London dentist (and poet) Chris Guiltinan died this morning (May 10th, 2012) when his car rolled over in a ditch off the 403 near Hamilton. He was married and the father of two sons and opened the Guiltinan Family Dentistry Clinic in 2007 [source: London Community News].
In 1998, while editor and publisher of Afterthoughts, a London-based poetry journal, I had the privilege of publishing a few of Chris’ poems, all the while wishing I’d see more of his work in the future. I imagine his professional and family life took up much of his time and so the poet part of his life never came to full fruition (at least as far as I know) – a taste of which you can read in the three poems below. His work was skillfully written and extremely impressive. These poems are taken from issues 13 & 14, which also featured, in either or both issues, poets and writers such as Ian Ayres, Beryl Baigent, Michael Bogue, Jason Dickson, Vic Elias, Katherine L. Gordon, John Grey, Gregory Wm. Gunn, Claire Litton, Stan Rogal, Kenneth Salzmann, K.V. Skene, Fredrick Zydek, K.A. Corlett, Louis Gallo, Susan McCaslin, Molly Peacock, and Al Purdy.
Skating on Summer’s Eggby Chris Guiltinan
Though Winter spread south like spilled milk(I still think
the snowflake Is more work
in terms of intricacy, in terms of sheer
Spring smoked the landscape like a cigarette
and Summer came
in with its changeable light.
If habit is the body’s vanity over and over,
then who is to say
which thing weighs most:
a leather jacket or the knife it conceals;
jewellery or starlight;
the moon or the blue wick it burns on?
You say the blade might be Yevtushenko.
I believe you.
But who is the Chinese kite, dear lady,
beneath which we make love?
On Spring Nightsby Chris Guiltinan
On Spring nights, hyacinthsstuff the dark air,
black must be blue that went too far,
and sit quietly wishing
the perfume meant something,
the bruised light meant something,
anything at all.
Midstreamby Chris Guiltinan
Numbers are the crudest form of abundance,The fingers and toes of keeping track.
When does enough
tip into too much,
want into need,
Heaven become mere happiness, carved
down from ecstasy, smaller
but less conditional?
Preserved in amberstreetlights,
the town I grew up in,
and the blood and the voice of a lifetime
the light; word finds its laser and enters
to be holy,
to bear witness,
to be the pencil
of your next move.