Framed & Familiar: 101 Portraits

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Jose Alberto Perez Cover Award Winner

Framed & Familiar

Framed & Familiar 101 Portraits

Poetry Editor Antony Di


An International Anthology of Poetry and Photography

First Edition

SandCrab Books is an imprint of Wet Ink Books

Copyright © 2022 Authors and Photographers

All rights revert to the authors and photographers. All rights for book, layout and design remain with SandCrab Books. No part of this book may be reproduced except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review. The use of any part of this publication reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopied, recorded or otherwise stored in a retrieval system without prior permission in writing from the publisher or a licence from The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright) is prohibited. For an Access Copyright licence, visit: or call toll free: 1.800­893­5777.

Other titles: Framed and familiar, 101 portraits

Photography Editor – Wency Alexander Rosales Cover Image – Jose Alberto Perez Cover Design – Richard M. Grove Layout and Design – Richard M. Grove Publisher – Richard M. Grove

Identifiers: Canadiana (print) 20220283567 | Canadiana (ebook) 2022028363X | ISBN 9781989786710 (softcover) | ISBN 9781989786727 (PDF)

Subjects: LCSH: Poetry, Modern—21st century.

Copyright © 2022 SandCrab Books

An International Anthology of Poems and Pics

Names: Di Nardo, Antony, 1949- editor. | Rosales, Wency Alexander, editor.

Framed & Familiar: 101 Portraits

Poetry Editot – Antony Di Nardo

Printed and bound in Canada

Typeset in Garamond

Title: Framed & familiar, 101 portraits : an international anthology of poetry and photography / poetry editor, Antony Di Nardo ; photography editor, Wency Alexander Rosales.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Distributed in USA by Ingram, – to set up an account – 1-800-937-0152

Classification: LCC PN6101 .F73 2022 | DDC 811.608—dc23

To sisterhoodinternationalandbrotherhood.Weareallonefamily.

Joseph Farina – p. 1 – 4

Jaydeep Sarangi – p. 102

John Unruh – p. 78

Samuel Salinas Ramos – p. 105 Sunil Sharma – p. 158

John B. Lee – p. 68, 70

Richard Marvin Tiberius (Tai) Grove – p. 124 – 127 Robert Priest – p. 199

Chuck MacInnis – p. 133

Linda Hutsell-Manning – p. 100, 101

Elizabeth McCallister – p. 152

Bob Wood – p. 196

Kathryn MacDonald – p. 189, 190

Michael Mirolla – p. 20, 22 Miguel Ángel Olivé Iglesias – p. 77

Marvyne Jenoff – p. 66

Donna Langevin – p. 110 – 112

Raeesa Usmani – p. 79

Ted Amsden – p. 38 – 40

Donna Wootton – p. 29

Dianalee Velie – p. 186 – 188

Elena Venables – p. 50

Beth Gobeil – p. 120 – 123

Glen Sorestad – p. 25

Blaine Marchand – p. 176

Mia Burrus – p. 41

Gwynn Scheltema – p. 51 – 53

JC Sulzenko – p. 174, 175

Felicity Sidnell Reid – p. 89, 91

Roger Nash – p. 113 – 115

John Tyndall – p. 206 – 208

Chris Gartland – p. 103

K.V. Skene – p. 60

Tanya Standish McIntyre – p. 11

Dan MacIsaac – p. 8

Rhonda Melanson – p. 154, 155

Jill Solnicki – p. 191

Keith Inman – p. 36, 37

Kate Rogers – p. 209

Arleen Paré – p. 7

Terry Watada – p. 159 Vanessa Shields – p. 145, 146

Don Gutteridge – p. 218 – 220

Mike Madill – p. 177 Nathalie Sorensen – p. 204

Tea Gerbeza – p. 76

Karen Sylvia Rockwell – p. 198

Bob MacKenzie – p. 27, 28

List of Authors:

Alyda Faber – p. 156, 157

Danny Peart – p. 147

Tanya Adèle Koehnke – p. 24 Tanya Korigan – p. 135

Lisa DiMenna – p. 142 – 144 Louisa Howerow – p. 168, 169

April Bulmer – p. 86 – 88

Ian Fitzgerald – p. 132

Basudhara Roy – p. 23

Jorge Alberto Pérez Hernández – p. 166

John Di Leonardo – p. 184, 185

John Di Leonardo – p. 75

Jorge Alberto Pérez Hernández – p. 56 – 59, 140, 160, 161, 212 Jose Alberto Perez – p. i, 1-5, Jose Henris Martinez – p. 141, Juan Miguel Verdecia – p. 80, 81, 170, 171, 216, Karen Naranjo – p. 18, 19, Linda Hutsell-Manning – p. 178

Chuck MacInnis – p. 54, 57, Dany Hernandez Hernandez – p. 200

List of Photographers

Amanda Hale – p. 55, 148 – 151, 164, 221. Angel Kindelan – p. 129 Anna Di Nardo – p. 116 – 119

Darren Creighton – p. 14, 62, 63, 192 – 195, 201, El Ojo Magica – p. 106 – 109 Er Vijay Richhiya – p. 130

Fátima Lazara Carmenate – p. 12, Hector Silva – p. 16, 17, Hector Silva Esquivel – p. 82, 83, JJ Medina – p. 64, 65, 213

Lynn Tait – p. 13, 15, 136, 180, 202, 203 Mike Venables – p. 137 Raydel Castellanos – p. 85, 138, 172, 173, 179, 181, 183, 215, 217 Richard Marvin Tiberius (Tai) Grove – p. 6, 42 – 49, 131, 184, 222 – 225, 236 Ted Amsden – p. 72 – 74 Uttam Chatterjee – p. 210

Wency Rosales – p. 30 – 35, 84, 92 – 99, 139, 214,

Anna Panunto – p. 128

Alexis Arevalo Quesada – p. 162, 163

Basudara Roy – p. 165, 211

Portraits in paint, in film, in prose, or carved in stone derive their energies from the self-awareness of the artist. Perspective, the angle of sight, how we lean in to look or listen, what the frame contains, all figure in the creation of the final portrait. Even the ubiquitous selfie, that “side-effect” of digital wizardry that turns the lens back on itself, relies on angles of proximity and degrees of self-awareness.

The poem as a portrait also is a function of the poet’s gaze in which words register an image, a sensation, an observation, a description, a relationship, a casual glance, or a fleeting impression (the list is longer). Some poets aim for a precision of language to convey a portrait that recreates the model, the sitter; others prefer to distort that image. There are poets who choose detachment, abstraction between the writer and the subject, be it animate or not. With others, the figure is filtered through the poet’s self, the poet’s voice, in order to capture a unique and

What’s in a portrait? A face? A profile? Some aspect of the subject’s inner self? A fragment of the world that happens to inform it? Or, do we find in it a twinkle of the human gaze? A way of seeing, as the novelist and art critic, John Berger, tells us? Or perhaps it’s nothing more than our own reflection?

