Halcyon spring 2014

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Halcyon - Spring 2014


HALCYON MAGAZINE SPRING 2014 INSIDE THIS ISSUE 4 Spring, 08 by Susan Dale 5 Spring, 09 by Susan Dale 6 Breath of Spring by Irene Ferraro-Sives 7 The Blue Jay in the Oak Tree by Craig Stormont 8 Josie by Anne Mason 10 Haiku by Venera Fazio 10 My Mother’s Hands by Venera Fazio 11 Snow Melt by Joseph A Farina 11 primavera by Joseph A Farina 12 Iambic Lullaby by Mary Calzonetti 13 The Rose by Matthew Wilson 14 Mother’s Day by Debbie Okun Hill 15 Variations of a Red Alarm Clock by Michael Fadum 15 The Ghost of the Grasshopper by Michael Fadum 16 An Unforgettable Childhood Vision by Norma West Linder 17 Spring Hues by Lorna Pominville 17 Spring Bunnies by Lorna Pominville 18 Resilience by Dawn Schrieber 18 Pavasara Laiks by Dawn Schrieber 19 Haiku by Joan McNerney 20 Mother’s Day by Wayne Faust 22 Atop Split Rock by Richard King Perkins II 23 Santa Maria by Michael Jerry Tupa 23 Quiet Dreams by Michael Jerry Tupa Halcyon Magazine ISSN: 2291-0255 Frequency: Quarterly Publisher|Designer: Monique Berry

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Contact Info http://halcyonmagazine.blogspot.ca monique.editor@gmail.com 1-905-549-3981

Special Notices Halcyon has one time rights. See website for subscription details. No photocopies allowed.

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FROM THE FOUNDER It’s been a hard winter—environmentally and emotionally. But the frozen landscape of my heart is thawing, and the sweet fragrance of forgiveness is blanketing the land. My world is bright and alive once more! Speaking of new things, I am resurrecting my former magazine—Perspectives. It’s about giving inanimate objects a chance to describe their world. If the pages of this magazine could talk, what do you think they’d say about their inmost feelings? Visit http://1perspectives.webs.com for upcoming guidelines. Until next time, keep thinking Halcyon thoughts!

Halcyon Magazine, Founding Editor monique.editor@gmail.com MONIQUE BERRY is the founder of Halcyon, Praise Writers, and Twisted Endings. She also founded Perspectives and Christian Perspectives magazines. Monique has published stories and poems in Personal Journaling, The Sitter’s Companion, Searching for Answers Anthology, and Rock Bottom Journal. She is the workshop leader of a Hamilton, ON writers group “First Impressions.”

Halcyon - Spring 2014


Dr. Michael Cain Chiropractor Massage Therapy and Injury Rehabilitation Treatment available for restoring and maintaining physical heath: Back pain and headaches Motor vehicle accidents Sports and work place injuries Pregnancy-related back pain Hip, buttock, thigh, knee, lower leg and foot pain Biomechanical foot problems requiring orthotics Numbness, tingling and/or weakness in arms/legs Child-related care such as “growing pains”

Cain Chiropractic Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 1-905-523-7246 | www.cainchiropractic.ca

Spring, 08 By Susan Dale Willow wands Whispery fronds Spring at the crossroads In a dance of the hours

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Spring, 09

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By Susan Dale The haunting sadness of spring Wild winds breathing promises of ecstasy___ they can’t keep Oh, the supple arms of leaf-lit trees cradling birds’ nests linking with other arms to other trees to leave shadows across sun-puddle paths Rapturous sweeps of sun to skies

Oh, the supple arms of leaf-lit trees cradling birds’ nests linking with other arms

to streams Crashing free from winter’s ice carrying songs of beginnings foaming over rocks rippling off, widening and spreading to summer’s bounty SUSAN DALES’S poems and fiction are on Hurricane Press, Ken *Again, Penman Review, Inner Art Journal, Feathered Flounder, Garbanzo, and Hurricane Press. In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan. Halcyon - Spring 2014


Breath of Spring

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By Irene Ferraro-Sives Frost recedes with the arrival of spring. The season of beginnings begins again. Is there hope for the lonely?


he first blooms of spring stood victoriously in the snow. A late storm had spread twinkling white matter atop the jewelcolored crocus blossoms. Velvety red and purple flowers glowed glorious in the early spring sugar-coating. The seasonal icing had been slathered generously on the budding dawn of renewal. Road and pedestrian traffic churned the frosty, pristine cover to a sullied gray. Farther down the slippery street, a vendor displayed the plump produce of April retail. Scarlet and inviting strawberries nestled comfortably in plastic baskets, ready for purchase. The flyer pasted to the grocer’s window boasted a low price for the luscious berries, which heralded the coming warmer months, and the perfume of juicy peaches and plums. The strawberries were tempting. Lou imagined them clothed in chocolate. She entered the shop with sensual intention.

