The Day is a Cold Grey Stone
Hagios Press / 13 August 2010

The Day is a Cold Grey Stone by Allan Safarik Published by Hagios Press Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $17.95 ISBN 978-1-926710-04-4 Prolific and critically-acclaimed poet Allan Safarik has reached the point in his career where a “New and Selected” anthology of his work is well-warranted. Safarik’s made Dundurn, SK his home for many years, but he hails from – and is inexorably bound to – the West Coast, and it’s that watery landscape which receives his literary attention in The Day is a Cold Grey Stone. Safarik’s introduction explains his steadfast connection with Vancouver; the ocean and its myriad creatures; birds (as a boy the poet sold squabs in Chinatown); and the colourful characters (family included) he’s encountered along the way. The metaphoric and somewhat serious-sounding title is not representative of the work en total, which is often playful and entertaining, ie: a herring gull’s “like a starved\chicken with a complex.” There are numerous reminiscences from the writer’s childhood – running after the ice man’s truck; jumping off a garage roof; inhaling the sweet, blue smoke from his Czech grandfather’s Cuban cigars – and anecdotes about folks, including the toothless and wine-stained man in “Fish Candy”: “[He] digs his…