Joanna Gilman Hyde

"Good Morning, World!"

Tag: existence

SHE GREETED ME

The Hawk Queen Bed 4:25am

She greeted Me in ruffled satin

lavender and sleeveless

as She signed Her Self out

so We could sit outside

looking at the harbour

with tea and coffee

and the blue sky

where a flock of geese flew in V formation —

She pointed to where She had been injected

on Her Hip

for a thirty-day stint

of a medication She could not pronounce

and mentioned how The Head Psychiatrist

had called Her Name

and asked Her if She had worked

on a puzzle today —

back inside

She ate pink salmon and dill

for supper

and pointed to Her Self-cut Hair-do

Her Raven Hair

to say the fish was good

for Her Brain —

an oral dose of Seroquel

was brought to Her at the table

and My Beautiful Friend

choked it down

while The Nurse said

“It’s Your After Dinner

Mint.”

THE STORY OF A MAP

THE COAST GUARD, Shelburne, N.S., Tuesday, July 20th, 1993 — 1B

SATELLITE ART FOR EXTRATERRESTRIALS

by Harold Hart

Joanna Hyde of Shelburne has

been busy recently in her back-

yard painting the design of a four-

teen point maple leaf on a huge

40 by 30 foot map of Canada.

The fourteen points mark loca-

tions in Labrador and Quebec

where Hyde would like to position

light reflecting surfaces to reflect

star-like points of light in the out-

line of a maple leaf into outer

space.

The large map arrived in Shel-

burne from Ottawa on May 17

where it had been hanging on an

outside wall of the National Arts

Centre.  It was put there by the

Canadian Conference of the Arts

earlier in the year in an effort to

pressure the Federal Govern-

ment to stop cutting funding for

arts programs.  It remained there

until the April 26 budget was

passed.

Joanna learned about the map

from an article in The Chronicle

Herald.  Being interested in what

is called public art – the kind of

art which is large and displayed

outdoors – Joanna decided she

wanted the map.  She contacted

the coordinator of the Canadian

Conference of the Arts and was

told she could have the map if she

would pay the shipping charges.

Joanna agreed and wound up the

new owner for just less than two

hundred dollars.

The map consists of twelve sec-

tions that were circulated to

more than 150 art galleries,

theatres, and schools in each

province where signatures were

affixed to protest government

funding cutbacks for the arts.

Once joined together the pieces

make a huge map of the country

with more than 400,000 signatures

appearing on it…

“Well, what is its weight?”

“Oh, it’s Dead Weight.”

“That’s OK.  I just cremated

My Mother —

She didn’t weigh very much.”

After She painted Her 14-point Maple Leaf

Joanna lay down

and almost died.

She almost died

for years and years.

Long after one husband

cut up the map for tarps

to cover wood piles

at Her First Marital Home

Joanna revived eventually

on poetry and bird song

to find in the Summer of 2016

the abandoned map sections —

one with moss and ferns growing

out of it —

With the help of Her Adult Children

She retrieved three surviving pieces

of The Giant “Ties That Bind

and dragged them across the county

to The East Side of Her Hawk House.

She laid them out

busy in Her Back Yard

hosing and scrubbing a 23-year build up

of Nova Scotia’s Forested Fate

stained and distressed

front and back

to dry in the sun

with the help of a couple of old towels —

not Her Grey One —

there was left no semblance of the configuration

of Canada — only the ghost

of a few red lines

a few patches of indelible signatures

and one partial strip of big black letters

along what must have been

the bottom — in English and French:

…FUNDING FOR ARTS AND CULTURE

She arranged the pieces

some still edged by sturdy grommets —

into what became a nearly perfect square

measuring 27 feet by 23.5 feet:

She had Her Canvas.

She would paint on the BACK.

She folded up the three sections

and with the help of Her Second Husband

She piled Them onto the floor

of The Hawk Utility Room —

the floor She had been using

for Her Most Recent Paintings

and as She writes, She thinks

of building a platform

a stage

perhaps next summer

if there is the same lack of rain

as this one —

She would secure The Triptych

upside down, with the foundation

of Canadian signatures — what’s left of the original

400,000

and setting up Her Gallons of Paint

with broom and hose nearby

She would paint and sweep and hose

Stratosphere of The Universe

 

 

WEEK 13

The Hawk Window Seat 9:30am

THE LAMENT OF A MOTHER

She stood above Us

at the gang plank

of Bluenose II

speaking captivatingly

with a tourist-boat smile

My Son kept asking questions

and I kept listening

shielding My Eyes with My Right Arm

against a hazy sun —

I was there to spend a last afternoon

with Peak before He moves to Haida Gwaii

and as We climbed up

to exit the hull

I lingered still

and still My Son was engaged —

He told Her He was leaving the next day —

They didn’t even have the chance

to exchange names

and We drove away

My Son and I

PART II

Peak went back

to invite The Crew

to a bonfire on the beach

but She wasn’t there —

“The important thing is

I tried”

THE JOY OF A MOTHER

Last Night I saw My Daughter

for the first time again

since She was nine or ten

snuggled back against

The Tomato-Coloured Couch

with Her Blondness down

around Her Face

and Her Smiling Lips

parting over Her Front-tooth Gap

She decided to keep

RECLAMATION

The Hawk Deck 12:14

Under a heralding

of Blue Jays

and a back drop of waves

I am scrubbing My Canvas

My Old, 23 Year Old

giant map of Canada

where once a Maple Leaf

was painted on Quebec

where now it is pieces

having been left

blowing off wood piles

in Atlantic

I am reclaiming My Stake

in The Work

of “Satellite Art for Extraterrestrials”

to commemorate The 14 Female Engineering Students

killed in Montreal

on December 6th, 1989

before Peak was even

2 years old

 

ATLANTIC

The Hawk Dining Room 1:50pm

Yesterday I went back

to the home of My Children’s

earliest childhood —

it stood with dry grass

recently mowed —

a stone bench I had forgotten

under the apple

where I planted myrtle

slowly spreading —

I found My Red Leather Baseball Mitt

left-handed

in an upstairs closet

full of toys

and in the hatchway to the attic

I hoisted My Shoe-less Son

now 28

one-footed upon My Clasped Hands —

He was looking for My Early Sketches

of Self Organizing Galaxy

a mysterious tube

of blue-prints displaying the roof of #5 World Trade Center

We failed to find —

as He came down

He pulled the light bulb string

straining to reach it

and when He let go

the slightly-too-short string

sprung back on itself

without the light turning off

and so My Greatest First Love

had to step into My Hands

a second time

He lowered Himself finally

to a painted kitchen chair

flexing His Lumberjack Muscles

— His Right Upper Arm still scarred

from when He toddled

to a cup of too-hot herb tea

unwittingly set within Peak’s easy reach

upon Our old kitchen table

in the little wooded house His Father and I restored

to cherish

WEEK 12

The Hawk Deck 8:19am

Twelve weeks ago I took

My Last Pill of Olanzapine

and I am stable as I was meant to be

but have to deal with continued

sleep deprivation —

last night I got 61/2 hours

on 2 mgs of Ativan

which is better than the night before —

Eliza and Jon will see

My Sculpture this morning

as it sits on the kitchen counter

with Its Left Eye closed

and Its Right Eye

in Another World —

The Sun is out

and I have the freshness of September

coming into play

 

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PRAYER FOR THE PIGS

The Hawk Queen Bed 7:14pm

“This Little Piggy Went To Market —

He was killed humanely

This Little Piggy Stayed Home

He watched TV with The Dog

This Little Piggy Ate Roast Beef

He didn’t like what He saw on Food Inc

This Little Piggy Had None

He was vegetarian

And This Little Piggy Went Wee Wee Wee

All The Way Home —

peeing in His pants”

THE APPARITION

The Hawk Queen Bed 4:38pm

Today on 2 hrs sleep

from 2 mgs Ativan

I began the sculpted head

of My Beautiful Dark Haired Woman

Who appeared on My Right Shoulder

in Roseway Hospital

October 1993

She said a lullaby in My Ear —

the most melodious voice I had ever heard

and today I have swaddled a Styrofoam core

in thin slices of plasticine

hyperventilating as I went

hearing My Son’s suggestion

from yesterday’s walk on The Hawk Beach —

“Mom, why don’t You just

exhaust Your Self?”

every slice

from a red-handled knife My Brother gave Me

pushed Me on to panel the form —

My Goal was to cover it, and I did

after carving HTWH in the Styrofoam skull

resting on My Ceramic Bluenose Plate

My Keepsake from the childhood crossings

in that vessel from Bar Harbor, Maine

to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

when I was so happy

with My Little Family

of Mother, Brother and Me