“Heloise, I wish I knew the answer to that question. I’d be rich and famous,” answered John. “You can call me ‘Lou’, you know, like everyone else.” “I forgot. Heloise is the girl with the world’s ugliest name.” “So according to you, I am a girl. John, if you did not have such a strange way of flattering, I would leave right now.” John was silent for a minute. “What can I get you?” he said finally. “Now that you are tired of giving me an argument.” “I want some strawberries.” An avalanche of white fluff crashed to the sidewalk outside. “Snow’s melting,” said John. “I can see that. I like your prices here, today.”

The grocery interiors were cool. The sweet aroma of nature’s syrups crowded the room, shoving out listless appetite. The vendor’s son occupied the premises that day. Even though he was well-known as the owner’s child, he was far from boyhood as the silver streaks in his hair announced. “They” all said he still lived at home with his parents because someday he would inherit the grocery business from his father. Still, his future legacy had not made him the neighborhood’s most eligible bachelor.

“So many? Are you being greedy or are you baking cheesecake?”

“Hello, John,” said Lou, to the vendor’s son, “How do you like our spring weather? Tell me when it’s going to get warm.”

“Me, too, I will be with my Mom and Dad. So, Heloise, when are you going to find a handsome man and bake cheesecake for him?” asked John.

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“Good! How many?” “I’ll take five small baskets.”

“I am making this city’s most delicious strawberry cheesecake for my Mom and Dad, for Easter.”

“When you find a woman your own age who doesn’t mind being called a girl.” “Now, Heloise, you’re much too old to be so sensitive.” “Once again, you’re lucky you can twist a phrase. How much for the strawberries?” John tucked five more baskets of the berries into her bag. “I want you to do me a favor. I want you to bake a cheesecake for my Mom’s Easter dinner. I will come by the night before to pick it up. Will you be in church?” “No, I’ll be home. Come by then. Thank you, please.” As Heloise walked away from the grocer’s, she observed that the stormy skies had calmed to a pale blue. Laceworks of black tree branches formed an edgy pattern against the snowy rooftops and the baby’s breath sky, dotted with cloud puffs. The first leaf buds were pushing through lost winter. Tree limbs were lined with thrilling, tender green and eager, blushing pink. It was a trick of time that in not so many months these floral frills would be tumbling, ripe apples and auburn leaf showers. The bright promise of spring stabbed at Lou’s heart. This celebrated season longed for its future self, but did it ever find fulfillment? It would arrive at a peak moment sometime between June and September, but did it ever find the happiness to which it seemed driven, Lou wondered. Then she wondered how a season could be happy or unhappy, but soon forgot the about it. She focused on the coming holiday, and her kitchen task. Holy Saturday arrived and found her at her mixing bowls. The hot oven painted the windows with fog. A cool rain swept the glass panes, turning into little rivers wherever it may. Nature’s watering would further the process of rebirth. Tomorrow, the cradle of earth would hold more shoots and buds. All would be washed fresh for Easter morning. At night, ringing door chimes alerted her to John’s arrival. He came in, wiping his feet vigorously on the doormat. She handed him the cheesecake. “I want my carrying case back,” she said. “It’s okay, my mother understands.” “What do you mean, your mother understands?” “She said she understands how it is with us young people and it’s alright if I have Easter dinner with you and your family. I’ll bring this cheesecake to her tonight, and I’ll be back here tomorrow.” “Wait, who invited you?” “Look, Lou, neither one of us is a spring chicken, anymore. Before the ship leaves the harbor for the last time, I think we should both be on board.” “Are you wooing me, or insulting me?”

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The Blue Jay in the Oak Tree By Craig Stormont admired for a quarter century strong tall branching outward symbolic of perseverance a long past pet cat rests near its grounding the oak entreats growth seated in a chair near the back door alone a magnificent blue jay hopped from branch to branch chirping like mad a regal being relishing its magnanimity coaxing loss of the self in nature the larger scheme offering ineffable instruction to fly forward in the manner of the bird

“Heloise, may I come to dinner tomorrow?” “Yes, you may. It would be a pleasure.” The door closed behind John as he walked into the night. The next dawning day would bring an awaited guest.

IRENE FERRARO-SIVES was born in Brooklyn, NY. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband. Irene has been writing since she was nine.

CRAIG STORMONT is originally from Queens, NY, and he began writing poems in the 1970's. Before attending college, Craig spent most of the 1980's hitchhiking throughout the USA in order to experience life to the fullest. He currently lives on Long Island where he earns his living as a professor of literature and writing. Craig values nature, truth, and his young son Harry most of all. He can be reached at craigstormont@gmail.com.

