County Life contributor Deborah J. Reed compiles poems for book
Local resident, Deborah J. Reed, has called Haliburton home for the last five years. Retirement from big city teaching and being directly near woods and sky have revitalized her fondness for writing and painting.
Shortly after she moved here, Deborah began to compose poetry on her cellphone. Her first effort, The Golden Tree, developed over a four-and-a-half hour southbound bus ride, which she repeated every Friday in order to visit her mum in a long-term care facility in Toronto. A writer friend from Algonquin Highlands suggested that Deborah send this inaugural ‘bus poem’ (about the yellowing tamaracks she spotted from her favourite window seat) to County Life for possible publication.
Deborah has been generating almost weekly “hymns” to the Highlands ever since through the weekly publication, which has published every single one of them, whether it’s in blank verse, couplets, sonnets, song or rhyming stanzas. After producing two illustrated smaller books of single poems (Field Hooky and Ontario Wizard), Deborah has now completed a third book, Rhymes with Haliburton. It’s a hardcover collection of 50 original read-aloud poems divided into four connected themes.
Much of its content was influenced during three long winters of the COVID pandemic, where social isolation unleashed unexpected creativity in many of us.
Deborah was simultaneously developing a deeper appreciation of the multi-coloured outdoors here, now constantly within sensory reach. Her new poetry collection also glistens with vivid original illustrations. She combines her own watercolour and acrylic paintings with the work of talented local writer/ artist Janet Trull, who is equally grateful for all her creative inspiration here. Trull is also a regular contributor to County Life like Deborah.
Rhymes with Haliburton is now available for purchase at Masters Book Store, The Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre, or from Deborah herself.
– Submitted by Deborah J. Reed