A widely published poet, Brian Campbell was shortlisted for a CBC Literary Award and has several critically acclaimed collections to his name, among them Passenger Flight (Signature Editions) and Shimmer Report (Ekstasis Editions). 

To provide some insight into the inspiration behind his songwriting, on this page is a poem or two, to be replaced from time to time. For more about Brian's poetry and related activities, see www.briancampbell.ca  





At first sight, we did not fall through dizzying air— 

our eyes did not meet across crowded rooms— 

Cupid’s dart, all the rest. 

It was a summer solstice party, friends of friends 

clustering a lawn, 

I saw you there, we conversed, there was 

a spark, but mired, we had already fallen 

in another sense; we did not see 

what there was to admire. 


Petits pas.  Tentative.  Over a first coffee 

I talked about my valgus foot, 

the pain of every step. 

You of breakdown, crack up, 

years of idleness.  


Weeks later 

we went swimming, felt the liveliness in our blood. 

More coffees, shared books. 

If you’re so lonely, you said, for heat, try Lavalife. 

I crossed out words, wrote in margins of your texts. 

“Can I use your computer? My printer doesn’t work.” 

“You want to stay, have dinner?” 


On September 11th, you called shortly after 9. 

We watched reruns of the planes 

plowing into glass, bursts of flame 

from our own apartments, blocks apart. 


When we met again, 

you spoke of listlessness, need for lowered dose. 

Out of certain mud, we rose. 

At times, it did not seem a splendored thing. 

Now, holes of sunlight, angels’ wings.



- First published in Shimmer Report (Victoria, BC: Ekstasis Editions, 2015), this poem was adapted into a song on By the River's Blue.