Halcyon - Spring 2014


Josie By Anne Mason


he was the cutest ball of fluff, shy and frightened. Her owner assured me that she came from a long line of mousers, though I’m fairly sure that at six weeks she was still suckling at her mother’s breast and snuggling with her siblings in a pile of warm, spring hay in the barn where she was born. She clung—poor wee thing—to the soft pile of my sweater, mewling in bewilderment. Where are my teasing brothers and soft sisters? I want the sweet smells of straw and cows and milk. I want the warm fur of my mom and the sound of scuttling feet scampering in the night. As she pressed herself against me, I marveled at how tiny and vulnerable she felt under my caressing fingers. Little did I know how scared I would be of the sudden responsibility for one fragile life. I knew nothing of proper care for a new born kitten. What would I call her? I wanted her to be my friend, more than just a pet kitten. Her name needed to reflect her

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sweetness. I tested a few before christening her with the sound and feel of Josie. Fast becoming accustomed to the alien environment of my home, this growing feline would soon clamber for independence. Soon enough, we settled into our new relationship, each day still novel and unexplored. The world of indoor apartment living was in complete contrast to the wild, fresh, animated life of the barn. Though Josie learned every nook and cranny of her new home, slept warm and safe in my bed and staked out the back of an easy chair as her own, still she was restless. She longed for the great outdoors. Nothing I could do would erase her precious memories, nor did I want to squelch her adventurous spirit. I too knew the longing to fly free, to let my spirit dance with the wind. Knowing this, how could I deny her the opportunity to stretch her curiosity to the limit? The short and long of it was…I couldn’t. My small basement suite was located in the back of a modest, four story apartment complex. Unfortunately, my rooms looked out onto the parking lot, the view being the wheels and fenders of parked cars. The danger, as you can imagine, was not the wheels that were stationary, but the ones that were rolling around the corner preparing to park. The upside, if there was one, was the beautiful field of colorful flowers and long grasses that spread in wide acres next door. Josie knew, instinctively, the seductive world that lay just outside her window. I waited for her to settle in, but the call of the wild was irresistible. Her sad pleas to roam in the open spaces increased as time passed. The moment arrived when I could no longer resist her ever insistent supplications. I was terrified. My mind saw her frozen by bright headlights after nightfall or cowering before gigantic black treads. The day might come when she would lie lifeless outside my window, or worse, in some unknown field. Still, I had to set her free to ramble and to explore, to allow her full expression of herself. The air and the natural world were in her blood; they were her birthright. My shoulders sagged as her mewling began anew. Gently holding her close, I slid the window open, reaching through the opening to tenderly set her on the ground beneath the shelter of the overhead balcony. I let her go. Small and innocent, Josie never looked back. Walking forward alone, she made a straight path toward the open field. In moments, she was gone. Spring was in the air, the evening soft and warm. What lay in wait for her? Would she remember home? Would she want to return? The choice was hers. I could only watch, wait… and worry. All evening I held a vigil. My book lay unopened, on my lap. Searching diligently from the window, no shining orbs

peered from beneath car and wheel. I went outside to gaze into the adjacent field, straining with squinting eyes over the swaying grasses. The night went on forever. I was sure that she was far away, enjoying her new found freedom. I went to bed sad, but resigned to the inevitable emptiness. “Mew…mew.” The finest music awoke me in the wee hours of the morning, the greatest of all imaginable gifts. Wide awake, in an instant she was in my arms. With barely a word, we were soon cuddled close, happy to be safely reunited in our cozy, familiar nook. She had won me over. Though I never hesitated to let her out whenever she asked, my heart was never completely at ease until I saw her lovable face at my window again. I suppose we settled into a pleasant routine thereafter. I soon learned, however, that a dream does not always run side by side with reality. Josie was often left alone, not only during the day, but in the evening as well, when I took evening classes or visited a friend. Her isolation weighed heavily on me and I resolved to remedy this oversight. A friend had acquired a public garden plot and offered me half. The spot was in the country, perhaps five miles from where I lived near the outskirts of town. I bicycled everywhere. Poor Josie! Determined that she not be left alone again, I devised a plan. An ingenious plan, if only she had realized the extent of her good fortune. At times, we must all learn the hard way, and so she did. I learned as well, of course, but something needed to change and, in the end, we won the day—I think. I bought a charming, round basket about eight inches at the base and a foot deep with slanted walls. I lined the bottom with a thick towel. Knowing that she was not entirely happy in confined areas, I set Josie inside so that she could explore…you know…get a feel for yet another enclosed space. I reasoned that, with time, she would come to appreciate the arrangement; a small concessions for the greater good. I attached the container to the carrier rack on the back of my bike; a perfect perch for my wee companion. The basket had one problem. The single, rather flimsy, latch was placed opposite the hinge so that, even when securely fastened, did not hold the sides of the lid in place. Thus, inquisitive kitten face poked through the sides easily, impatient to see everything that was racing along outside. You can imagine the difficulty with this plan. Could she resist jumping out? Was she smart enough to understand the danger? Apparently not, as you will see. We set out on a balmy, spring day, sun shining and new buds sprouting everywhere, making good time on the quiet country road that led to my garden. Of course, the journey was not undisturbed for my young friend could not resist poking her nose from under the lid. I was frequently compelled to gently push her little head back under cover. Periodically, a car would pass us, so I was not entirely surprised when one slowed to cycling speed to inform me that Josie’s face was peeking over the side of her basket. I assured them that all was peachy, waving cheerily as they

