OHF Abroad


This page features poems from writers living outside Halifax, but with some connection to the city or Nova Scotia. The map shows the location of the authors (town only).

Read the poems by scrolling down or clicking the titles.
Click the author’s name to view a short biography (if supplied) and other poems by that author.

Published – Title – Author – City

02/2018 – Holland HarbourR. E. Stansfield – Port Hilford, NS

02/2018 – Barn SwallowConroy Dockal – Suwanee, GA, United States

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Holland Harbour
Poem by R. E. Stansfield

The road’s not much
Of a road this time of year
More like a muddy trail
Slouching away from the highway
Down into the tangle of trees and underbrush
Gnarly black spruce and soft tamarack
Fighting back the unrelenting alders
While awaiting next winter’s nor’easters
To claw at their branches
And tear at their roots
With screeching icy fingers
Until they fall crashing to lie
Patiently for the earth to embrace them.

Just off the road and into the woods
The remnants of a stone fence
Just a jumble of rocks
Poking through tall green ferns
Beyond, the square outline of a foundation
And beyond that, another
And then more beyond
Remnants of a human presence
Clinging to this bit of empty coastline
Stubborn like their ancestors
Determined to survive, like barnacles
On the hulls of their longliners.

By accident we discover the graveyard
And the hardness of their living
Painful in a single headstone:
“Annie E
Dau of Warren G &
Clarissa H Baker
April 25, 1879
Aged 4 weeks”.

We row across Haulover Cove
Past Gull Shelf to Reid’s Island
In a skiff borrowed
From the German at the end of the road
And eat our breakfast in silence
Wild duck eggs
Cooked over an open fire.

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Barn Swallow
Poem by Conroy Dockal

Glide one two free
On backs my breath takes
Huntress on the prowl spree
By death’s door insects forsake

Boomerang through atoms elect
Beauty the work survival
Fate stands still for the select
While wings push air none rival

The chain complete to awe
Severed spirit now creed
Sleek machine I saw
Glimpsed in an instant speed

Dethroned am I to bottom rung
As meek swift arrows morse
Implore shelter none
Before dusk her next course

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