OHF Abroad 2019

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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.

Maritime RhymeMeg BairdCalgary, AB

Haint BlueConroy Dockal – Roswell, GA, United States

My Son’s JourneyRon Gillis – North Sydney, NS

Nature’s SoundDon Macmillan – Lac Brome, QC

Barrington Street Life Julie Smith – Seoul, South Korea

IschyodusR. E. Stansfield – Port Hilford, NS


Haint Blue
Poem by Conroy Dockal

Shriek sing curse
the bell witch not cross
salted corners like child fears tawse
believe it or never there is not verse

Shriek sing curse
pasted newspaper the walls
give reason to distract their calls
frustrating will make them terse

Shriek sing curse
the haints come to take mine eyes
but the bottle tree says otherwise
they’ll cross the doorway in reverse

Shriek sing curse
azure, royal, never brush electric blue
wasps won’t build nests up high there too
maybe rice or broom straw will coerce

Shriek sing curse
the morning creeps up on porch
before sunshine starts to scorch
counting did the tricks disperse

Shriek sing curse
invisibles surely resist all sheens
them never harm past soft blue green
paint porch ceiling to make work worse

their shriek sing curse

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Barrington Street Life
Poem by Julie Smith

hydrangea
derange ya
those friday
nights by the
khyber we could
hit every damp
note in to
a sky forgiving
days of cobblestones
of stationery but
we didn’t mold
stretched taut from
ferry dock to shore
fumbled drugs could
take us somewhere
we thought real
he danced with
me and not
your hand held
there you drew
the crease in
our linen miles
of empty texts
unanswered dreams and
lullabies until
frozen ponds cracked
reflections told tales
float and passed

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Maritime Rhyme
Poem by Meg Baird

there by the sea
in the Maritimes
there are many poets
writing rhyme
the wet clime ringing
with the fog horn’s singing
low to the ships
that pass in the night
up above the world so high
twinkle twinkle little stars
and the lighthouse on the rock
is our thought of safety
any souls who there did perish
well they know that they are cherished
for many nights and many days
the fog and rain and drizzle stays
locking us in wet grey grief
to contemplate eternal sleep
to contemplate the sea
and how we cannot bear to be alone

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Nature’s Sound
Poem by Don Macmillan 

Where simple pleasures still abound
I listen close to hear her sound
Breeze beneath the bough upon the lea
Set the silenced sounds of nature free

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Ischyodus
Poem by R. E. Stansfield

We were walking under the cliffs, you and I,
Our fingers lightly intertwined,
As if afraid to acknowledge what we already knew,
What lay before us, what lay behind.

Pondering where this path would lead us, you and I,
You saw it first, twisted in final torment,
The bony remains of an ancient fish,
Once swimming alone, now part of the escarpment.

We ran our silent hands over those old bones, you and I,
Lost in our mutual contemplation,
What happens to a soul of a thing, you asked,
After 300 million years of isolation?

We were standing under the ocean, you and I
When a great fish swam by, unblinking,
It looked at us as we looked at him,
Each wondering what the other was thinking.

They will find our bones here too, you and I,
Entwined together, eons hence,
Embraced by the rock above a long-lost sea,
Not alone, but together, in our innocence.

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My Son’s Journey
Poem by Ron Gillis

Conceived in mother’s womb, birth cradle.
Two years old under mother’s feet, working at table.
Five on way to school, to learn subjects of the day,
Mom home in peaceful bliss, quietly going grey.
Eighteen high school graduate, world beckoning at your feet,
Wait have four more years to obtain college certificate.
Twenty six at altar waiting for woman you dearly love,
Join hands in matrimony, guidance from above.

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