Poem for March 2020
A Sonnet Above by Nicolas Loyola
Slow-hum moments when wandering the night
my heartbeat and footsteps synced and steady
I hear a tune when stars are caught in sight,
musing together in a melody
Look up, there are stories amongst the stars
perspectives and cares upheld by wonder
like scented objects preserved in glass jars
tales told from societies asunder
What of other stellar stories unknown,
to those with who we share not skies or scenes?
differing worlds play to a unique tone
of objects celestial left unseen
tis nature’s call to sing and be shared with
a universe rife with music and myth
Bio: Nicolas Loyola is a student who has lived in Ottawa their whole life. He is excited by the world, and much of this excitement manifests itself in poetry. He believes the world demands a lot of attention, and lives by his efforts to make light of it.
Ode to a Cyclist by Kathy Tang
Concrete curb, sidewalk I see
How suddenly they appear to me
Water, paste, aggregate formed
Sandy gravel unadorned
Marks impressed by rancorous squirrels
Broken colour, fleeting Monet whorls
Tracks rudely create en plein air
Refracting qualities of light so fair
Discarded cup once filled with java
Breaking lines of the curbs penumbra
Cigs flicked from cars abound
Leaching toxins to the ground
Black marks left by inattentive drivers
Make tats on sable lane dividers
Dreck filled contraction joints
Curb reveal skyward points
Hardened sidewalk, coloured gray
Colour of clouds on this rain day
Thoughts, questions come to mind
As momentum transfers from behind
Much I see as time slows down
What’s that awful crushing sound?
Slowly, I careen to the ground
I hit the pavement, no rebound
Kathy enjoys a wide range of activities including tap dancing, playing ukulele, cycling, drawing and fibre arts. Although still working full-time in the tech industry in Ottawa, she takes time to write poetry and short stories to share with her friends and members of her local writer’s guild.
Northern Wedding by Ruth Latta
Sunshine filters through the leaves
as the bride in apple green
serves pizza and the bridegroom pours
Chickadees with beady eyes and thread-
watch the kids play hide and seek
as salad spills from paper plates.
Shadows growing long
and sunset through the pines
cue the fiddler and guitar.
The fire crackles, sparks fly,
mosquitoes flee the smoke,
a chord is struck
and voices echo in the trees.
Ruth Latta’s most recent novel, “Votes, Love and War” (Ottawa, Baico, 2019, $32) is about the Manitoba women’s suffrage movement and the First World War. this is her fourth Canadian historical novel. For more information about her books please visit http://ruthlattabooks.blogspot.com . As a volunteer, she facilitates a writer’s drop-in group at the Emerald Plaza Branch Library.
Poem of the month: Rage by Sherrill Wark
In polite circles
is not mentioned.
It remains unfelt
at least not admitted.
In impolite circles
we stick pins
into hand-made voodoo dolls,
say fuck you
and the horse you rode in on.
We hope for
horrible things to happen to you
maybe even to your mother
while we burn black candles.
sometimes white ones.
Depends on what we have on hand.
Sherrill Wark is a novelist, screenwriter, short story writer, poet, book designer, former editor, not-so-little ol’ lady but is otherwise normal. As “Kesk8a”, Sherrill is writing a series of novels about the Acadian people cruelly expelled by English conquerors in the mid-1700’s: Death in l’Acadie; Refuge in l’Acadie; Trapped in l’Acadie; The Hanging; The Cleansing; and The Expulsion. Sherrill has written a horror novel, Graven Images; and a YA novel, Vivie Goes to Hell in a Hatchback, as poetry chapbooks. Sherrill sings in an Italian choir and kills people in her dark short stories under a pseudonym.
Poem of the month by John Sweeney
Guernica in Crayon
Criss-crossing black strokes to
represent her cage. Stick figure faces
from within, peering from inside this
corner of the camp. To the side, she
includes a line up of tiny bodies
approaching a desk.
But when this caged child’s simple
drawing is streamed, there is no rioting
in the streets.
Most just seem bored.
Dulled out by the daily shock waves of
reborn ancient felonies, and the fresh
aroma of twittering atrocity, we barely
look up from our phones.
Look once more at her art.
See a child, running from one world on
fire and into another, scratching out her
truth in melting black crayon.
John Sweeney is a retired actor and drama teacher, who continues to direct for the theatre, sing and write poetry. His poetry often deals with making direct connections between current social injustice issues and invoking the power of art and individual action, in rectifying these situations. John lives in St. Catharines, Ontario with his wife Karen, and has two sons, Liam and Brennan.