sped away. Secretly, I was not assured at all but confidence is everything, is it not? Upon arriving at our destination, I breathed a sigh of satisfied relief. My plan might work after all. While I planted and weeded, I allowed her to wander among the sprouting plants, calling to her regularly in order to curb her tendency to disappear. With only a little consternation, I worked and she played until daylight began to fade. The ride home was as pleasant in the late afternoon as it had been earlier in the day with a replay of our respective concerns gleefully repeating themselves. More and more, I turned, only to find Josie’s determined little eyes surveying the passing countryside. Happily, a moment came when no whiskered face adorned the space between lid and basket. A smug smile crossed my lips—for about three magical seconds. What if she wasn’t inside? I stopped my bike, dismounting slowly. I paused, preparing myself for the worst. I lifted the lid. I blinked. The basket was empty. My heart sank. How long had it been? How far back did she land, rolling tail over whiskers? I lay my bicycle along the grass-lined ditch and began to amble back the way I had come…..calling without ceasing, “Josie….where are you? Josie….come on wee one….. Josie…..where are you? Josie…..Josie….” I felt no hope. The grass was too long. She was already running nimbly across the big field, I was sure. The minutes lingered in slow motion. “Josie….can you hear me? Josie……are you...” “Mew…mew…” a small voice cried out from within the sedge. “Josie?….Josie….” “Mew…mew…” “Josie”… “mew..” and then I saw her, racing and bounding through the long reeds, her fluffy body pelting toward the sound of my voice, into my outstretched arms. In that instant, she recognized me and was running home. She would always be a free spirit, longing for adventure, but when the day was done, her heart would return to the safe familiarity of our comfy nest. Reunited, I again placed her in the basket, hoping that she now understood. As we took to the road, her nose immediately pushed through the opening once again. This time, she was content to watch the world spin by in style. For that moment, we were of one heart, our paths meandering side by side as the sun followed us home.

ANNE MASON’S creative spark evolved while writing a novel about a Butterfly and a Grizzly Bear. Her repertoire includes several poems and short stories, in which poetic images seem to give shape to her ideas. She has had poetry published in Halcyon, has a nonfiction short story accepted for a local anthology for Sarnia’s one hundredth anniversary and received third prize for a short story in a local contest. Anne currently resides in Sarnia, Ontario where she regularly attends ‘Writers in Transition,’ a writing group that encourages and inspires. Contact Anne at anne_mason8246@yahoo.ca.

Halcyon - Spring 2014


my backyard elm winter barren a moment ago bears velvety blossoms of grey pigeons cooing songs of spring Venera Fazio © triocean / Dollar Photo Club

My Mother’s Hands By Venera Fazio At five years of age my mother’s hands kept pace with her sharecropper parents as they gathered sacks of almonds, hazelnuts, and winter olives. She knew their harvest was divided between them and the landowner, the Duke. My mother’s hands remembered the poverty of her seven siblings as she tightly wound parcels in strips of faded bed sheets to ensure a safe postal journey to Sicily. Her hands stirred heavy pots of pasta large enough to feed two families, the five of us and the immigrant relatives we sheltered. My mother’s hands smelled of pickle factory brine where she worked after my father’s depression kept him home. My mother’s hands paid a week’s factory salary for my chiffon graduation dress the color of the cobalt Mediterranean she left behind. My mother’s hands gently caressed the cheeks of her grandchildren. My mother’s hand halted the dialysis machine declaring, my time has come. My mother’s hands rested on the hospital bed sheet. Her body radiated white light of eternal grace. After reading poem of same title by Joseph Farina Published Tower Poetry, Nov. 2011 © Melpomene / Dollar Photo Club

VENERA FAZIO was born in Sicily and now lives in Bright’s Grove, ON. Before dedicating herself to writing and editing, she worked as a social worker (MSW). Altogether she has co-edited six anthologies relating to her culture of origin including the recent Descant issue, Sicily: Land of Forgotten Dreams. Her poetry and prose have been published in literary magazines in Canada, Italy and the United States. She is currently working on an anthology highlighting Italian Canadian women writers. Halcyon - Spring 2014 |


Snow Melt By Joseph Farina the first hard rain force-feeding spring washes away the flotsam and jetsam in frozen snow cleanses both earth and man while dissolving the lock of winter rough chisles with fluid blades high piled snow drifts into forms and shapes mottled gargoyles: anchored on lawns and asphalt melting each imagined beast away snow melt feeds curbside tributaries into depression lagoons and saltpan deltas emptying into grated falls the sound of water rushing surrounding

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primavera * By Joseph Farina

children in pink rain boots test the quickening slush surge and depth with jumps and boot scrapes and yellow paper boat launches of pirate galleons

remembrance and forever are too soon as i breathe spring's night scenery‑

their parents dry behind misted windows and I wonder, if they, like me see themselves in the forever parallels of snow melt, rubber boots and buccaneer journeys on curbside rivers to adventure

if you were here i would offer you soft winds and gentle light ‑ whispers to stir your hair with a thousand poems of which my love was constituted ‑ form you into the images of this moistness mold you in words and phrases complete of sensate confessions with this poem at springs' feet. * spring in Italian

