November 2021


View Issue vol. 12, no. 6
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 AtkinDollars in Their Profit

Chris BenjaminNo Room for Broken

Koi Bennett-TaussigThe Dryer

Tim CovellWorking for Warmth

Harry Garrison In Your Own Company

Cathy HanrahanA Girl and a Crow

Jari-Matti Helppi Except Alice and Arlo

Heidi HlubinováIn the Heart of a Rural Night

Travis LivingstonGuitar

Scott Lynch UR

David MacEachernEasy Living

Lorie MorrisDaughter

Memel PoundPaper Princes

Nathaniel S. RoundsTempestuous

Rod StewartGood Morning, Tea

Gillian WebsterThe Mighty Humber

Barry WoodSpecial Wings

Gordon YoungA MMI woman

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Poem by Travis Livingston

A cherry pear provides
the subtleties of sound.
A stance not entirely baroque.
Any ear within brushing distance
can hear what has been, for a thousand years
more or less;
rising and falling.
A long brutish neck,
fretted and strung.
So let others twist your copper ears.
Speak not with a mouth but a gaping stomach
that is to say
use your power to bring the restless,
to rest.

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A Girl and a Crow

Poem by Cathy Hanrahan

She looks up
to the crowning branches in view.
Trees sway with the wind,
one holding her blue
blackest fowl.
Rebuffs, feigned indifference
loud caws and a scowl,
the raucous ascension
from silence to squall.

Her fingers stretch open
baring savoury sweets,
gently swooping he hovers,
slowly sinking, he seeks.
And, collecting his prize
expansive wings take flight,
boisterous caws squawk the news
soaked in morning’s sunlight.

Then a murder so vivid
descends into view
and she tosses the remnants
to an ambitious first few.
Looking up and searching,
quietly catching his eye,
for a moment as one
joined together in sky.

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The Dryer

Poem by Koi Bennett-Taussig

I left my clothes in the dryer yesterday
While they were still warm.
I didn’t need them, so
I let them sit until tomorrow.

I left my clothes in the dryer yesterday.
I let the radiant heat last
With the door sealed shut
For the days where my hands get cold.

I left my clothes in the dryer yesterday.
I did my best to forget them
So I could feel them for the first time

I emptied the dryer today
And they were cold.

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Except Alice and Arlo

Poem by Jari-Matti Helppi

When death visits us all, as it always will,
we fall.
Getting up is as easy as difficult biscuits.
Then soft butter melts our warm morsel
as the smell of bacon and coffee
eases with baked apple and a pink sunrise.
Suddenly death seems like life
at a great roadside diner
“where you can get anything you want”
except Alice and Arlo Guthrie.

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In the Heart of a Rural Night

Poem by Heidi Hlubinová

City lights
Obscure everything
That is seen
In the heart
Of a rural night

Finally disappeared
3 am
Drinking in
The Hants County
Stars and moonlight

Why I Wrote this Poem

The city can produce feelings of anxiety due to its fast pace, especially during the strange times we live in. A retreat to the country reintroduces us to slow living and the wonders of nature. I was deeply inspired by a moment when I had the opportunity to just stop and let go of negativity and welcome God’s creation into my heart.

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Special Wings

Poem by Barry Wood 

As old as a 1959 Chevy I am
When once meeting a lady I said, “Ma’am!”
The age of a grandfather if I had kids
Sadly I’ve seen many caskets’ lids

My face has changed but not the smile
I take more breaks and have to sit awhile
My eyes still see the young in special things
Maybe I’m just growing special wings!

Why I Wrote the Poem

My poem “Special Wings” is about me. Since 1959, I’ve gone through the adventures of being a boy, a teenager, an adult, and a middle-aged person.  I’m 62 now and I’ve had my share of joys and sorrows and through it all, I felt I’ve had special wings.  After all, everyone sits in the same boat called life. Hang on tight but enjoy the ride!  The boat moves quickly.

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A MMI woman

Poem by Gordon Young

She is an empty space
A hesitation
Without a trace.
A silent motion
Its rhythm gone
Still pulses to drive her on.
Now stillness and cold
Have taken hold,
Leaving only
A looted soul.
The walking paths
Are vast
And lonely.
She calls
Through her muted life
As her sister falls,
To the same strife,
Without a trace…
Another empty space.

Why I Wrote this Poem

I was profoundly move by the woman’s plight. She was staggering across the street, unable to focus on which way to go, while the traffic relentlessly weaved around her; horns blaring and people swearing. Like Rosalie (poem in Sep. 2021 OHF issue), she had already joined her Missing and Murdered sisters. Women have been and still are subject to degradation but this women’s plight went exponentially beyond anything I had ever witnessed. With every tentative step she carried the full weight of systemic racism, government policies, and colonial practices.

