Continuing from Part One (posted on September 8th), Naia and I disembarked from our Rideau Canal cruise boat and were confronted with an official motorcade headed towards Parliament Hill. To this day, I do not know which dignitary was behind the tinted glass.
sun after rain
We made our way back towards the National Gallery of Art, crossing into the Province of Quebec via the Alexandria Bridge. Because I never studied French, I originally thought the bridge was the Pont Alexandra Bridge but later discovered “pont” is the French word for “bridge”.
no one translates
I could have spent the entire day at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau.
Unfortunately, we only had about an hour and a half. So, we toured the Grand Hall and the First Nations Hall before attempting to speed walk back to the Hotel before the Haiku North America Opening Ceremonies. True speed walking through the sort of scenery we needed to pass is impossible for two poets with an eye for photography. But somehow, photo stops or not, we made it back in time.
above Parliament Hill
we try not to look
Haiku North America was held in the Library and Archives Canada. Upon walking in, one of the first people I saw was Garry Gay, who of course, gave me one of his haiku pens. Suddenly Naia and I were swept up with happy reunions with poets we hadn’t seen for awhile and the excitement of meeting people we’d read for years for the very first time.
We finally sat down in the auditorium with David Lanoue, Patricia Donegan, and Dennis Maloney.
David Lanoue, Naia, Patricia Donegan, Dennis Maloney
Gary Gay and Michael Dylan Welch opened the festivities. Then, Michael Dylan Welch and Grant Savage started the reading of the 2009 HNA Anthology, Into Our Words, containing the work of about 90 poets. The poets who were present stood up and read their own haiku. My contribution to the anthology was:
the appliance repairman
comes the wrong day
After the anthology reading there was a wine and cheese reception hosted by Modern Haiku as Angela Leuck and the Montreal Poets performed haiku with music.
Angela Leuck is holding the microphone
Robert Sibley gave the keynote speech, “Basho, Me, and the Poetics of Epiphanies.” Sibley brought slides and spoke of his pilgrimage in Japan, walking the Shikoku no Michi, “The Way of Shikoku,” a 1400 km Buddhist pilgrimage trail that circles the island of Shikoku.
Afterwards, Michael Dylan Welch, Garry Gay, Emiko Miyashita, and I went to the Light and Sound Show at Parliament Hill.