In Great Company – Heidi Garnett’s Poem in Your Pocket

Canadian Poet Heidi Garnett, contributor to Poem in Your Pocket and author of Blood Orange, Frontenac House, 2016. Photo: Frontenac House

Canadian Poet Heidi Garnett, contributor to Poem in Your Pocket and author of Blood Orange, Frontenac House, 2016. Photo: Frontenac House

Wish List

I want to meet a blue parakeet that reads the future
pulling Tarot cards with one delicate outstretched foot,
the hanged man uncovered.  I want to own a Corvette,
a 1960 red and white convertible hardtop
and drive around town with my dog Bud.  I want
to write love poems as if world peace depends on them.  I want
to shape each day like a clump of clay
until it becomes what my hands remember.  I want
to see the turnings of things, who and where we already are,
light rising again in the east, the moon
climbing into the world through a trapdoor each night,
my attic a place of worship.  I want to see a white-tailed deer
gazing at an inverted image of itself in a frozen lake
and just once the clearly marked tracks of a bobcat
breaking new snow.  I want to go home
as if I never left.  Like the sun I want to enter
through one door and leave by another.

Heidi Garnett, with permission, from Poem in Your Pocket, American Academy of Poets and League of Canadian Poets, April 27th, 2017

Yesterday poems from a small collection of 31 poems were read out loud across North America and other English-speaking parts of the world as part of Poem in Your Pocket Day, an annual celebration of poetry during National Poetry Month. To see the full collection click here.

The list of Canadian and American contributors is impressive. A who’s who of contemporary poetry: Gluck, Hirschfield, Crozier, Merwin, Howe, Ostriker and Nye and many more including many great other Canadian poets, some not yet household names. One of those, to my utter delight, was Kelowna poet Heidi Garnett, no stranger to this blog! I featured her new poetry collection, Blood Orange, in the Fall last year.

Garnett is best known for her searing poems of witness to the unspeakable suffering of German men and women at the hands of Russian troops in the aftermath of the Second World War. Her poems are an important  addition to the record of 20th Century atrocities.

The poem included above shows another note in Garnett’s wide poetic range. I love the whimsy and playfulness in this poem. What a sight that would be: Heidi in a red corvette driving around with a white poodle named Bud! I want to know my future: bring on the blue parakeet!




  1. Posted April 28, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Richard, thank you for your lovely comments. You are a generous friend to writers and it is greatly appreciated.

  2. Richard Osler
    Posted April 28, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Easy to be generous with great poems!

  3. Bill Cunningham
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Richard for posting Heidi’s light-hearted yet poignant poem. I love the tone and the images. But I still do not want to know the future. 😉

  4. Posted May 11, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Wonder-filled. I sense a lightness in your voice in this, Heidi. Profundity of images, red corvette included! But something else…a joy perhaps? xo LA

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