June 2011

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Vol. 2, No. 4


Meg Baird – The Roar of War

Chris Benjamin – Spiral

Earl Bradford – Hard Drive

Janet Brush – Family Reunion

Michael Campbell – Garden Road of Spring

Peter Crofts – (I)

Zoe Doucette – Jung Blood

Darcy Helkenberg – a history of downloads

Joanne Light – A Day In London

John Wise McLeod – Fork

Pamela Mosher – Paris III

Ayesha Mushtaq – Sorely Scored

David Pretty – Opposition

Tom Robson – Brevity.

Sara Saddington – Ladies

Henry Stevens – The End Rings

Wendy Watkinson – I Can Tell

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The Roar of War
Poem by Meg Baird

Tell us more about War
the word has a roar to it
longs to tear our precious flesh
feed in the fields of gore

Tell us more
from the grand old stories
we can romanticize the size
and the vigour and the glory
and the acuteness of flesh
on death’s dank breath

but we can’t understand
all the rest of it
when the violence is over
what’s left of it?

Surely it’s better
to use our brains
tame the beast
and put it in chains
feed the hungry
and heal the lame

feed War
only with chickens
and something for pain

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Poem by Chris Benjamin

I was late to the clinic and
my adjustment counsellor was pissed.

Wasn’t that just like me?
On account of my oppositional complex.

I just had to stop for that quick hit
in the drive-thru alley with the junkies.

But if Daddy hadn’t screwed up my order
I wouldn’t have had to shoot up twice.

I’d sleep on a feather mattress
instead of this old gym-mat.

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Hard Drive
Poem by Earl Bradford

Solar powered deluge on
brink of Twenty-First Century;
Segmented Camera-Scopic Satellite
sequence of topographic pixels –
Metropolitan panorama, Orwellian
enclaves; Telekinetic mist, cumbrous
hordes… commuting students, all
& each individually cocooned,
autonomously in spidery hives…
Infrared sapience of cellular rush-hour,
synchronic modems, notebooks, lap-tops,
I-pads – Verizon, Apple, In-tel,
AltaVista – Electronic Window ciboriums;
Science amalgamated with Media Frontier…
Recreant myriad of migrant droves,
Urban neuroses, vacuum sealed or canned –
Warholian, grocery-store pressings,
Silicon, Fibre-Optic, Silence on periphery…
Protoplasmic, corporate jungle of asphalt,
Sand & rock.

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Family Reunion
Poem by Janet Brush

It’s one am.
Memories flood my mind and drive away sleep.
A torrent of images
………..-of laughter, love, shared victories.

What a wonderful machine is the mind!
It throws a deluge of memories
………..down on the consciousness –
………..all of them good.
It holds back
………..the pain, the fear, the bitterness.

No need to remember the bad;
The lessons have been learned.

It’s two am.
Sleep comes now.
Tomorrow, a joyful reunion.

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An Ode to the Garden Road of Spring
Poem by Michael Campbell

If my soul is unbound by fetter, I hope to
come again by a singular place. At the
lower path a basilica looms as benevolent
sentry guarding earthly pleasures above.
Here a western bazaar caters whims of
fashion and hunger. The road offers
delights both base and ascendant,
here wine flows freely, but only a drop
for blessed sacraments. People stop by,
happy in coming, glad staying and enriched before leaving by
blast of revelry or simple meal. All places have
their seasons, times of ebb and flow;
it’s true summer is zenith, culture and
vitality mix and enliven the road, but
winter only slows things here. Even
beneath snow electric signs cast
welcoming glows as life bubbles
behind walls and windows reminding one
of the spring to come.

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( I )
Poem by Peter Crofts

Your image made
(imagining) something
further than a mirror.
Even one; devoted
to building lines.
And a four leaved sum
that one builds, breathes into,
sounds (within), cracks even.

In its incandescence:
to burn into (……… )
by the predictability
of that pane;
against the frame.

In there, still and seen
(eye hesitant)
tune key to lock.
By links of image
fill the hole
which one can’t,
but somehow must.

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Jung Blood
Poem by Zoe Doucette

if I am dreaming or not
what if I keep waking up
so what if-
I will ignore words which
between corners,
alight beacons
pinball bumpers
as they connect and impact

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a history of downloads
Poem by Darcy Helkenberg

over time, posts dissipate
into the white space
created by the blinking
cursor, the full range of motion
in the dexterity of letters
& numbers, the refreshed page
carries the load no more,
it’s no wonder the open new tab
of thought closed down
before the process was complete,
so much for the URL
& the back to home,
the search of indefinite terms
of the bookmarked & ragged edges
in the history of downloads

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A Day In London
Poem by Joanne Light

London is a gaping mouth
I am a sweet fruit,
……………juice running,
………………eaten up.

