Splendid terms
by A. Garnett Weiss

Make a toast to those you love,
to one-of-a-kind places that meant the most
right down to the lawn chair.

Recall one act of disobedience, rarely made
mistakes, holy like a startled forest animal.

Photo by Jaeyoon Jeong on Unsplash 

FOUND POEM SOURCES: Individual words drawn from death notices and obituary articles published on April 20, 2017, in the The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “Splendid terms” first appeared in the 2020 Poetry Leaves anthology (Waterford Township Public Library, Michigan). It is part of a series of found poems in a collection I have under development. Each five-line poem uses only non-contiguous, individual words selected from death notices and obituary articles published on a single day in The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada). I consider identification of the sources integral to the poem. Using such material and bringing the discipline of five lines to each poem reflect my Spoon River sense of death as the great equalizer. The poem urges the celebration of cherished places and the efforts to preserve them, finite as they are in providing habitat for humankind and its animal members.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JC Sulzenko’s poems appear in anthologies and online, either under her name or as A. Garnett Weiss. Silver Birch Press and The Light Ekphrastic have featured her work. In 2021, Aeolus Press published her collection Bricolage, A Gathering of Centos. During 2020, her poems appeared in Vallum, the Naugatuck River Review, and the Poetry Leaves project. In 2019, she won the inaugural Wind and Water Contest and the WrEN award (Children’s Poetry) and judged poetry for the National Capital Writing Contest. Her poetry was featured in Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology (Mansfield Press), the Poet’s Pathway, and County CollAboRaTive during 2018. In 2017, Point Petre Publishing released her South Shore Suite…POEMS. Her centos took top honors in The Bannister Anthology (2016, 2013.). She has presented workshops for the Ottawa International Writers Festival, the Canadian Authors Association, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, the Ottawa Public Library, and several Alzheimer societies. Her published work includes six books for children and the poetry chapbooks Slant of Light and Breathing Mutable Air, which she co-authored with Carol A. Stephen. Based in Ottawa, Canada, she curates the Glebe Report’s “Poetry Quarter” and serves as a selector for bywords.ca. Visit her at jcsulzenko.com and follow her on Twitter.