Public Artwork

Poetry in Motion

Poetry in Motion
Calgary, AB, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Text author(s): 
McKay, Stuart Ian; Samuels, Ian; Stephansson, Stephan G.; Slade, Anne; Ormshaw, Peter; Legg,Thomas; Robinson, Garda ; Marty, Sid; Ruzesky, Jay; Stallworthy, Bob
Installation year: 
Remarks on location: 
In buses.
Poems placed in city buses
Text of the artwork: 

He stacks empty shot glasses on the longest bar between Winnipeg and Hong Kong until they threaten to tumble or
When he absolutely positively
must leave at closing
Stained glass windows set
in groupings of three lift
up rusticated sandstone walls
A prairie faith is durable
its hymns unfailing

- Stuart Ian McKay

If you find yourself on a bridge in Moscow
waiting for a microfilm, use these
moments to count the possible routes
between the chairs in your salon.
Deep down, you will feel a need to contribute to
the public health, welfare and safety of
the community, so consider the beauty of
marbled steaks and falling trees.

- Ian Samuels

Jack of All Trades

I, mostly my own doctor
A lawyer and builder smart
A teacher, prince and pastor
A horse, a plow and cart.

- Stephan G. Stephansson

I sprinkled the oil cloth with flour
and kneaded that dough till my arms ached, and my shoulders.
“No, it isn’t ready yet, I haven’t heard it squeak!” she said.
And still I kneaded,
and fifteen loaves of fresh bread later,
I knew that bread making wasn’t necessarily
an act of love.

- Anne Slade

For Mom and Her Birds

Mother’s extended arms
cast across the snow
a crust of breadcrumbs.
Sesame and poppyseed
punctuate the white
and prints of their feet.
Stupid simple things
they thank her the only way
they know -- singing out
boundaries of their territory
into which they welcome her
with open wings.
- Peter Ormshaw

Wannabe Cowboy

Folks call me a wannabe cowboy
A ridin’ the range in my head
On week-ends I die with my boots on
By Monday I’m back from the dead

I practice the slang of the cowboy
Memorized his wisdom and word
Never smack a man who’s chewin’ tobacco
Always drink upstream from the herd

- Thomas Legg

Integrations #4

The night chants day
and the day chants night –
so the lime
in Buddha’s mouth

- Garda Robinson


The tawny hill bends off its snow
under the west wind’s palmy tongue
How succulent curls the bearberry then

Its gleaming wintergreen, its blushing fruit
(a tonic for bears, eaten in spring)
tinges this chiaroscuro. Sanguine the warp
and weft, padding a dream bed

Deer and hunter rest at the foot of the dawn

Spill, clouds, over Livingstone
Sacrifice! Conjure, like Brings-Down-The -Sun

- Sid Marty

Even the blue Himalayan poppy,
Which blooms once perfectly before dying,
is showing off.
I talk in your mouth
and you open bird-like
to swallow words.
This is my pleasure.
You like the round ones best:
igloo, overalls, loop, moon, shoe.
There is nothing in this milky world
As small as your breath.

- Jay Ruzesky

stood in front of the mirror
twenty minutes or more
combing Score into his hair
to create just the right kiss-curl
a duck-tail any drake would be proud of

- Bob Stallworthy

Poetry in Transit: Production of poetry posters displayed in buses and subway cars, in collaboration with literary groups and transit companies across the country.

Sponsored by Canada Council for the Arts, Calgary Transit and Pattison