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Lea Harper

Lea Harper – BEDLAM



You chose a drowsing wilderness
sundrunk chalice of lakes

three years winding down a verdant path
now you double back

the city an explosion of images

Sign behind a dumpster:  Holocaust Memorials
in an alley between church and boutique,
Caprice du Marie and The Redeemer.

The Passion plays out in a dim theatre
over a grail of popcorn.
Bodies emerge from the interior
stunned, vermicular,
daylight stabbing their eyes.

What do you know of sacrifice
beyond your own tortured ambitions?

You worked your way through thousands of plots
to find your father’s grave.

The earth is exhausted.

At the cross of St. George and Bloor
a mass pilgrimage to the station.

Go back to your untroubled woods.
The dragon rumbles underfoot,
sewer grates steam.


Lea Harper is an award-winning poet and Juno-nominated songwriter, the author of All That Saves Us and Shadow Crossing (Black Moss Press). She has released four recordings including Lake of Many Winds, a spoken word CD with soundscapes — a tribute to Kennisis Lake, her permanent residence since 2001. She is currently working with the Jazz-poetry ensemble: Alchemy. The string bass and percussion heard on Bedlam is provided by Craig Patterson.


To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website here: