Ken Cathers

Ken Cathers has a B.A. from the University of Victoria and an M.A. from York University in Toronto. He has been published in numerous periodicals, anthologies as well as seven books of poetry, most recently Letters From the Old Country with Ekstasis Press.

He lives on Vancouver Island with his family in a small colony of trees.


why did you think
he could save you

poets are not known
for kindness

risk only words
betray themselves

for an image
a line like
sharpened glass

you were drowning

and he was far away
writing an ocean
composing the sky


she is planting
the dead birds
in the back garden

imagines delicate
plumed stems
sprout in moist soil.

there is a place
below where bones
reknit, grow flesh

become the small buds
of unhatched warblers.
it is a cosmology

made up, a child’s
mystery emblazed
with wonder.

I can hear them
singing in the dirt
she says.

tomorrow we will
dig them up
paint the lifeless sky
	with feathers

one never

one never wins
an argument
with the dead.

they never change
forgive, grow
into anything better.

are too busy
becoming stone, water,
some undiscovered element.

they are cunning
the dead, forget
things, invoke

a vague borealis
of doubt, are full
of lies, betray

every whisper, every 
trust. are always
right. reveal nothing.

they are a silence
that never listens
a town abandoned
	windows broken
	doors ajar.

one never wins
with the dead.
they never quite leave

feast on shadow.
keep their secrets


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