Framed & Familiar: Poetry Editor’s Introduction


A portrait is something of a mirror, but not that mirror we use to look at our self. It’s the one that directs the mind to look for ourselves. And into our souls. The distinction is significant, which is why portraits have been a source of fascination and intrigue since humans first saw their image in a reflecting pool or scratched a figure on the wall of a cave. One could argue that the earliest portrait drawn from life was a shadow cast by the sun. I’d even go as far as saying that our primal ancestors’ awareness of the changing aspect of their shadows gave rise not only to the possibility of portraiture, but may well have been responsible for the spark of consciousness that made us self-aware. And got us talking to each other.

singular experience. And then there’s the self-portrait which ultimately results in a written version of the selfie.

In one of my first books, Soul on Standby, the title poem concludes with the following line, a quote by the 20th century portrait artist, Lucian Freud:“what could be more surreal than a nose between two eyes?”

As I sat down to drink a cup of oolong tea on a couch painted by andVermeerconsidered the consequences related to losing a lifetime of unlimited access to a face created in the image of a Plasticine clock

I was flattened by the light and left to distinguish the two-dimensional from the mirror that Lucian Freud looked into when he said, what could be more surreal than a nose between two eyes?

I love that line: the question that needs no answer, that both refines and redefines the meaning of “surreal” and has us take a closer look at the human face. Here is the poem in its entirety which I submit to you as introduction to what you’ll find around the corner in this anthology of faces, voices and selfies.


Portrait of a Soul on Standby

Antony Di Nardo

In this anthology of poetry from across Canada, from Cuba, India and the USA, you’ll find “all of the above” as you swipe from page to page. The variety is staggering; the voices nothing less than a multitude. You’ll find snapshots, sketches, blow-ups, portraits of portraits, of cars and snowflakes, nudes and masks, family portraits, puzzle pieces, fragments of fragments, the faceless and the named, mirror-images and their reverse, a portrait of the wind, of chairs, the girl next door, a still life, and, of course, a portrait of the poet.

Photography and portraiture specifically must be considered as an art, as an eternal memory, as a tool to cross borders. Photographic portraits show the inner self, images that are maintained over time. When several artists converge, united for the same reason of sharing their ideas with the universe, their expressions, gestures, idiosyncrasies, even their culture acquires a different meaning. When these artists are mixed with literature it then solidifies the unity of the arts. Here, in this anthology of poetry and photographs, is an expression of brotherhood and sisterhood, solidarity and frankness. The words lead us to a photo, like a first meeting, an introduction to a subject.

When we launched into this ambitious project, in the midst of a world-wide pandemic, it seemed an overly difficult task to achieve. The invitation was for the photographer and the poet to feel free to interpret the theme of “portrait” in the broadest possible way: a family in a framed pose, friends side by side, a sketched profile in a single syllable, a lyrical snapshot, self as distortion, or even an epic classical gesture. Photos that reflect our human essence and everyday life, our wishes and desires, as well as our tragic sensibilities were all possibilities. To project through poetry and photography one’s inner and outermost dimensions were encouraged. Portraits could even put a stamp on the identity of the individual, like a “Wanted” poster. Portraits that were biographical or fictional, domestic or surreal were all possibilities. Portraits could portray all that words can say with the addition of an image imprinted on the onlooker’s mind.

There is nothing better on this occasion than to quote the Spanish professor, Jose Benito Ruiz, from “A year of Photography,” his university course. “Photography is so many things for so many people, it is a tool that serves the noble purpose of cultural dissemination, it is an intimate companion of the traveler, of the thinker, it allows capturing


Introduction from Photography Editor, Wency Rosales

readers, you will enjoy this magical gift of an unparalleled mix of portrait poems and portrait photographs.

Wency Rosales.


beauty, essence, sensations, recreates parallel worlds, non-existent visions, moves spirits, excites souls, captures time, immortalizes moments, combines with music, lyrics, awakens anxieties, encourages desires, fosters intelligence, transmits messages and teaches how to communicate...”Wehope,dear

As the publisher of this fine anthology, Framed and Familiar: 101 Portraits, I welcome you to a delectable banquet, an international collection of portrait poetry and portrait photographs.

An Introduction from the Publisher

This anthology is created because of and despite the vast distances of geography and the global differences of culture. Three Canada Cuba Literary Alliance brothers: Antony, Wency and myself, linked arms across land and sea with writers and photographers from around the world bringing the global reader a portrait of brother/sister hood. A portrait of brother/sister hood is what this anthology is all about. Hopefully this anthology will help to bring the harmony of unity that breaks all barriers. It is not an attempt at presenting a classical idea of portraiture but rather, in many ways, it is a snapshot of the global peoples-people; mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, family, friends and strangers.


Dear Fellow Poets, Photographers and Readers:

We might not all agree, all of the time, about what a “good” portrait is or even simply what a portrait is. In the same way we might never agree as to what makes a good portrait poem let alone a good poem. This anthology will hopefully bring people closer together and at the same time push one’s personal sense of what portraiture is and maybe even push the boundaries of what makes for good art. What makes for good poetry, photography and portraiture will always remain personal and incredibly subjective.

This tolerant attitude of having different perspectives is what makes for unity despite difference. Recently we heard, in the news about yet another mass shooting in the USA. My heart sank to think that we still have such a long way to go to arrive at a global beauty in diversity. God bless everyone in this book for contributing to global unity.

Richard M. Grove / Tai

Let me comment briefly on the plethora of pics in this book. We were overwhelmed by the number of photographs that were submitted and sad that we could not use them all. A fear of presenting so many pics is that they might over shadow the wonderful poems. After careful consideration we decided to clump them together in identifiable groups so the poetry and the photographs could shine equally. In the end we had almost an equal number of poetry pages as photography pages.

I hope dear readers you will sit with a cup of hot tea and a friend, and pore over the images and poems and take a step closer to the human gaze to global unity. In your hands, or on your computer screen, gaze into an agreeable and lively discussion of what makes for a good portrait and how that can lead us into global brother/sisterhood. Allow for broader minds to prevail.


Framed & Familiar 101 Portraits

Jose Alberto Perez

Jose Alberto Perez


Jose Alberto Perez


Jose Alberto Perez



Jose Alberto Perez

Richard M. Grove / Tai


As a child I was neglected. As we all were when I was a child. We didn’t know.

