The Poetry Booth


The Poetry Booth at Sidelaunch Days Harbour Festival August 11 & 12, 2018

A couple having fun writing in the poetry booth

We launched The Poetry Booth during this year’s Sidelaunch Days festival and were thrilled with the response to the installation. Some people used their time in our cool, breezy booth to create a rhyme. Others recorded their thoughts, feelings and sense impressions. We also had some “prompts” available to inspire a poem. Many young writers as well as adults took advantage of the installation. It seemed that everyone was inspired by the view and most of all, they had fun! 
Here are some of the works created on our old-school Qwerkywriter and captured on our tablet. Enjoy!
Overlooking the shoulders of children playing in the poetry booth
Rhyme Time
Ho Ho Ho off to Collingwood we go.
Hey, hey, hey, where it's always a beautiful day!
Ley ley ley lets go jump in the bay
Ra ra ra there's no other place to stay!
No place better in the world to be
Collingwood Harbour shoreline with cool breeze to the lee
Terminals watching over us all
It's so big, it makes us look so small
Boaters, paddlers and boarders too
Something for everyone of you
I love you like April wine
So please tell me what's your sign
You're eyes they look so kind
So please tell me let's waste some time
In a world of our own, I'm not alone.  
Surrounded by Earth's driven beauty
comfort and company in a world that may seem empty.
In a world of our own, I'm not alone.
Be not afraid to face what may challenge you.
Finding your light, beyond the night.  
Far amongst the dimensions of what may or may not be.
In a world of our own, I'm not alone.
- Melanie Vollick
This is a story about a small town called Collingwood,
where hard working men and women built ships out of solid wood.
Majestic they stood, oh what a sight!
These ships fought in the war with all their might!
So let's be proud of the rich heritage
and not forget that Golden Age!
- Priya and Sachin Patkar
Hot Summer Night
It was a hot summer night
and the fireflies were out in plain sight, 
busy collecting the midnight dew
never knowing that time flew. 
So fast and not of sight
on a hot summer night. 
- Janine Cubias
The beauty of this day
can be seen with our own eyes
The time we share together
is bonded with love's ties
The kindness in our deeds
without hesitation when we give
In Collingwood we feel it
it's part of how we live
My home where I was raised
as well my children have grown
I am proud to live and work
in such a magnificent home
Love and beauty is abundant 
in the kindness of people we meet
The glorious heritage of our home 
the pride and history of our streets
I'm so proud to be Canadian 
and live with pride every day
Collingwood is my home
and here is where I'll stay. 
- Jodie Plummer
Collingwood, you make me happy
When I sit by the water and think
Wow it'd be nice to have a drink
The water is so blue
I can almost hear the cows moo
as I sit with my person and say I love you
There once was a town on the bay
Far far away
Where two walker lovers
Chatting about their future
Dreaming on better days
- Olivier
We went on a bike ride in the afternoon sun
with our good friends, we had lots of fun
Our goal was the water to see all the kites
pedalling fast with all of our might.
The walkway and boats were wonderful to see
Collingwood in summer is a great place to be.
Entertainment at Blue Mountain will round off the day
After Side Launch festivities down by the bay.
Freely Versed
Gentle breezes blow
Scents of summer in the air.
Sounds of gulls overhead
Wish these days would last forever.
- Debra Watkinson
a gift
honouring words
and tradition
we hold hands
and remember
old worlds
and new lives
braided together
blessed by grandma's request
that a wedding happen
before her time comes
we walk hand in hand
and remember that the dreams of the past
the dreams of our ancestors
are present
a gift
As we stumble upon the trail 
we discover the cool breeze of summer air
The scent of summer sun glistens
across the Georgian Bay
Reminding us all that we are one.
The Gathering
Like flocks of birds, they cluster–
hugging the shoreline and each other, 
sipping and nibbling, chittering like sparrows, 
calling like gulls, strutting like peacocks, 
dancing along the water's edge like sandpipers.
Under such a sky, how could we be anything 
but avian today?
- Day Merrill
Open the path from the mind to the heart
and the world itself opens to you
Infinitely spiraling outward and in
All falls away and only the vibration remains
The body the mind the soul–
only lenses of expression 
within a vast infinite sea of Void and infinity
I AM the all, I AM nothingness
Creating and destroying
from one moment to the next
Nothing lasts
The water and mountains speak to my soul
The mountains are my church
the water's personality changes by the minute, 
just like us.
Blue, eyes, lake, my soul
Beyond the horizon, I see orange
like a butterfly's wing. 
I will sing, my mind's fog will lift,
my spirits too.
This is me. My life. 
As it is now, until the winds
change direction and I seek
A new beginning
- T. Felgner
A common thread
between all people
Nature forgives
do not forget Her
- Brett Plummer
People who stop by remark on how cool the booth is.
I tell them, "It's not just the shade and the breeze. 
Poetry is the coolest genre there is!"
- Day Merrill
Poetry Jamming
Participants were invited to select a card form our Poetry Jam jar and compose a poem incorporating the 3 words on the card they picked. Here’s one using wave, tree and cup:
It's early morning and the waves are high,
Having a cup of coffee in the sun
with green trees blowing. 
Waves, tree and coffee on my mind.
- Lisa Nell
Can You Haiku?
This popular form of 3 lines of 5-7-5 syllables was also popular.
Turquoise hued waters
a playground for all enjoyed
Skies match the drama.
- Chris Marin
Here’s a Haiku "conversation" between Day Merrill, Poet Laureate and Erika Engel, Collingwood Today Reporter:
Trickster sun–your bright 
summer rays give more light, yet 
cast deeper shadows.
Do we need shadows 
to reveal the light that lives 
inside summer rays?
Young Author Contributions
Once there were three ninjas who started a club. 
They had lots of cool swords and stuff,
but no one wanted to join. 
So they became super ninjas.
Once upon a time there was a cookie.
This particular cookie wasn't just any cookie–it was a warrior cookie. 
Warrior cookies are the most delicious kinds of cookies and they can turn into any kind of cookie you want to make even more tasty. 
This cookie was the last of them but the tastiest because she was a cookie princess. 
She was the last warrior cookie was because her parents died trying to protect her. 
Now EVERYONE is trying to eat her so she tries to survive 
and she has the will to survive.
We even got a couple of limericks!
In August there's always the hope
that I will be out on a boat
to catch some fish 
without even one miss
then have them set upon applewood smoke 
There’s a place I know in Ontario 
where fish drink beer and eat cheerios 
It's a wonderful place
to put a smile on your face 
everyone loves Collingwood
- Coen Noel
In conclusion
Fan Mail: What a wonderful day, Day.  Thanks so much for your conversation and charm. I love words that can be spoken or put down on pages. It seems to me the ones we jot down on pages seem to come alive, more so than the spoken words.  Not a poet, just a thinker! Thank you for allowing me to share.
As the festival winds down, my heart fills to the brim, overflowing with the words people have shared over the past two days. I am happy to say with confidence that poetry is alive and well in Collingwood and has very much enjoyed coming out to play! The Poetry Booth will be back; we’ll let you know where and when it will make its next appearance so you can come out and play with words.
-Day Merrill