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JOSEPH A FARINA is a practicing lawyer in Sarnia, On. He has been published in many journals in Canada, the USA and Europe. He is the author of two books of poetry, The Cancer Chronicles and Ghosts of Water St. Contact Joseph at jfarina@cogeco.ca. Halcyon - Spring 2014

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Iambic Lullaby By Mary Calzonetti How can I breathe as I lean down and watch while these spare beauties dream -the day's displays of angst and glee, of orneriness washed blank and clean? They've gone quite still and far for now. Those wide-set petal lids disguise a gleam to underscore each deed. It waits in their enormous eyes. Spring morning will bring much to learn. They'll watch and imitate and burn with endless need to stretch and grow, in God's own garden, in their row. But do these Hummel children feel my presence when I come and kneel? I study cheeks and lips and pray, God, keep them with me one more day.

MARY CALZONETTI, writer, lives with her husband and children on the high plains of Kansas, in the new west town of Garden City. After a long career in corporate marketing and public relations, she now splits her time between freelance writing and editing, and her day (and night) job—reporting to her two young daughters.

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The Rose Matthew Wilson The cold was done, and half sleeping, she woke, shaking her fiery hair free of snow. Her kin blinked at her, and she was pleased to have such a large family. Spring was a time of volume, to act quickly before the laze of summer sun, and the threat of fall's fallen. Letting the sun warm her face, she unfurled her arms, and perfumed the wind with her scent to tell passing bees she needed a carrier. To give next spring her children.

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MATTHEW WILSON, 30, has had over 100 appearances in such places as Horror Zine, Star*Line, Spellbound, Illumen, Apokrupha Press, Hazardous Press, Gaslight Press, Sorcerers Signal and many more. He is currently editing his first novel and can be contacted on twitter @matthew94544267.

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Mother’s Day By Debbie Okun Hill We argued for months. Today, swaying in backyard hammock we allow spring-scented breeze to rock us together: white cords cradling us like newborns seeing each other for the first time. You try on my penny loafer but it’s too small I try on your bronze sandal it’s too big and we laugh… …laugh again at my pointed feet, your square toes. Sunny seconds later, you count four black specks I see only three dead flies dangling from thin silk thread; a spider’s web on budding ash limb. We start to argue but recall it’s still Mother’s Day and it doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong because at that moment we can still embrace celebrate unique differences between mother/daughter before the tangerine sun sets leaves us fighting mosquitoes instead.

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DEBBIE OKUN HILL is one of five Canadian poets featured in ENCOMPASS 1, a new TOPS anthology series published by Beret

Days Press. This Spring 2014, Black Moss Press will publish her first trade book. She is also currently working on a new poetry manuscript thanks to a grant from the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) Writers’ Reserve program. Halcyon - Spring 2014 |


Variations of a Red Alarm Clock By Michael Fadum Mums woke up early. Rain summons the blooms to spring. The colors follow frost.

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The Ghost of the Grasshopper By Michael Fadum The locust cuts leaves, Leaving his semicircle, A mark for his time.

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MICHAEL FADUM writes poetry and has a graduate degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in Creative Writing. His work has

been published in The Absolute, Blaze Vox, DM Du Jour and Stepping Stones Literary Journals. Michael attempts to construct original material through the lens of a contemporary fictional reality and writes in both free verse and traditional forms. Halcyon - Spring 2014

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An Unforgettable Childhood Vision By Norma West Linder


had a mystical vision when I was five. Though it was shortly before Easter, it was not a religious apparition. I saw a huge brown rabbit hopping around our living room dispensing coloured eggs from a basket he carried in one front paw. It took a long time to convince me my imagination had gone into overdrive. Easter on Manitoulin Island was often bitterly cold. Nevertheless, we youngsters donned our new finery for our basement Sunday school class and vied with each other as fashion plates just as the adult women in the pews up above us were doing. We were, I add in our defence, occasionally aware that Easter meant more than new dresses and chocolate treats. The age-old Bible stories held us in thrall. We could picture the surprise of the followers of Jesus when they returned on the third day to find the

huge boulder rolled away and the crucified body of their leader gone. Before the time of Christ, many people worshipped gods and goddesses. The Goddess of Spring was called Eastre. Early Christians celebrated Easter as the New Year and often gave each other gifts. Ever since ancient times, people have had a feast day at the coming of spring. About 300 years after the birth of Jesus, a church council decided Easter would fall on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox–the day divided into equal hours of dark and daylight, around March 21st. Some churches, such as the Orthodox Eastern, celebrate several weeks later.