She is someone I used to know. Once, twice. She’s been dead for two years. I keep the blow-up photo-print portrait on the shelf near my bed.


Arleen Paré

Portrait from a Mid-Fifties Photo Booth, Woolworth’s, Dorval

She’s someone I used to know. Once, twice, I knew her. As a child once we were children together.

And although she still stands black and white beside me in the blow-up headshot photobooth photograph with the skirt of the photobooth curtain pulled against the eyes of the five and dime crowd, and although my ten-year old right cheek is resting gainst her ten-year old left, our heads best-friending there in the five and dime cockpit, I haven’t been as close to her since.

That scowl a gathering storm, Churchill glares at the glass eye, the lens a gunsight in the steel bore, the shot like a break through an armored line, capturing the clamped hands, the crowbar elbow, shoulders braced, the stark cuffs and linked watch chain glinting across his bulk.

Dan MacIsaac


Karsh’s The Roaring Lion (1941)

Call the assault an eye for an eye, confronting the cold warrior stare.


Prud’hon’s L’Impératrice Joséphine (1805)

The stone-cutter’s son did right by the slaver’s daughter. Brushing in a soft visage, he hid her bad teeth rotted from sucking sugarcane stalks in the green fields of Martinique.

He showed off her magdalen charm with that long scarlet shawl unfurling like a dragon’s tongue, draping those round, peasant knees, not those shapely arms and breasts pale as curdled cream.

Note—The Musée du Louvre, formerly named the Musée Napoléon, houses this masterwork by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon depicting the Empress. A year after the portrait was completed, the little corporal Napoléon divorced his Créole wife.

Deep in the labyrinth of dream, lost in the dark maze of reverie, by Malmaison woods, she ponders, cast off by le petit caporal, yet possessed—heart, pose and spirit—by the rapt artist.

Undressed except for ring and bracelet, and one teardrop earring glistening, the other hidden by a torrent of hair, the patron’s bride waits for her lover. Passion is patient. Behind her, a servant girl kneels before the trousseau chest, rummaging through silks while another servant bears over her shoulder the bride’s brocade gown like a skinned pelt. Only the lapdog looks bored, curled asleep on the rumpled sheet. A goddess’s bared body becomes the dowry, her open gaze the nuptial gift. Naked, except for trinket bribes, she holds red roses for her ravisher.

Titian’s Venus of Urbano (1534)


As if art was trapped behind her light silk dress, the black epaulettes and satin sash; the bonechina cheeks and brushed slatepausedwaves;a-hundred-timesasifaminuetbeneaththebluepoolwithitsink-dark

Tanya Standish Mcintyre

irises where she sat watching the world; unmouthed words oddly bent, her posture hard to place, as if born a dancer to music long died away; as if she were a song sparrow with not one but two broken wings and this alone could explain the arresting, arrested gaze, the crinoline cries of sadness calling from beyond, as if the dream might yet reach out its arms to take her.


After Renoir’s Madeline Adam


Fátima Lazara Carmenate

Lynn Tait



Darren Creighton

Lynn Tait



Hector Silva


Hector Silva

Karen Naranjo



Karen Naranjo

On viewing from afar preparations for a funeral:

The final uncle fails to reach 94 for the plague year 2021


Let frame [within frame] be static. Webinar rigor mortis on camera. Nested in 2-dimensional layers. Fixed on screen. Let all moving through be captured within it. Flash red button in the corner recording for future consumption. Pixillated tree-like fronds of giant kelp undulating through floor-to-ceiling window-like openings. Outside? Outside, perhaps. Perhaps not. But inside the frame. No question on that. We must learn to let the reality sink in. Let the virtual sink in. Muted light to set the mood. Immanent glow. Picture … flowers … casket … table … chairs … dais.

To the right, some bric-a-brac left perhaps from a previous ceremony. At the centre, in the cross-hairs made to fool perception,

Michael Mirolla

To the left, a small troop of seats, dark-hued, more used to murmurs than musical chairs. At their foot, a dais rises to attention, waiting for a purple-robed guide to lead the baptized into the sea of divination. Atop a table of spilled liturgicals the bemused image of a middle-aged man stands smiling placeholder to what’s absent.

Go now to your designated places.


scentless flowers spill over semi-lidded casket. Calling out: “Look at us. Aren’t we the soft, pretty ones? Cut and bleeding yet still alive. Unlike others in this cardboard shroud: from makeshift altar to wax simulacrum.”

Make way for the pantomime to begin.


And make sure the chair shines forever bright. There’ll soon come a time when there’ll be no time. When the rings fall off those shard-like fingers. But even as the flesh that connects you to troubled dreams melts away, remember the go-go dancer in the nightclub window. Wild gyrations above a jealous earth.

The Red Chair for D

Red chair … chair-y red … not quite a wheelbarrow. For now, metal legs scraping on tile, you pull yourself toward the table’s oval-tine edge. Where, framed by a 50-year journey from teento diaper-hood, medicinal peace awaits: A purified glass of water to wash down the magic pills that keep your voices at bay.

How much depends on a chair’s ruby redness? There’ll soon come a time when only your ghost will sit in that chair. Fitting slot-like along the two indent-scars left by years of raw femur rubbing on faux leather. And, like you, she’ll be but partly there, to flit between worlds forever out of focus.

Reverse: There is no red without its chair. Closer. Come closer. Don’t let the echoes that sweat through chained-down hallways rob you of your appetite. Even if the memories rise to enfold you like a suffocating blanket. Even if they hold you down while wet sheets Are molded into the shape of your face.

Take the scarlet from the heart if need be. A muted Gilligan; a tongue-tied Fonz. It is lonely now that those voices seldom speak. To you. They have left you with nothing to say, haven’t they? Unable to respond. Only a crooked smile, a shuffling gait and a stare aimed at some place still electrode-attached.

When the wagon is full and in want of space, I am consistently the one to be left behind.

I want to tell them about things I am consistent at.

I consistently let melancholy fill my potholes, succumb consistently to loss.

In every relationship I have been in, I am consistently the most dispensable.


I consistently break down to pieces, consistently give refuge to the dark.

My parents accuse me of Someinconsistency.days,Iam as good as gold, scoring the best there is to be scored.

They who never had to choose over me in this world – I, being their only child.

Basudhara Roy

On others, I will underperform, grow imperturbable, indifferent to performance.

But my parents will understand none of this, having taught me to expect love as a right.

Self: An Understudy

Inconsistency, they believe, is what keeps me from going places.


I cut up my close-up into fifteen squares paste my perfect portrait onto plastic pieces of my slide puzzle leaving one empty space to rearrange my face  into an infinite jigsaw.

