By DANNETTE DOOLEY
Special to TC Media
Joe Emberley of Joe Batt’s Arm has become an accomplished poet over years. The inspiration for much of his work comes from within.
© Submitted photo
Joe Emberley, who lives in Joe Batt’s Arm on Fogo Island, is not only a poet, but musician.
It’s the simplicity of his poetry that makes it charming to young and old alike.
Emberley describes himself as a religious man, but one who is no better than the next person. His belief in a creator and a saviour often come through in his rhyming versus. His faith has inspired him deeply, he said, and he spends a great deal of time practicing his faith.
“Over the years, by the grace of God, I’ve opened myself to the deeper levels of life,” Emberley told TC Media. “I think I’ve come to understand that I stand on the border between the spiritual, the physical and the natural.”
Emberley’s beliefs have given him a hunger for the written word. Poetry is his way of expressing himself, he said.
“I hope I have a positive effect on other people when they read what I write,” he said of sharing his poetry with others.
Whether writing about Christmas lights, snowflakes, mummers or the planet Pluto, Emberley creates vivid images for those who read his work.
Once he gets an idea, he said, it doesn’t take long for the poem to take shape.
“I have an inspiration that I’d like to write a poem about a certain topic,” he said. “First a title will come to mind and then not too long after I’ll sit down at my table and write. And in half-an-hour to an hour I can write a poem.”
In his poem “Christmas Lights” he writes:
Children are excited by Christmas lights
With thoughts of Santa and toy-filled sights
There was also much light from a certain star
As three kings astonishingly travelled far
Emberley works in the fish processing plants. He’s a member of the square dance group on Fogo Island and is an accomplished musician. He is known for his fiddle and accordion music at festivals and other events on Fogo Island. He also gives of his time to entertain residents at the hospital and played at the Christmas Concert in the Town Hall in Joe Batt’s Arm on Dec. 20.
A self-taught musician, as a child Emberley watched his father (the late Michael Emberley) play the accordion and soon became interested in learning how to play himself.
“Dad learned me a few songs and I picked it up from there. It was like search and discover for me,” he said.
Whether it’s playing a tune on his fiddle or accordion or sending a few poems to the Pilot for possible publication, Emberley gets joy from sharing his creative endeavours with others.
“The poetry is in me and God wills that I pass it out and share it with others. Because it’s a gift to be shared and not to be kept to myself.”
Following are a selection of poems by Emberley