well recall sitting in church as a teenager, singing “Alleluia” at the top of my lungs. We lived in Gravenhurst then, and my older sister and I attended services in the Anglican Church with commendable regularity. Our behaviour, however, was not always exemplary. For some perverse reason, we chose to sit next to an elderly man who sang not only off-key, but with so much vibrato he had us in stitches. We tried, not always successfully, to choke back our laughter. I suppose we sat near him because we found the challenge appealing. There’s no accounting for the motivation of the young. We did behave, though, at every Easter service. Easter was special. It’s been decades since I hid candy eggs around the house for my three children. I still recall what fun it was to watch their pyjama-clad figures scurrying around in great excitement to fill their baskets with rainbow-coloured eggs. I hid them well. Too well, sometimes, because months later I would often come across a sticky mess in an overlooked corner of the oven drawer or some other secret spot. When it comes to housework, I’ve always run a loose ship. Still, I’ll probably get caught up in the madness of spring cleaning that strikes most women around this time. I prefer, though, to live by Persian poet Omar Khayyam’s words of wisdom. Though he died circa 1123, thanks to Edward FitzGerald’s 19th century translations, his words live on: “Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring The winter garment of Repentance fling: The Bird of Time has but a little way To fly–and Lo! the Bird is on the wing.”

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NORMA WEST LINDER is Past President of the Sarnia Branch of the Canadian Authors Association, a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, The Ontario Poetry Society, and Writers in Transition. Author of 5 novels, 12 collections of poetry, a memoir of Manitoulin Island, a children’s book, a biography of Pauline McGibbon, and numerous short stories, published internationally and aired over the CBC. For 24 years, she taught English at Lambton College in Sarnia. Linder wrote a weekly column for The Observer for seven years. Her latest publications are Adder’s-tongues, a poetry collection edited by James Deahl, and a collection of short stories, No Common Thread, released in August of 2013 from Hidden Brook Press. She has two daughters and a son. Halcyon - Spring 2014 |


Spring Hues

Spring Bunnies

By Lorna Pominville

By Lorna Pominville

Spring flowers poking their heads

Little brown rabbits hop across the yard. Bunnies, bunnies everywhere, there must be a score or more. Are they coming to eat the tender new shoots on the shrubs? They will be disappointed. There is not much left for them. Last fall they ate the euonymus bush yet again. During the winter they chewed the spiraea bushes down to little nubs. And Easter eggs? Not a one in sight.

through the snowy ground, promise an array of bright colours to herald the new season. Tulips, hyacinths and daffodils show off their brilliant hues competing with new spring finery in the Easter Parade.

Š Colette | Photoxpress.com

Š Roberto Zocchi | DollarPhotoClub

LORNA POMINVILLE is a retired nurse living in Sarnia, Ontario and attends the writing group, WIT (Writers in Transition). While traveling to various parts of the world working as a cruise ship nurse, she wrote monthly travel articles for an on-line magazine for eighteen months. In 2011 she wrote and self published a book of short stories titled, "Alpha! Alpha! Alpha! Tales of a Cruise Ship Nurse." The recent publication of WIT's anthology, And a River Runs By It, contains two of Lorna's short stories about Sarnia. She also dabbles in poetry. Halcyon - Spring 2014

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Resilience By Dawn Schrieber When last winter withered apple is gone And the snowline recedes at long last When the ground lies moist and wet And brilliant sun breaks through sky overcast When green buds peek from their husks And the robin begins to build its nest When mold and dust are shooed out of doors And parkas and mittens are put to rest When the bee attends to new colors And fallow deer throws speckled fawn When timber wolf sheds thick winter coat And the world grows eager for the dawn And when April rains on fresh leaves drum We know that spring has finally come

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Pavasara Laiks By Dawn Schrieber PAVASARA LAIKS (SPRING SPRING TIME)

A thicket thick with sparrows Twittering in the bramble Clumps of snow slipping off water-slick branches Splattering in spring slush Icicles dripping, songbirds fluttering In the drops, washing off winter dust Stretching In Spring Sunshine

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DAWN SCHRIEBER is a freelance writer and novelist who is thrilled to see her work in Halcyon’s Spring issue. She has been published in Halcyon previously, in The PROWlers: A professional Writing Anthology, and with ACUAvitae (the Alberta Council for Ukranian Arts biannual magazine). Dawn, who holds a degree in professional writing, volunteers for a community newspaper and is working to finish her first novel—and epic fantasy that concerns her two main loves: nature and dragons. Contact her at dawn.schrieber@gmail.com. Halcyon - Spring 2014 |


This carpet of spring To cuddle my toes in. Such a fragrant rug!