Flat four-sided tiles shift shimmy slip slide up down left right I glide the gambits across the board with my thumb and forefinger fracture my facade into a thousand-and-one complexions.

My new selves appear in the toy frame over and over and over again unposed and jumbled reconfigured and ever-changing I am a cubist woman in this game that I play.

Slide Puzzle

Tanya Adèle Koehnke


In this well-preserved sepia print the baby’s parents pose on the walkway leading to adjoining homes, 369 and 371 East Broadway, theirs the former. The baby cannot know this, nor the extent to which these digits will adhere to memory.

The smiling mother hovers, as if not yet prepared to concede her firstborn’s safety into the hands of the man she married a little over a year before.

Their wooden tenement home abuts Moore’s small corner grocery. The baby is not aware of this either, but he will come to know this store very well. His parents stand outside, along one wall, a large Orange Crush sign is backdrop, a rolled canvas awning for the store front visible in the upper right corner. His mother holds a handbag shaped like a medical valise, though it contains mostly diapers.

His beaming father, in tan topcoat, fedora tilted, a touch rakishly, holds his young son, who is tucked inside a baby wrap, head covered with a knitted cap.

Glen Sorestad

Under the Orange Crush Billboard

This photo will arrive in scattered, small village and town post boxes, tucked inside a Christmas card. On the back-side of the snapshot the proud mother will note her son now weighs 22 pounds at six and a half months.


It is early December and they may be returning from a visit with friends. Notice traces of snow near their feet, (a catalyst for the capture of this photo?) Christmas is near and this snapshot is intended to satisfy distant family and friends, all eager for a first look at the reported firstborn son.

While the rest of us around her swear like sailors ... she is an island of peace and tranquility

in the eye of the storm ... a woman from long ago with her hand over her mouth.

Bob Mackenzie



She reminds me of a woman from long ago, sometimes slightly scandalizes herself... Do you know what I mean though?

The kind of woman who says something ever so slightly shocking, and then she puts her hand over her mouth.

on a rock at the shore she sits imagines Euclidian triangles near a distant unseen horizon hid behind a watercolour mist she always sat on this beach alone but for occasional gulls hair tied back and yet windblown her dress and manner timeless


somewhere near a far shore small boats bob in sunshine their sails matched triangles against the sky’s still blue

sketch of a girl

the girl fades with the sunset I walk back into my own world leave the girl drowned long ago longing for the beauty of sails

Not Invisible

I am old but not invisible. My naturally grey hair shines  Among tinted and dyed heads. My stride is strong and long Among hesitant walkers. My spine erect and lengthened Among a population of shrinking bones.

I am old but not invisible. I am outspoken when others Are silenced by apathy. I am active while others Are too tired to move.

I am the smiling Mona Lisa. I am the dancing Isadora. I am a visible Colette.

Donna Wootton


Wency Rosales


Wency Rosales


Wency Rosales



Wency Rosales

Wency Rosales 34

Wency Rosales



Keith Inman

’41 chevy pick up

a whale breeching for krill mosquitoes filter her fadedgrillto rust with that candy stripe of apple red along the fender where the v for horse power used to be below side cracked mirrors and speckledhandleswith age-spots she fencedsits in foundations of mud heratrock-boundanoddangleroofshedding rain to vermin and a growingtreethrough her heart

then the section door sliced closed to a central guard behind glass and a bank of monitors

armpits soaked and out on bail he bought chips and left the second like a weight of thread dragged across his vein was the detective sergeant after the trial her hand shaking his in the back hall out of view of just about everyone as she said

thought you’d like to know he goes after girls with single moms your girlfriend was our third

billy noticed the inmate cleaning floors whispering to the standing guard who whispered back as they stared at him cut off


pulse against pressure

the first tug was at the corner store when the cashier stared at billy as if the word criminal was stamped on his forehead


And, yes, I fully acknowledge that I am what you’ve always wanted to be — perfect.

And while you may want to see the last of me and my kind admit it ...when I float and twist rise ‘n’ fallscurry on currents of air you love me!


The dazzle of diamonds in the slant of me. The waves of wind in my gathering.

What is a Snowflake?

Okay... I’m your worst nightmare when I hang with my buddies.

I am snowflake:mandala on your fingertip rain in a cloaking device water’s alter ego winter’s smallest biscuit a tongue treat on a winter’s day cold storage’s perfect edible.

And I delight in my many costumes: a rainbow prism for sunshine the taste of northern air the sparkling dust of moonlight.

Ted Amsden

What glue is to your mouth, we are to your driveway. What is a white cat on your head, that is us on your roof. But just like that thick blanket on your bed, we keep your fields warm.

Who else can park a gazillion examples of “small but beautiful” on your front lawn at a moment’s notice?

News, you say? What news? It’s 2022. That’s the news.

And admit, only alcoholics frolic with CBC & CNN.


It’s become academic about the pandemic. Your task is to mask. Keep your distance. Ensure your existence.

box and toss.

Be all you can be and then some.

Portrait of a New Year

So walk your dog, cut another log. At your age, read another page. In the Garden of Dead & Passing Narratives, ARt & Nature reign.

The tyranny of get it right, the bad behaviour of objects, the clown who calls itself, “you”

I will throw roses into the Grand Canyon. I will fire sentences at loneliness. I will charm darkness with the sweet sound of my voice.

This is the year we leave the future behind.

It’s 2022… It’s Time ladies!

experienced heartfelt fantasies of making America great again cried while texting my daughter about a healthcare worker who died due to COVID didn’t think about my merger investments becoming more meager took to TikTok like my mother took to her TV discovered my new found germaphobia entertaining who washes their cereal boxes? tried to get high off hand sanitizer in the parking lot of No Frills

used those hand weights that have been sitting in the living room for the first time learned to hang my clothes on a line a simple act that pushed me out of the house thankful for sunlight and wind

Me During Lockdown

found my bad jokes flopped at the LCBO but worked at the hardware store learned to Zoom okay not a big deal though it seemed so at the time thought kindly about my computer and the internet past pandemics short on devices of mass distraction


Mia Burrus

Slide Viewer

between the mountain and the man behind the camera lie unsounded depths shadows effaced by a moment’s sparkle


Richard M. Grove / Tai



Richard M. Grove / Tai


Richard M. Grove / Tai

Richard M. Grove / Tai



Richard M. Grove / Tai

Richard M. Grove / Tai



Richard M. Grove / Tai


Richard M. Grove / Tai

Its vibrant colours spoke of an artist we admired An survivorartist,of a childhood where language, tradition and culture were painted black

Elena Venables

It fell gracefully from your shoulders adorning a joyous spirit

The Gift

A stolen future against a canvas of  wrappedYourHope gift in hospital tape, with the harsh smell of antiseptics  made sweet by your note

A shattered palette breaths a portrait of resilience  You wore it loosely  around your neck Around a body ravaged each week  by cells painted in Scheel’s green

A love poem “From my heart to yours”


If I were the painter I’d over-paint our picture, lay down layers of us dancing under paper moons and green tornado skies down dusty roads feet upon the earth always what’smovingbehind us no matter

Gwynn Scheltema


If we were a portrait, I wouldn’t feel you breaking my heart



I paint her perching on a bar stool, purple leatherette platform shoes and mini skirt giving just the right glimpse of skin or more—depending. She’s ordering her beer in-the-bottle-please so she can ring the brown neck in a round-mouth O cover it in flesh pink lipstick so she can slide those lips Boysoff—pop!such easy prey talking Trans Am carburetors cigs rolled up in T-sleeves thinking they’re invincible in untilcontrolshehas them ring shopping on Saturday.

