Arts featured

Megaphones in a parade, a poem by Chad Norman

Photo fir0002 |

for Terry Paris

Once upon a time in Nova Scotia
there was a parade known
as the Apple Blossom Parade
in the fine town of Kentville,
a parade many years old
held to honour the blossoms
each year after they appear
on trees part of the orchards
owned by special local names
part of the valley, a valley
each one of you must travel and smell,
each one of those trees adding
to the smell, a brief reminder
sent out to the air we need,
sent out through each and every blossom during this annual historic event
when the streets were filled with
other families, none of which
came to be bombarded by
five men who crashed the parade
with megaphones meant to louden
their hatred, their violation of what
we as Canadians know to be
a great freedom, how the world now
sees us, hears us, trusts us,
five men is all it takes– was enough
to once again attempt to take away
the chance to support those blossoms,
those trees, that Nova Scotian town
where I am sure arms and minds are
far more open to incredible opportunities
people from other nations and cultures are bringing for our futures,
far more than the five men
more than likely born in this province,
one trying to benefit any type of belief
or movement meant to add more
than take away from our brief stay,
the visit we call life, while breath enters & exits us all!


In 2018 members of the white supremacist NCA joined the Apple Blossom parade in Kentville to spread their anti-immigration message. The Apple Blossom festival’s directors apologized for the NCA’s presence, and say the organization has been banned from future festivals. Photo Facebook


Chad Norman’s most recent books are Selected & New Poems, from Mosaic Press, and Waking Up On The Wrong Side of The Sky, from Grant Block Press. He continues work on his manuscript, A Small Matter Of Inclusion (which this poem is taken from).

His speaking/reading tour of the UK last Fall was a huge success. And presently he is arranging a tour to include visits to Italian universities to help celebrate a new collection, Squall: Poems In the Voice Of Mary Shelley, due out Spring 2020 from Guernica Editions.

See also: The Birds (with no disrespect to Alfred), a poem by Chad Norman