I have one poem published in the most recent issue of the UK magazine Dream Catcher. Issue #23 is dedicated entirely to Canadian writing. Apparently there hasn’t been an exclusively Canadian issue of a literary magazine from the UK for fifteen years.
A Victorian Life
My life began drearily –
daughter of a minor clerk
and a woman who died in childbirth.
At twenty, courted by a melancholic
who threatened suicide if we didn’t marry.
Tired of dragging my petticoats through sludge,
We were happy for a while
until he frequented brothels.
Soon after, his “precious angel”
became “lunatic whore.”
Cast adrift, I discovered
the bohemian circle – artist faces
gloomy as the maroon of parlour walls.
I investigated spiritualism and theosophy,
joined a secret society –
an offshoot of the Golden Dawn.
Remarried, a magus.
We were mad for each other, twin souls,
until he became violently ill
from a malady no doctor could name
(though I suspect malevolence).
I packed my late husband’s regalia,
fled to Canada and crossed it by rail –
registering under a pseudonym
at the Empress Hotel.
Visitors come and go.
Daily I read tea leaves
for signs of the approaching century:
a raven perched on a cross,
a sword piercing a cloud.
Copyright © Clara Blackwood 2009
(published in Dream Catcher 23)