I was told you were killed near Kandahar
while I skied at Lake Louise.
A roadside bomb awaited you
as I cruised among glades and trees.
Your body parts, they gathered and lay
in a coffin sealed so tight.
They brought you home in the cargo hold
beneath our flag of red and white.
Remember those times (not long ago)
we skied together at Lake Louise?
The same old mountains gathered ’round
to watch us do as we pleased.
Your tour of duty became Kandahar;
mine continued at Lake Louise.
How can there be on the very same Earth
two places such as these?
On my final descent from Top of the World
regret will accompany me
and two young men will disappear
among the ghostly trees.
from Poet on a Cargo Plane
A black and white photograph of Mom
on the dock at Lake Minnewanka—
shy smile, stylish dress, young legs.
I like to think she and Dad arrived by train,
Roy’s CPR pass in his breast pocket.
I like to think they held hands in the day coach,
anticipating their future,
excited to be a couple.
This is years before life began to take its toll—
before children, the War, a return to work,
before accidents and other setbacks.
That bright summer day near Banff,
if I had been a stranger strolling nearby,
I would have thought,
What a pretty girl.
What a glorious world.
Heading toward the adjacent rink,
I feel I am confronting her.
We are foreigners:
she with her hijab and long black dress,
me—helmet, visor—full equipment.
I smile; she smiles back.
Our common ground—skates on ice.
She pushes a training aid for balance,
hardly lifting her blades,
as though afraid the surface will crack.
I turn to watch her journey—
elegant in its awkwardness.
from After the Flood: Hockey Poems
VIEWPOINT- Keith Worthington, letters and artwork by Renate Worthington, from PUFFS OF BREATH,©2007
POEM SEARCH- Keith Worthington,lettered by Renate, from PUFFS OF BREATH ©2007.
WINTER’S TIME: words by Keith Worthington, built-up capitals and artwork by Renate Worthington, from PUFFS OF BREATH, © 2007
Restoring this commemorative scroll might have been one of the most important lettering projects that I’ve encountered in thirty-five years of calligraphy. The size of the board (3 feet by 6 feet) added to the “bigness” of the project. Thank you to St. Paul’s for an amazing experience.
“Old Cocks, Old Shots, even Old Flames
Who’s to say what’s in a name
Rusty Blades, Rusty Spurs,
Bombers, Blasters, Harriers,
Antiques, Model A’s, Model T’s
waitin’ for the ice to freeze…”
These few lines are part of the poem “Old-Timers Tournament” from Keith’s poetry book, After The Flood: Hockey Poems. Renate’s artwork is called a “calligram” and features the names of many old-timer hockey teams. The original size of the hockey player is 4 by 6 inches, and was drawn using several sizes of fine-tipped markers. Season’s greetings to all!
More Calligrams by Renate:
Calligram – Renate Worthington
“calligram” of cats by Renate
This style of calligraphy is a good choice for longer poems and quotations. It is vertical, therefore easier to read, and relates to present-day fonts, so is a familiar set of letters. Some calligraphers use the traditional heavier ascenders; I have chosen to keep them slim. Here are some examples where I have used my own particular adaptation of this style.
ALBERTA BOUND -excerpt from lyrics by Paul Brandt, lettering and boots by Renate. Another two versions of Alberta Bound is written in “Neuland” below.
Alberta Bound – Renate’s lettering, words by Paul Brandt
Private commission lettered by Renate
PRINCIPAL: Words by Keith Worthington, lettering by Renate Worthington.
A MARKING OF TIME: poem by Keith, artwork and “Carolingian” lettering style by Renate.
RINK IMAGINED- poem by Keith Worthington, from AFTER THE FLOOD: Hockey Poems ©2013, lettered by Renate,
It has been decades since we created calligrams; time to play with these creations again. I drew and lettered these designs with fine point markers in a workshop with Annette Wichmann. Below are several examples of Renate’s in-class drawings. Check out the”hockey player” in the Season’s Greetings-Hockey style post.
“Alberta Autumn” is in our first poetry book “Puffs of Breath” (published in 2007).