Come join me, Aug 21 at 3pm outside Massey Theatre in New Westminster:
Poetry in the Park (PIP) is a summer reading series featuring established BC writers along with an open mic for optional audience participation. PIP encourages writers of all colours, shapes and sizes to share their work on stage—poetry, spoken word, short stories, and/or music.”
Set in an alternative world ravaged by climate change, the book recounts the tale of Bramah, a ‘brown, brave and beautiful’ time-travelling locksmith. After she adopts an orphan beggar boy, the pair team up with seed savers and other survivors, using their magic to outwit an evil consortium and battle contagion, drought and other eco catastrophes.
The book may sound like a far cry from the work that first put Saklikar on Canada’s literary map. Published in 2013, her award-winning debut poetry book children of air india explored the bombing of Air India Flight 182, a tragedy that claimed the lives of her aunt and uncle, and more than 300 others. Almost as an antidote to this traumatic subject matter, Saklikar began writing Bramah at the same time, indulging her love for imaginative, sweeping sagas.
‘Every culture has its great epic,’ she says. ‘I’ve always been drawn to them, the fireside stories of the matriarch telling you about how the world is, and inside of that frame, very personal stories.’”
This work, a wonderful combination of science and art, recounts the lessons learnt from a life spent living among the bees. It is a delight to read, like dipping into a jar of honey. (This book and Winston’s Lessons from the Hive are both available in the RRU Library.)”
Renee Sarojini Saklikar’s epic journey, Bramah and the Beggar Boy, unfolds as a futuristic folklore in a long poetic form. This book is a unique read. The language draws the reader in for closer inspection, and each selected word is like an arrow shot through a bow, hitting its mark; deliberate, impactful.
I step onto the disc. Spin. Spin. Spin. The verses and rhymes poetically layer on top of each other, elevating me, taking me places I’ve never been. I chase different dimensions. Just as I’m about to understand where I am, the mix master deftly sends me crashing through a portal to only have to rebuild once more. Another beat. Another layer. Another crash. The bad outweighs the good. Hope is being erased. But hope can never be eviscerated; it’s hope; it has its own pulse and thundering beat.”
There is a multitude of levels to this tale, told as an epic fantasy, the major theme being the ravaging effects of climate change. Bramah is a “brown, brave and beautiful” locksmith (female) who meets an orphan beggar boy. Together, through magic, her grandmother and “Four Aunties of the Wishing Well,” plus time travel, they battle the evil (known as the “Consortium”) of the planet, which has been destroyed by “surging tides … wild fires .. . water rights abandoned …”
Brahma introduces the beggar boy to her Grandmother, a wise elder who, with “… her warm hands, her unlined skin …,” saves seeds. “Grandmother took the boy’s hand and shook kernels, red dawn, sequoia swirls, hard spindle-shaped, seeds as thin as oatmeal flakes fluttered down.”