OHF Abroad – 2022.1


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.

A Letter to 30 Year Old MeKate Dani, Pictou County, Nova Scotia

GrandtearsSamir Georges, Toronto, Ontario

Death DoulaConroy Dockal – Roswell, Georgia, USA

A Father’s Prayer Ron Gillis – North Sydney, Nova Scotia

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A Letter to 30 Year Old Me

Poem by Kate Dani

Dear 30 year old me,
I wish my first questions to you weren’t
Are you married?
Did you have kids?
Did you buy a house?
Did you get promoted?

As I look to you
I feel 17 year old me
Tug at my shirt
And ask through eyes filled with salt:

Did he stay?
Did you find a job you don’t hate?
Did you move out?
Did you lose weight?

Her desperation mistaken for greed.

What does it mean to be your age
When at 17 you feel 23
And at 23 you feel 17?

When everyone tells you
You’re in the island paradise of life
But you’re underwater
And can hear the music start playing?

The truth is, 30 year old me
I need not know the logistics.
I need to know:

Have you healed?
Are you stronger?
Are you wiser?

But with another look at my youth
I’m emboldened to tuck the stationary away,
As I don’t need to ask questions
I already know the answers to.

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Poem by Samir Georges

These are grand tears
old tears
that have tracked
weathered distances
through years I cannot tread
and mark the path
that brings the darkness home,

lo that the light reflecting in those waters
was not clear
and did not bear my face so well
and my pain so near.

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Death Doula

Poem by Conroy Dockal

Crisper the ears
a finger swirls the clouds
the cocoon shriveled by years
sitting bedside releasing shrouds

Every Sunday best unrushed
readied for the Shirodhara
and final human touch
breath calms the chimera

Life wounds become a lionet
sewn shut by a gentle hand
healing on the last sunset
little universes expand

Light shines through the skin
paper etched poem
each wrinkle in
chasing kites home

Unlikely this time a hecatomb
corneas begin to begird
it’s not all doom and gloom
just time for a simple word

The death doula starts to belay
as the body crash hurls
radio transient in the milky way
every vessel flash unfurls

Why I wrote this poem:

This poem is dedicated to the people of Ukraine and Myanmar… especially the 2SLGBTQIA people who are at even greater risk!

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A Father’s Prayer

Poem by Ron Gillis

Dear Lord, don’t let my sons and daughters go off to war.
May they stay home, raise families with faint memories in store
of chaos and danger in that Far Eastern Shore.

A precious life to give in a distant land,
is a high price to pay for a woman or man,
may they stay home, grow old, sedate and grand
reaping the peacefulness of their Canadian Land.

So Lord, allow my sons and daughters, stay home and belong.
Let Diplomacy with Prayer solve this crisis, so strong.
may peace reign through our world today,
without a missile fired in impending foray.

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