Diana at the Bar


I cannot bring your face to mind don’t remember the details of your eyes or line of chin or cheek only glimpses of frail limbs linger, green tubes and phlegm glass vials, salt water but if I let go of the need for facial recognition I hear you harmonize Molly Malone on a road trip and nightly whistle for the dogs smell the fireworks you lit propped in my sandbox pail and the crème soda waft of your Flying Dutchman cigars taste your boiled eggs, buttered toast soldiers paper-thin slivers of biltong shaved with your pocketknife feel the pull of you plaiting my hair tight till my eyes go slant your strong arms saving me from the sea swell watch you shine my black party shoes with Vaseline point out mathematical planes within a crystal I picture you allowing me to suck on all-day suckers standing behind the front seats in the green Morris Minor dropping me off late at school for a whole month because you believed me when I told you I was on time refusing to let me win at draughts clapping with triumph when I finally did allowing me to stay up to finish the last chapter of my book I can bring to mind the work ethic you modelled the mistakes you allowed me to make and those you didn’t the value you placed on knowledge and discussion and my point of view that you were never afraid of trying new things although hydroponic sprouts and comfrey were a bust your patient deep-breathing yoga routines (when you could still breathe deeply) your study of the world’s religions and adoption of none—and all your refusal to talk about the war— I may fail to shine light on your face but your ever quiet presence remains a clear beacon on my dark nights



Chuck MacInnis

Amanda Hale



Jorge Alberto Pérez Hernández


Chuck MacInnis


Jorge Alberto Pérez Hernández

Jorge Alberto Pérez Hernández



K.V. Skene Year in Colour wiccan runes of artful June.

Green*abellsMay’s*purealfrescoApril’s*toshiftsMarch*ricochet.dreamsPassive*January’sovernightSnowwhite.**purpleday-ofFebruary**wind-fromviolentviolet.**indigo.**blue-ringpsalmtospring.**ofweedand moss and tree of


61 * * July*justifies its yellow letletLet*askiesGrey*Brown*September.redMother*orange.yesterdayHeirloom*archipelago.dandelion**chrysanthemums;Augustburnt**Natureremembers**asoldOctober’sdressing-gown.**Novembersighaway.**starsblackoutnightsurrenderDecember.


Darren Creighton


Darren Creighton

JJ Medina 64

JJ Medina


The posing me is alternately nodding into naps and fretting about my life outside the studio: Left hand, committed to my cane, means the right must always choose between an umbrella and anything else at all; and my thumb’s not good—can’t even knit, my luscious yarns unused; This alternate life, reclining into a painting, is much easier, remembering too late my morning pills, freed from deciding what to wear, the bracelet permanently there—how nude is nude?

It’s made of plastic, each bead stamped out the same, but the light finds different angles through the facets; varieties of amethyst excite the painting me, elaborating details onto the canvas. I stand back to see the larger work and rest, unthinking, sit down with a cup of tea.

An elder nude, self-portrait: Here I am in the studio, painting and being painted. I recline in profile, left arm along the back of a low settee, gaze fixed toward the amethyst bracelet on my wrist.

Marvyne Jenoff


My painter self sees right breast drooping sideways toward the hip, old surgical scar persisting down the thigh, striped towel, rose-patterned settee, age-mottled arm sporting the amethyst bracelet. I select from my candy-store of colours, lay down large strokes.


Which lurking danger will entrap me?


My back aches, so I know I’m here reclining, my heft still flattening the towel, right hand stroking the silky roses, though by now I am invisible. Up there on the canvas, where a sky could be, remains the bracelet shaped as if around a wrist.

I could brave a few more seasons: screw the ice grip back onto my cane; into the rain or sun manage an umbrella.

And so the plastic beads outlast me and the colour amethyst, last thing I may see; may it endure.

And the brush itself takes over, disregards the stripes, the flowers as distractions from its purpose, paints over them in layers. Settee eradicated I appear to float, my flesh ghosts into the background colour, shallow foam on sand.

My cloud of hair, approaching white, contrasts across the painting with the amethyst bracelet. Lifeline more precious than real gems it is, its metal tag shadowed at my inner wrist listing my medications, what parts of me to treat with special care.

John B. Lee


Girlie Pictures

lifted from emulsion and pinned up to dry in a pornographer’s dark room skivvies on a wash-line frillies in the wind these are something, these were much but to see what the man upstairs my best friend’s father (a spy in the house of love) kept hidden away in Rosicrucian shadows surely he must never know how his only son and I snuck a peak before returning the evidence of our sinning to its hiding place but oh how our young hearts doing springtime lover’s double Dutch set to skipping in our chests

in my best friend’s basement at the back of a pressed-oak roll-top desk in a small locked drawer clicked with a key so delicate it seemed like a sliver of metal you might pluck or brush from the bed of a lathe and there, concealed under a single sheet of split balsa fragrant with soap and perfumed wax used to ease it in sliding tucked away in the bottom like adult espionage we found the well-thumbed magazine something forbidden to children a series of black & white photographs of girls and women posing in the nude their flesh grey as takingemolumentonthesalacious sheen of fixed images


… the paper hanger’s adopted daughter

what was it he was thinking what must he have been thinking instructing his young trusts to trace with graphite on paper the contours of her small hip and round shoulder like the story of darkness etched on the edge of light

she was what my mother might have called a hard girl what with her being the first in her class to wear eye liner and lip gloss as though she were drawing the mask of a royal child of the courts of ancient Egypt and we heard rumours on the playground after the concerningincidenthowshe’d been called upon by our first male teacher to pose as though she were a figure of interest modeling her body in art class lying full out on the oak grain of the big desk at the front of the room like a cat on a sun-warm windowsill

and then we were there in the shade of schoolyard trees in the full play of light and shadow in the green chiaroscuro of stick and leaf at summer’s end and we listened to the sweet hiss receiving the breeze as though the zephyr were saying


