September 2010


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Vol. 1, No. 6

Writers:

Meg Baird – Girl With Dog

Earl Bradford – Summer’s End

J. Lorraine Campbell – Icon

Jayne Cook – Advice on Self-Confidence

John A. James – Armchair Travels

John MacPherson – Winter Waves

Carmel Mikol – Infinite Sand

Heidi Monk – We’re on a roll

Pamela Mosher – Cohen’s Bench

Linda Nesbitt – Mackerel Sky

Donal Power – Day & Night in Kandahar

David Pretty – Subtle Observation

Anna Quon – Wounding Ground

David Rimmington – The Camera

Tom Robson – Twenty eight of forty three

Steve Vernon – Uncle Wilfred’s Dancing

Barry Wood – Halifax

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Girl with Dog
Poem by Meg Baird

Bouncy butt and wavy hair
laden with a world of care
Glimpse of joy upon the green
heading to the park again

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Summer’s End
Poem by Earl Bradford

Velocity of Night –
Trajectory of Moonlight
Solitary walking after hours
Smoky cloud embers;

Contrast of mist pelting
surfaces of stone…

I dream isolated,
of ancient tartan paradoxes
and Y outh in Combat boots –
Combat against cliché;
Combat against chauvinism

Iron boiling within a crucible.

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Icon
Poem by J. Lorraine Campbell

Look up, I am a new age icon
linked to a million worshippers. Behold
my adorable face, my humble Roman roots;
behold a goddess
come down to earth
singing Like a Virgin.
But turn me around
and you get an arrogant tart,
desecrating your relics, brazenly
parading her flesh. You are tempted
to cast me out as the bad apple but I am
a charmer. You are drawn to me
in spite of your finer self.
Innocence and whore,
sacred and profane —
say what you wish,
my name is Madonna.

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Advice on Self-Confidence
Poem by Jayne Cook

Don’t look down
pretty girl,
they’ll all know
you’re faking it.

Pick yourself up
lovely girl,
walk tall, shoulders back.
Don’t trip
on the cracks in the sidewalk
clumsy girl,
Damn!
Shake it off-
big smile,
laughing at yourself.
You know you lack grace,
but you don’t care
sheepishly smiling, freckled face.

Don’t let others bring you down
sweet girl,
their judging eyes
are meant for themselves.

Friends may fail you,
lovers disappoint-
love yourself
how you wish others would
beautiful girl,
get my point?

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Armchair Travels
Poem by John A. James

Alone and faraway on a milky afternoon,
Nestled snugly into my upholstered chariot,
I muse through familiar travelogues;
Enchanting destinations surreal and imaginary-
And prepare my unshackled spirit to again embrace,
Another solo journey in contented trance.

Terrestrial surroundings slowly fade to grey,
As I selfishly embark on a cloudless phantasm.
My ethereal being drifts over untravelled leagues;
Sights, sounds and smells pervade my wanton senses-
I open my mind’s eye in eager anticipation, peer inside,
And I am there…again.

An ocean rife with passion satisfies the longing,
Of a sultry beach,
Abandoned.
It’s supple marl prone and aroused,
Craving the cooling touch of every lonely curl,
Each brief devotion, so long in coming.

The ocean risks all to adore its beach;
For should it tarry too long,
It would not return,
Forever lost in the caresses of soft wet sand.
A last wistful gaze upon this sensual moment,
Before I open my eyes to a milky afternoon.

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Winter Waves
Poem by John MacPherson

I realize how much I love you
The ocean looks so cold
But the thought of you
My warmth is regained and all my life
Comes back to me

On a pitch dark night
The bright lights still don’t
Shine as bright as the love
I have seen in your eyes

On this night alone
This loneliness is matched
By the love I wish you feel for me

As I sit here alone
These waves remind me
Of your warm lips
Crashing into mine
On a chilled Fall night

As for falling
My heart fell for you
Long before you knew
I loved you

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Infinite Sand
Poem by Carmel Mikol

In the end
we are seashells
The sound of the sea
split like light in a prism
sound in an echo
traced back and forth
across the vast coastline
Till everyone of us
is just like the other
Infinite sand.

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We’re on a roll, but what’s the toll?
Poem by Heidi Monk

Who’s keeping score?
Always bigger, always more.
In 2008,
We thought it was great.
Then the banks failed,
And many wailed.
But we worked to keep
(during a crisis deep)
our steam boat afloat.
Pursuing economic growth
As if we’d taken an oath.
On go the days
We don’t question our ways
Perhaps in our race
We lose and unlace
More than just caution
But, we stick to our doctrine.
The latest oil spill
Will leave a large bill
But still, it won’t kill
That capitalist will
To recklessly expand
As fast as we can
In the end, we’re too lazy
To stop and smell that daisy.
By and large we’re unwilling
To imagine a new way of living
It might mean less choice in the store
But there will be a lot more.
Time for play,
Time to pray.

