Chris Turnbull wrote to update me on the status of her project ROUT/E, which plants poems in plexiglass along trails near Ottawa. In 2011, she planted “I Will Not Ruin the Environment,” an excerpt from my work-in-progress echolology. From Chris:
Angela, accompanied by 2 wild 7 year olds on the weekend, I returned to Wood Rd., where I placed your poem in 2011. It was cold when I planted it in the snow, and the camera froze…and then I didn’t get back again until Saturday. If you remember, the trail is interesting for a bunch of reasons, one of them being that it is a local ‘dump’ site for about a km along the trail – coffee cups, mattresses, tires, old bottles of kerosene, or miscellaneous liquids litter the sides of the trail. Inhabit the sides? This time around, someone has been making an effort to collect the garbage and has piled it into several piles – it looks near archived :) One of these piles was neatly collected in a metal frame and consisted of tires, bottles (as above) and other bits. Someone had put your poem, still completely intact on post, in the front corner of the metal frame, fronting the garbage. Your poem, which was printed on 8.5×11 paper, with a 1 inch border, was securely under the plexiglass – no water had managed to mar the paper or words. On the outside, it was mud on plexiglass that framed your poem – completely obliterating the 1 inch margin near exactly, without obscuring any of the language. Fascinating and perfect.It’s one of my favourite trails – I was in time to see the trout lilies in bloom, bloodroot emerging, and among other things, wild ginger. The boys had fun pronouncing celandine and found 3 beaver leeches at the pond/marsh farther along, which they examined, poked at, and refound several times.