Poem by Janet Vickers

Eyewear is very glad to welcome the British-Canadian poet Janet Vickers (pictured) this Friday.

Vickers was born in Greenford, Middlesex, in 1949. She left England for Canada with her parents and siblings in 1965, settling first near Montreal, then Toronto, and finally Abbotsford, British Columbia. She became a Lay Chaplain, performing rites of passage for Don Heights Unitarian Congregation near Toronto, then after moving to the west coast worked in community support for mental health with Mission Community Services in BC.

She found herself writing poetry in the early 80s and published a chapbook You Were There in 2006. The title poem won the poetry category of the 3rd Annual Vancouver International Writers Festival short story and poetry contest. Her poems have appeared in sub-Terrain, Grain, Quills, anthologies such as Down in the Valley (Ekstasis), Corporate Watch's This Poem is Sponsored by ... - and online at Nthposition.

She has recently completed her studies in Adult Education at the University College of the Fraser Valley and is now working with an editorial committee for the Canadian Unitarian Council anthology Shoreline - Water Poems, to be published this May. Vickers has been a supportive and engaged correspondent for several years, and a long-time reader of this blog. I've long appreciated her poems, and her convictions, and think it only right and meet that she appear as a Friday feature.

Naming the Dead

Now you could sell your bodies
to Hollywood like the famous and rich

get paid to write a screen play
be interviewed on a late night show

sell a memoir, endorse perfume
or training shoes

provide authoritative world views
for parliament or academia.

Today four hundred wait outside
for hours so that millions can see

the vivisection of your last hours
and they will name you victims while others

call you martyrs to the ones still walking.
The whole world asking what, when and how.

Marnie and Andrea, Georgina and Mona,
Brenda and Sereena: who will be there

to say your life is worth more
than your parts? Who will ask why?

poem by Janet Vickers