The Village of sliding Time    Harbour Publishing  2006

The Village of sliding Time Harbour Publishing 2006

The Village of Sliding Time

An early morning
knock on my apartment door
it is myself, a younger
teenaged boy
come to take me back
 
and guide me through
what I had thought gone
but no, he says, look
(his palms up, his face
open) I can make
 
anyone you want to see
walk down this hall
and into your arms-
your mum, your dad
your old dog, friends
 
...
 
nicker of a horse
the wet feathers, a grey hen
grasshoppers overhead
sweat, snow, dung, white sky
ice in the trough, ticks on a dog
forks in a heap
thud of dirt on a box
and my mind layering
slow, fast, then stopped
by the skyful of Orionís
belt of jewels
so plainly strewn
and long used for
making children gape
and grope toward
what can't be touched...


Reviews

David Zieroth begins this account with the night of his own conception, continues through early childhood to schooldays and ends with his family's move to BC... [He] skillfully avoids cynicism and nostalgia, engrossing the reader in a memory album that is not narrative, although narratives are implied... Loneliness, family ties, farmyard slaughter and schoolboy pranks; this is a loving but not mawkish reminiscence. The undertone is an awareness of death that insures against the sentimental... It amounts to an engaging and highly readable memoir.

Hannah Main-van der Kamp, BC Bookworld


Your teenaged self arrives at your door one morning. Like in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the boy has come to guide you on a journey through your past, yes, but this is somehow different. The boy is as amazed by the present as he is knowing of the past. It is the path the speaker travels with this, his younger self, that is the narrative of David Zieroth’s engaging long poem The Village of Sliding Time.
  Zieroth, the former editor of Event Magazine, was raised in rural Manitoba, and currently resides in North Vancouver. It is within these two locales that Zieroth fixes his story, as they are the landscapes of his past and his present. Though a poem of sixty pages, the spacing of the poem, combined with Zieroth’s accessible language and enthusiastic pacing, make for a quick read. Fortunately, The Village of Sliding Time is a book that deserves to be read and savoured often.
  Like any poem about the remembering of a life, the narrative of The Village of Sliding Time is interlaced with allusions to life’s bookends of birth and death: feet like “the bent curved feet/ of the old, the small boneless / limbs of babies…” (18), a boy “called home / through the stony pasture” (28), a “wet sack / of kittens…” (32). The long poem that comprises almost the entirety of the book is, itself, bookended by two poems, “How I Came To Be” and “Had I Stayed on the Farm,” which explore the birth and (imagined) death of the author, and help to further situate The Village of Sliding Time at the delicate balancing point between creation and destruction.

Rob Taylorpoetryreviews.ca