December 2021


View Issue vol. 12, no. 7
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.

Erica AllanachIn Mem

Georgia AtkinA Wish

Graham AtkinPlatoon

Janet BrushSecrets of a Mirror

Tim CovellDad’s Cars

Harry GarrisonLove, Repetition, High Tech

Jim HoyleHeart Condition

Scott Lynch Desideratum

David Mac EachernIn Support

Catherine A. MacKenzieNo Escape

Mike McFetridgeDad’s Chair

Lorie MorrisBelieve

Richard S. Payne“Have an ARTitude”

Memel PoundUntitled

Nathaniel S. RoundsExiles in Ecum Secum

Mark Ryanthe hearse that read like a love letter

Murphy St. ClaireUntitled

Rod StewartHoliday Visitor

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Poem by Scott Lynch

when all of fall’s
been put to bed
and we have need
of colour
to bog and marsh
we hasten
to drink of nature’s art
here winterberry holly
respairs our
desiccated hearts

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Love, Repetition, High Tech

Rectangle Poem by Harry Garrison

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the hearse that read like a love letter

Poem by Mark Ryan

the hearse that read like a love letter
rolled to the curb
“dear love” it whispered
as the tailpipe spewed eclectic recitations
of adolescent provocation and orgasmic inference
“dear love” it yearned
“it is with much deliberation and regret
i have become your vessel.”

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Secrets of a Mirror

Poem by Janet Brush

I remember the antique hand mirror,
silver frame and handle.
On the back, engraved initials MWF.
Still so beautiful after so many years.
What secrets has the mirror seen?

A wedding gift for Margaret Wright Fraser 1855.
My great-grandmother. Does the mirror see
her joy as she examines her young face? – or fear
of the unknown life ahead?
Did she tell the mirror her pain and weariness
after each of thirteen births?
Did her tears wash it as each one went away?

Now a little girl holds the mirror,
watches as grandmother makes ringlets
in her hair, puts a huge bow on top.
My mother, an orphan. Did she ask the mirror,
Do I look like my mamma?

She inherits the mirror, keeps it always
on her dresser, a reminder of happier times.
The mirror witnessed the bruises and cuts
to that lovely face, inflicted by a madman, my father.
Did she beg the mirror to show her a way out?

I saw myself in that mirror – until it disappeared.
Our life torn apart, home dismantled,
we went our separate ways. But wherever the mirror is,
it keeps the secrets it witnessed – it will never tell.

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A Wish

Poem by Georgia Atkin

A wish
ghosted past my lips
and rose,
lighter than air
and heavier than dreams,
and I watched it climb
the dark tapestry of the sky,
passing through thin clouds
and deep breaths of rain,
higher and higher,
until a star reached out, gently,
and caught it
in the palm of its hand.

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Poem by Lorie Morris

Believe, in faith!
Believe, in love!
Believe, in people!
Believe, in greater good!
Believe, in something, or
you will fall, for anything!

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Holiday Visitor

Poem by Rod Stewart

As soon as the air
Has a taste of snow,
Children’s whispers grow
Of when, oh when,
If never too soon,
For our esteemed guest to arrive.
Barging through the front door,
Tipsy, bold and brazen,
Falling into any and all
Embracing arms,
Overwhelmed and groaning.
Those prickly limbs
Drooling sap
Like an old dog
Over faces, floor and furniture.
So well loved,
No one could murmur,
Through hauls and heaves,
Until finally poised
By an heirloom corner,
To witness and share our love
Our memories
Our seasonal content.
Our holiday host
Hung with gracious admiration,
Brightly beaming
Beneath the angelic spire.

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Poem by Murphy St. Claire

Crumpled up paper people become ghosts under my bed
Daytime quiet sleepily stretches its way through my head
Matching socks waltz around my room
So often mistaken, is this boredom: for gloom
Outside there’s no sun no clouds, no weather at all
It’s not just me, the whole world’s in a stall

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Dad’s Cars

Poem by Tim Covell

Dad’s first car was sensible, practical
A used 1966 Valiant
Slant six, four-door sedan, brown vinyl seats

Drum brakes couldn’t manage trailer towing
So a new two-door Buick Century
V8, black vinyl roof, white vinyl seats

Not a sensible car, with kids and dog
But impressive to women, I gathered
And dad soon had the car all to himself

There was, one visit, an old Mercedes
A logo’d keychain proof of achievement
And no return to sensibility.

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In Mem

Poem by Erica Allanach

You leave behind love
And pain
Blooms aching hope
That in turn
Love, paid forward,
Will conquer pain

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Heart Condition

Poem by Jim Hoyle

I can’t come next Saturday,
________I have a previous engagement.
Tomorrow’s full, of course,
______________Sunday always is a heavy day.
Have you noticed how tired I am lately?
I’m afraid I’ll be busy on Monday, too,
________________from morning ‘till night,
so it’ll be hard to sneak in a rest
_____(you know I’ve felt run-down lately).
Perhaps on Tuesday I’ll find
_________a moment to come, if I feel up to it.
But Wednesday’s definitely out and
I always keep Thursdays for personal
____________business and that needed rest.
Again, I’ll have to squeeze in a nap
_________________on frantic Friday.
I tire so easily lately.
So I might not be around next Saturday.

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Dad’s Chair

Poem by Mike McFetridge

Now it sits empty, black and bare,
Upon the verandah… Dad’s chair;
The hours he sat upon its seat,
While traffic passed by on the street;
Many stopped to tell a tale,
And old friends, too, would share an ale;
Past adventures were recalled,
It was as if the time had stalled;
But time moves on, now we just stare
At the empty seat that was Dad’s chair.

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Exiles in Ecum Secum

Poem by Nathaniel S. Rounds

Hot with music to dance to
The radio ignites the curtains
This cabin-as-St.-Catherine’s-Court afire
With dance tunes and death
Tolls like a cackling Bowie Song
Inspiring so much verse
To so much inquiry

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Poem by Memel Pound

The only thing we have to fear
is fear itself
and bears.
No matter the stripe one wears,
we must on a shelf
put the party man,
put the party plan
for the common cares.
There’s a garden to be tended
and rends to mend in flags.
The oath not in rags,
no tears in promise to
save our children’s troth
and bears.

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“Have an ARTitude”

Poem by Richard S. Payne

Have an ARTitude,
heART, and creARTivity.
Life is an ART form!

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In Support

Haiku by David Mac Eachern

Giving from the heart
For there’s opportunity
Real life insurance

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Poem by Graham Atkin

Platoon atteeeention!
Tonight we raid West Street
Juicy takings there
Lots of unwashed garbage
Smell it a mile off
Here’s the plan
We all look immaculate
Not a hair out of place
Clean our teeth
And polish our noses
Going from house to house
Knock over plant pots
Sitting on their fences
And on their patios
If we get caught
Just stay calm, smile
And bare our teeth
They run a mile
And…. don’t forget
To nibble the edges
Off their plastic garbage bags
That really pisses them off
Raccoon Platoon……. Go for it!

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No Escape

Poem by Catherine A. MacKenzie

Oh, to run
Across fields of four-leaf clovers,
To smell wildflowers
Beneath heaven,
To dodge cement boulders
Rising from hell.

Oh, to breathe
Without pain,
To reach the sky,
To bend to earth.

Oh, to live
And not die.

Why I Wrote this Poem

Why did I write this? These words just came to me. So much death and destruction and devastation in the world today. In my case, the loss of my adult son Matthew in 2017—a death I’ll never be over despite people telling me it’s been “long enough,” that I “should be over it,” blah, blah, blah. Really? Have you lost a child?

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