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Daniel G. Scott

Daniel G Scott is the current (5th) Artistic Director of the Planet Earth Poetry Reading Series. He has written in a variety of forms but poetry is his long-standing love. He has previously published gnarled love and terrains (with Ekstasis Editions), and black onion and two chapbooks: street signs and Interrupted (with Goldfinch Press). He has individual poems in anthologies and chapbooks as well as numerous academic publications including journal articles and book chapters and, with Shannon McFerran, The Girls Diary Project (University of Victoria, 2013). He won a one-act playwriting competition in New Brunswick in 1984. He is an Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Victoria, School of Child and Youth Care, father and grandfather.

Under the thumb of poetry

after Margaret Atwood’s claim

Sometimes I feel
an acupressure of words
on my imagination
from hands not my own,
not identifiable.

Words surround me,
phantom presences in a circle dance
twist through the darkness.

They descend on me,
a downpour until I overflow,
spill ink on endless pages.
Words press on my heart, demand
space, form. Flow out.

Via Negativa


A day arrives.
I want to call it empty –
my lie won’t pass.

The emptiness is not
out there but in me.
Hollowness has settled in.

It is my work to let
abundance be borne
in the empty way.


The sweetness of nothing
round and vacant;
no hurry, no desire.

Life found
in nothingness


my eyes glean shadows
from the brightest of fields,
gather in a basket
the traces of darkness
coiled around light.

laughter carves the room
but i hear pain,
a dark flame curling
through harvest stubble.
smoke to burn eyes.

with tears, the boundary
between laughter and hurt
is crossed. a bitter blend,
salt and sweet on the tongue
a confusion of words

weigh, hold me down.
is it only me –
my dark leaking into life,
colouring the world bleak,
suffocating pleasure?

Road Kill Memoir

We were back in Ontario heading east. I was driving the red Corolla as an August twilight started, the sun behind us. I flicked the headlights on as we rounded a curve on the Trans Canada north of Lake Superior, homeward bound after a long road trip that had taken us all the way to Vancouver Island and then north to Dawson Creek and back across the prairies. We had slept on someone’s floor the night before in a cabin near Lake Winnipeg. I don’t remember their names; they were Cappie’s friends. It was late morning before we set out. Hot. The lake water was brown and rolling in with a wind but refreshing on our feet before we got in the car for the last long haul to Toronto. We were only stopping for gas, food and washrooms.

On the trip out, we had planned for road breaks and first stopped somewhere in northern Ontario for a leg stretch but had to fight off horseflies. We raced back into the car after about ten steps. The only break we tried. Four of us in the car then. Joan said she didn’t feel well. She may throw up. She did at almost every pit stop. She wasn’t up for the ride home so she flew back. Turns out she was pregnant, so it wasn’t only carsickness. She was single, an issue in those days. It was a secret until she and Jordy sorted it out. Got together.

We were rolling along about 55 maybe even 60 mph in the Toyota, chatting and as we rounded a corner I spotted a deer and blurted: “There’s a deer on the road.”

I started to slow, braking: “It’s running towards us.” There was no one behind us. It was the supper hour. The road was empty.

“It’s going to jump!” I held my breath. “We’re going to hit it!” I jammed the brakes.


From Random Excess
by Daniel G. Scott
© 2018 Daniel G. Scott
Published by Ekstasis Editions