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JOAN MCNERNEY’S poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline,

Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press Anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Publications. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net. Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses. Halcyon - Spring 2014

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Mother’s Day

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By Wayne Faust A mother takes her three year old son to see the sights in Washington DC. She is agonizing over that fact that so far in her life, she doesn’t seem to have done anything significant like the people they built all those monuments to…


Mom and her little boy stood gaping up at the Washington Monument. There was a light spring mist falling gently on their faces. They could just see a red blinking light on top of the monument before the sky gave way to clouds and fog. “That’s a really high building, Mommy,” remarked the three year old boy; head pitched all the way back, mouth open like he was trying to catch flies. He wore a baseball jacket with emblems from all the major league teams sewn on it by hand. His jeans had patches on the knees covering patches. His tennis shoes had 'Play' written in marker on the left toe and 'Ball' written on the right toe because his preschool was just learning left from right. “Yes, Honey, it sure is high,” answered Mom as she held his hand. The gray mist and clouds matched her mood as they took in the sights. It was a holiday, just her and Aaron, but she didn't feel very festive. She was already twenty-five years old and what did she have to show for it? All these people in the nation’s capitol were making a difference in the world, just like she always thought she would. She was gonna be somebody. But now... Aaron tugged on her sleeve. “Let's go see something else, Mommy!” “Okay, Honey. How about the Lincoln Memorial?” “Lincoln 'Morial? Wow! What's that?” “Well, we’ll just have to go and find out!” she said as cheerfully as she could manage. She didn't want her mood to rub off on Aaron. He had been counting the days to this outing for two weeks. Above all, she wanted him to have a real special day. Halcyon - Spring 2014 |


When they got to the Lincoln Memorial, she let his hand go so he could run up the steps. “Come on, Mommy!” he called when he got to the top. “Let's go see!” She trudged up the steps and stood alongside him. They stood in the quiet rotunda, alone with the big statue of Lincoln. Their breathing echoed off the granite walls and mingled with the sound of a gentle drizzle on the pavement below. “Who was that man, Mommy?” She thought for a minute. How could you tell a three year old about Abraham Lincoln? “Well, he was a very great president. One of the best I think. He was president when our country was fighting a long, terrible war with itself. But he kept the whole country together. And he set a lot of people free.” “You mean like free stuff at the store?” “No, Honey. Free means you can live your life the way you want. Nobody can make you do anything you don't want to do.” The words rang hollow in her head. Fat chance she could do the things she wanted to do these days. Not since… “Am I free, Mommy?” “Of course you are, Sweetheart.” “Then how come I have to go to bed at 8:30 every night?” She couldn’t help but chuckle. Her son might be only three but he was already grasping things pretty quickly. “Little boys have mommies to take care of them,” she said. “Because they’re little children and not adults. They need

mommies to show them how to grow up strong and healthy. That’s why they make rules. If mommies do their jobs right, maybe their little boys or little girls can grow up to be as famous as Abraham Lincoln.” He took off his Nationals’ baseball cap and scratched his head. “Is it your job to be a mommy?” “One of my jobs,” she said quietly. The little boy’s eyes lit up. “Then maybe you can be the most famous mommy in the whole world and they'll build a statue for you!” She shook her head and laughed. “I don't think so, Honey. Let's go see the White House.” They walked toward Pennsylvania Avenue but couldn't get close because the President was giving a Mother's Day party on the front lawn underneath brightly-colored canopies. There were Secret Service agents everywhere and soldiers on rooftops, brandishing guns. The Avenue was closed and crowds had gathered across from the White House in Lafayette Park. Everyone was massed together, standing on tiptoes, looking toward the White House to try and get a glimpse. They took their place in the mob, jockeying for position. She held Aaron’s hand as they tried to find an open place where they could see. “I'm scared, Mommy. Pick me up?” She lifted him and he hugged her neck, holding on tight. “I'm glad you're here, Mommy,” he whispered. “I would really be scared without you.” “It's okay, Honey. Mommy's here. You wanna get on my shoulders and see if you can spot the President?” “Okay.” She lifted him up. “Does the president live in that big house?” he shouted in her ear. “Yes, he does.” “Boy, he must be pretty important!” “He is, Honey,” she muttered. “Let’s go, Mommy. There's too many people here.” “Okay, Sweetie.” She set him down and they made their way to a nearby hot dog stand. They had hot dogs and French fries for dinner, and since it was a special day she got Aaron some ice cream for dessert. Then, as the misty daylight waned, they headed to the bus stop. On the bus, she stared out the window with her son on her lap and watched the traffic splash by them on the street. After a few minutes, the motion of the bus rocked her son to sleep, leaving her to her thoughts. Her mind was a jumble of conflicting emotions. But one thought overwhelmed all the rest. What had happened to her hopes? Her dreams? She had had so many dreams. Had they simply vanished like smoke? Aaron stirred in her lap and she stroked his head. He mumbled contentedly and drifted off again. He felt so warm and nice there. She wanted the best for him, there was no doubt about that. But what had she left behind? Later that night in their small apartment, they played 'Go Fish' in Aaron’s bedroom. It was his favorite game. He loved to yell “Go fish!” at the top of his lungs whenever he didn't have the card his Mom asked for. And then he would laugh and laugh. He seemed to be a really happy child, in spite of not having a lot of the things that some of his friends had. She read to him every night and he had already started recognizing words. He would soon be reading out loud by himself.

