Poem de Terre

Poem de Terre

BandRockSpoken Word

Poem de Terre performs a powerful repertoire of original material and exciting new interpretations of others' music and spoken word. "War and Love" is the latest evolution of this socially conscious music, reinvented with a rootsy hard-rock edge for the new millennium that won't let go!


After thirteen years playing and recording, the members of Poem de Terre found the perfect place to record their seventh release, "War and Love." A large, rambling Nineteenth Century farm house, almost 200 acres of rolling, wooded land, a crystal clear lake at the doorstep, and state-of-the-art recording facilities: this is Leopard Frog Studio.

And what a process! Six months rehearsals in two rented spaces. A marathon three day recording session of 18 songs played live from the floor. That's six songs completed per day, folks! More than three months in the studio tweaking and polishing songs that already shone like the diamonds.

The result: the very best work ever done by Poem de Terre. Fantastic!

Bob MacKenzie

Readers and listeners either love him or hate him. Its hard to be ambivalent about this Canadian writer who often mixes his media and messages in unexpected ways. Beginning with readings of poetry over flute or piano, Bobs art has evolved into a multi-media format that brings together printed, spoken, and sung words; music performance; and visuals including photography, painting, print making, and collage.

Bob believes that the individual arts and crafts are part of a greater whole, are simply Story. A time-honoured unified tradition of the arts is the basis for Bob's multi- media approach, integrating his written and spoken words with various other artistic approaches. This is the art of the travelling Bard, of the Shaman adding elements of magic to every tale.

Born on Canadas west coast, son of a photographer/ musician and a photo-colourist, and raised in Albertas parklands, Bob has followed his family roots East as far as the Maritime Provinces and visited every province along the way. He has been writing and performing his words since he was five, making a short 16 millimetre movie by the time he was eight and combining his words, music, and images ever since.

Bob cites influences in music and poetry that include John Donne, Leonard Cohen, Edith Piaf, Jaques Brel, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Hank Williams, Felice and Boudreau Briant, Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, Mystic Moods Orchestra, Ogden Nash, Dr. Seuss, T. S. Eliot, Barry White, Lawrence Ferlingetti, Tangerine Dream, and hundreds of others. High on the list are Cohen and Holly.

Bob MacKenzie's performances have been compared to artists as diverse as Jim Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Burl Ives, William Shatner, Jerry Garcia, Red Sovine, Alan Ginsberg, Barry White, and many others spanning the worlds of roots/popular music and modern literary poetry.

Poem de Terre

Since it was formed by six artists in the summer of 1993, Poem de Terre has organically evolved a unique sound and style with a powerful repertoire of original material as well as new interpretations of music and spoken word pieces previously performed or recorded by other artists.

While the musical style of Poem de Terre's material transcends genre, at heart the music is folk. Building upon this foundation of folk music, Poem de Terre draws upon many influences to create dramatic music for the new millenium.

As much as the music, words are central to Poem de Terre's work, presenting compelling stories and ideas to the community in the form of live performance.

Into this stew of musical and literary influences, each member of Poem de Terre brings his or her influences, most often as broad and eclectic as Bob's, to create an exotic blend of sounds and images that is unique to this Canadian performance collective.

Usually performing with eight to twelve people on stage, over the years Poem de Terre has featured more than fifty artists. Each artist brings to the performance his or her own creative sensibility and subtly changes the quality of the performance and the clarity of the message.

Poem de Terre's performances have been compared to The Doors, Pentangle, Cranberries, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Moody Blues, Spirit of the West, Baz Luhrmann, The Grateful Dead, A Wing and a Prayer, Judy Collins, Melanie Safka, Joni Mitchell, and diverse other artists.


A Man Came by Today

Written By: Bob MacKenzie

A man came by today
to ask about his wife,
or was it just a part of him
or something of his life?

He seemed to think I knew
the troubles he had seen,
and now, my dear, I'm wondering
whatever did he mean?

Your supper's on the table
and everything's alright,
but tell me, oh my darling,
where were you all last night?

A man came by today
with your name in his eyes;
he said that life was loving her,
and, loving gone, he dies.

How sweet the bitter pills,
how gentle comes the sleep;
I love you, oh I love you,
and cannot bear to weep.

Your supper's on the table
and everything's alright,
but tell me, oh my darling,
where were you all last night?

My darling, oh my darling,
a man came by today

Last Night I had the Strangest Dream

Written By: Ed McCurdy

Last night I had the strangest dream
I never had before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
to put an end to war.

I dreamed there was a mighty room,
and the room was filled with men,
and the paper they were signing, said
they'd never fight again.

And when the paper was all signed
and a million copies made,
they all joined hands and circled round
and grateful prayers were made.

And the people on the street below
were dancing round and round
with swords and guns and uniforms
all scattered on the ground.

Last night I had the strangest dream
I never had before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
to put an end to war.


Written By: Bob MacKenzie, Malka Berman

You opened the door
And lit lamps with your eyes
What fire your eyes could rear
And your hands like a gardener
Planting a rose
Wandered over me, pleasing me
Rearing wild rose
And I built up my house with your mind.

When we closed the door
And we lowered the lights
In dusk our eyes would meet
And your hands like a gardener
Raising the flame
Wandered over me, making me
Wildflower tame
And you ate with the host of my mind.

Now I've closed the door
And I've shut off the lights
But still your eyes are here
And your hands like a gardener
Plucking a rose
Wander over me, teasing me
Lighting old glows
'Though I've emptied the house of your mind.

And your hands like a gardener
Casting a seed
Wandered over me, pleasing me
Lighting the rose
But I've weeded the house of your mind.


2006: War & Love, compact disc, 18 songs [16 original]

2002: Live at Newlands Pavilion, Part One: Folk, compact disc, 12 songs (recorded in Summer of 2001) [10 original]

2002: Live at Newlands Pavilion, Part Two: Rock, compact disc, 13 songs (recorded in Summer of 2001) [all original]

1999: Assume Nothing, compact disc, 20 songs [all original]

1995: Pyramid, 4 track recording on cassette, 9 songs [all original]

1994: Windfall, 4-track recording on cassette, 8 songs [all original]

Set List

Poem de Terre's set list is anything but typical. In general, a set will include original Poem de Terre material in a mix of about 60% sung and 40 % spoken word performance. Specific content of the set will change depending on the expected audience.

Depending on the songs selected, a Poem de Terre set can sound very folky, country, jazz/blues, or rock and roll. Or it can even sound like just a big poetry reading. Sets are very carefully designed to suit the venue and the audience.

Poem de Terre sets can range from 20 minutes to one hour. It's our opinion that a set longer than one hour is just too long and the audience should be given a break. Poem de Terre has enough original material to do three one hour sets without repeating a song and still have songs left over.

At times, Poem de Terre will also do new interpretations of older songs ("covers" if you must). Some songs we have included in our sets are "Atlantis" (Donovan), "Catch the Wind" (Donovan), "White Collar Ho