Books·CBC Literary Prizes

"The Edge of Everything" by Ross Belot

Ross Belot was shortlisted for the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize for “The Edge of Everything."
Ross Belot was shortlisted for the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize for “The Edge of Everything." (Ross Belot)

on leaving

the dog down the

street that has

been driving you

crazy with

its barking when

you go to bed is

missing  it is fall, that

time of


but no, the starlings

don't seem to

be around this

year  the

squirrels and
chipmunks have

abandoned your

yard  robots

are not


your cell phone

to tell you

about a

free cruise

you've won, again

Facebook stops

suggesting young

women in

bikinis in

New Zealand

as friends


though you

have no friends

in common  you

are staring

at your door

Black And White Image Of Frozen Beach: Lake Erie Ice Stretched Out To Open Water's Thin Blade, Sun High, Reflection Of Sun A Shining Path Across A Water Horizon, Across Buckled Ice, Across Sand Blended With Hard Snow Blended With Sand

I know she died that day

or maybe not until the next.

On the way to the hospital

I stopped and took the photo,

the ice, the water, the sky — in real life not black and white but all Prussian blue

set with an overly brilliant sun. I'm not saying it felt like death

exactly, more like the moment before

or the moment after and I remember thinking of a sparrow's song -

rapid and thin. There was no sparrow,

the beach and sky devoid of life except for occasional explosive cracks from ice

as it pushed itself ashore

while drinking granville island lager @YYC february 12th 4 pm

warm february wind

sweetened through mountain

passes grizzlies up asleep

in soft caves

dream dreams of blood

on railway tracks

the haints

whistle in the    valley

a warning  a call

to    us living

on the dead                  years

of death to feed on the builders

are here too tearing up ground digging

towards the centre ripping down

the old      notice


air something wrong



foretelling the end

today's sky blue cloud

shifting above            Chinook

winds know

bolted landscape

standing at the crossroads a place called vista:

the I 680's George Miller Jr. Memorial Bridge (southbound)

the Congressman George Miller Bridge (northbound)


across the Carquinez Strait      oil refineries at

either end      Shell Martinez Tesoro Martinez

Valero (nee Exxon) Benicia  the rusted

stretch of rail road bridge  the Union Pacific Railroad

Benicia-Martinez Drawbridge (1928)

up the middle

a red tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) conservation status:

"of least concern, population increasing)"

the curve of concrete I 680 overpass  behind

and above me

simple:  mountain

sky  water  hawk

12 Dancers On 12 Tables

otherwise we are lost — Pina Bausch

spread across the quad

dramatists, the tables

don't think

about what the tables mean

just get on

              the tables and do the thing

dancers slow spin on tables

we here go, they say

one at at time

before silent shifts

under blue sky take it all

in examine closely all the details....

"here" "we" "go"

crow above faster crow adds his input whole other duet thing

really beautiful

partially about the quality

in bodies cultivate sensation anger

floating take ownership right away

okay  think we're done

beneath the white pillars

some of you          drop

some of you                                praying beneath

ready        go again

cue you every night girl open-mouth at crow

flies over hops over broken ways walks over old man arthritic knees way

long boards to bookstore

that's a mess but looks really nice

ending in applause


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