Why are you here …

some future boy is standing at the closed shut gate of a graveyard yet to be clutching a nosegay of cut inseveredchrysanthemumsatthestemhonourofthedeathof light his shadow stains the creak of yawning hinges like a patina of dust his life in this the ash the fire leaves behind as darkness greys in hisfadingflowers stink of old clothing, of laundry yet to beyonddothe dry-stone wall beneath the rubble of unwritten lives an estuary of unknown rivers wait in heaps like frost-heave working in the winter of the earth thus moraines pushed by ice begin to crawl and melt or foothill scree comes shivering down a slope too steep to hold the heights and beneaththerethe green amnesia of forgetful grass the bones of them that took the discontinued path reach out with loss of reach like thirst in shovel-broken roots


those disarticulated hands all free of final prayer take up a second purpose in a gritty glove of sand and soil

why are you here the question rises in a smoky whisper smoulding up as fog within a patch of warming ground and ‘who are you as yet to be a were’

go find your name as chiseled smooth beneath the lichen-blunted artistry of time lie besideherethe hero in the pan how often have I seen your cities burnt by breath on mirrors in the blank museums of the heart become the winking of a dying star within the blackness of a troubled eye

Ted Amsden


Ted Amsden


Ted Amsten


John Di Leonardo


Tea Gerbeza

from the mirror quilled shapes, build: a sunset background in forty-five-degree

I put down the slotted tool dip my fingers in white silhouette

looped strips of bruised translucent flesh speckled brown moles, a plush pink curved scar road

canary yellow and orioles’ orange cover bone, flesh as loud as morning bird song


Paper-Quilled Self-Portrait

I dip my paper strip in colours of scoliosis, white my spine, mounted snow-covered heart fields in the midground against rolling lung hills the foreground, a gold crouching sinew what I thought to be a ruin of stretched canvas all whirls of grey, I carry away


Miguel Ángel Olivé Iglesias

I have watched “A-thousand-kisses-deep”your video so many times now since I learned that you are gone. I wish I could write at least a tenth of what you write, and how you write it, have a perfect physique and the vim that resides in you. I wish I could knit those impressive metaphors. I am pained now because you are no longer among us—but you continue to be the light that doesn’t need to die We are standing in the rain and sleet, your watchingfollowers,thesnowman

To Leonard Cohen

It feels so good to be a man; it feels so great to be loved by the woman who opens like a lily to the heat and to your legacy. Somehow, somewhere the thousand kisses burst and twinkle and fall like blessing rain.

Like Blessing Rain

conquer the woman of his dreams, we peek at the universe: time immemorial books of poetry open up to receive your poems, collect the breathtaking lines that you have copiously bequeathed.

I Am Human

If you push me and the push is unjust I will stand firm If you ridicule me without warrant I will turn you away

I am human

If you seek favour I will see you so be sure who you are I am no fool

If you ask for help and are in need I will help you


If you desire my presence and your desire is real I will give you my time If you engage my mind and reveal your heart I will offer mine

If you touch my soul I will awake So know your intent

John Unruh

If you request kindness and are humble I will be kind

If you conspire against me

I will learn your weakness so know what may be lost I am fierce

One Self, Varied Portrait

Raeesa Usmani


a portrait of mine, created over time in the eyes of my lover is of a vulnerable, timid, bold and gentle kind.

and my family sees me like a rebel, loud and misfit in the traditional set up, I grew in.


my colleagues created my portrait with envious and petty eyes for them of a mean, self-centered, manipulative and loud witch.

they say portraits can make the viewer feel one can admire the stale beauty or mull over the intriguing smirk the sarcastic smile can startle you or the gloom of the face touch you you can feel happy to see the greenery but the layered message may petrify you you may be reminded of some close lose or it could be a feeling of an innermost self that was looking for a vocal escape to get out of you, to fly high in the wide-open sky!


the portrait created by my best mates touched me the most, it was me, the brave, reliable, open, intense and resilient survivor.

Juan Miguel Verdecia


Juan Miguel Verdecia



Hector Silva Esquivel


Hector Silva Esquivel


Wency Rosales


Raydel Castellanos

It is 1950. I nurse at a psychiatric hospital by a river. Today it is green and flows quickly. A red canoe dips and rises like a manic depressive. I glance from a patient’s window as I administer her meds. The woman is schizophrenic. She invites me to greet Archangel Michael, seated at the foot of her bed. She says he visits often. He is concerned about her health. I tell her he is an hallucination. She says she is blessed. He is a member of the heavenly host, charged by the Lord to defeat the Enemy.

April Bulmer


Dr. O’Brien tells me the patient will remain in hospital for another month, at least. She takes the news badly. Her mother arrives. She is a stout woman with a gimpy leg. She balances her weight on a cane. She brushes the patient’s long red hair. She offers her a box of sweets. She draws the blue curtain.

The psychiatrist on call, Dr. O’Brien, is Irish. He is known for his tweed blazers and lilting brogue. The patient says he will understand her: he hails from the land of wee folk. They were once gods, tall as any man, she says. Jesus diminished their size.

When I return with more meds, I hear her say, “I will send for the vicar.” I wonder if he will speak only of the weather or the rise of the river. Will he invite my patient to pray?

Nurse Ivan

St. Michael and All Angels



A week before my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she hid her alarm clock in the dead of night. She was deep in dream, she said, and could not recall where she placed it when she rose the next day. I helped her search for the cheap battery-run thing that had disturbed her each morning since my father passed. He, too, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. But it quieted his thunderous episodes: great storms that caused my young spirit to cling to the carcass of my canopy bed. So, in truth I did not mind his dementia, for he whispered my name with a soft respect I had never heard.


My mother and I could not find her simple timepiece, despite a thorough hunt. I guessed she disposed of it in a trash bag. I imagined the garbage truck drove it to the dump. Perhaps the alarm clock is still ringing in the great heap of forgotten memories there: functioning still, calling her to wake up.

Not wife nor great-with-child, I laboured and gave birth to woman.

In the mornings, I enjoyed the scent of citrus on my skin.

I draped myself in cloth, dedicated my gowns to a goddess not lost: Achelois of the Moon. I prayed to her, and she washed away my pain. I grew my hair long and tinted it blonde.

Iris Labour Union


I grew fat and learned to love my curves, my breasts, the folds of my belly. No husband nor lover, instead I held myself in the warmth of a caress as though I wore a sweater.

In the shadows of evening, I scrubbed my face, anointed it with a healing balm. I was lovely then in the dim.

