Ladysmith Secondary School teachers Moira Dolen and Jesse Winter with some of the poems. (submitted photo)

Love for Ladysmith turned to poetry

Ladysmith Arts Council initiative helps literacy and self-expression bloom

On the High Street or Transfer Beach, and along Holland Creek Trails

Or over in Yellow Point or Kulleet Bay

People you meet look you in the eye in greeting

Cause here its Island Time and not a threat

And for neighbours there’s no imperative to walk away

And below the hill there’s a harbour safe both for work and play

Where logs are milled in Oyster Bay and the great freighters stay

And a beach where artists sketch and poets draw

With words what they need to say

Its only a step or two from cinnamon buns and coffee

On First Avenue to Heart Lake and Stocking Creek

Jewels of silver set in Vancouver Island’s sylvan sea

With the colours E. J. Hughes made to shine on Mr. Brenton’s guardian peak

Where bears browse by day and cougars steal upon a silent night

But beyond all these I mostly Love Ladysmith

Because she’s like someone I once knew long ago

And I’ve found her again and now she makes me feel I’ve come back home to stay

— “Why I Love Ladysmith by John Edwards

Love where you live, who you are with — your community, your friends.

The Arts Council of Ladysmith asked for poems about Ladysmith and surrounding area and the community didn’t disappoint.

Poems — the fruits of the Arts Council’s first literacy project — are visible around your community until Feb. 17.

The Grade 3 class of Stz’uminus First Nation School, Moira Dolen’s class at Ladysmith Secondary School and the Ladysmith Primary School’s Strong Start program led by teacher Hiromi Tollefson led an effort to express their love for their community through words.

“When you are out and about in Ladysmith and at the Stz’uminus School look for poems about our community in unusual and usual places and enjoy,” Arts Council president Kathy Holmes said. “Look for the love at the Royal LePage window on 1st Ave.”

Holmes said the initiative received 41 poems in total, which were showcased in part with a heart bomb a tree at the Stz’uminus school site and on another tree downtown.

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