While the fruit man piles the pavement pink,
I itch for the
rooted peach, pear —
……………any tree: a home.

Finding a small country in my skin,
…………..I have a flag;
……………………it’s my heart.

I have a kind of root;
……………a leader and a follower force:
………………………………….my feet.
They go and go
……………but want,
 …………………….they want to stop.

But then,
……………the possibilities,
round and ripe,

……………………..I’m gone
……………………………..across the earth.

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Poem by John Wise McLeod

Rousing, I take
me to the cool kitchen, reach
in at random, fork
the plump bag, plop!
into the sink
settle back down
with strong hot tea.

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Paris III
Poem by Pamela Mosher

This town was fine once the rain fell
and the dust settled
and the heat dulled

Lovers held hands and the Eiffel Tower –
that beacon of glamour and human achievement –
sparkled in the dusky hues of sunset

A lullaby for listlessness

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Sorely Scored
Poem by Ayesha Mushtaq

Illusions dismantle,
A puff of smoke…
Reality strikes a goal!

Love’s inglorious,
Cheat unveiled…
Reality strikes a goal!

Dead awakened,
To regret’s call…
Reality strikes a goal!

Evil schemers,
Sloppy angels…
Reality strikes a goal!

Faith soiled,
Reality strikes a goal!

Horror entwined!!
Life and dream…
The score is scored no more!

Reality confused,
Intellect abused…
A score is just a score!

Live Life,
Die death…
The score remains no more…

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Poem by David Pretty

Happy that we are of interest.
Delighted by the meagre call.
Content with vibrant, eager message.
Joyful springs, the beautifalls.

Painful that I cannot practice.
Regret the wastefulness of time.
Sadness in the separation.
Knowing that we can’t be mine.

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Poem by Tom Robson

In the distant days of written response journals;
Pre blog, spellcheck, laptop and pre Notebook!
(Though that was what you wrote in, with a pen,
When a notebook was a notebook.)
My journal was criticized. Prof’s response;
“You never use one word when you can use six!”
I was offended!
Brevity in writing is not my forte. I have a credo.
“A written piece is as long as the writer needs it to be.”
The chore of writing a precis was impossible.
Restricting an essay to the number of words
That a prof, (or T.A.) could tolerate.
Put a severe cramp on my writing style.
I was limited!
My voice needs time, space and words
For convoluted sentences, that deny quality,
Grammatical exactitude and agreement;
But make it distinctive. I am too old to change.
And the computer encourages me to ramble on;
To develop ideas. Describe a situation. Embellish.
I am free.
Can I complete this; extolling open ended writing,
Within a limit of twenty eight lines?
Looking through my collection,
No poem is close to that arbitrary restriction.
I am a contradiction to those that argue
That poetry is minimalist expression.
I haven’t finished.

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Poem by Sara Saddington

When there are no answers
and the words dry up
I will summon you the rain.

When the crisis breaks you down
I will gather my petty offering
and know that perhaps
garlic can heal
at least a little.

And when I nearly drown in the void
I know you’ll grasp my desperate hand
and laugh.

So may you always revel
in multiplicity.

You know,
Halifax is famous for its diversity of grey.

And may you always
tip your face
to meet the rain.

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The End Rings
Poem by Henry Stevens

Then again the end doesn’t
seem so busy. Slacked back
with her feet up she’s
laughin’. Midnight bells are
chiming to the silence in
the air. She lights a fatty
and blows a string of vapour
rings. Floating right above her
midair, these sleek circle things
stoke her glare. She’s become
transfixed by hanging imaginings
in the new day’s beginnings.
Poof. They’re gone the way of the
wind. Good riddance to wafting
smoke, she’s back in the social
game. Maybe, she thinks, I could
start with a smile. Her lips crack
as out goes the edge of her
cheeks. Smiles workin’ so she
falls right into a pleasant grin.
By other points of view there
is not a single notice of
the change. In their light of day
the end begins again.

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I Can Tell
Lyrics by Wendy Watkinson

I can tell

you’re thinking of leaving me
everything’s a little more distant
you think you’ve been deceiving me
but I can feel a slight resistance
even though you try and hide it well

I can tell

you think I still don’t know yet
it’s already starting to hurt
I guess I’m feeling regret
that you won’t try and make it work
though you haven’t even said farewell

I can tell

what’s the use in pretending
when I know our love is ending
my heart’s a hollow empty shell
before the words are even spoken
my heart’s already broken
so please be gentle when you say it
don’t be cold or overplay it
either way it’s going to hurt like hell

…………………………………………….I can tell

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