AndFour?can you say how many Great-grandparents people have? Ellie looks about her at cousins poised to mock aunt’s victim. Her mouth turns down. A rustling starts like wind through weeds, defiantly she shouts— One Great Granny, the rest are dead!

Family Portrait—Great Aunt Harriet


Felicity Sidnell Reid

I have history written in my wrinkles. She laughs at age, and waves a whole new scene on stage. The protagonist begins as stranger in a story, we’ve not heard before. Great-Aunt Harriet sits back in her favoured chair, her foot-spa massaging tired heels and toes soothing sagging arches, stimulating soles.

Bodies tell of family secrets, hint at the mystery of those who made us what we are. The children roll their eyes, their question— What’s she on about? — so clear upon their faces, she grimaces. Her hand shoots out and grabs a great-niece by her skinny wrist. How many parents have you, Ellie? Mesmerized she whispers, HowTwo many grandparents then?


Aunt shakes her hand and indicates applause is due Well done, well done, little one but we inherit from the dead. Each family opens like a fan, till a few generations back hundreds have crowded up to become your heritage. That’s how you are growing into you. Triumphant, she points to each child in turn And you’re the pin of new fans if you have children, every one of you.


On the edge of her chair, she leans to look, into a clouded glass, where her young self blooms from her ancient body as she feels his fingers brush her cheek, just as he touched her face, over sixty years ago.

Portrait of an Old Woman

Her fingers worn but pliant, curve gracefully, while her palms swallow the pale pink lotion she applies to them.

Softly, down her back, bent now not hunched over quotidian tasks, her silver braided hair falls quietly like some distant water, only waiting a brighter day to ripple gold, as it did long ago.


Wency Rosales

Wency Rosales



Wency Rosales

Wency Rosales


96 Wency Rosales


Wency Rosales

Wency Rosales



Wency Rosales

There’s nay luk aboot the huse there’s nay luk at a’ there’s ilky pleasure in der hame when our good mawn’s awa. Hey!

Over and over load after load Scotty dumped wood down our outdoor stairs riding me back to the woodpile singing breath freezing on our scarves eyelashes sticking fast together Are ye cold yet, Lassie? he would say. Maybe ye shoulda be goin’ in. I’d shake my head and beg for more. His patience limitless, his smile the sun.

Guardian of our thoroughbreds his cluttered wood-smoked shack behind our wintered clap board barn varnished stalls, high-prancing boarders gentled and cared for as his children those wintry frost swept days I helped stir hot water into pails of bran stand with him small hands on motley wrinkled ones whiskered muzzles snorting spewing wet bran everywhere Ah Lassie, he would say. We’re no but gettin’ a good bran bath

Riding the hand-made wheel barrow clutching my hair-worn teddy bear barely able to contain myself for “Hey” Scotty tipping the weathered cart me laughing onto snow-packed grass


Linda Hutsell-Manning

CharleswoodScotty 1944

Scotty now in one prosaic room iron bed flanked with single wooden chair barren hallways Lysol prescribing order we sit outside on lawn-chairs tidy grass and sunlight his slicked back hair jaunty pocket handkerchief still that smile his soft burr voice asking of my life my family as if all were well as if this sterile life I saw were good horse whispering gone lost like his years his gentle face at peace my questions of his welfare met with mild amusement this warm afternoon revealing still the woodpile wooden barrow me in shadow while his jaunty younger self looked out for gently watched his boss’s headstrong filly.

Winnipeg 1966


Matters of Madness


Jaydeep Sarangi

There is peace after a spell of rain here, regardless of grief elsewhere, in other hearts.

The sky holds winter’s fugitive touch in the deep blue canopy.

Day’s light rides on affection and desires I long for time’s wandering eye. I keep longing …

The mind has taken a separate route— the way the wind comes from.

There are promises to stitching rain clouds, the song of thunder echoes minds wet in courting.

Invisible signals remind me matters related to the heart— of all small wishes, frail faiths and madness.

How can I forget what has grown through my careful journey through time?

Submitted for your approval, an unintended paragraph percolating from the muck and mire beneath the false Hollywood night of a solstice moon. Tim Burton shadows of Dickens’ ghost haunt the path. A scrawny finger points to an inevitable future embracing fear and loathing from The Thunderbird Compound as a eulogy to the Eulipions. I often become lost while pretending to be a writer, an inexhaustible lure. A growl from the lake serenades the out of focus network of treely patterns in the grass. I need an adjustment to the aperture fixed by my life in the chair defined by Dimen’s neighbor, confronting a window of broken glass, a shattered kaleidoscope obstructing the truth of a disappointing woodland. Stories insinuate from the clamorous periphery of a brittle rock eroded from the stuff of stars. I endeavor to communicate a single thought like Proust’s madeleine or The Brown’s macaroon in a lifetime of scribblings. It is no longer a choice. The narrative ignores the persistent illusion, as the publishers of books ignore me, and time surrenders to the word, to the draw of the keyboard paving my journey. The faint chatter of airborne migrations is misinterpreted as surreptitious voices in the forest. The whispers of seven hundred Canada geese jostling for space on a shrinking surface rise like an advancing winter thunder. The ticking of three thousand twigs from the scarcely inanimate thicket become distracting in the quiet left by the absence of humans. And for some reason I shelve James Baldwin in the general vicinity of Computational Linear Algebra with Models.

Eulogy to the Eulipions


Chris Gartland


the faces of the dead in life smile down at me. their perpetual light flickering faintly beneath their oval portraitsall of them taken in tuxedos and formal gowns. some in colour - some in black and white. the last remembrances of grieving family eternally dressed in formal wear from weddings and anniversaries of long and fruitful marriages in this corner of the mausoleum they are all of friends and family immigrants together once, sharing the hardness of labour and the hardness of feartogether here in testament that they achieved their dreams far from Sicily’s shore immortal by remembrance i read and speak their names melodious in their Sicilian tongue

Joseph Farina requiem

To stop scrawling on the walls.


You will no longer be the frost, nor the reef, nor the crystal dust in my throat, nor the Minotaur’s agony in the labyrinth.

You will be a bird of ashes that emerges every day to drink a drop of light and you will have a kite made of clouds and a caress for when your back hurts and a mouth to share sighs.

You will stop being the wind on the ice sphinx to kiss the Aurora.

Samuel Salinas Ramos

To no longer be cold.

To stop painting nails in loneliness.

Ash Bird


El Ojo Magica


El Ojo Magica


El Ojo Magica

El Ojo Magica


Donna Langevin

In Lieu of Family Photos

On the infirmary wall, he weeps tears of blood in Gethsemane, while in another frame, the Good Shepherd holds his raw heart in his hands as if nothing could heal it, or save those who wait strapped down for their next lightning bolt.

