May 2022

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View Issue vol. 13, 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 AtkinRenaming a species – Part 3 of 3

Daniel BoucherSonnet Composed after reading the first stanza of Pushkin’s Onegin

Claudette BoumanA Fine Balance

Rebecca DingwellFor Dad

David DuTo a Swallow

Shawn ElfordWaterfalls

Harry GarrisonKitchen Islands

Logan LawrenceHemlock Ravine

Scott Lynchwatching the purple finches

David Mac EachernMeant to live

Jaclyn MacNeilslice

Lorie MorrisTalk

Richard S. PayneRelish Life

Mark Ryanquietude

Elzy TaramangalamRedolent Showers

Gordon YoungRabbit hole

ZemberI am a match

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Renaming a species – Part 3 of 3

Poem by Graham Atkin

We are witnessing
This species in chaos
A few using their brains
To control the remainder

They are unaware
Of the here and now
They live in their brains
Their brains have gone rogue

To use an idiom
Of this species
They cannot see beyond
The end of their noses

This species
Of the planet Earth
Refer to themselves as
Homo Sapiens … Wise Man

I propose that
We rename this species
Homo Obliviosus … Oblivious Man
All those in favour say aye

“AYE!”

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I am a match

Poem by Zember

I am a match
In a bottle
With a love letter
I should have burned

Bouncing around this ocean
I just need a little more
Oxygen
A bit more
Atmosphere

It will always be not now
It will always be not here

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To a Swallow

Poem by David Du

I apologize, I am not a branch
To experience your grasp;
I apologize, I am not a sky 
That could touch your feather.
I can only watch your shadow
Like a beautiful light shining in
My eyes,
And the tears shading, dropping 
On the floor, wet, wet…

Why I Wrote This Poem

A swallow is like a lover, but right now I am getting older and lack of energy prevents a lover. So, I can only see a lover like a shadow touching my eyes, and then I watch her beautiful features flying in the sky. My tears shading, shading… that’s the reason I wrote this poem.

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Kitchen Islands

Haiku by Harry Garrison

You’re having a long
archipelago of snacks
instead of supper.

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watching the purple finches

Poem by Scott Lynch

“on a field, sable, the letter A gules”
—Nathaniel Hawthorne

waking from a fever dream
with a racking cough
this body of evidence bruised
and gnarled by sixty some years
having gone to bed with pretty well
all the symptoms
and a positive rapid test
the two red lines harkening
that I bear the scarlet letter
3 vaccines unable to prevent
the inevitable
a PCR test and isolation
time to think and read
and if all goes well
recover
while watching the purple finches
and the many subtle
marvels of April
contemplating the lotus

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Waterfalls

Poem by Shawn Elford

Cascade of waterfalls
Streaming down
Feeling like feathers
Tickling your insides
Refreshing on your skin
Delicate to the touch
You lose your mind
In the tranquility
In the peacefulness
Knowing you’re there
For a short period
Then off you go
To the craziness of life
But knowing you can
Return to the falls again

Why I Wrote This Poem

I wrote this poem to remember my place of solace growing up in Corner Brook as a kid. This place was my escape from the horrors of being bullied. It gave me comfort to know when life was crazy for me I had this to come to.

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A Fine Balance

Poem by Claudette Bouman

Diamonds nudging along linden’s arced arms
Are granites carved from living water-stones
Supreme liquid hanging jewels
Are silhouetted against a bully maple’s torso
Its bare arms too aflame with precious gems

In springtime, strange pendant-fruit dangling
Row upon row of diamonds
On linden’s naked children arching high
Sprouting budbursts soften the branches’ sweep
Like starlit under-hangings, every part aglow
Prisms of yellow blue and purple flashing
Tuned to nature’s subtle movements
They hang and blaze sporting elongated orbs

Camouflaged,
An aura of birdsong escapes green mantles
Colouring me with fine caresses
That reach the curling seashell of my ear
Cardinals red-breasts dark-eyed juncos
Carving pure song lines into the lap of my senses

Low calls, scraping footfalls, a woofing hound
And the rush of distant tires on too-near asphalt
Are mere backdrops for your splendid act
Diamonds trembling on linden’s curved branches
A poise of silence dangles over the shiftless brook

Why I Wrote This Poem

I wrote this poem after looking out into my backyard and seeing raindrops from a fine misty rain hanging from the branches of our still-naked linden tree branches. The sun was rising higher, birds twittered and the slant of light made the scene memorable.

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Meant To Live

Poem by David Mac Eachern

Alike music in tune sounding rhythmic vibes
New years flow as old days go
Hearts keep the beat of compassion alive
Planted then blossomed, how thou gracefully grow

Blessed in the fullest to truly enjoy
Such path when taken provideth clear way
Thus pleasure of soul marching in joy
Carry on at attention, making each day

Every worth coming, as another be found
Being among all others, time shall speak
In need to see sure peace abound
Life steering from confusion, ascending thy peak

Why I Wrote This Poem

This writing is about how a world can come together and live as one, despite all cultural differences and nationalities. It only takes acceptance, appreciation and trust.

