This was written for the occasion of Wendy Morton’s 77th birthday, celebrated last night at Planet Earth Poetry. As was so apparent at last evening’s standing room only event, Wendy is an inspiration to a great crowd of people.
Poet, gardener, private investigator, West Jet Poet of the Air, free-spirit, recipient of a host of awards, the latest of which is the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada, for her projects: Random Acts of Poetry and The Elder Project, she remains, quite simply, a friend to many.
For those unfamiliar with Wendy’s work, the following is a riff on one of her many popular poems, “If I Had A Name Like Rosie Fernandez”.
Happy Birthday Wendy!
If I Had A Name Like Wendy Morton
I would wear braids of blue bells,
and a shawl of wild indigo.
I would sleuth the understorey of old-growth forests,
packing pistils of Peruvian lilies,
finding clues under cloak ferns.
I would transcribe the weave of wind in willows.
I would publish the loop and sweep of cliff swallows.
If I had a name like Wendy Morton
I would serve lavender tea to every stranger
willing to waltz me
through a pink blizzard of blossoms.
I’d buy a purple satchel
and stalk the autumnal equinox
to forage a pot of filigreed collards.
I would walk on water
wearing pontoon shoes
of pumpkin shells.
I would recline with sea lions
—we’d watch the geysers of orcas.
I would sit with a young Inuit poet,
—we’d find the shortest path to each other’s heart.
I would take all the turbulent minds,
the hijacked dreams,
our fears of flying,
and lyric them into oblivion.
Oh, if I had a name like Wendy Morton,
I would shush the mortal creak and moan
and bring on everlasting spring
with a single poem.