Kim Fahner has written these poems during her term as Greater Sudbury Poet Laureate.


A Poem for Canada’s Birthday
Posted Tuesday July 4, 2017 2:00 PM
Some roots of origin
tree themselves outwards,
crawl beyond the borders
of old calendars that fade,
yellow and sepia, counting years,
painted and speaking nostalgia.

Before the lumber or nickel,
there was water and pines,
and sky and land,
ancient keepers of tales
that are recorded in the
cartography of rock,
in the rings of elms,
and in the sound
that the water makes
lapping on the edge
of Lake Ramsey.

Hiking through bush,
cresting high banks
of black rock that is
scattered with blueberries,
the view over Sudbury lakes
reminds me that this land,
this homeland, is ours—
to guard, mind, and protect.

This place marks itself,
like a print made by
a nation’s hand, tendons
reaching, searching, exploring
to find a place to root down,
an origin to call one’s own
when you come from afar
in times of terror or torture,
or when you were born here.

Home. Where the heart is,
and where it beats,
and then what you carry
with you when you go.

- Commissioned by Sudbury Living Magazine for Canada 150
Last Updated Tuesday July 4, 2017 2:24 PM

Dancing on the Earth, Reaching for the Sky
Posted Thursday June 22, 2017 2:30 PM
In her head, she hears music,
notes for a series of steps that soon
weave themselves, magical,
into movement phrases,
patterns upon patterns
that shift through light
and half-light, and then colour,
until energy ripples from her centre,
until feet move bodies
and bodies move hearts
as we journey.

There’s Bach there,
so she orbits around him,
her steps quick and graceful,
drawn in and gathered up,
thinking of seagulls and clouds,
skies that shift in mind’s eye;
this translates itself into dance,
feet pushing down into ground,
and then – a jump! –
and she is airborne,
a temps leve,
a bird soaring.

In the far north, she says,
she can almost touch the sky,
reaching up, while dancing
on the earth, dreaming of
Manitoulin and the motorcycle
that leaps from hill to hill—
she, always free to fly.

From the beginning, under the
shadow of the stack in Copper Cliff,
she has always been bright spirit in body,
moving to Pine Street and finding
the telltale buttoned up shoe
when the walls revealed themselves,
slowly, layer by layer, offering up
notions and voices of the past.

She dances on the earth,
but reaches for the sky,
finds her little sparks
and teaches them all
to stand in the floor,
not on it, to root themselves
like trees, and then jump up,
temp leve:

lift off,
flutter feathers,
and then fly.

- written for STC Honours Denise Vitali
Last Updated Tuesday July 4, 2017 2:26 PM

A Poem for the Dream Makers
Posted Thursday May 18, 2017 3:00 PM

It begins with a passing fancy,
a daydreamed notion:
the rustle of a backyard wind chime,
a train on the tracks down by Ramsey,
someone walking on rain wet pavement
late at night in northern darkness, on Elgin,
or even the sound of a single match
being struck, sudden and without warning.

Spark:  caught up in itself,
swirling new worlds into being,
spinning madly into flame—
rising, falling, surging again
so that fancy becomes solid,
and notion submits, sacrifices itself
and becomes form and then substance,
dressing in brightly coloured robes and scarves,
a fortune teller at a carnival, elusive
and sometimes petulant, throwing fits
and shaking its head, stubborn.

Flame:  billowing and obvious,
fed by breath of muse,
an ashy ember floating up
and feathering itself
on a current of air,
mystical, frustrating, beloved.

Embody: sculpt yourself into the art,
weave music into memory,
fashion stanzas and spiral words,
pull paint across canvases
with a brush that fashions image,
cinematic in its scope, standing
on a vast stage that echoes with a voice
which speaks of something grand,
bright, and full of kindled promise.

- commissioned for the Mayor's Celebration of the Arts 2017

Last Updated Thursday May 18, 2017 2:52 PM

From Page to Stage
Posted Thursday May 11, 2017 2:00 PM
Go deep.  Dig.
Prospect with pick axe
so that scraps and shards
of ore fling themselves up
from black rock outcrop,
reveal origins and speak story.

Map this northern place,
gather pieces of history,
see yourself reflected 
in words, first written on page,
and then, raised to stage.
Voices projected from past,
pulled into present, 
this receiver of wreck and 
a spare blind nickel pig.

Start over there,
under darkest shadow 
of mine’s headframe;
find your breath,
before descending,
mining minds and 
splelunking through drifts,
curating thoughts, scenes, acts,
and then ascending, again,
trailing glittering bits of etched out
nickel or copper, stuffed 
into your pockets, a reminder 
of where you come from
and what you are now.  

Speak your debwewin,
the truth that is yours alone to tell,
so that one story becomes more than,
so that voice is pluralized, 
so that words are embodied
by those who tread the boards,
who shift words from page to stage,
leaving them in hearts, so that breath
is taken, borrowed, and then given back 
in cupped palms; an offering.

- Commissioned for PlaySmelter 2017, on its fifth anniversary
Last Updated Tuesday July 4, 2017 2:27 PM

Awakening the Summer Dragon
Posted Wednesday March 29, 2017 2:00 PM

This will be life’s journey,
out from some northern shore,
down a course that is not
always that clearly marked.

The maples will
have dropped their keys
sometime in the autumn,
littering paths near shorelines,
unlocking hearts one by one.

You will go to the water’s side,
gather paddles, root yourselves
as trees would, arms like
strong branches, reaching out
through Ramsey’s waves,
against any wind that
makes you waver or question.

Then, move forward until
fierce spirit dragons gather, circle,
surround the pearl that is the prize:
the symbol of strength, red silk
and gold ribbons looped and knotted;
a wish for good luck, a kiss blown,
a hand held, a flash of jeweled scales
that shimmer in July’s deepest sun.

Powerful dragons dance,
swirl in and out, spiral lengthy tails,
slip and splice sunlight through water;
vortex making, soul elating, heart breaking.

Far from the ribbon of the Yangtze River,
these dragons spit fire,
are forged in heart of deepest
copper and nickel mines,
raise their eyes to the sun
and dare us not to blink.

- commissioned for the 2017 Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival
Last Updated Tuesday July 4, 2017 2:28 PM
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