Local Calls: Poems

Local Calls: Poems

Out of Print and available only from the author.


The title of this collection is taken from a joke told me by a Sydney realtor, a few days after my wife and I arrived from England, a decade ago, to begin a new life in Cape Breton. If I ever “needed to call Paradise,” he deadpanned, I’d “come to the right place.” “Oh,” I asked, confused, “why’s that?” “Well, you see,” he said, “local calls are free.”

And it’s true: the Island really is a beautiful, powerful – an almost supernaturally natural – place. But, as I hope these poems convey, it isn’t the whole truth. The calls may be free, but the news from “home” – the real here – is often disturbing.

“There is,” the French surrealist poet Paul Éluard famously wrote, “another world, and it is this one.”

But there is trouble in Paradise.