June 2020


View Issue vol. 11, no. 5
ISSN 2369-6516 (Print)
ISSN 2369-6524 (Online)

Scroll down to read all poems, or select the poem title to go directly to that poem. Select the author’s name to view a short biography (if supplied) and all poems by that author.

Georgia AtkinWords Young

Valerie BroadnaxWhen the Cóndor Passes – Perú

Marilyn ChallisHaiku for the Unsung Dandelion

Harry GarrisonSilence

Brian HardingCrying in the Shadows

Xiao HeSeed

Judy HuntSpring

Scott Lynchnever expecting

Richard S. PayneA Viral Limerick

James RangeleyBy the valley river

Nathaniel S. RoundsUnsuitable

Rod StewartThe Gardener

Mary Ellen SullivanFarmer’s Box

Grayson WallageRiding the Wind

Gillian WebsterThe Coatimundi Family

Leah Woolleyhomeward

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Haiku for the Unsung Dandelion

Poem by Marilyn Challis

Dandelion puffs
Floating beyond horizon,
To Eden green space.

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Words Young

Poem by Georgia Atkin

Spring unfurls
like a length of new poetry –
words young
on the tip of your tongue,
an idea blooming
and phrases taking root,
small shoots growing
in the furrows of an empty page.


Winter is overturned
with the churning of earth
and new verse –
a seed planted
in a corner of your mind
and heart,
a fresh start in the form
of a first line.

What if…?

the world is young again,
and it too
carries a poem
on the tip of its tongue.

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Poem by Judy Hunt

Did you ever hug a tree?
Spy a golden honeybee?
Admire a jewelled hummingbird,
Although it chirps out not a word?
Wonder at the color spree
Awaiting us when spring is free?

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Poem by Harry Garrison

A T-shirt
with no words or design.
A plain-cardboard,
plain-vanilla box.

The blank pattern of wooden planks.

Fog so thick –
a cloud and you’re inside it.

Flat marble surfaces.
Marble cheese.

A movie screen with nothing on it.
Snow: the real kind, and the TV kind.
Paper, paper, more paper,
and paper, all blank.

Solid-colored soup, tomato, say.
The background between
two letters of a street sign.

A lock of hair.

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Crying in the Shadows

Poem by Brian Harding

So very alone
Crying in the shadows
No one can see me
Or hear my tear drops fall
Feel the pain
Window, mirror, many reflections
Changing World
So very alone.
Watch as day turns to night
As I cry alone
The Shadows…

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Poem by Leah Woolley

it’s three am and my body
aches, too many sparring matches
too few hours of sleep.

I balance two icepacks and a granola bar
as the coffee maker murmurs
sweet nothings to the shadows.

it’s four am and the bed smells like us.
I breathe deep so I can carry a part of you
home with me.

snow flickers in the headlights of passing cars
your absence curls around my heart,
and settles into place.

it’s five am and my plane idles on the runway.
the light lends fire to the painted frost
on my window.

fruit-flavoured gum pops in my mouth
and the altitude clears my head,
sun reuniting with the horizon.

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The Gardener

Poem by Rod Stewart

My Grandfather,
Proud and determined,
Without fail for fifty years.
To begin with barely more
Than a handful of nothing,
Those dog-eared half forgotten
Shuffle of crumpled seeds.
Does his faith come
From himself, or God?
To raise tender life,
From a patch of frozen mud
Covered in March snow.
What moves his aching bones
To hunch and crawl
Over sun-scorched dirt?
To fail miserably,
And do it all over again,
After three days of rain
Pummels and washes away,
All of his efforts and last curses.
Perhaps the satisfaction
And mortal endurance,
Is measured by more than bushels,
Perhaps better known and tasted,
By Grandmother’s pickles and preserves
And rhubarb pie next January.

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Farmer’s Box

Haiku by Mary Ellen Sullivan

Feed me mustard greens
Oyster mushrooms and brown bread
And, ta da – crisp apples!

