November 2020


View Issue vol. 11, no. 8
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.

ACWToo Young to Die

Janet BrushHarvest

Rachel CookeEons

Tim CovellBetter Days

Robert Dawson“The tropical storms”

David DuA thought of the fall season

Harry GarrisonMindlessness

Brian HardingSitting at the Border

Xiao HeOverlook

Jari-Matti HelppiThe Curly Past

Scot JamiesonUnder a Shell

Scott Lynchtalisman

Mike McFetridgeIt Should Get Easier

Justin PettipasThought

James RangeleyMarrakech Fantasy

Nathaniel S. RoundsMope

Rod StewartAutumn Chase

Mary Ellen SullivanIn Paddy’s Shed

Abigail WarrenMissing Fragment

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Too Young to Die

Poem by ACW

“Too young

(She spits the words,
shameless. Too crass
to comment, we know
best. Scrub your nails,
get dressed—
‘Yes Mummy, yes.’
Gather ‘round! Gather ‘round!
See the sleepy students
One with stripes and claws
to match, the other quietly
but see her take them out at
‘Who’s Mummy now?’
Well see, they’re very
breeds. One must look
close and see: both young,
but only one can wish)

to die”.

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Better Days

Poem by Tim Covell

We rented a car and drove out of town
To visit your friend and have a day out
And we didn’t stop at the park and ride
To make out under the stars
Because we’re mature and have a place
Like we didn’t as teenagers
Though we did not stop then either.

It rained and we argued
Not mature but we made up and made out.

Now, at least, we have a place
And a car that is not stolen.

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Missing Fragment

Poem by Abigail Warren

you glint under the tender caress
of the moonlight
a smooth stone
tumbled by the ocean’s
unrelenting turbulence
unfamiliar minerals catch
star-shine catch
my eye
why must you hypnotize me
this way
you’re effervescent
spinning beneath staunch streetlights
a translucence allowing you to
observe as an anthropologist
you’re just along for the ride
and I’m just here
while you’ll have me

In my little poetry club, we often choose a theme and we all write a poem. In October, it was harvest time. Most wrote about their gardens, but for me, the word harvest always sets me singing that old song, and takes me back to that high school variety show. I’ve never forgotten the feeling of that ten or fifteen minutes on stage — the happiness in singing and dancing, and the complete escape from a rather tumultuous life. 

I’d like to say this poem is about some great love I’ve had, but that’s simply not true. This poem is more about me than anyone in particular. I have a tendency to hyper fixate on people, and they become this glimmering star of a person, a totem of the happiness I could achieve, and I fill in all the gaps in their profile with wild fantasies about what could be. This process is fast and hard, and tends to die that way too. I wanted to encapsulate that feeling in words, so I did.

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Autumn Chase

Poem by Rod Stewart

Long shadows stomped
Through the storm bruised back door,
Stumbling over scattered boots
Crusted thick with October.
Loose leather tongues wagging
Spent from the banter and taunting,
Having barreled brazenly
Through burred and berried brambles,
Flying over hopscotch puddles
Deeply drowned in autumn paint,
Tangling themselves together
In giddy catch-me-knots,
Like twitching dog tails
Nipped by bullying barks,
All quickly lost
Among moss cobbled paths,
Oblivious to all
But the hunt,
Until a mother’s holler
Fetched their ears
Homeward for scalding stew.

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Poem by Rachel Cooke

Time is fluid,
An ocean of endless days,
Most of them the same,
With little to distinguish between the
Effervescent moments.
Time fills me because I
Cannot push it back,
So it comes rushing in
Filling every second I am granted,
And takes it all.
I am left with nothing,
Utterly alone in a vast sea.
Time has come and made a shipwreck of my life
And all of my monotonous days
Are dead bodies floating in its wake.

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It Should Get Easier

Poem by Mike McFetridge

As one gets older it should get easier
To do such things as putting on one’s clothes;
After all the practice, over all those years,
One shouldn’t even think about the dressing one does.

But lately I find, as I rise in the mornings,
Simply getting dressed is a chore on most days;
Putting on my socks, I feel like a contortionist,
Then my shorts get so twisted in so many darn ways!

One leg at a time, with the pants on the floor,
And even then, my feet don’t remember
Which foot goes in left, which foot goes in right,
It’s like forgetting it’s Christmas in the month of December!

And try putting on a shirt or a jacket these days,
Old shoulders don’t bend the way that they used to;
Getting one arm covered is usually not difficult,
But one must twist with the other until it turns blue!

The easiest of chores is the head-covering, for sure;
Putting on a hat requires not too much skill;
But even this task can get a bit tricky
If one has been drinking, and one takes a spill!

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A thought of the fall season

Poem by David Du

The wind blows, the leaves are drifting, drifting.
The rain beats, the residual flowers are flying, flying,
The fall season comes back
Walking along the old path, I suddenly understand,
Many things have run though my fingers,
Shaking my body, and I look at the setting sun.
Tears are running, running…

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Under a Shell

Poem by Scot Jamieson

The slowest turtle in the universe
Cannot out-wait his shell;
Must move forward with its weight
Upon his back at every step.
He wishes to remove the curse –
It seems a kind of hell,
The girding burden and certain fate,
Always on top, despite turtle pep.
The fastest turtle in this verse –
His shell’s streamlined as well –
Can’t outrun or accept his state:
It’s like a rhyme that is inept.
Mobilization could not be worse
For one who’d go pell-mell
But to How It Is he could relate,
And slowly into safety crept.
He was already there! It seemed perverse,
How safely he could dwell –
No need to brake or accelerate –
He withdrew In, and conscience slept.

