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Rout/e at Petrie Island

The rout/e poetry installation in the ecological reserve of Petrie Island was a poem planting event on Oct 10th. The park is on the east side of Ottawa. It went up on Thanksgiving weekend and stay up until they’re gone.
This, as with the first manifestation of the footpress, was a sort of ‘nature note’ mockup – poems placed under plexiglass on plywood and posted with 2×1’s on the trails. There are actual nature notes there too:

fern descriptor

Katherine
Katherine, the native flora program coordinator, fits the laminated sheets in behind the plexiglass sheet.

Poems in this installation were by: David Groulx, Roland Prevost, Pearl Pirie, Sandra Ridley, and Blaine Marchand.

a wheelbarrow of poem material
Poem material, ready to move.

poetry load
Poems being hauled by Brian Pirie.

the descent of the paparazzi
At one point there were 5 of us photographing. Some of a poem paparazzi scrum captured by Janice Tokar here as Sandra Ridley’s poem about high water is planted at the edge of the waterline that will rise in spring. This is by Turtle pond on Turtle trail.

Turtle Lookout, no turtles sunning today
Turtle hide lookout.

pounding the first stake, Ridley's poem
A closer shot.

Sandra Ridley's poem on Turtle Trail
Each has a little code so if you have the app and device you can get bonus material, like Roland’s poem having background music as he reads it.

Roland with his poem
Here’s Roland with his poem.

Ottawa River by fern trail
It’s out by the shore edge of the Ottawa river west of the education building.

plaque
It’s a relatively new protected area. On one part there’s trails for hiking or skiing. Other area have boardwalk style seating to watch the pond.

kids learning area
There’s also an education centre, a picnic area, a white sand beach and pontoon rentals. Someone should rent a pontoon next summer and have a poetry on the Ottawa river reading.

A little more westward,
the maker of the posts, Groulx's poem
Al Tweddle (Chair of Friends of Petrie Island) and some of the other FOPI Board members were the ones who built the signs. Here is puts up the David Groulx poem set in the wildflower walk area. It is a romantic poem from his latest book about finding a quiet hideaway spot with a dead moose to make love by.

level?
Chris Turnbull adjusts the cover on David’s poem (picture by Jan).

Blaine Marchand's poem on Bill Holland trail
Blaine Marchand’s poem is by the chain gate at the end of the nearest section of Bill Holland trail. The poem references stones and there shore there is rocky.

screwing it to the case
Rocky enough that there was some debate on whether a stake could be hammered in.

Blaine Marchand's poem
Once it was in, it is a poem with a view.

Pearl with poem
Here I am with my poem which is further east towards the parking lot of Turtle Pond trail. I thought the idea of cleft of rock and the two trees collapsed into each other (which I didn’t photograph) made the poem fit the site.

the assembled
And here’s everyone who came except Al who is taking the photo.

I’m not usually one to give occasion poems but afterwards this,

flushed cheeks in a breeze
Petrie Island, Oct 10, 2014

couches are fine. commodious.
if leather, initially autumn-cool.

how did I forget the outdoors’
greatness? um, am I not even 

a homebody so much as a 
chairbody? my knees, willow,
in the wind, bending, harrum,
straighten, swing a thrum.

painted turtles on that
log? nope.
brisk walks with no direction to 
talk towards. 
no instrumeant al conversation sung, 
no violins, no drums, Jan, Rol, Al,
Chris, Brian, Katherine and I. what’s past the 
next corner by the butternut? silver 
ripples lap gravel maps
taking turns at mallet whacks next stake from the wheelbarrow
stack

poems for sparrows, for the plein-air painters,
for the asian hikers of 3 generations who paused to ask.
grey-haired stroller to buckskin fringe-boot-swing daughter over stroller

granddad duck-nods
very good. poemwords sun fern
blend in and out like redmaplecloudsun.

painter along the trail

Other installation of rout/e have been at (g)roving, situated between the campus of the University of Guelph, Kemptville, and the AgroForestry Centre with poems by Monty Reid, Sandra Ridley, derek beaulieu, and at Cornerbrook, Newfoundland in the Glynmill Pond section of the Cornerbrook Stream Trail with collaborators/participants Adrian Fowler, Stephan Walke, Holly Pike, Beth Follett, Adam Beardsworth and Shosh Ganz.

In winter as with the other ones the poems catch the attention of skiers at the Glynmill Trail. Previously and still there are poems up at the Marlborough Forest trail with poems by rob mclennan and Amanda Earl.

The next version of rout/e is a large poetry installation at Baxter Conservation Area, placed as a panel in a solar array near Kars, Ontario. So far this has beaulieu’s Translating Apollinaire.

Related posts:

  1. ABSTrACTS/RéSuMÉS: An Exercise in Poetry Presented by The A B Series and The Ottawa Art Gallery Thursday, January 28, 2010. Doors open 7pm / Reading at 7:30pm Club SAW 67 Nicholas Street Ottawa Free admission...

Categories: Poetry history.

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