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Poem by Scott Lynch

you are a ripe peach
a rose bud in the sun
exuding possibility
innocence naiveté
your very presence
my decline
every word and impish quip
my frailty
your wonder
my invisibility
just being
you tutor
the futility of
in your every

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No Room for Broken

Poem by Chris Benjamin

Thought I could lift this weight
carry it like Madiba to freedom
took a wrong turn at the promised land

breath stops short
every time I open my eyes
another door closing

no room here for the broken
all full up on shards and splinters
no room for broken here

everything aching
can’t seem to carry a tune
can’t tell where dreams end, fear begins

I watch the contenders
try to steal one another’s hopes
steal my chance to survive

no room here for the broken
all full up on shards and splinters
no room for broken here

back when I met you
the sun in your eyes was my chance
didn’t mean to burden you so

Thought I could lift this weight
carry it like Madiba to freedom
took a wrong turn at the promised land

no room here for the broken
all full up on shards and splinters
no room for broken here

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Dollars in Their Profit
(With acknowledgement to Pink Floyd’s
“Another Brick in the Wall”)

Lyrics by Graham Atkin

We don’t need no advertising
We don’t need no cookie control
No sinister tracking on the Internet
Amazon leave them folks alone
Hey! Google! Leave them folks alone!
All in all it’s just another dollar in their profit
All in all you’re just another dollar in their profit

I don’t need their platitudes towards me
And I don’t need no alcohol to calm me
I have seen their control unfold
Don’t think I need them at all
No! Don’t think I’ll need their control at all
Google leave them folks alone
Hey! Facebook! Leave them folks alone!
All in all it was all just dollars in their profit
All in all you were all just dollars in their profit

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Working for Warmth

Poem by Tim Covell

Hot water was included in the rent
But hydro, including heat, was extra.
I’d fill the tub each morning, and the sink
With hot water, to try and keep bills low.

Jim, across the hall, used his stove for heat
Which, since it was electric, saved nothing.
He used a microwave to cook his food.
His money and his habits made no sense.

I did not know other neighbours, and all
they knew of me was odd hours I kept
Shiftwork driving days and nights and sometimes
Gone for days, taking seniors on bus tours.

Driving kept me in a cheap apartment
And in the driver’s seat, there was lots of heat.

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The Mighty Hunter

Poem by Gillian Webster

We hiked the dark and spongey forest
And heard the toothless river murmur.
But turning round the corner,
Down the dank and gloomy slope,
The torrent stopped us in our tracks!

It pounced like a gleaming, writhing serpent
Snorting smelly, peaty breath.
Frothing brown and wildly dark
Now thrilling at being set free,
Intending to reach the distant sea!

Above the banks, we stood amazed.
You shrieked with joy and waved
And my jailed spirits soared,
Up from the striped and scaley depths.
All of us thrilled to be free!

Later, uncoiling over the barrens,
The river flashed a serpentine smile.
Harmless now as a silver chain
Upon a green and velvet cushion.
Slithering away to the calling sea!

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Poem by Lorie Morris

Daughter, is a light.
Daughter, comes from the heavens.
Daughters, are their mother’s star.
Daughters, are always, part of their,
mothers. Daughters, are the cat’s meow!

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In Your Own Company

Haiku by Harry Garrison

How you treat yourself
when you are all alone says
a lot about you.

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Poem by Nathaniel S. Rounds

I’ve got a longsword for a memory
Bleeding pen for a knife
More than one ancestor
Who stood trial for his life
Fires that chased me
Licked at my unshod feet
And locusts with honey
Nothing ever tasted so sweet
But the Midnight Special came
And took me to the city of refuge.
I had to jump out the boxcar, mind you.
But shoot. Nothin’ ever comes free.

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Paper Princes

Haiku by Memel Pound

papery princes
marching through the evergreens
stark white uniforms

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Easy Living

Poem by David Mac Eachern

In a wildlife zone
Misty mountain ranging on
Wandering breeds, diversity tone
Gathering herd, doe with fawn

Scent upon scent, nature’s expo
Each presence felt, free to roam
Sharing land, all a go
Love moving in, furnished home

Unmeasured time, persistent existence
Fenceless farm, scenic wonder
Streams feeding lakes, karmic coexistence
Forest and meadow, roaring thunder

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Good Morning, Tea

Poem by Rod Stewart

Just around the corner,
Waiting for a smile,
To chase away a shiver,
Should you stay for awhile.

You stir me a little crazy,
And sweeten me just right,
I quiver from your breath,
When you hold me tight.

I listen to your thoughts,
The same as yesterday,
Those sips of simple truths,
Before you’re whisked away.

And if we find ourselves,
With a chip, crack or stain,
A little heat between us,
Will coax a grin again.

Only this moment matters,
And nothing much is said,
You tell me I’m the answer,
To the dreams you’ve left in bed.

Let’s melt the morning grey,
As your lips kiss softly mine,
Behind lace and whispers,
Where our shadows dance with time.

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