March 2022


View Issue vol. 13, no. 2
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 AtkinRenaming a species – Part 1 of 3

Melissa BolandNew Dawn

Daniel BoucherBallad for my Favourite Master’s Candidate

Claudette BoumanLake Vapors

Janet BrushA Winter Day

Marilyn ChallisTribute to an Evergreen

Matthew de Lacey DavidsonSerendipity

Harry GarrisonGift In An Attractive Box!

Alison GoodhewJuncture

Jennifer GrahamDear Libre

Olivia Landrysmall wonders

Scott Lynchfearing the screeching of brass monkeys

David Mac EachernFirst Degree

Catherine A. MacKenzieBe Kind

Lorie MorrisHero

Nicole MyersCome Spring

Richard S. PayneHigh Noon

Gordon YoungBubbles

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Renaming a species – Part 1 of 3

Poem by Graham Atkin

Good day crew
I brought you here today
For a very important matter
To rename a species

We had some fun
Cruising past their fighter jets
At hypersonic speed
Did you see their pilots gawk?

But back to serious matters
Here is a summary
Of our discoveries
Of this species

(to be continued)

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Lake Vapors

Poem by Claudette Bouman

Whirling, wispy whirlpools of vapor
crowding, wavy, rolling to the edge
Twisting, turning, soft, layered,
fine cotton dust
They crowd in upon each other
And then sweep up in a delicate storm
Turning over rising steeply,
curling forward
As waves upon a sea of clouds
Running in arranged row upon row,
A harmonic musical movement
Then they’re gentle, elegant ballerinas
competing for attention
Spectacular wisps of vapor.
And then sudden so, poof, gone
In a disappearing act.
A magician’s trick?
An optical illusion?
No, again no
Still more vapors, wisps,
and cottony trills
Everywhere, covering a lake of glass.

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small wonders 

Poem by Olivia Landry 

cold mornings 
driving home before the sun comes up 
waving to the kids 
arriving at the daycare across the street 
drinking coffee 
watching my devil’s ivy outgrow 
every pot I own 
catching sunsets haphazardly 
on city streets 
listening to Halloween by Phoebe Bridgers 
hearing her tell me over and over 
we can be anything

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Be Kind

Poem by Catherine A. MacKenzie

In this new normal
Of a not-so-gentle world
Of confusion and chaos
Be kind—
For we share one life;
Be thankful for tears
For to love is to cry and
To die was to have lived…

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Poem by Alison Goodhew

Who missed
that sectarian tree
pushing fingers through
the throat of the street
with a heave
the ground rises
in complicity, trips up
someone who hurries

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High Noon

Poem by Richard S. Payne

MIND was nothing if not complicated;
ego driven and, often frustrated.
SOUL chose to avoid this difficult bind,
instead being helpful, loving and kind.
BODY was distressed, caught in the middle
between true to self, and superficial.
An unhealthy tension, and not too soon,
for a call to conflict resolution.
The big showdown to take place at high noon,
in an empty place called … MEDITATION.

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Poem by Matthew de Lacey Davidson

The Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière
(Lyon, in France) – it sits upon a hill.
Exhausted, I once tried to make it there,
but couldn’t. Bleary-eyed, I found, instead,
purely by accident, outspread,
beyond the puppets, standing silent, still:

the amphitheatre (or Odeon),
built by Claudius, and almost two
thousand years ago. But then, upon
a wall (and there for all to see),
the best example of calligraphy
on brass from ancient times. I never knew

that sometimes, something better brings us awe –
like the basilica I never saw.

Why I Wrote this Poem

The word “puppets” has to do with the many stores in Lyon which sell marionettes when I visited there.  In addition, there was someone playing Le Tombeau de Couperin by Ravel on the piano in the building where my hotel was.  However, I couldn’t figure out a way to get that into the poem.

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First Degree

Haiku by David Mac Eachern

In bringing on love
Revealing that it’s peaceful
Science of the heart

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fearing the screeching of brass monkeys

Poem by Scott Lynch

I rise “I know. But I do not approve.
And I am not resigned” *
like a New Year’s Polar Bear swim
we dive into February
-11C and another Groundhog Day
news pending from Shubenacadie Sam
Ice fishing huts on Albro lake
bus shelter ice boxes
The MacKay on-ramp
catapult to the ethereal
and the singular marvel
of hoarfrost
Africville Park to the heights
of Fort Needham
resplendent in the one transitory hue
of Jack Frost’s paintbrush
a ballet of sea smoke down the harbour
gifting fleeting glimpses of the
candy cane stacks of Tufts Cove,
The MacDonald, the Ferry,
to Georges Island and beyond
light splashes through the low cloud
yielding a metamorphic mirage
more veil than view
looking to the basin and one last wonder
a statuesque bald eagle
perched in a painted maple
transfixed by the scene?