Why I Wrote this Poem

Under A Shell relates to feelings under Lockdown and confusion about the official story of Covid19 and arriving subsequent chapters. I’m unhappy with the lack of debate about the measures taken, or of the seriousness of the disease, either. Is everyone trusting of the official story, as usual? I may be contrarian by nature, but surely compliant natures have their limits of credibility? But I don’t know what to say and as I am an introvert who does well in locked up situations, I just stay home, read, withdraw into my shell. But my sleeping conscience is uneasy.

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Poem by Scott Lynch

like vultures
hanging in the trees
with thoughts
of clotted blood to seize
every tree’s a sanctuary
of certain death
profound and scary
like Halloween
Octobers breath
reeks of dark
and chilling death
the falling leaf
a symbol of
our pagan needs
and carnal love

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In Paddy’s Shed

Dedicated to my brother Tim

Poem by Mary Ellen Sullivan

A dip in Lac Dodds,
like a christening.
Then Pat puts me to work
And I relish
In organizing the garage
Like I organize my life.
And the small building that I christen Paddy’s Shed, where
Each bolt is carefully placed in the right container.

We wine and dine and talk about everything.
Take a beer and I paddle boat into the sunset behind the hill
The loons accompany me with their tremolo calls.
Dive so long I think they will perish.
But no, they know their life span.

Strange, I feel sick when I wake.
Must have been that after-best-before apple pie.
A nap will do the trick.
I drift off and a loon wails. Comforting.
Then I’m ready to head home.

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Poem by Janet Brush

“Shine on, shine on harvest moon, up in the sky…”
We belt out the lyrics enthusiastically
to a high school auditorium
packed with family and friends.
Dressed as stereotypical Lil Abner hillbilly,
bare-foot, torn jeans,
crock of moonshine in hand.

I wanted it to last forever.
On stage, I became another person, lost
all shyness, insecurity, fear – feelings
we all have at sixteen.

That year, a small harvest of joy,
accomplishment, escape from pain.
It ended much too soon.

Why I Wrote this Poem

In my little poetry club, we often choose a theme and we all write a poem. In October, it was harvest time. Most wrote about their gardens, but for me, the word harvest always sets me singing that old song, and takes me back to that high school variety show. I’ve never forgotten the feeling of that ten or fifteen minutes on stage — the happiness in singing and dancing, and the complete escape from a rather tumultuous life. 

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The Tropical Storms

Haiku by Robert Dawson

The tropical storms
are coming in two by two
Noah gets his axe

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Haiku by Harry Garrison

I am neither moved,
nor unmoved, and I do not
dwell on the present.

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Sitting at the Border

Poem by Brian Harding

Sitting at the “ Border” just thinking of you.
Heard you were no “James Bond”
But an Ian Fleming, might just do.
Write me a life, dear Friend
Maybe, just maybe.
I would lend you my “Heart” ❤
Then what would you do…
Sitting at the “Border”
Just Thinking of You.

In my little poetry club, we often choose a theme and we all write a poem. In October, it was harvest time. Most wrote about their gardens, but for me, the word harvest always sets me singing that old song, and takes me back to that high school variety show. I’ve never forgotten the feeling of that ten or fifteen minutes on stage — the happiness in singing and dancing, and the complete escape from a rather tumultuous life. 

Often, we are asked where thoughts and words materialize when we write a poem. Sometimes it’s just a mind’s way of releasing a stored memory. Perhaps an introduction to a book that will never be completed. Possible idle thoughts with a powerful meaning to the poet.

“Sitting at the Border” tells a story that might just be true, but you as the reader have the “privilege” to decide: “There she was just sitting in her car, waiting for her turn at the border crossing. Dreaming about the man she would be meeting in a few hours’ time, someone she could share her life with, hopefully.”

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Marrakech Fantasy

Poem by James Rangeley

On my way to meet Isabel,
I became aware of the heat
In the cobble street–
A child played,
A beggar gazed hunched-over,
An old woman drank tea.

I was curious, but melted from the sun.
Piracy and quixotic hallucinations written in graffiti
Murals of windmills chased after me!

If you pass through Marrakech, go to the wells
For there is no ocean nearby
Only memory, illusion, and a book
By a Spanish author who never visited this great land.

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Poem by Xiao He

For a long time one forgets
A deep loneliness especially there
Thus open the window one must
The sun glowing streamed?
Who stepped out?
For a basketful of juicy strawberries
There is a whole spring of afternoon
To dedicate
Who wants to listen?
The beads clicking of a curtain
Embraced with wind, dancing about
Rose and Floribunda
Bedecked with the moment of being
Gently breathing
What must we love?
In a cage transparent we live?
What are they?
When looking through the window
A bustling world did you see?
Dust is yelling and wind starts singing
Now, if anyone wishes
To walk into a dream
With a full head of lunatic wild lilies
Here is your ticket.

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Poem by Justin Pettipas

An envelope with a seal
of your own design.
An idea within,
Romantic and thin.
With a piercing credibility
Of undoability.

A positive note.
Something ought wrote.
Thought to invoke
Cheers from the people.

An idea turned to light
and enshrined against time.
A beacon stranded
on a ship on the wind.

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Poem by Nathaniel S. Rounds

We’re gathered today to say
Farewell to an old poem.

It had a good run.
Children were coerced
Into its Whimpered recitation.
It was stamped into
College textbooks.
And rheumy eyes
Strained it into focus,
Just to feel the words
One last time.

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The Curly Past

Poem by Jari-Matti Helppi

I walked the shores of a rocky bay
with sneakered feet of homemade clay
and thought of all the other feet
that trod these rocks and did not meet.
For I myself is temporal tossed
whose fore and aft will bear the cost,
as time, like yours, knows only that;
the now, the wont and the curly past.

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