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slice

Poem by Jaclyn MacNeil

milk for me
tea for you
ritual

of dayless afternoons
your booming cigarette
burned gruff
whisky speak:

the only language
you taught your children
yet,

come over here, or
I’ll lick ya!

over mint oreos

I stare at them
every time I’m
at the grocery store

I linger in the biscuit aisle
transfixed by the packaging
bold blue and mentha green
chocolate-crested wafer

imagine peeling the plastic back
running tongue tips
along the columns

crumble

too sweet cookies
in a crying mouth

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Hemlock Ravine

Poem by Logan Lawrence

The weather lit our walk like a Linklater –

Conversations wending thru woods,
our path shaped by the veins of rock
beneath the autumn leaves, feelings
following topography, taking cues
from cloud-cover or sun-dappled breeze, stolid
trees truncating lines of thought, rock faces
providing the eyes with relief.

Descending the ravine
we thought we were lost,
but when fallen sentinels
blocked our path we
retraced our steps, soothed
with the knowledge
we’ve been here before
and can always come back

…as it turns out
the trail led to the sea
and so we reascended, spot-lit, less certain
in slant rays that made green curtains
hang as we began our final scene
navigating indifferent terrain
for a way to say things too natural to name,
too present to clearly see

Why I Wrote This Poem

The first time I went to Hemlock Ravine, my wife and I were talking about thoughtful, emotional stuff – our relationship, our hopes, and all the things that seemed to be getting in our way. Our conversation would be interrupted by the beauties and challenges of the ravine, which ironically allowed us to go deeper into a difficult conversation than if we had just been sitting on the couch at home. I found having two terrains to navigate intermittently gave me a better appreciation for both – and how sometimes a little distraction can help us see things more clearly.

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Redolent Showers

Poem by Elzy Taramangalam

Having learned
All numbers
Are imaginary notations
Helping the concept of how many
Holding on to mind
More agile than my fingers
Working out the kinks of April
A toast to the people
In our lives
Who deliver laughter
Conversation, company
Empathy and all other forms of love.

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For Dad

Poem by Rebecca Dingwell

Dad,
it’s okay
that you won’t be alive
for my wedding day –
if I have a wedding day.
Our father/daughter dance
is deeper than
a spin on the floor
to some overused country song.
It’s okay.
Your strength’s never been
measured by how you
could clench your hand
into a fist anyway.
And Dad,
it’s fine if you’re upset.
Of course the man who
used to climb radio towers
in East Coast storms
feels powerless
when he can’t walk
by himself.
But Dad,
I’m done being mad
because who am I
to mourn a man who still thrives
in his heart and in his mind?
I find
it hard to believe
dumping cold water over
my head will change anything,
but I’ll do it anyway.
I’d do it every day
if it would make you see
the strength you give me
has nothing to do
with your body.

Why I Wrote This Poem

I wrote this poem on March 30, 2016, a little more than a month before my father died of ALS. It encompassed everything I couldn’t say at the time.

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quietude

Poem by Mark Ryan

midnight meditations
under cracking trusses idiosyncratic breath
fire light dancing on the walls
frost gracing window panes
i am grateful for a body at rest
a mind in quietude in peaceful reflection

a field mouse scampers in the attic
a barred owl waits patiently virtuous in the beech
food is scarce at 20 below.

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Sonnet Composed after reading the first stanza of Pushkin’s Onegin

Sonnet by Daniel Boucher

As my beloved is lain adjacent
To me, with crossword puzzle armed,
Late Artemis replaced with nascent
Apollo, fresh and fat and warm,
Negotiation’s done, we’re settled,
It’s been agreed I’ll start the kettle.
We live for this (the howling yawns,
The stretches, wiggles, sighs, the long
Black pour of coffee, playing Wordle).
Then harbour boats announce the fog
While we’re pronouncing “Nàbokòv.”
O Happy husband, friend eternal,
Sate thus, how could we have “the spleen”
Like our unlucky friend Eugene?

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Talk

Poem by Lorie Morris

Talk, to me.
Talk, it out.
Talk, and move on.
Talk, and say it, all.
Talk, and be a grown up!
Talk, before it’s too late!

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Relish Life

Haiku by Richard S. Payne

Life is bittersweet,
therefore, all you can do is …
relish the mustard !

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Rabbit hole

Poem by Gordon Young

Alice went down
A rabbit hole.
Way down,
Underground.
The light grew dim
And dimmer still,
Until
It was naught.
So she was caught
In the dark, dank cold
With little left to hold
But hanging tight
With all her might
To the hatter’s treason
Against all reason.
She, like a dormouse breathing,
Sleeps unheeding
In slumber, locked.
A turtle mocked.

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