“Pretty important time, I guess,” she mumbled. “What did you say, Mommy?” he asked over the tops of his cards. “Nothing, Honey. Have you got any....eights?” “Go fish!” he shouted, and his giggle sounded like a smile. When the game was finished, she pulled back the sheets. “Okay, Tiger, time for bed.” “Aw, Mom, it's our big day!” “Yes, it is. That's why it's 10:45 and you’re still up. But now it’s time to go to bed.” “Will you lay down with me and say prayers?” “Of course, Sweetie. Just like always.” She turned on his Thomas the Train nightlight and it cast a bluish glow on the wall. Then she switched off the main light and snuggled next to her son, her legs hanging off the end of the bed. She folded her hands over his. He squeezed his eyes shut tightly but she kept hers open, gazing down at the strand of dark hair on his forehead. He cracked one eye open. “Do you want me to go first?” he asked. “Sure,” she answered. “Thank you for Mommies,” he said earnestly, his eyes screwed shut again. “Thank you for our nice warm house. And thank you for Mommy's job, which is being a Mommy. Amen.” He looked up with eyes wide open. “Was that okay?” “Fine, Sweetheart.” “Now you.” “Okay.” She thought for a long moment. Her son's hands felt small and warm inside of hers. “Thank you for our nice warm house,” she said. They lived in subsidized housing but she hoped that it seemed like Camelot to a three year old. “Thank you for Mommies and little boys,” she continued. “Especially little boys named Aaron.” She heard him chuckle beneath her. “And…and…” Her voice caught in her throat. “And…thank you for Mommy’s job.” She untwined their hands. He looked up at her with a sleepy smile. “Night night, Mommy.” “Night night,” she said. She stood up and started toward the door. “Mommy?” he called after her. She turned around. His head had popped up like a cork and she could see his eyes sparkle in the dim light of the nightlight. “I forgot to tell you,” he said. “Tell me what?” “Happy Mother’s Day.” She made her way back over to the bed and lay down next to her little boy. She wrapped her arms around him. “I choose you,” she whispered. She stayed there like that, holding him in her arms until long after he fell asleep. WAYNE FAUST has been a full time music and comedy performer for over 35 years, performing in 40 US states, and overseas in Holland, England and Scotland. His songs are heard on the radio and internet in places as far away as Australia and Japan. While on the road, he writes fiction and has had over 35 stories published in various places, and has also written two full length, published books - "Thirty Years Without A Real Job," and "12 Parables." His Halcyon story "Mother's Day" was inspired by an entertainment tour he took to the east coast a few years back. You can find more about Wayne's endeavors, both literary and musical, on his website at www.waynefaust.com. Halcyon - Spring 2014

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Atop Split Rock By Richard King Perkins II She’s dampened by slightest April mist fallen from a heavy brow of cloud. To reach this promontory she’s taken the simplest daring route— buffeted by unseen wingbeats of air. Having climbed to meet the feeble rain, she sits beneath a wild fruit canopy to make herself powerfully known. She grafts herself to a tree and an apple buds from her hand.

she’s taken the simplest daring route— buffeted by unseen wingbeats of air.

The gentle bells of Easter morning flow to fill a yawning heaven and tell the world there is something more alive than animal or plant.

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RICHARD KING PERKINS II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a wife, Vickie and a daughter, Sage. Richard is a two-time Pushcart nominee and his work has appeared in hundreds of publications including Poetry Salzburg Review, Halcyon, Sheepshead Review, Sierra Nevada Review, The William and Mary Review, Two Thirds North and The Red Cedar Review. I have poems forthcoming in Bluestem, Emrys Journal and December Magazine. Halcyon - Spring 2014 |


Santa Maria By Michael Jerry Tupa Red rolls the ocean sweeping to the horizon’s edge I stumble, I lurch, my eyes roam for a reverent shore. I grow dizzy, vision strain’d, bouncing on the billowing blanket of the restless sea. Will I ever again feel the warm embrace of a serene harbor, or am I doomed to always chase the sun, © Tsian | Photoxpress.com

while I am pushed forward by angry, watery fingers, and with only dreams — and hopes — by which, to navigate

Quiet Dreams By Michael Jerry Tupa I dance in sunlight, the breeze sets the tempo, I throw back my head

my wandering heart.

and laugh at a spring kite, day passing so slow, happiness unsaid, my arms raised to the sky — an endless prayer — tickled by wind’s fingers, never asking why. no worries, no care, but nature’s glow lingers, even through quiet night, when I close my thousand eyes, and lower my leaves, washed by moonlight — my resident owl sighs, while I silently cleave to my unspoken dreams.

© Oleg Znamenskiy | DollarPhotoClub

MICHAEL JERRY TUPA is not a lifelong poet—but more than 40 years ago he first took pen in hand and described, by verse, his impressions during a drive through mountain roads. Since then, his poetry has followed him along his life's journey to many different vistas, both geographically and emotionally. Michael’s experiences include a college education, a long career as a sportswriter, and time spent in religious and military service. Halcyon - Spring 2014

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Halcyon May your journey through the this season be a breeze! Thanks for reading Halcyon—Spring 2014

© Subbotina Anna | Photoxpress.com

Halcyon - Spring 2014 |



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