For years perhaps decades, GARY has lived beside the Rideau River, deep in the woods which the NCC calls 'the Rideau Green space'. GARY is not his real name 'cause since he seldom speaks, he never told me his real name. I used to see him pass in front of my home on Hurdman Road in Ottawa almost daily during reasonable weather. He was heading to the mission, St Joes or The Shepherds of Good Hope to get a hot meal and perhaps clean clothes or something to take back to his home-in-the-woods.
His home was made of tangled and intertwining sticks, leaves and bits and pieces of things all covered with blue and green tarps. In the winter i'd cover over with snow. What he called Nature's insulation. The snow not only insulated his home from drafts but also made it resemble an IGLOO
So i'd ask GARY how his home-sweet IGLOO was doing. He'd look at me and nod usually his head moving up and down to respond positively sometime though it'd move sideways indicating that things were not going well. He never wanted help; he just wanted to let me know.
I gave him hot soup or coffee or tea in styrofoam containers all thru the winter every time i'd see him. At times i'd locate his IGLOO and leave these items outside his home covered to keep them as warm as possible.
I was a long time after first meeting him that i discovered a piece of brown paper in my mail box and on it was written a thought poem ... i figured it was he who left it since i knew of no one else who'd make such a gift in such a way.
So that began our correspondence, our communication - not verbal but thru written thoughts/poems about things that concerned us....
THE POETRY OF HUNGER came about because i was worried about GARY. He was no longer slowly meandering past my home, he was invisible or gone or dead. I went into the woods, found his IGLOO and noticed it had not been well maintained as usual. I called but no answer. I returned several times over the next week until finally i decided to enter his domain ... it was neat but i could see that animals perhaps racoons or squirrels had taken parts of it over.
In a corner, a squirrel had made a nest of these scraps of brown paper like the pieces that he left in my mail box. I rescued them because some contained writings and some contained thoughts and some contained poetry ... this is how THE POETRY OF HUNGER came about ...