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Cohen’s Bench
Poem by Pamela Mosher

There is a photograph of his quiet repose

of his grey-sleeved arms crossed in defense
his head tipped to the sky
Eyes closed. Demure. Legs spilling from cedar seat
Pigeons scattered

like marbles across the park

Sorrow has a taste
…………………..a scent
……………………..a name

Alexandra leaving. Alexandra
lost.

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Mackerel Sky
Poem by Linda Nesbitt

Whitesides chase and ospreys hover
Tinkers shimmer, no chance for cover
Perhaps I will not fish today
Just watch the steely-blues pass my way
I gaze in awe at a mackerel sky
Now I know the reason why

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Day & Night in Kandahar
Poem by Donal Power

just a day like any other
in this ancient city of liberators and conquerors
she tucks a stray hair under her violet scarf
and steps out into the bustle of morning
her youngest boy clinging to her dress
they dodge army convoys and donkey carts
down to the market, familiar shouts and laughter
the other wives buying food, the scurry of life
suddenly a mis-guided missile mistakenly hits
a rain of shrapnel rips the crowd to shreds
flings her body like a red rag doll
her eyes closing on her son’s limp form
an unquenchable sorrow starts off for her home

a mother clears Sunday dishes in Nova Scotia
smiles proud at a gallant soldier’s photo
her boy is now patrolling dismounted to prove
to the people of this war-wary land
these foreigners are not invaders but friends
his young face is hairless, nervous
edging past a mud-walled house
when an ordinary citizen presses a button
sudden shrapnel flings the soldier like a rag doll
the citizen flees on his bike, to his quiet home
wipes stray tears with a shredded violet scarf
before opening the door to his motherless children
in this ancient city of conquerors and liberators
just a night like any other

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Subtle Observation
Poem by David Pretty

I am content in the knowledge
that the one you have chosen
……….has brought so much amusement
…………….to so many.

(shaken heads)
(pointed fingers)
(suppressed laughter)

So it stands revealed:

You were not perfect after all.

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Wounding Ground
Poem by Anna Quon

At the wounding ground,
wild poppies grow,
translucent,
above landmines
dug in years ago
like precious tubers.

The ghosts of hands and feet
scatter like salt
over the wounding ground.

No one remembers now
who is to blame for the one-legged child,
the blind dog, the bloody stump.

It was so long ago
that people hated one another.

the past is wispy as a cloud
over the wounding ground.

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The Camera
Poem by David Rimmington

The camera runs ahead of the eyes—
three-legged robot with a zooming beak—
It eats deer, squirrels, valleys, summits.
Rectangles of vacant space appear
where the camera has hunted.
It snarls along, walking on its metal tripod,
licking its focus after a kill.

Nature, trembling, begins to hide her
scenery; pushes her greatest sets out of
reach; starts to reshuffle them like stacks of
cards. Now, round each curve appears
a more ugly view than the last,
until, firing too late or too soon,
the camera has clicked its final shot.
Then the mountains, snorting storm clouds,
rear up and charge!

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Twenty eight of forty three ;- poetic plea
Poem by Tom Robson

What form of poetry decrees
That it be limited to twenty eight lines,
And characters will not exceed forty three?
I could compose a sonnet, and remain
Within limits. but characters might not scan.
Shakespeare and Petrarch would thus refrain.
No Ancient Mariner’s Rhyme.
No literary Light Brigade Charge.
Nor the Night Before Christmastime.
We wordy writers who cannot be succinct,
And envy those who distil in fewer words,
Are destined to become extinct.
We mouth a curse at those whose imposition
Would put a limit on the words we need
To write lyric, poem, play or composition.
It reeks of an unliterary digital limitation
So creative juices expelled in word
Suffer from restrictive constipation.
Publication’s a goal to which we poets strive.
And so I plead for a fifty six line space,
For poem, parts one & two. Keep hopes alive.

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Uncle Wilfred’s Dancing
Poem by Steve Vernon

Uncle Wilfred’s up there on the dance floor again
a fifty-two year old Cape Breton fisherman
broad of shoulder, with a full cargo of rum and wedding cake dancing slow waltz solo to a hard hip hop beat

no steps, no real rhythm
just a sort of swaying shimmy shake
that reminds me of the patience of blind temple elephants trodding trails felt only in their feet

folks giggled to themselves
and I felt the slow kindle of shame
flame across my cheek
and I looked away

Until dad came up from behind me and dropped
his hand on my shoulder bone
hang the judge and drown the jury, Dad said.
for there’s no shame here

Your Uncle Wilfred used to dance with Aunt Ella
back before that third stroke counted her down
he couldn’t dance any better then than now
but at least he didn’t look so lonely up there

he dances for life
rehearsing each unrehearsed step
so that he’ll be good and be ready one day
to swing a sweet little jig with old lady death.

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Halifax
Poem by Barry Wood

Halifax frame of mode
Spring Garden Road
Point Pleasant Park
A historical landmark

Tourists and locals flock
Along the downtown boardwalk
Not much smog
Lots of fog

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