Photos from Submarine Dead Ahead (Re)Launch

A few photos from the recent re-launching of my 1991 book, Submarine Dead Ahead! Waging Peace in America’s Nuclear Colony (Harbour Publishing), about the work and vision of a local peace group in the 1980s, the Nanoose Conversion Campaign. 

Including photos of the familiar bright yellow “Warning” signs that went up in windows throughout the central Vancouver Island region whenever one of the US Navy’s nuclear submarines or warships was in port at the Nanoose underwater weapons testing facility at Nanoose Bay. And also a photo of the fabulous six-foot-tall banner of submarine and peace camp of tipis, painted by Gabriola artist Paul Grignon back in 1986 for the People’s Inquiry into CFMETR (Canadian Forces Maritime and Experimental Test Ranges at Nanoose Bay).

Thanks to the Nanaimo chapter of WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom) for organizing the re-launch of this book and the lively discussion that followed about peace activism then and now.

Copies of the book are available locally from WILPF for those in Nanaimo (phone: 250-753-3015). Or from Harbour Publishing:

Peace out!









Posted in Books, Events, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Book (Re)Launch: Submarine Dead Ahead

Please join me on November 9th for the re-launch of my 1991 book Submarine Dead Ahead: Waging Peace in America’s Nuclear Colony, documenting the work and vision of the historic and flamboyant local peace group, the Nanoose Conversion Campaign (NCC).

Date: Thursday, November 9, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: Nanaimo Harbourfront Library (90 Commercial Street, Nanaimo, BC)

I’ll be reading and signing books with all proceeds going to WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom).

The NCC occupied a peace camp of tipis and later a peace house on the shores of Nanoose Bay in the 1980s. Through their creative direct actions and campaigning, the group drew public attention to the US nuclear-powered and nuclear weapons-capable warships that were using the underwater weapons testing range at Nanoose and travelling through our local waters. I was a freelance reporter at the time, covering the peace group’s many demonstrations. At one point, I realized the story, and the larger public health issues at stake, warranted more than ten column inches in a newspaper. So I wrote a book.

Former members of the Nanoose Conversion Campaign will be in attendance at the re-launch. This will be a very relevant afternoon, given Canada’s refusal in September to sign and ratify The UN Treaty on Nuclear Weapons Prohibition.

Everyone welcome. Bring your friends! Free admission. Light refreshments available.

For those not in Nanaimo, the book is available from Harbour Publishing:

Posted in Books, Events, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Kim Goldberg

Somewhere beyond silent streets
and woodlands, beyond upheaved
graveyards, empty schools, dry spillways, vacant
hibernaculums for little brown bats
beyond the last larval foodplant for the last
western tiger swallowtail
an old woman sits by the sea untangling
the nets of each life she can dream.
Her cabin above the tideline is filled with books
from the Time Before but little else.
She cooks over a burn barrel beside her shack
stokes it with driftwood and whatever tumbles
ashore. Once an old door made a landing, then
a desk still intact. She grills any scrap of flesh
the sea hacks up—bull kelp, moon
jellies, three-eyed eels. Eats them with succulent
stems of glasswort growing in the sand.
When evening comes, she flings each newly
sorted net upon the ocean like a bedsheet
for each is a piece of the planetary
genome. She is waiting for the nets to find
one another, to reconnect end-to-
end, spiral beneath the waves. Replicate.
But each net returns alone, an enfolded mass
of knots, bone, chitinous exoskeletons, bloated
elongate bodies of the unknown.

*  *  *

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Some Loves

Some Loves
Kim Goldberg

We enter the elfin wood along trillium way
barely a deer trail with rotting planks spanning rivulets
and mucky divides. We wobble-walk across, twisting
our way deeper into the moss-hung fairy glade
flanked by sword fern and once white petals
gone purple with age. You are taking me
to see the jewel—a thing so unusual
its location must be shielded from the world. You tease
the mystery and my mind leaps
to Fellini’s Satyricon where the albino hermaphrodite
diety is borne across the desert in a litter with velvet
curtains. And my mind leaps again
to John Hurt in The Elephant Man, for difference is both
worshipped and reviled. A pileated woodpecker heralds
our arrival with its wuck wuck wuck call overhead. I gaze up
just in time to glimpse its scarlet crest disappear
behind a monumental fir. At our feet
is the wonder: a four-petaled trillium known
(I am about to learn) as a quadrillium. A cone drops
nearby. The duff stirs. Deer mouse
or sprite? An invitation, or is the wildwood
arming itself? We return
to our car. A photo will be uploaded to Facebook
with no geo-locating information. It will get many likes
and some loves.

*  *  *

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alchemical Reaction

Alchemical Reaction
(Villanelle for Earth Day 2017)
Kim Goldberg

To drink a potion is to believe
flower, wing, tail can bring the change
we seek. All we hold will have to be released.

Has the vulture overhead come for me?
Or just another case of premature migration?
To drink a potion is to believe

there is a codex, a list of interlocking secrets
binding earth to sky, rain to sea, heart to brain.
We seek all that we hold. We have not been released.

A gull may never know for whom it keens.
The answer is ablated within a crashing wave.
To think of motion is to believe

the water shrew has risen to be Jesus
for she can walk on water every day.
We seek. We hold. We have to be released.

Shhhhhh is the sound of our liver, grove of emerald green.
Shhhhhh is the sound of rushing birds bringing the change
we seek. All we hold will have to be released
to drink the potion. To believe.

* * *

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Kim Goldberg

A large ground beetle lumbers across pavement
his earthworm parcel twitching and flailing
like a flag in a hailstorm. The beetle wobbles
from the jerky weight of suppressed
freedom until the pair, locked as they are in each other’s
timelines by chitinous jaws, arrives at the threshold
cleaving two worlds—one mindless and gray
one a wild tangle of imagination.

And we think we know the outcome
of this narrative: a win, a loss, a sacrifice
a continuance. Victory
is in the eye, says quantum physics.
We convene panels and symposia to analyze
the intersectional oppressions of colonial
re-enactments played out in our tattered streets
and weedy byways. We birth
new twitter hashtags to announce the arrival
of our insight. We learn the meaning of
syncretism and why this isn’t

that. We push our trembling minds
into every pedagogical slit and smokestack
but we forget to let our palms and knees simply
drop to the earth. For anything can occur
when the back end of a beetle burdened with a twisting
sack of rebellion vanishes into a shield of heartbeats
feral and green.

*  *  *


Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Next Garden

The Next Garden
Kim Goldberg

Reading Sam Hamill’s Habitation
in my unkempt garden as the sun crests
the roof-line, I watch you descend into the scraggle
of forgotten stalks—brittle, spent, gone
to seed. Last night on Facebook, Sam said
he would like to be in love again,
would like to have a traveling companion to escape
the USA. There were several takers.
I pondered the narrative for the half-life
of beryllium-14 (which is 4.84 seconds). It seems
I don’t do love anymore, at least not
with human beings. Your vermillion blaze

bobs above the weedy grail of each desiccated
umbel, erasing my undone chores and botanical
remorse. I forget the day’s plans, the incomplete
tax return, the emerging parsley and strawberry leaves
that need the ground cleared of leftover corpses
who were so carefully loved and tended. Once.

Our pact, although forged without words,
is secure in our mismatched hearts (mine is larger
perhaps from too much wanting). And when you transcend
to the next garden, I am on
your wing.

* * *

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments