August 2021

cropped-ohflogo2r.jpg

View Issue vol. 12, no. 4
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.

Graham AtkinOde to Flinty Cat

Kathryn BjornsonLightning and Junebugs

Holly-Lynn Bourgeois Abusers

Earl BradfordTrails

Tim CovellA Montreal Exotic Dancer Works a Three-week Shift at a Sault Ste. Marie Club

Ella DodsonFairy Castles

Harry Garrison Philosophy

Elle LeeIdle Hands, Play with Me

Scott Lynchrare

Mike McFetridge History Is a Mystery

Rachel MillerI am not an optimist

Elizabeth MyersBreaking Bread with My Brother

Nicole MyersDearly

Richard S. Payne“Raindrops racing down the window pane”

Memel PoundShithouse Luck on the Bay of Naples

Nathaniel S. RoundsLapsed

Rod StewartBeen Where?

Elzy TaramangalamTransfixed

Return to Top

I am not an optimist

Poem by Rachel Miller

I see this life
A beautiful struggle, constant change
Flux and flow
Between growth and decay
Just look at the seasons
Are we not the same?
This struggle to attain
Growth and newness
To discover and gain
A higher understanding
A sense of belonging
Of freedom, and finding
Ourselves as we know us
And as we really want to be
But really,
Deep down, we know
It’s not just about being happy
It’s really about living fully
In the moment, every moment
That you’re truly happy
Living so involved,
Immersed in this life
Celebrating, though committing
delving deeper in the moment
You find you’re much too busy,
Too occupied to consider
Whether or not you are happy
Because you just are

Return to Top

Dearly

Poem by Nicole Myers

________alas
there is a place for calm
walking snow-filled streets
___________& stopping
under an imposing spire to
meet in secret
________________at arm’s length
________we smile at each other
in heralding silence
________your profile in a slight
sliver of city sun
________________in a mere instant
filled a lingering emptiness with
________infinite joy
I could not remember when I had
________been so happy

Return to Top

Lapsed

Poem by Nathaniel S. Rounds

I used to be a prophet
But I got lost
In cool jazz


I used to be a mercenary
But my enemies
Told these great jokes


I used to be a model citizen
But my neighbor
Critiqued my lawn

Why I Wrote this Poem

I wrote Lapsed because as Sam Walton used to say, “If you want to do it, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” So, imagine if Leonard Cohen had been a Walmart employee. This would have been his written apology.

Return to Top

Trails

Poem by Earl Bradford

Perspiration… fraught
Dragon fly-whirring through
Damp foliage – cold grey
breezy gust of forest vermilion,
Decadent moss, rustic blanket
Of storm cobwebs, ashy
conflagration – murky swamp tides
rouged organic swarms feasting,
chittering foragers, timber canopy
– Furtive cushion of streaked arrows, granite camouflage at Trail edge,
gauging quarry, timorous dark eyed
maunder… darts ambling
furtive into brush, overcast –
brushing wood louse from brow
removing pack & marking compass,
quaffing gulps, shudder in gullet –

Return to Top

Fairy Castles

Poem by Ella Dodson

White mist steams, swirls off brick patio,
As the hose jet herds fallen rose petals
Into the rock gardens below.
Child in sun suit, frizzy curls circling her face
Skips through the mist
Into the world of dreams and magic.
She crouches amid rocks, petals, and bluebells,
Building fairy beds with shells, moss, and soft rose coverlets
Creating pixie paths from pottery shards and lost beads.


Even as the sun wilts her mother, collapsed in cool shade,
The young architect persists, scouring for treasures,
Considering as the grape popsicle coats her grimy hands,
Acorn and bottle caps for cups and plates
A bark table laden with walnut shell bowls,
Plucks empty locust shells off elm tree for tuffets.
Her mother’s soft snores give her permission
To collect forbidden berries and blossoms for the fairy table.
She moves quickly, silently to finish her city.
It must be done before the fireflies come out.

Return to Top

rare

Poem by Scott Lynch

the company of joy
a wedding
a summer afternoon
the consummate combination of
circumstance
after 2 years and 2 covid shots
a grandmother’s back yard
with family and friends
a $2500 portable port-a-potty
a food truck
appropriate libation
a helicopter flyby
giving pause to vows
a celebrant just slightly off program
but all the serendipity
and love a true force of nature
reminding us that crying and laughing
and the union of twos
can be perfect

Return to Top

Abusers

Poem by Holly-Lynn Bourgeois

Childlike imagination
I fear looking into eyes
They steal my daydreams


I create a world in which it is true
And wonder
How long have I been used?

Return to Top

A Montreal Exotic Dancer Works a Three-Week Shift at a Sault Ste-Marie Club

Poem by Tim Covell

One more week of lousy food
Et j’ai mon voyage!
At least the money’s good
And tips in Yankee coinage


The boys from the land of the free
Across the bridge and border
Come here to see what they can’t see
By Michigan’s public order


The steel and wood factories
Are closed or barely exist
Thank goodness for the lotteries
Call centres, and tourists


These dying, quiet, mill towns
Just stages on the road
For all of us, bereft of crowns
Who dance for what we’ve owed


Wednesday night and just four here
Three watch sports on an old TV
While one nurses his beer
All trying not to stare at me


Je m’en sacre, I get paid
And quiet nights I read
Their visit here a break from staid
This night meets all our needs.


Author’s note: “j’ai mon voyage” is Quebecois for “I’ve had enough,” (literally, I’m done this trip), and “je m’en sacre” is Quebecois for “I don’t care” (literally, I curse myself).

Return to Top

Philosophy

Haiku by Harry Garrison

It’s easy to know
that you have free will, but it’s
difficult to prove.

Return to Top

Been Where?

Poem by Rod Stewart

The neighbors say,
You’re clad in pink
Flip flop, flip flops,
Before the June bugs buzz,
And nearly ‘til
The pumpkins grin.
I’ve heard so often
Your footsteps patter,
Beneath the treetop din
Chirping brightly
From dawn to dusk.
Or even when,
The summer sighs
With burdened gray,
Your mother’s said
You’ve skipped
Through mired lanes
Of ocean puddles
With circled smiles.
So whisper please
Of your travel tales
To imagined lands,
And we’ll blame the dog,
For the mud and dirt,
When your mother comes.

Return to Top

Transfixed

Poem by Elzy Taramangalam

At the edge
Life slipped
From calm to chaos
Covid plain or on steroids
There is nothing to do
But go forward
Until the fierce rapids
Dwindle to calm deep
In the heart of the herd
Transfixed by the invisible microbe.
Everything upside down
In the twenty first year of twenty first century
A doppelgänger
Search for the perfect word
In our imperfect world.

Return to Top

Shithouse Luck on the Bay of Naples

Poem by Memel Pound

I’m thinking about San Marzano tomatoes
as I swelter in the walk of Pliny the Elder.
He’s out there somewhere, feeding the vines.
Red, succulent, no other tomato goes in my sauce.
We can thank the sleeping giant for the dirt
Oh and he ain’t dead yet.
“It’s hot” she says, but not the hottest day they’ve seen.
Pliny was here on that day;
perhaps a day like this day.
Maybe he was thinking about tomatoes.

Return to Top

“Raindrops racing down the window pane”

Limerick by Richard S. Payne

Raindrops racing down the window pane.
Each one zigzagging in its own lane.
Mesmerizing to watch,
Whilst sipping a good scotch.
It is great therapy for the brain.

Return to Top

Lightning and Junebugs

Poem by Kathryn Bjornson

This is the month of lightning
and Junebugs,


hospital vigils, watching
him fade. These are not


my usual grudging, stilted tears.
These are the deep, choking sobs


of grief that push past
pride and leave me


faceless, breathless,
blotched and exposed.


This was once
the biggest man in the world,


fighting his hospital bed,
the thunder still there.


Enter an empty house: bugs
throwing themselves against light.

Return to Top

Idle Hands, Play with Me

Poem by Elle Lee

Where is my deal? My devil has lurked far too long
Perhaps my soul is not worth the swindle, Or my numbness is sign of husk
A mere golem among men
Perhaps I already have my receipt, Meaning I wasn’t worth much.
Maybe they know I’m already burning
Idle hands around my neck
Calling for the devil to ease me
Moments of calm make eternity seem laughable
Heaven for a second is worth eternal hell
Let the smile burn on my face and it’ll light my path
No wonder he never calls
Why offer entry to your subjects
Why offer water to the drowning
Why care for the forsaken.
I’d fall down the pit till the last grain ticks
Just let me fly now, Let me win
Stack the numbers, Bet my blood on red
Give me the time to get fat
Give me the time to finish this poem
Rob me of my art so I can breathe
Pen piercing on my brain so it’s always writing
Millions of stories never to be printed
My mind’s a library with no Dewey,
No story is finished, No clasp to seal them
A sea of conscious thought filtered through trauma.
And I wonder why he never calls
desperate am I for his idle hands
But he knows he can punish no greater, Than I punish myself

Return to Top

Breaking Bread with My Brother

Poem by Elizabeth Myers

My brother, my friend, my hero
He has cancer, and how long he is in this world, is unknown
I share food with him. When we get together,
The breaking of bread!
His encouragement, support and advice, throughout
this life,
I will miss our talks
I will miss our walks
Joe is my brother!

Return to Top

Ode to Flinty Cat

Poem by Graham Atkin

Cat of my past
But not in my memories
I can remember you now
How you purred
When I caressed you
How you touched me
With your paw
All that wisdom
In your eyes
That we humans
Will never have
To you I raise my glass
To your life we shared
I feel privileged
To have met you
Flinty Cat

Return to Top

History Is a Mystery

Poem by Mike McFetridge

History is a mystery to those of us living today;
Recorded by the winners, glorifying the sinners,
History is simply a reminder to say,
‘Tho humanity rules, it can be raw and it’s cruel,
And an interpretation of the past today
May seem proper and right, but lost in the night
Are the stars, when clouds drift over their way.

Return to Top

Leave a comment

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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.