The Book of Were

By (author) Wayne Clifford
Categories: Poetry, Biography, Literature and Literary studies
Publisher: Porcupine's Quill
Paperback : 9780889842816, 64 pages, November 2006


The Anatolian

He started Gandalf, ended Gandhi,
and venerable when he went.
He talked with me by what sound handy
got across just what he meant.

He`d been my eldest daughter`s pet,
outgrown before his so long stay
embarrass grade nine. As the debt
for having brought him first away

from pet store with his litter, wheel
and water bottle, pellet feed,
(for all my troubles, quite a deal)
I was who bought replacement stuff

and meeped back welcome getting home,
until, blind, bald, he`d had enough,
and left for plateaus hamsters roam
who have been good and true and kept.

And what he left, eared purse of skin,
which insignificance I wept
to lose such listener within.

Table of contents


The Wakeful Closet Door

The Tides of Pampas


The Weight of Memory

A Japanese Tale

The Lesson

The Anatolian

After Their Trip to Guatemala,

Charm against Jaguar

Wave. Goodbye.

A Toast

A Dog`s Lesson

The Chamber


Thorny Answer

The Genome Project`s Appeal to the NRA


How Sin Evolves


Sand Bowls



Embryonic Angels?

Before the Mystery`s Gone

Sacred Photosynthesis


The nature of the Deity, illuminated first through a prism of found nineteenth-century steel engravings, is subsequently reconsidered by the most famous lost Canadian poet of the 1960s.


`The superbly crafted and enthusiastically recommended poems comprising Wayne Clifford`s ``The Book Of Were`` are based on old engravings representing were-animals and were-folk, changelings at the edges of our known worlds and ordinary lives. One very nice touch is the inclusion of animal images accompanying the poems. ``How Sin Evolves``: The medieval catalogue of character defects/was meant to drag man`s dialogue up near where God expects,/until America`s analogue brought home the sin`s effects. //The sloth proves neither strifeful brute, nor sanguine, but sincere. /The problem of so slow a life is simply being here. /Since sleep can make the stay more brief, the less there needs to fear. //So blessed be sloth, the mossy beast, who`s camouflaged in grace,/that even when he`s shot beneath, his claws hold him in place;/his vision upwards thus bequeaths suspension of god`s face. `

- Michael Dunford