September 2019


View Issue vol. 10, no. 7
ISSN 2369-6516 (Print)
ISSN 2369-6524 (Online)

Select the author’s name to view a short biography (if supplied) and all poems by that author.

Maximillion Archibald2167

Melissa BolandAn Afternoon at the Beach

Rick BrisonWitch

Janet BrushTwo Photos

Marilyn ChallisRequiem Haiku

Harry GarrisonExplaining Rectangle Poetry

Jari-Matti HelppiA Falling Symphony of Grey

Scott Lynchon the gulf and rage

David Mac EachernGarden City

Shallon MacKenzieHappy Birthday

Harry Wayne MahKE bites

Mike McFetridgeSatisfaction Should Still Be Allowed

Richard S. PayneLoose Change in a Bar

Robert John SchwarzmannAlbro Lake

Daniel SimpkinSummer

Rod StewartRemember

Cybel SweetgrassLes êtres ailés

Grayson WallageSummer

WOTS ParticipantsWordless

Return to Top

Poem by Rick Brison

Are you buying or being sold
Look behind look past
Look beyond your wishes and their needs
Keep your eyes on actions
Ignore all the words
Determine the intention
Identify the moment
And discreetly
See it as a culmination
The only possible result
Of a single set of circumstances
By which its secret name can be known
But beware
Those who can’t read between the lines
Will fear you
And blame you for their illiteracy

Return to Top

An Afternoon at the Beach
Poem by Melissa Boland

Atlantic’s roar
Diamonds trickle in the sand
Toes sink in the shore
I take a step away from land

A wave’s trough
Takes me out below the calf
The next crest
Sends seaweed down my chest

The sun is high
The wind blows salty
The hour is nigh
For something malty

Return to Top

Poem by Maximillion Archibald

The year is 2167. The country
is thirsty. They’ve had to
fashion their tongues
into ancient rain catchers.
They cover most of the face,
these rain catchers. Made of
wood. The mating rituals involve
the painting of elaborate designs.
I have a secret crush on the girl
who’s made daisies on hers with yellow
Love hangs in the air like humidity.
And there are entire skies in the
spaces between our texts. The skies
are green. And everyone
waits for rain.

Return to Top

A Falling Symphony of Grey
Poem by Jari-Matti Helppi

The tuning raindrops meet stage attired
in humming green rooms of cloudy falling grey
as the curtain’s rise to bass thunder
cues their entry and prompts the deluge flights.

They gravitate by countless millions
and hit whatever stops decent
to give free melodic ear nest meade
that shakes the boredom of the will.

Each one’s place to tempest symphonic
is born of splat they sing from
cobbles, jumbled tenements or giving leaves
or which ever note their endgame does export.

Not a wave of silent sound is the water’s fall
but ‘stead an interlude of winds that whistle on
with strings and drums and thunder horns
until the baton to silent drop’s release.

O, list as grey clouds open up
and millions drop to strike at will
upon these pleasing notes and chords of Pan’s
stormy gratis summer symphonies and awe.

Return to Top

Satisfaction Should Still Be Allowed
Poem by Mike McFetridge

A potato, a sausage and one cob of corn,
Please tell me I’m not over-eating;
Two cookies for dessert, with a glass of skim milk,
Whatever… I’m not above treating;
Whenever a doctor will come to a patient
With advice about trying to eat less;
The message I hear is to give up the treats,
This leads to a dietary stress.

What is life without food, the kind that one likes,
Must we always think only of health?
Variety, yes, is supposed to be good,
But one can always sneak treats with some stealth;
Live by the book, but die anyway,
Seems pointless to me somehow,
Moderation is fine when it comes to dine,
But satisfaction should still be allowed.

Return to Top

on the gulf and rage
Poem by Scott Lynch

a snowbird here on the Gulf of Mexico
constant motion
my hundred foot beach view
the certain susurration of crashing waves
churning the sands along the shore
a procession, dawn ‘till dusk
toddlers to octogenarians
screeching gulls and children oddly similar
sand pipers and plovers too with their verve
and frenetic zest
osprey, pelicans, terns, dolphins,
and the occasional crab provide relief
from endless blue skies and water
as the day gently slips away
each sunrise awaiting sunset’s play of light
always spectacular and brief
like our short lives
bathers like lemmings drawn to the strand
posers of every age exposing themselves
to the sun and passers by
I’m left to think of Dylan Thomas just now
his “Do not go gentle into that good night”
how our movements like waves
rage against the dying light
constant and certain daybreak to gloaming
Thomas and American,
Archibald MacLeish, “to feel how swift how
secretly the shadow of the night comes on”

Return to Top

Garden City
Poem by David Mac Eachern

Tame crowd of adventuring souls
Start on a feeling for love
To further their meager goals
Morning arriving, light from above

Going ahead with options best
Into land of clever mix
A vast approach, passionate quest
Great practice giving them tricks

Time became a valued road
Amidst world as blessings stream
The lasting notion creating load
Night taking stand, new dream

Return to Top

Explaining Rectangle Poetry
Rectangle Poem by Harry Garrison

Explaining Rectangle Poetry
Rectangle Poem by Harry Garrison
Is it computer magic making
this poem rectangular? No,
it is not “aligned!” It is
made of characters, spaces,
and punctuation that add up
to the same number on every
line. I always use Courier
New font. Every character,
every space, and each piece
of punctuation in this font
takes up the same amount of
room. I am juggling words,
and reference works. It is
difficult and takes quite a
lot of time, but satisfies.
I think that I am the first
author of this poetic form.
I wish others would compose
poems like this! One final
thing: lines can’t end with
blank spaces; they must end
in a letter or punctuation!

