Christine Walde: Two Poems


Is this where it started for you
From here the sudden shocks
Hooks pulled back to reveal
The onyx-furred tunnel
Her voice calling out your nature
Silent among the pines
& that spiked head of some heaven
Starry that cradled you
Over the water & made you want
Her body lightning
You divined in the dark
Necessary as voltage
Again & again for years
Looking for ground



adapted from Better Homes and Gardens’ “Family Camping”

The lady of the tent needn’t worry:
crawling things will finally be kept out.

With the technology of the new
little house on wheels,

the fun that waits in a wilderness follows
no definite planned pattern.

Just think: with all the small
helpers designed to delight

like camp stoves and ice chests
there’s no more dizzy spells

blowing up air mattresses!
Next to the cave, the tent can

transcend the nomadic age-
old form of shelter, spacious nylon

dividing rooms and flashlights
that give you more family time!

Never mind the honest-to-goodness
bear who might ramble by in search

of an after-dark handout. Canvas units come
fitted with unbreakable mirrors

& several pockets for your toilet articles.
Though for your guidance:

when it comes to fire building
run your hands through the wet ashes

to make certain the fire is really out. Be sure
the last spark is dead.



Christine Walde’s poetry has previously appeared in The Antigonish Review, Carousel, The Fiddlehead, The Rusty Toque and Vallum, with upcoming work in The Malahat Review. She is the author of the chapbook The Black Car (Baseline Press, 2011) and two literary novels for young adults, The Candy Darlings (Penguin, 2008) and Burning from the Inside (DCB, 2013). The two poems included here are part of a larger collection that explores the camping trip Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes took through northern Ontario in 1959. She lives in Victoria, BC where she works as an academic librarian.