February 2023


View Issue vol. 14, no. 1
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.

Georgia AtkinSilver

Chloe Baileyswimming lessons

Janet BrushCrow

Echo Cartermaking friendship bracelets out of calamity

Marilyn ChallisProtect Our Beloved Earth

Tim Covell Initiating

Holly CurrieMe and My Mind

Harry Garrison2023

Bill JonesSuits

Teresa KilbrideIn Her Breath

David Mac EachernNew Age

Catherine A. MacKenzieBehind the Mask

Mike McFetridgeStay Inside

Marissa McKeaninterloper

Lorie Morris I Am

Mark Ryanpart i: the stadium

Rod StewartOur Beloved Mrs. Smith

Mary Ellen TouesnardThe One

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In Her Breath

Poem by Teresa Kilbride

We are in Her breath
you are quiet
while I talk about trees.

We gaze into that rich darkness
imagining what nests there
then our eyes light
upon the shades of green
on edges of leaves in the sun
and we know angels.

She sees us
with our warm hearts
guessing at a Universe
in fullness with trees.

While I speak and you listen
we are in Her breath.

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Poem by Janet Brush

Noisy, raucous, annoying
We complain, vilify their existence

But wait – look at this photograph.
Two crows on a branch
They sit quietly, heads turned slightly
So their foreheads touch.
They look almost demure
Almost smiling
A tender moment.

The other side of crow
Caw caw.

Why I Wrote this Poem

My poetry club set the theme for our January meeting as crows (or other birds if crows don’t inspire). I love crows, but inspiration was not coming – until two things happened. First, another member of the club wrote a poem which accentuated all the bad qualities of the crow. Then I saw a photo (on Facebook I think) which showed a softer side. Those two things combined to inspire me to write a positive little poem about the crow.

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The One

Poem by Mary Ellen Touesnard

As you hold me tight w/ warm embrace
I enter realms of soulful grace.
Your mind, your love, your profound caress…
Fills me w/ such happiness!

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Protect Our Beloved Earth

Haiku by Marilyn Challis

Green January,
Mother Nature warns, “look out,”
Ocean levels rise.

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Our Beloved Mrs. Smith

Poem by Rod Stewart

Remembering now,
Of way back when,
About two score and ten,
Our rowdy Grade Four,
Run by an old country hen,
Cackling barely above
Hushed snickers and snorts
From her two dozen ducks,
Ever as loud and odd
To the other’s chagrin.
Upon recess she’d wag
A stern finger, or glare
If fun boiled over to sin,
And “Now there…there…”
Our tears and scrapes
With iodine, all over again.
Barely a memory remains
Of chalk screeching,
More than she did,
Only the warmth,
And a glimmer of fondness,
Of her maternal care,
From an unwavering heart
To coax her motley brood,
To grow kind, true and fair.

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part i: the stadium

Poem by Mark Ryan

what sounds carve morning sheets?
is it those of glass tempos, iron trusses –
blue bleachers dampened by Friday night’s ash?
perhaps a chorus in 4/4 time –
raised sticks to silence the cheering,
esophageal groans of broken jawed henchmen;
caricatures bent and carving until heat rises
from the quadriceps of adolescence
laid to rest in dawn’s stitched sheets.
Sheets, ploughed and sewn
beneath boilermaker’s union banners,
lexicons, lesions, and lovers –
melting into the blues and reds of
April’s pinstriped, potholed, parking lots
whilst the echoed whistles ricochet
off tin walls and empty into the Bay,
the immaculate Conception.
Victorious handshakes turn to
goalposts, makeshift silhouettes
cast upon cucumbered sunsets,
ideological vacuums –
now elbows pierced by roadside gravel,
knees wrapped in scuffed leather and duct tape remedy
wait for the first inhalation,
the stadium’s chilled bravado –
trimmed of defeats anchored on fabricated memoirs
or lethargic verse –
or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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New Age

Haiku by David Mac Eachern

Sounding like morning
The beginning in volume
Alarms that elate

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Poem by Marissa McKean

many hours
gazing at the sea
such was my childhood—
an ever-present theme
starving for connection
but my efforts
always in vain
for i was the outcast
an interloper
amongst my peers
amongst land lovers
forced to live
with an absence of authenticity
to just survive—
the only fragment of truth
being the salted air
in my lungs
and the cold, hard kiss
of the atlantic
the magnetic pull
between her and the moon
tormenting me
a constant ache
to be free
to go home—
to be one with the sea

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Poem by Georgia Atkin

by surprise, I see
the tiny strand of silver
in the mirror—
it’s an unexpected guest
in my reflection,
but at this moment
all I can think
is that it’s kind of amazing
my hair will one day be
the colour of bright sea
the morning after a storm:
raw sunlight hits the water,
blazing down from cracks in the sky
and dazzling the eye with its beauty.

