OHF Abroad 2018


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.

Jack FrostMeg BairdCalgary, AB

3 HaikuConroy Dockal – Suwanee, GA, United States

The ArcherConroy Dockal – Suwanee, GA, United States

Aslant Conroy Dockal – Suwanee, GA, United States

Barn SwallowConroy Dockal – Suwanee, GA, United States

Gage ParkConroy Dockal – Suwanee, GA, United States

The Jungle Conroy Dockal – Suwanee, GA, United States

Obliteration of the AlliterationConroy Dockal – Suwanee, GA, United States

Coriano RidgeRon Gillis – North Sydney, NS

Growing Old Ron Gillis – North Sydney, NS

Iona 1949Ron Gillis – North Sydney, NS

ThanksRon Gillis – North Sydney, NS

When I Think MotherRon Gillis – North Sydney, NS

Christmas Cheer Throughout the Year!Don Macmillan – Lac Brome, QC

Days with No NameDon Macmillan – Lac Brome, QC

Early Construction, Hammer Out, Edward Martins-Berki – Toronto, ON

Holland HarbourR. E. Stansfield – Port Hilford, NS

Christmas Cheer Throughout the Year!
Poem by Don Macmillan

As festive season now draws nigh
Fill the stockings, hang them high
Deck the tree and make a wish
Welcome friends and check the list

Gather round our fire so warm
Secure from swirling winter storm
Listen close and you will hear
Rustling bells – HE must be near!

So, fill your glass, prepare to toast
Counting blessings cherished most
Our loved ones here and far beyond
United in our far-flung family bond

With those we have and those we’ve lost
Forever celebrate what we love most
So, keep the warmth of Christmas cheer
And make it last throughout the year

As one more year is all but gone
With a New Year’s path to stand upon
What lies before we can scarcely guess
But striding forth we’ll surely do our best!

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The Jungle
Poem by Conroy Dockal

Street trade,
lined eye,
souls played,
glances fly.

One born,
hidden gash,
clothes torn,
out fast.

John found,
metal spins,
cat sounds,
atoned sins.

Small tirade,
pierced parts,
milk, lemonade,
fetish starts.

Lips seethe,
talk segued,
dog eat,
or beg.

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Days with No Name
Poem by Don Macmillan

Discover those days, those days with no name
Time to rejoice in nature’s own fame
No hours of the day, no days of the week
Those arbitrary things of which we all speak
So, look to the sky offering life’s giving rain
Of seasons that drive nature’s joyous refrain

Discover those days, those days with no name
Time to rejoice in nature’s own fame
From insect and flower to planet and star
We christen with certainty things near and afar
With our names and our things, we are confident clowns
We think we are master of this planet of ours

Discover those days, those days with no name
Time to rejoice in nature’s own fame
Find some humility before it’s too late
For the earth keeps on turning and the moon is on high
And the universe is expanding but not to our feeble eye
So, discover those days, those days with no name
And find time to rejoice in nature’s own fame

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Coriano Ridge
Poem by Ron Gillis

Coriano Ridge and The Alamo
battles of history oh so long ago.
By gone warriors fighting side by side,
settling the issue, supreme sacrifice.

Young soldiers, they free from apron string,
marching in battle, liberating enemy’s sting.
Some lie fallen, never see sunset,
a lesson learned, why oh why unrest.

Concluding my story, one sad so true,
never again children be subject to.
May peace be the answer from by gone war,
lives lost in action, lost for evermore.

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Poem by Ron Gillis

Word in Webster one should embellish,
Word “Thanks” forever we cherish,
Directed to Moms, our Dads too.
For bringing us up, so strong so true.

Infant, adult stops between,
Parent is Protector from dangers unseen,
Grateful we are for leading us through,
Acknowledge you now, Mom and Dad, Thank You.

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Jack Frost
Poem by Meg Baird

Old Jack Frost
is comin’ to town
Gonna paint some
pretty scenes tonight

Grey and dwarfed
with icy frown
Each fingernail
a long curved knife

He scores cold glass
without a sound
His fragile dreams
x-rayed in white

The canvas warms
and melts them down
He’s mad enough
To spit and bite!

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The Archer
Poem by Conroy Dockal

A Gitche Manitou on knees crowned
While haunches lesser ache assuage
Centaurs await in glistening rage,

afraid of tales reeking sounds

Coiled in a field wildflowers taste
The Archer incants tongue’s harden
Sleeked eyes scan a smash-mouth garden

and lash unfeigned on a carcass of chaste

True to form, Achille’s first kiss stayed
Hearts boiled reduction thick
The Archer’s arrow pointed wisp,

unwavering on the battle abatis splayed

Night’s sheathed hollow by the fend
Centaur’s flesh open wounds seethe
Down a hillock before light can teethe

The Archer mild, lays at dawn’s bend

This   time   her   fetters   unbound

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Iona 1949
Poem by Ron Gillis

A station a bridge,
Graveyard a church.
Evening bells ringing,
Train whistle screaming.
Dogs scurrying,
Men with tongues waggin’
At hitching standing.
Little children playing,
Evening birds nesting,
Babes in mother’s arms, resting.

