Simultaneous Windows is a metaphoric and narrative journey, both personal and political, in which rebellion, love and loss open windows to change. Each window is a frame through which we see the limits and possibilities of one small life. The voice is strong and the journey vivid. Poems are located in Toronto, Borneo, the Middle East, Rwanda and elsewhere.
"With passion and intelligence, Mary Corkery opens Simultaneous Windows onto times and terrain both local and global, strange and familiar. She crafts empathy and a keen eye for detail into poems that are fresh, relevant."
“What impresses me most about these poems is their obvious tender regard for human life, for the complex simplicity (the simultaneous windows) of the journey we’re all on together. Warm, worldly, and vivid, this collection provides a welcome antidote to the easy cynicism of our apocalyptic times.”
—Tim Bowling, author of The Heavy Bear, Guggenheim Fellow, and two-time Governor General’s Award finalist
"In Simultaneous Windows, Mary Corkery explores both the landscapes of travel and those of the human heart. A beautiful and accomplished poetic debut."
Mary Corkery's career includes various roles in social justice and international development organizations, most recently KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives where she was executive director for eight years. Now retired, Mary focuses on her writing, and volunteer work as a board member for The Catherine Donnelly Foundation, which funds social justice work. Recently, her poems have been published in Room, Descant, The Malahat Review, The Antigonish Review, Existere, The Nashwaak Review, Writing at Wintergreen (a 2012 anthology edited by Helen Humphreys), The Dream Catcher, (U.K.), and Kindred (U.S.A.).
Big Dipper pours starlight through
larch and alder sloping down to the lake.
Distracted by a tiny relentless
flicker on the porch railing, I encounter
a firefly caught in a spider’s
invisible trap, signalling May Day
May day may
day, until the fire
I’m squeezed at a small wooden
desk where thirty-six brand new
Crayola crayons fail
to help me add, subtract or draw. One day
those crayons create a canary-haired
stick girl standing on spikes of emerald grass
by her burning house.
High overhead a thin line
of sapphire sky, one charred cloud.
No one else on the page to notice
a girl trapped in blank space
with a sky too high
to rain on her house