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swimming lessons

Poem by Chloe Bailey

My head falls under.
Despite what my mother says
I open my eyes.

Not much to see.

The sand beneath me moves between my toes
as waves crash above me.

I can hear it but it is quiet.
Softer than the people above.

I get comfortable.
I enjoy the silence.

I resent my mother for the swimming lessons,
instinctually I come up for air.

The quiet is gone.

The world feels louder than ever.

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Poem by Bill Jones

Loamy asphalt afternoon neurosis
Portfolio – straitjacket cacophony…
Overlapping waves plopping against pier

Blundering streetlights, couples cringe
Red Light Pedestrian rains, rusted fenders
Commodities simmer, pandemic tissues…

Rogue Sandstones, ruddy jowled watches
Sidewalk muses, umbrellas shake… sinuous
cobalt anxiety stares… cafe windows weep

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Behind the Mask

Poem by Catherine A. MacKenzie

In the dark and doom of night,
In the midst of buzzing stillness,
I see his face and my reality is real.

My tears careen with abandon
For I’m alone, not forced to
Don sunglasses or avert my face.

These are moments to grieve,
Unlike breaths in day’s light or dark
When I hide the aching pain.

Behind my mask, I avoid lies and
Ceaseless “time heals all wounds”
From the well-meaning clueless.

I accept but abhor this invisible burden.
Time does not heal all wounds,
My unseen wounds will bleed forever.

Why I Wrote this Poem

This poem was written in memory of my son Matthew MacKenzie Dickey. Died unexpectedly March 11, 2017, aged 36, of a rare heart cancer.

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Stay Inside

Poem by Mike McFetridge

Stay inside today is what I say,
Let it rain and snow, and let it blow;
Stay inside today where it is warm
Beside the wood stove, huddle your form;
And watch the burning fire within,
The dancing flames, forget the din
Of wind and rain and sometimes snow,
Coming down amid the windy blow;
Stay inside, enjoy a break,
Life can be good, for heaven’s sake!

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making friendship bracelets out of calamity

Poem by Echo Carter

disaster’s got a taste to it, like tangerines and pine,
hints of echoing rosemary
catastrophe’s got an eye-burning colour
(only seen with eyes wide shut)

and chaos has a name written among the rubble
ruin’s got a friend buried below
you and i, we whispered nothing in the cellar
we gathered all we couldn’t leave behind
and left the rest to tragedy

nights were long and days were short
but we were sure to be the sole survivors
we didn’t expect much but sage and summer
we wished for the red sky to run blue

but survival,
that was the one outcome
we weren’t prepared for.

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Me and My Mind

Poem by Holly Currie

Me and my mind are two different things.
But we are also the same.
My mind tells me one thing,
Then I tell myself something else.
Your mind is that inner voice in your head,
Telling you your deepest thoughts.
Me, I’m just the receiver.
I don’t say those thoughts out loud.
I say what I want to hear.
I twist the words of my inner thoughts and make them mine.
I get mad at my mind.
It tells me things I don’t want to hear.
It thinks things I wouldn’t want to think.
Me and my mind are two different things.
But are we the same?
We are not.

Why I Wrote this Poem

I wrote this poem because I’ve been struggling with my mental health, and writing poems helps me express my feelings. I also want people to know they aren’t alone and that feeling this way is OK and it’s normal; knowing that others around you are going through the same thing makes you feel so much better. I hope others can find their own ways to process and express their feelings.

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I Am

Poem by Lorie Morris

I am, me.
I am, a woman.
I am, a mother.
I am, a sister.
I am, a wife.
I am, a friend.
I am, a healer.
I am, a care giver.
I am, a woman.
I am, me.

Why I Wrote this Poem

The reason why I wrote “I am” was to show how real I am and how I feel about my situation as a woman.

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Poem by Tim Covell

You haunt my dreams, the dark corners
Where your furnished basement room
A single bed, no frame, your strong drugstore perfume
linger like the way you dressed
in baggy clothes, hiding your breasts
revealed, once, awkwardly, to me.

Is it always like this I asked
And tides and time carried me past
My words absolving me
My words were always like this.

And my dreams flood with memories
your furnished basement room
a single bed, no frame, your strong drugstore perfume
resurfacing too late, and too often.

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Haiku by Harry Garrison

Twenty Twenty Three
is a salad with lettuce,
peas, and broccoli.

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