Just Passing By Kamal Parmar

I started reading this collection of poetry by Kamal Parmar mid-morning, in the aftermath of a snowstorm. The snow was still falling gently outside, and I was seeking to delay my shovelling by tucking in with a slim collection of poetry. Enter Just Passing By, Parmar’s most recent collection of poetry, this time focused on nature, and images of the west coast of Canada, where she lives and writes. This was the right choice: the poems which detail different scenes throughout the seasons of the year were the perfect accompaniment to a day being reminded of the power of nature.

Parmar’s poems in this collection are dreamy, reflecting on the land and her relationship to it, weaving her memories of different days and different interactions with the world into her nature scenes. The collection is full of vivid images, setting you firmly into the scene which Parmar is reflecting on. In keeping with the theme of the current season, I was drawn most to the winter poems. In “Winter Beckons,” I found the exact image of winter I always love, opening with the perfect picture of a winter day: “It is not quite morning, / Drawing my bedroom window curtain, / I see snowflakes falling, / pirouetting, / dancing like damsels in the semi-dark, / confetti from above, / celebrating the newborn day.”

This was a pleasant little collection of poems. While there weren’t any standouts that spoke to me deeply, I did enjoy the overall effect of the collection. It brought to mind the joy of walking through the woods, the sounds of crunching leaves, and even the snug silence of the snow in the winter. Parmar details the sounds of children playing outside in many different kinds of weather in her poems, and that brought to mind several memories as well. Reading this was a lovely side-step into reflecting on land and nature and how we relate to it, as well as honour it.


Kamal Parmar has been passionately involved in writing since high school and University years. Her genre is poetry and creative non-fiction. She is the current Poet Laureate of the City of Nanaimo.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Silver Bow Publishing (Sept. 22 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 66 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1774032414
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1774032411

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Alison Manley has ricocheted between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for most of her life. Now in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she is the Cataloguing and Metadata Librarian at Saint Mary's University. Her past life includes a long stint as a hospital librarian on the banks of the mighty Miramichi River. She has an honours BA in political science and English from St. Francis Xavier University, and a Master of Library and Information Studies from Dalhousie University. While she's adamant that her love of reading has nothing to do with her work, her ability to consume large amounts of information very quickly sure is helpful. She is often identified by her very red lipstick, and lives with her partner Brett and cat, Toasted Marshmallow.