travels unlike
the people they will stand beside, the people
for the future, waiting, like unborn children,
or even unhatched eggs.

The Flagless Flagpole

Today I can’t care about
the intrusive news of the world,
and I can’t care about
the life of a younger man seated
beside a bench I enjoy as the finches
share songs with a sun I can’t care about,
only use as a hope to warm the back
of my neck where the wind
remains cold under the collar
I leave open in order to not care about
the stranger walking by, asking
himself, along with the wind and sun,
“Do you really think I am stupid?”

At this point in the bike-ride home
I can’t care about the chem-trail
left in the blue sky above us, an
us I want to care about
only if we begin to take the time
seated out in the open where
we can be seen, bald-heads, ball-caps
on backwards and forwards,
burkas, niqabs, hijabs, turbans,etc.,
all we use to adorn or admit to
ourselves this is who I must be,
this is what I follow, what I believe in
if you will, what I wear allows a
tiny look into the self I am trying
to keep sacred, but what I wear
is meant to hide nothing other than
what we all were told to keep hidden,
boy and girl, man and woman.

Today I want to care about one thing,
a longing to be a Canadian…
being born here, or having had
the courage to choose this country
and somehow find the way,
to eventually stay on some land,
some perfect selected property.
You will soon own, soon call
a piece of the planet your new home.

My Part, My Place

I miss
so many in my life,
the People.

who are my family,
my world-wide family,

who are
supposed to be
close family members,

the members
I think about,
I worry about.

So when the door opens,
(the border, perhaps),
the door to my part,
my place, I know

I am home, and those
I miss are never gone,
those who also welcome

the Syrians, the Americans,
all of the Everyones,
all of those who long to stay,
all of those who long to say,
“I too am home, Canada.”

A Nationwide Plea, or a Request
For a Fewer Misled Borders

What I see
cannot be disputed–
I am poet
in this mess called 2019–
I am poet
regardless of your boredom
or strange lack of support.

I don’t come from
Ireland or Italy,
I don’t long to be
from any other country
other than this one.

Remember, we are Canadians!
Remember, I see!
Remember, I am a Canadian!

Immigrants, migrants, refugees, People,
hold onto your longing…
the music in the mouth,
the words of an anthem.

Hold on! Hold on! Grab it,
the history gives you it–
listen to your poets,
let them have some respect,
let them in, hear their words.

© Chad Norman