Contributed                                Barry Plamondon with his new book of poetry, Run Between The Raindrops.

Contributed Barry Plamondon with his new book of poetry, Run Between The Raindrops.

Sidelined by strokes, a Maple Ridge man discovers poetry

When Barry Plamondon found a reason to live after picking up a pen and writing.

When Barry Plamondon was released from the hospital in 2013 his left side was paralyzed.

His second stroke also left him in a wheelchair.

The 25-year Maple Ridge resident sat at home for a couple of months acclimatizing to his new reality.

But after the second month he realized that he needed to do something to come to terms with his new disabilities.

Plamondon picked up a pen and started writing.

“I always had at the back of my mind I would like to have a book out,” said Plamondon whose first book of poetry called This ‘n’ That Bric a Brac took a year and a half to write and was self-published in March, 2016.

He’ll be the first to admit that initially his poems were not so good but with perseverance and hard work they improved.

Plamondon published a second book of poetry called Crackers and Crumbs in October the same year.

A month ago, the author published his third book of poetry.

Poetry has helped him along his road to recovery.

Doctors have told him that there is never an end to improvement but he personally thinks that he has plateaued, although he keeps working at reversing the effects of the stroke.

His poetry is therapy.

Plamondon writes by hand because without feeling on his left side he is unable to type on a keyboard.

“I like writing. All my life I wrote by hand,” he said.

When Plamondon finishes his poems, he gives them to his wife who puts them into a manuscript on the computer before they send it out to the publishing house.

Plamondon writes about everything.

He writes about his family and friends, his disabilities, about peace, relationships and even cowboys.

“(The strokes are) the cause of me writing the poetry,” explained Plamondon.

“There are some poems completely devoted to (the strokes) and there are some that it plays part of the poem or it hints at a serious mishap,” he continued.

His latest book is called Run Between The Raindrops, advice a friend’s mother used to tell a group of them when they were on their way to high school and it was raining outside.

“That stuck in my head,” he said.

“The words sounded good to me. Then I had memories from the past that I like to include in poems. I thought Run Between the Raindrops could be a parallel in life. Stay outside of trouble,” added Plamondon.

The 60-page book contains a few really personal poems for Plamondon.

One is called Silent Harmony, a poem about his sister and only sibling, who passed away a year and a half ago.

He describes her as an angel that he can hear singing.

“I’ve only really had about three or four (poems) ever that really hit me emotionally in the gut and that was one of them,” he said, adding that although he is not an emotionless poet, some poems really do hurt to write.

Another of his favourite poems in the book is called Old Man.

In this one Plamondon contemplates why he should give money to an old man living on the street when he has his own problems to deal with.

“I’m saying the doctors say I won’t walk again and yet you earn more than I will today. By begging,” he explained.

In the end he resolves his emotions when he realizes that God is looking after them both.

“What is also in there, that is kind of hinted at, is that it really bothers me that I can’t go out and earn my own living any more,” said Plamondon.

When emotions swell up in Plamondon he writes until they stop.

His writing has helped his spirit and made him want to go on in life.

Every morning he wants to get up and write a poem.

“It can’t cure things, but it can help therapeutically and emotionally.”

Run Between the Raindrops and Crackers and Crumbs are available online at silverbowpublishing.com.

This ‘n’ That Bric a Brac is available at amazon.ca.