This poem has an interesting provenance. It is not officially published anywhere that we can find; it was sent to us by Mr. Jeff Clarke, grandson of Hugh Clarke, who “was born in 1910, and … lived most of his life in Toronto — but also Chatham (NB), Red Deer (Alta.) and Cobourg (Ont.). He was a carpenter, a pilot, and a retail manager in that order” — and an occasional poet (see the comments on our posting of “Joy is a Bird”).
As far as we can tell, given that their several places of residence did not overlap, the two poets did not know each other. Still, it seems — despite the line “good friends I’ve never met” — like they should have… the sentiment speaks so strongly of a community of Canadian poets that we know did exist in some places at this time.
The author, Beatrice Rowley, has kindly given us permission to publish this and others of her poems. I repeat my wish that someone would put together another collection of her poetry, as she has written so many good poems that are published in obscure journals an nowhere else.