August 2010

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Vol. 1, No. 5


Earl Bradford – Plethora

George Burden – God Takes Collect Calls

Stephen Patrick Clare – oh montreal

Regan Fraser – Xenophobia

Rowena Hopkins – Five Haiku

Josh Hughes – What Life Is

John A. James – The Seed and the Rain

John MacPherson – Done Forgiving

Ian Matheson – Sapien

Heidi Monk – Walking

Lionel Morrell – Crossroad of Sorrow & Pain

Pamela Mosher – Weekend Mornings

Heather Mundell – Smell of Dusk

Linda Nesbitt – Trying

Candace Oakley – It’s Actually That Simple

Lianne Perry – In Waxing White Beyond

David Pretty – Observation

David Williams – How Hot is August

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Poem by Earl Bradford

Hoarding, mostly reading,
or reference material ~ or of course,
criticism… for that next unlikely
Autumn sabbatical

Dusk on the Waterfront…
Fog slowly lifting, fires of
Woodside Petroleum refinery
Now flickering on stygian waves

Penal colony neons;
Diamond Sphinx
of concrete and asphalt
Homeric Dawn…
hanged silouettes on George’s Island –

metro, the trolleys, at rush hour…
urban commerce & street cleaners
bouquets of brooding faces

One day. maybe
an El-Train will traverse
the Bedford Basin.

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God Takes Collect Calls
Lyrics by George Burden

In your moment of need, when your universe falls,
And crisis completely surrounds you,
You haven’t a penny to call your own,
Just remember God takes collect calls.

There’s no one who cares; you feel a foot tall
No family that gives a sweet damn,
Your head’s in a twirl, no friend in the world,
Just remember God takes collect calls.

You’ve really screwed up; you dropped the ball,
No one gives you the time of day,
You’re really messed up, you’ve lost your way,
But the Good Lord will still take your calls.

When you’re all in, and sick with sin and headed for a fall,
He’ll watch your back, and cut you slack
Believe in him, that’s all
No busy signals from the Lord, he’s there when you are blue, Remember when your heart is broke, he’s waiting there
for you.

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oh montreal
Poem by Stephen Patrick Clare

white snow yellow moon
and the bloody red body of evidence
that my landlord would not clean up,
that slinks like ink
down the stairs
where the old man next door
smashing his last few teeth.
they will never be found.

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Poem by Regan Fraser

Sometimes it’s best to stay out late,
Not get irate, or find Americans to whom to narrate,
Or enviously hate or stay home, masturbate,
Enough on my plate. Or, steer clear.
For it’s that time of year when American Tourists are here,
We play games of charades and wear kilts in parades,

You rehearse what you’ll do and you’ll say,
Telling them what you think they want to hear,
Pretending Mr. Keith is your dear deceased uncle,
Who patiently made wonderful glorious beer.

Ignorance is bliss
As we pour cordiality
We drown all appearances
Masking reality

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Five Haiku
Poems by Rowena Hopkins

Heart skips a beat as
you emerge from gas station,
clutching ketchup chips.

…………Dodging long shadows,
…………you bring me tales of hedgehogs,
…………love and lavender.

Sweat drenched in your bed,
an explosion rends the air.

…………Before the life raft,
…………I drowned in silence and you
…………went fishing alone.

Haiku are private,
meant for sisters, lovers and
rooms full of poets.

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What Life Is
Poem by Josh Hughes

precisely patterns
of perpetual complexity
(for no sake in some sense
yet beautiful absolutely)

but in life is infinite opportunity
first to grow evolve ascend by chance
with sense or senselessness
to summits of somewhat fit ideas
perchance with eyes to see beyond
the precipice of puerile happiness
to vistas of boundless possibility

and in life is opportunity
then to love with consciousness
in awe the splendour of potential
more vast than ignorance
for freedom from fate of nothingness
(some purpose despite our transience)
and venture forth reverent
brilliant with hope in munificence
beyond the realm of primitive science
along the fringe of magnificence

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The Seed and the Rain
Poem by John A. James

A seed without rain,
Will lie dormant and veiled,
Beneath a wind swept visage,
Of shifting barren facades –

Left alone to dream the dream;
Of that single tender touch,
The taste of salty dew,
Allowing the seed to awaken –
And embrace the rain.

Bound to its sustenance,
The seed is devoted;
To spend its short eternity,
Engulfed in the tears of wet fire,
That merely moisten an insatiable thirst.

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Done Forgiving
Poem by John MacPherson

When I awoke to this life
I felt alone and at the knife
Wounded, bound and choking
Bitter fear beyond provoking

Life’s not worth a penny less
I always help but help’s a mess
I’m a believer in my own fate
But I won’t stop and hesitate

Dark, bleak and out of key
These hands have flipped society
A stranger form of my old skin
Darker now than I’ve ever been

“Light in my darkest hour is fear”
Words once helped but I can’t hear
A fucking twitch, a busted bone
The feeling I thought I could condone

A missing piece, a broken vase
Tears in my eyes cause this haze
For you I won’t stop living
But for now I’m done forgiving

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Poem by Ian Matheson

Emaciated gluttony
Propped up, shaking, standing
Looking up, wide eyed, jaw agape
Brain pumping, heart racing
All the while slouching
Not towards or against Just slouching Gasping, crying, shouting Pronouncing the word death
Projecting and planning, failing, striving
Knowing this time, this time, this time
It will catch the sun as it sets,
Hold it in its palm,
Own the world,
And name itself Man

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Poem by Heidi Monk

We live in a ‘democracy’,
But when was the last time
A politician represented me?
Some cast their vote, many don’t
But the policy change?
What is this society?
Is it the sum of you and me?

