Esquimalt council mixes business with poetry

Mayor puts artsy spin on regular meeting with Esquimalt native's ode to the township

Esquimalt council embraced the arts in a unique way at its Monday night meeting, with the reading of a poem.

“My council often says to me ‘no surprises,’ but tonight I have a surprise for them, because this is poetry month,” said Mayor Barb Desjardins.

She selected Dorothy Blenkin’s 1987 poem “Esquimalt In The Pink,” in honour of Esquimalt’s centennial year and because the poem nods at the township’s beauty in springtime.

Blenkin passed away in 2004, but her Esquimalt roots ran deep. The daughter of a navy sailor who came to Canada on HMCS Rainbow, her family lived on Constance Avenue in the township when she was born in 1920.

Blenkin, whose maiden name was Sims, spent time as a youngster writing plays and poetry. She became a published writer when she was an adult.

emccracken@vicnews.com

“Esquimalt In The Pink,” by Dorothy (Sims) Blenkin

Esquimalt is wearing pink today

Although spring is still to come

And March early in its month,

Esquimalt is wearing pink today

 

The lawn’s velvet green,

Still wearing winter untidy grass

and waiting for correction,

Are no match in the contrast

Of early pink

 

Just think in pink

In many, many shades,

A visual confection.

 

In gardens, on boulevards

And as around Saxe Point Park,

Lingering on the way, I go,

It’s as if folk from fairyland

Are putting on a show.

 

The streets are lined in gorgeous rows

With trees whose blossoms pink

In the breeze gaily wink,

Suddenly stronger wind blows a blast

And now we have pink snow.

 

I saw a sparrow, chickadee and starling

Patiently turning over petals on the ground,

Gobbling every tiny grub they found.

To them it was a fantasy of spring.

 

Overnight heavy drops of rain have spat,

Beating the blossoms into a sodden mat

That quickly turned to brown.

This later I discover as I walk around the town.

 

And the trees are starkly robbed

Of all their fluff so pink

And this child of nature sobbed

A protest, sorrowing for all that could not stay

Sorrowing the generosity and spit of nature’s way.

 

This brief interlude of nature

Where she painted all with pink

In my grateful heart I think

I will always carry the picture

Of Esquimalt in the pink.