* from Dirge Without Music
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

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New Dawn

Poem by Melissa Boland

Chakra’s aura glow
As the bowls summon peace.
Acceptance of self;
mind, body and soul.
May perfectionism cease.
A new dawn rises
focused on my truest existence
as I continue to grow

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A Winter Day

Poem by Janet Brush

A black and white photograph, 1954.
How do I know it’s a winter day?
The light seems diffused, coming
from an unknown source –
a lamp or overhead light.

The stove is the giveaway. Me, 8 years old,
leaning on the water tank, David, 4 years old,
his bare feet warming on the open oven door.
This was the heartbeat of the house –
kitchen/diningroom/livingroom all in one,
the only heat the old Enterprise coal stove.

I remember that dress, navy blue, white collar,
light blue piping – another hand-me-down from
the daughter of a well-to-do friend.
And look at David. He still has those cowlicks,
and the wonky eye. “Cock-eyed,” “cross-eyed” –
just two of the names kids called him.
I chased them away, occasionally hit them –
“leave my brother alone!”

Off to the side, a little bit of my mother.
She hardly ever appeared in photos,
but she was always there, the rock
that made us strong, kept us sane.

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Poem by Gordon Young

What makes a bubble?
… Inflation and strain
In a membrane.
A make believe need
Self perpetuated;
A contagion unabated
Pressure aggregated.
Skin taught and slick
Awaits some anonymous little prick,
And its life is dissipated.

Why I Wrote this Poem

We often assume the permanence of social and financial realities that surround us. But all it takes is one misstep or one wing-nut to bring things to a surprising and dramatic end.

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Come Spring

Poem by Nicole Myers

___________come Spring
when I abdicate
from my little depression
& the birds swarm the trees
you’ll return
_____on the way home
from somewhere between
Sans Souci & Sober Island
_______we’ll walk for coffee
I’ll wear my yellow sundress
with a warm coat sweater &
__________you’ll hold my hand
come Spring
_______I’ll tip forward into
your embrace
_______come Spring
I’ll be whole again.

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Gift In An Attractive Box!

Rectangle Poem by Harry Garrison

Gift In An Attractive Box!

Put the gift into the box.
Wrap it in wrapping paper.
Tie the box with a ribbon.
Tie the ribbon into a bow. 

Why I Wrote this Poem

The title is taken from Malinda Kathleen Reese’s YouTube channel Twisted Translations, from the video “Google Translate Explains the COVID-19 Vaccine.” Quote: “After you are released, you can remove the mask and put it in an attractive box.” The rest of it is using the expression “put a ribbon on it” or “put a bow on it,” to try to write a neat little poem about a neat little box. The poem is rectangular, like the box.

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Poem by Lorie Morris

Where are, the heroes?
Where did they, go?
Where, can we find, them?
When will, the heroes come
back to us? Is the Hero or
Heroes in us?

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Ballad for my Favourite Master’s Candidate

Poem by Daniel Boucher

The poli-nerds and Econ majors
All were blown away
On the occasion when the clown
Received her MPA.

Surprise leapt to their faces,
Khaki pants split at the seams,
‘Cause from her huge corsage a spray
Of water came in streams.

Oh! How the normies hollered while
The basics heaved and whooped
(They noticed that her trousers were
Upheld by hola-hoop).

But nothing beat the laughter heard,
from here to Timbuktu,
When down the steps she spilled because
Of red, size nineteen, shoes…

…She fell into the orchestra,
the building crashed down o’er her!
But there she stood relieved, by luck,
inside a well-placed dormer!

I pity lonely dweebs for whom
such fun’s a rarity;
At least they may recount the day
the clown got her degree.

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Dear Libre

Poem by Jennifer Graham

I’ve always wanted to be in your walls

I love your spine
The way you talk to me
The way we converse

The candles burn bright
You are there
my intimate playmate

Together our imaginations create stories
for a while
I feel safe in your arms

Until the clock strikes
I am asked to proceed into
Back to myself

More than a memory
Show up each day and
pull me in deep

Every inch of you is beautiful and lush
Plump and juicy
Quenching every desire

Can I keep you?

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Tribute to an Evergreen

Haiku by Marilyn Challis

Tears streaming downward,
Crying for a gnarled old pine
Nor’easter’s victim.

Why I Wrote this Poem

A stalwart longstanding resident pine at the top of Riverside Drive, Lwr Sackville was upended by its roots overnight by a gale force blizzard and nor’easter.

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