BC Poetry 2018: "Rain Shadow" by Nicholas Bradley (University of Alberta Press)

Some Goats

The barrelling fog clears.
On the attenuated ledge
above the hanging valley,
five sudden goats. Air settles
lightly on crumbling stone.
They pick their way
across the crag without
stumbling or slipping,
taking no notice of heights
as they search for the least
sterile of rocks and transmute
nothing into lunch. At three thousand
metres, hobnailed conundrums
munch. Some goats are puzzles.
Some goats are postcards
mailed by mountains to say
Wish you were here.


Nicholas Bradley is a poet, literary critic, and scholarly editor. His first book of poetry, Rain Shadow, was published this year by the University of Alberta Press. He is also the author of a chapbook — Five Sudden Goats: Rocky Mountain Poems — and his poetry, reviews, and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals in Canada and the U.S. He lives with his family in Victoria, British Columbia, and is currently writing a second collection of poems.


Rain Shadow is a collection of poetry that explores the fraught relationship between the natural world and humans yearning to connect with something greater than themselves. The poems range through destabilized lives and landscapes, fathoming presence and absence, transformation and oblivion. They outline the major questions of our time as the poet crisscrosses western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Witty, playful, serious, and heartsore, Rain Shadow seeks to understand the space in which people and nature are inextricably entwined.


Arrived March 2018.


Purchase from the University of Alberta Press website or at your local bookstore. $19.95.


Ranging through destabilized lives and landscapes.

The copyrights of all poems included in the series remain with their authors, and are reprinted with the permission of the publishers.

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