Do we choose
The game we play,
And not only whether we win or lose?

How come our daily activity
Gives rise to a system
with which I disagree?

If we all knew the consequences
Of our consumption and other choices,
Would we raise our voices?
Or are we content to continue
When we know what’s on the menu?
Eyes closed, responsibility aside.
What does it take to turn the tide?
The weakness starts with me.
I see. I read. I write. I talk.
But when will I learn to walk?

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The Crossroad of Sorrow and Pain
Lyrics by Lionel Morrell

I’m the catch of the day and my body still
Lingers, while my heart beats through
Your cold blistered fingers.
Still the wine coloured ocean bears the fruit
Of the wild, your sweet and
Sour smile blossomed like a child.

Now where are you going with my heart
In your hand, you lifted it up but I forgot
Where it would land. I followed like a fool,
Some say to Cape Fear, where many
Hearts failed without promise of a tear.

I fell to pieces, things I couldn’t contain;
Captured among others
In your hellish domain. Many dark nights
I tried to outrun the rain but there was
No getting past the crossroad of
Sorrow and pain.

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Weekend Mornings
Poem by Pamela Mosher

Love becomes a clear, glittering


we are enveloped
No turning…………away

The cool
supine of
…………lying alone
does not exist

There is only the embrace
one of another
us of ourselves and
…………each other
of ourself

There is only
rain pinging off the window glass
only sighing, shifting half-aware slumber

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The Smell of Dusk
Poem by Heather Mundell

The quacking of ducks in the water brings me to the
window after drying the supper dishes and the red
sky at sunset is breathtaking to my eyes.

As I walk to sit on the tallest rock in my freshly mown
backyard, it’s not the sound of the slowly paddling
family of ducks or the sight of the setting sun that
envelops me; it’s the smell of dusk.

There’s an aroma that lingers from the water in the
sea and the air surrounding it that one differentiates
from any other time of day or night. The salty moisture
as one inhales; the smoky scent of the seaweed and
the nearby wharf; the fresh clean air that freshens
one’s senses and allows one to breathe more deeply.

The red ball in the low sky has now touched the edge
of the sea and blinds the human eye. Far up in the
still-blue sky, the white vapor of a passing jet high
in the Heavens, looks like a shooting arrow descending
at me. A few cirrus clouds complete God’s painting.

The sound of the quacking ducks dissipates as the
red ball of fire becomes lower and lower but the
sounds of dusk remain. One’s heart is moved to such
gladness and joy at being a part of this wholesome
and inspiring spectacle. The sound of dusk—
listen closely; it will make you, too, want to slow dance
under God’s masterpiece.

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Poem by Linda Nesbitt

Sleep over
Over tired
Tired of trying
Trying too hard
Hard at it
It hurts
Hurts when I laugh
Laugh till I die
Die trying
Trying to sleep.

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It’s Actually That Simple
Poem by Candace Oakley

I thought it was simple.
The words on my tongue waited
but my mouth didn’t shape them.
My eyes knew what they wanted
but your outline was avoided.
My hand was empty
but it stayed right in my pocket.
Until your whispers were soft,
You’ve taken away all my breath here.
Just don’t say forever;
You might get my hopes up
that maybe a good thing could last a while.
Your smile
has a place in my heart now,
for always.
Never erase this,
from your mind or your heart
and I promise I’ll say
the words I haven’t been saying.
It’s not really that simple
because you mean more than most.
I thought it was simple
because these words are so ready.
it’s actually that simple.

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In Waxing White Beyond
Poem by Lianne Perry

Imagine it with stalk that winds
around the universe and climbs
reaching, bending inside minds
unlocking thoughts of rapture.

Hidden low, a heart that weaves
a tapestry in blood and leaves
the whimsy of a princess freed
from her fortress shell.

And if it had a hand to hold
it might remind itself with bold
endearing thoughts in swollen fold
becoming feelings known.

Watch how subtly it breathes
beneath a fragrant heart of seed
when its true lover has been seen
in waxing white beyond.

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Poem by David Pretty

It has been some time
…….since the last spiritual coffee.
And I know, with iron regret,
…………………..that the wait is just beginning.

The touchstone can give you no more solace.
There is no lure sweet enough.
Nothing can tempt your descent from the golden spire.

So I tell you to strike a Christ-pose
…………………………and dive into the pleasure-sea.
Because I know what’s best for you
…………………………is not what’s best for (martyr) me.

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How Hot is August
Poem by David Williams

How hot is August?
hot enough to warm Purcell’ s.pond
warmed for six feet down
but cold at the bottom
when you plunge from the rocky bluff
then let your bulging lungs
bring you effortlessly to the top

breaking the surface only enough
to draft a breath through the nose
throw your arms over your head
and dive your cupped hands down
and slide, slide , slide

halfway across from kick off
throwing head from side to side
the leaves of the sagging bush
touching the far shore

coasting to the bank
surprising the chickadee on the branch
she swims off in the air dipping and rising
as she goes
she models for you the return
and you try to dolphin your way back

climbing out on the hot rocks
you quick lift your feet till you reach the shade
and now you can gloat
your life away on this hot day

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