an incalculable loss grief tumbles out of me like water spiraling, bubbling, weaving, washing over pebbles in a river bed, eroding the land and me until all that is left are enervated neurons lost in a dance of discomfort, a dance with the dead -- who are never really gone, nor never really here. a gentle sobbing of your name in the wind and then nothing. i am bound to emptiness and the polished stones of memories on your grave. Li Po’s Mountain: A Riff on an 8th Century Taoist Poem empty sky, empty heart. the rush, rush, rushing of water. an old man on a mountain top, watching a bird in flight. stepping on to the path here in the emptiness—the empty, emptiness of self. sitting on the top of a mountain li po and i shrouded in clouds of ancient wisdom, unlocking the landmines of the heart, gracefully, easefully until all that is left is the mountain and a bird song.
Debra Black is a former feature writer and news reporter with the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper. Over her 28 plus year career there she won a number of national awards for her journalism, including the National Newspaper Award. She also has won a number of awards for magazine writing prior to her working at the Star. Her poems were first published in University of Toronto literary magazines in the mid-1970s when she was a student. The magazines have long gone, but her love of the written word and poetry has not disappeared. Her most recent work appears on the prestigious literary website the Queen’s Mob Teahouse. To view those poems go to this link: https://queenmobs.com/2019/10/poems-debra-black/
Throughout her career as a journalist, she covered public policy issues such as education and immigration and diversity and has interviewed some of Canada’s leading politicians, writers and thinkers. She has travelled extensively and taught journalism in Rwanda and covered the HIV crisis in South Africa and Swaziland for the Star. While working and raising a child, she continued to write poetry for herself and others. Having left the Star, she now teaches yin yoga and meditation and spends many an hour writing and polishing her poetry, exploring the human condition and themes of love and existence.