Return to Top

Happy Birthday
Poem by Shallon MacKenzie

I’m here, you’re there
Won’t you tell me
What did you wear?

Happy birthday
Today was your day
Happy birthday
What can I say?

Laugh, love, and pray
Throw your fears away
Forever and always
That’s what we say

Happy birthday
Today was your day
Happy birthday
What can I say?

Still seeing you here
But missing you dear
Thinking about you near

Return to Top

Les êtres ailés
Poem en français by Cybel Sweetgrass

Je sais je suis petit, mais je suis ici,
tout comme mes amis(es)
A l’époque de nos ancêtres,
tout était pour notre bien-être
Avec l’éclosion des villes,
nous n’avons pas toujours la vie facile
Pour se nourrir de façon convenable,
nous devons parfois passer sous table
Donc si vous pourriez nous aider,
se serait grandement appréçié

Return to Top

Poem by Daniel Simpkin

Find a cabin far out in the woods
And even though it’s raining,
Forget to wear hoods.
Kick off your boots and make it your own
And be free from the city lights
The TV, and your phone.
Bring a few steaks, and bring a few friends —
The ones you compete with,
To stay up till the end.
Splash in the water,
And flinch at the cold
Just to laugh about stories
You’ll tell when you’re old.
Come for the boys,
Just to chat about girls.
And pretend for a second
It’s your own little world.
Bring plenty of clothes, stuffed into packs
Then chop up some wood
Just to break in the axe.
Hike up a mountain, just for the sight
And charge up your camera
So that you remember the height.
Wonder quietly if these are the best days you’ll have
And smile at the scrapes that line up your calves.
When it is over
Consider how you and the boys spent one hell of a night
And get pumped for the summer, where you always
Chose life.

Return to Top

Albro Lake
Poem by Robert John Schwarzmann

A pre-storm day of dense serene heat,
The sky’s face resting on still water,
The lake in sky’s seamless embrace.
A surface quiet, calm, continuous,
Lined by dark-green forest.
Now a slight whispering breeze,
As the sky’s loving breath
Etches ripples on the perfect mirror.
Responding from its onyx depths,
Made luminous by bright open sky,
The lake laps with softly gurgling waves,
Caressing with its tiny fingers
The boulder-contoured shore.

Return to Top

Two Photos
Poem by Janet Brush

Two old photos live in my wallet.
Why are they still there?

One is Liana – school photo 1972
Her last school photo, grade one.
She looks so proud, so confident.
She died four months later.

The other, also a school photo – Colleen 1989
She is in grade nine. Bouffant hair,
All the rage, stands proud on her head.
She is a woman now, happy so I’m told.

Two old photos in my wallet
Memories of my two girls.
They’ll stay right there.

Return to Top

KE bites
Poem by Harry Wayne Mah

the Hurry-uP world . . .
 for Others.
Then: the frantic five rush
 - tractor stump stomp
 - dusty turtles verboten
 - pedal for pedestal
 - bike boulder bounce
 - stop sign blur.$
= = = > kinetic energies unleashed.
Now: . . .
 n o



 h .. ..


Return to Top

Poem by Rod Stewart

It was only August yesterday,
When my hand held yours,
And our footprints paired
Along sandpiper way,
By the diamond laced surf,
Beneath a whirligig of laughing gulls,
While a postcard sun spilled fuchsia
Among heartbeats,
Murmuring from a distant shoal
And our lover’s dance.
Sadly, the world has licked away
The last grains of Atlantic sand,
From between our sunburned toes,
But not the sultry taste
Of your kiss emblazed upon my soul.

Return to Top

Loose Change in a Bar
Poem by Richard S. Payne

Next round is on my dime, said Bluenose!
So Polar Bear ordered two,
Loon drank one,
Moose tipped a quarter,
Beaver did a high five,
and pour Penny, well;
she was left with her thoughts.

Return to Top

Poem by Grayson Wallage

I am like the waves,
Hitting the shore.
The sinking sand your feet are buried under.
I’m like the nice breeze you felt
On that warm summer day.
I’m the sun that you play under.

Return to Top

Requiem Haiku
Poem by Marilyn Challis

Lying on the street,
Once vibrant living critter,
Squirrel Heaven waits.

Return to Top

Word on the Street Exquisite Corpse Poem 2019 (online only)

(Exquisite corpse is an artistic technique from French surrealism, where a group creates something with limited knowledge of the other contributions. In this case, visitors to our table at Word on the Street were invited to add two lines to a poem, but only shown one line before.)
WOTS participants

The song drifted slowly, softly,
and she froze at the sound
unexpected, unwanted, that voice
that had once promised so much
silent, or nearly so
in the long pause after the collapse
lost in the slow, solemn moment
no true knowing how long the life will last
as the goldfish swirled
round and round down the toilet into oblivion…
and the light hit the eye dead
but came to life in that golden head
walking, I saw a tree fallen
roots sticking up in the air
the ground has a hole in it
exquisite corpse, bleached bones
poking through dark earth, wordless now
aren’t they always more interested in what
you had to say when you can no longer say it
always the way, day after day,
morphing and sculpting the lumpy clay
I don’t know
what to say, what to say,
but I say things anyway
and that’s okay, hey?

Return to Top

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.