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When the Cóndor Passes – Perú

(inspired by musician Alexandro Querevalú)

Poem by Valerie Broadnax

Whenever I look to the sky
I see him fly so high
Reminds me of the times
When I was lost and I looked for the sign

When, El Cóndor Pasa
I see the angels light
And I know… All wars are won
In that Great Divine
There is my hope…
There is my shine…
There is where all wars are won…
There in that Great Divine

Highest heights of the Andes
El Cóndor Pasa
There I can see beyond,
& forgive all the trespasses
Veo la luz de los angeles
Far beyond the sky
& I know is where my freedom lies
Is when, El Cóndor Pasa

There is my hope…
There is my shine…
There is where all wars are won…
There in that Great Divine

…There is where my freedom lies
…Is when, El Cóndor Pasa

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A Viral Limerick

Poem by Richard S. Payne

In twenty twenty, covid nineteen!
Everyone told to scrub their hands clean.
Do not touch your face,
And shelter in place.
Obey the rules, await the vaccine.

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never expecting

for all things Margaret Atwood

Poem by Scott Lynch

like most Canadian school students
I’d been educated that
‘It is dangerous to read newspapers’
my grownup years have been otherwise occupied
perhaps the world pandemic
the coronavirus
Social distancing and SI
have forced a tectonic shift
maybe it’s just April in the Maritimes
where the vitriol of a transplanted Quebecer whose
‘this weather sucks!’ mantra has me stupefied
your literary reputation and penchant for
pomposity, real or imagined,
has always left me rather cool from afar
until now that I’ve discovered you in
can I stop myself’
mass hysteria aside
from loving your work
who but you
could marry ‘your small pink bumhole’
and a ‘lust for French fries’
you had me at ‘snip(ping) a few testicles’
I am undone
you’ve left me keenly aware that
‘it’s love that does us in’
I’m in!

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By the valley river

Poem by James Rangeley

Mayan girls wade
Skirts full of watery sky
Mothers nearby, weave thrush baskets.

Pain grows with the day
As knights come to ply
The riverbed
For Gold or something more.

Those who know,
Warn Kingdoms will come.

The old-timers pluck cherries
And scoop liquid in their palms
To sow the vines, the thorny hills
And the trembling plateaus.

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Poem by Nathaniel S. Rounds

While we admire your suits,
It has been determined
That they’re impractical,
And we would suggest you go home,
Change into something sensible,
And return with some shovels.

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Riding the Wind

Poem by Grayson Wallage

Screech, I slam on my brakes.
I can feel the wind, on my face.

Having fun. Staying safe.
The only rules,
To riding a bike.

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The Coatimundi Family

(Part 3 of Costa Rica)

Poem by Gillian Webster

First there was a slip of a tail
heading across the path ahead of me –
Oh Lovely! A Coati spotting!
A thick, luxuriant tail more like a
long lasso coming to life poised
in the liquid air and silence.

Then as I and the fat, unmoving Motmot bird watched,
we saw a second tail and a quick long-nosed profile.
Such a long, furry, elegant tail came
swishing into view – followed by a third,
his tail sliding down the tree trunk,
over the path behind his mother.

Uh oh – another, and what’s this, a fifth?
Accustomed to eking out my wildlife sights,
I bask in this wonderful splurge.
The Coati family started out
tapping across my path like rain drops –
first one, two, and then
a flurry, thick and fast.

They were at home in the park,
out for a Sunday stroll, checking out
their favourite spots: parents first …
watching for lurking snakes
and hungry tourists,
furry tails followed by silence.

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Poem by Xiao He

I want to
Snatch a flake of small beauty
In this abundant world
A piece of naivete dream
Gently soar
From the deepest darkness
Please, give me one moment of wonder
I will wander
In the vein’d river of time
I shall not
Linger on stark mountain
Yearn for people’s talk
I only take a watery-clear look of eye
Into my heart
It traverses through vanity and falsehood
Turning every living moment into our beings

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