Sydney Poet Jesse Ferguson – “Ovation”

Photo courtesy of Jesse Ferguson.

April is National Poetry Month. You can read more about it here at the website of The Academy of American Poets, but what you need to know, basically, is that it is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets, and it’s been around since 1996.

Their description: “The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated.”

Jesse Patrick Ferguson is a poet who currently resides in Sydney, Cape Breton, where he also performs folk music on various instruments. In fall 2009 Freehand Books published his first full-length book, Harmonics. His second book, Dirty Semiotics, which consists entirely of visual poetry, was released in November 2011 by Broken Jaw Press.

He’s kindly sharing one of his poems with us. Enjoy it – and leave a comment if you wish! You can contact Jesse at . He will also be teaching a poetry class and a fiction-writing class at CBU this June and July – contact him for more info!(I was lucky enough to take a one-day poetry workshop taught by Jesse and came away from it super inspired, so if I were you, I’d look into these classes.)



Our politician is thumping

his staunch fist. Now he pummels the air

to prove his determination.

The time for vacillation is past,

he booms. We must act now to stop

the warming of our planet.


The destruction of our planet,

he expounds, ignoring the thumping

blue vein at his temple, must stop.

We must save our lucrative air;

we must mobilize before it’s past

saving. This party’s determination


is to draft a determination

somehow regarding our planet

and its costly plight. In the past,

there’s been much futile tub-thumping,

politic cud chewing and hot air

expelled in the attempt to stop


pollution, but it didn’t stop.

No, friends, past determinations

weren’t determined enough. That’s why our air

cancers the skin of the planet;

that’s why ancient trees are thumping

the rainforest floor in numbers past


sustainability. In the past,

your corrupt leaders refused to stop

stuffing their pockets, to stop thumping

their pinstriped backs. A determination

to determine the fate of a planet

won’t just appear out of thin air—


especially since they don’t make thin air

anymore. We must boldly blaze past

the infighting that has placed our planet

in jeopardy; today we must stop

it all with determinations

both quick and cheap. At this, his thumping


fist receives a thumping answer, the air

churned with a determination past

belief: non-stop clapping for the planet.


Jesse Patrick Ferguson,

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