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Obliteration of the Alliteration
Poem by Conroy Dockal

What started as prose
Ended up keeping me on my toes
Therapy or closure, one never knows
Once writ, paper and pencil anastomose

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When I Think Mother
Poem by Ron Gillis

When I think mother, I think caring, compassion
When I think mother, I think forgiveness, understanding.
When I think mother, I think of father,
Who together with mom made me a human being.
Thank you mom, Thank you dad.

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Early Construction, Hammer Out,
Poem by Edward Martins-Berki

all was silence
save bang
which echoed through the air
striking those who heard
and lived among the buildings
a box
out of place
made right again by hammer
the building slowly rose
for work was done
under clear
the labour of earth and mortals
know nothing of gods and heaven.

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3 Haiku
by Conroy Dockal

Useful your words told
After all was said and done
Sent from my iPhone

Ciel est tout bleu
Un étang de réflexion
à une galaxie

Bald dandelions
Bending over barren slopes
zephyr cuts a path

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Growing Old
Poem by Ron Gillis

Age is a curse robs one of youth
Brings creases to face, shoulders a stoop.
A receding hairline, arthritic knees
Dimming of eyes accompanied by wheeze.

Adds pounds to frame says bathroom scale
To see correct weight one has to inhale.
Years pass so fleetingly a constant reminder for me to see
To take life easy and rest for a while, to slow one’s pace as I travel last mile.

I’ll savor old age which I accept, you see,
Please come a calling when I’m a hundred and three.

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Gage Park
Poem by Conroy Dockal

A hedge, a tangle, our bodies slip through
Bone on branch shared the deep bruise,
Charcoal scrape, newly rubbed tributes to view,
The crest of leaves slithered the light, our muse,
We clung, we gnarled, we got lost in the grooves,
It rained, it poured, we tightened victorious the old yew,
Bark and ashes then greenness gone too soon,
In the cotyledon that rustled in short true,
Near a bandshell, the half shell and all of its blues,
Our bodies ripened crouched in trees next to purlieus,
Grey matter yet to be seeded one afternoon,
Shin splints pounded on gravel, the new tattoo,
We watched, we craned for our shine later bloomed,
Long limbs lingered now crushed shells at the root,
While colossi groan mercy to spent curlicues

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Poem by Conroy Dockal

I sleep diagonal when you’re not here.

Fingertips over the edge, food for creatures
beneath. The bed is plated, garnished in
layers, striped black and welt then rolled like
a cigar spreading arctic to tropic sear.

Better feng shui when you’re not here.

Answers gleaned from the hidden. Toes
ripped sheets in a race to the arms of
Morpheus and when wraiths erupted out of
hands there was no pain, only REM that
spoke reverie unashamed.

I sleep diagonal on a cross that’s necessity

Spine a torc wrapped tight around the fetal.
Kingdoms clamour, windows push back
light, armoured flanks keep fractures away,
you see. When you’re not here I sleep


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Holland Harbour
Poem by R. E. Stansfield

The road’s not much
Of a road this time of year
More like a muddy trail
Slouching away from the highway
Down into the tangle of trees and underbrush
Gnarly black spruce and soft tamarack
Fighting back the unrelenting alders
While awaiting next winter’s nor’easters
To claw at their branches
And tear at their roots
With screeching icy fingers
Until they fall crashing to lie
Patiently for the earth to embrace them.

Just off the road and into the woods
The remnants of a stone fence
Just a jumble of rocks
Poking through tall green ferns
Beyond, the square outline of a foundation
And beyond that, another
And then more beyond
Remnants of a human presence
Clinging to this bit of empty coastline
Stubborn like their ancestors
Determined to survive, like barnacles
On the hulls of their longliners.

By accident we discover the graveyard
And the hardness of their living
Painful in a single headstone:
“Annie E
Dau of Warren G &
Clarissa H Baker
April 25, 1879
Aged 4 weeks”.

We row across Haulover Cove
Past Gull Shelf to Reid’s Island
In a skiff borrowed
From the German at the end of the road
And eat our breakfast in silence
Wild duck eggs
Cooked over an open fire.

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Barn Swallow
Poem by Conroy Dockal

Glide one two free
On backs my breath takes
Huntress on the prowl spree
By death’s door insects forsake

Boomerang through atoms elect
Beauty the work survival
Fate stands still for the select
While wings push air none rival

The chain complete to awe
Severed spirit now creed
Sleek machine I saw
Glimpsed in an instant speed

Dethroned am I to bottom rung
As meek swift arrows morse
Implore shelter none
Before dusk her next course

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