Children surround Jesus offering wildflowers and treats. They climb into his lap and gaze at him expectantly, the way my lost little ones once looked at me.

In lieu of family photos forbidden to inmates here, we’re forced to stare at holy pictures hanging everywhere.

in my grandmother’s voice, Saint Jean de Dieu Asylum, 1930

In the dining room hall, Christ seated at a long wooden table like ours, takes away our appetite as he blesses his Last Supper.

More than the crucifixes nailed up in every dorm, the one realistic painting in the visitors’ parlour pierces holes in my side—


After a bully at the beach calls Don the kid with a hole, I find him sleeping with a rag stuffed in that hollow, held with masking tape.


in my grandmother’s voice, Saint Jean de Dieu asylum, 1926


Pictures Behind My Closed Eyelids

I love you just as you are; we call it his treasure chest.

At six, my willowy son with dark almond-shaped eyes and buttercup hair, is a well-made child except for his indented rib cage that never detached from his spine. Not life-threatening, but the cavity in Don’s centre displaces his heart, and worsens.

With me in this asylum, will he come to believe I abandoned him, leaving his chest, a crater filling with rage and shame?


Olive-skinned, dark-eyed, sturdy, at five my darling daughter hates wearing dresses and brushing her short black hair. Hugging her stuffed tiger, she leaves her china dolls face down on the floor.

Dressed in patched overalls, she’s happiest making mud pies and racing her brother’s toy cars. Running his train off its tracks, she lines up his tin soldiers, bombs them with marbles and jacks.



Recalling her tomboy bravado as she cocks her Daisy cap-gun, I dread when it’s clear I’m not coming home, she’ll think she’s to blame and turn that gun on herself.

Donning her dad’s old fedora from our costume box, she swaggers around the living room pretending to smoke his cigars; and instead of a cuddle, she prefers to have her hair mussed or play Cops and Robbers with Don.


Roger Nash

Though only in a customary way, of course, newspapers spread around the stove with pages in a brazenly observant numerical order.

A Maiden Aunt

Carrying out the ash pan every morning, before anyone else was up, the pan’s cram – a sunken fire’s deep hoar-frost of grey clinkers –became, dutifully and habitually, her empty but sifted hopes of ever marrying. Her unringed fingers curled around the pan as tightly as the worn cogs on her bicycle’s always oiled gears, knuckles clicking whenever she changed speed from uphill brush-sweeps to down. She bent her back, over the years, into a barrel hoop, to hold staves of the week together, so nothing could leak. Day after day, nose to toes, in an uninterrupted assembly line, she followed only herself to the bottom of the garden, to tip ash over uninterrupted rows of cucumbers. She made walking circularly upright both entirely ship-shape and in Bristol fashion. The last time I saw her, she gazed up while looking down at her dust-free slippers, eyes sparkling with something I’d not noticed before: a carefree, rash, spontaneous delight in doing the always dutiful and habitual. It was a rare form of excited disobedience to the iron order of chaos elsewhere around her. As though taking out the ash, were, in her words, “rather naughty.”

A reminder that skill alone wouldn’t help, loaded to your hatch with glowing bad luck, for black to avoid a snow-white day’s bleaching and wash. “My Ma told me even angels may wear shifts not far from pitch-dark as a starless night. For even angels – like us – are never far from bad luck.


Her mother’s coal-fired smoothing iron serves as a rusty door-stop now. And long retired with it, the way colours looked so different back then. “A white shirt was never far off black,” she explained, opening the hatch where you dropped coal or charcoal gingerly in. “‘Whiter than white,’ what colour’s that? ‘Whiter than sooty streaks of ash’ was the colour you aimed at on shirt-fronts then.” The iron sits by the door as heavy as a shell from lost artillery in forgotten wars, ‘Ukraine 1910’ stamped on it. “You spat on it, to make sure it’s hot enough,” she smiled. “But the iron was always ready to spit right back.”

A Smoothing Iron

We all just need to try again.” In those days, a tall ironing-board – with flat-iron – was her crucial pulpit for smoothing and folding the wisdoms of the heart.

My Grandmother’s Old-Style Fast Food


You move so fast around the kitchen, knees overtake even toes, ingredients dreamt instantly into your wakeful hands. You move so fast around the kitchen, you leave it quickly far behind, cooking simultaneously in this and other galaxies, shepherd’s pie ready for any part of the top-notch universe, exactly on time for supper, by whatever suns you choose to measure time by. The pie has the fragrance of your voice. It says quite firmly, as pies can do in any galaxy: hunger travels faster than forked lightening. Toes overtake slippers, slippers the floor.

Anna Di Nardo



Anna Di Nardo


Anna Di Nardo

Anna Di Nardo


There was a nightly ritual, with tea and TV and two small pills. I used to hand them to you, fromshakena brown prescription bottle.

Who You Might Have Been

Numb for most of my childhood, they kept you from going away, kept you through the deaths of your mother, father and sister.

The pills kept you at a distance, from everyone, even yourself, kept you all those years, day on day, a life sentence.

You were musical, but the piano, was sold after a of couple years; more noise in a house that was already too loud.

You could sing, your voice, a high and clear soprano, but what was there to sing about?

Kept you from the insanity of having birthed six children In a seven-year span, in a home with no money a difficult marriage, the disapproval of your parents and most of the neighbors.

Beth Gobeil


You were a writer, but I discovered your poems only when you moved after I was grown.

And all these years later I wonder who you might have been apart from two small pills.



isn’t about the setting on a thermostat or the temperature of the air to her so much as cold is absence, the emptiness of rooms and memory.

Mom calls today and says in a small tired voice that it is too cold in her apartment and she doesn’t remember how to use that thing on the wall

Setting the Thermostat

I try to explain about the dial, how to turn it up for warm and down for cool she sets the phone on the table, comes back, tells me what the red arrow indicates asks again what she should do about it, I slowly review the instructions she says she thinks she understands; I ask about her visit to my sister’s whether it had snowed and how she is feeling. Fine she says although her back is bothering her again and I wonder then if maybe warm

The Search

It seems l’m always searching for things that can’t be found, naming the friends she’s forgotten, Iining up family, separating the generations, identifying children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; filling in the details that have fallen away.


I rummage through drawers, look behind the bookcase, throw back bedcovers, check under chairs, and empty the trash to no avail.

It was her hearing aid that vanished, one thenday,alibrary book, lost, and today, her glasses are gone. LastAgain.week mom wore another resident’s pair, and didn’t notice.

Now and then, it’s me mom loses, and I hold her weathered face in my hands, fingers tracing the parentheses of lines around the blue of her deep-set eyes, searching, always searching, for the mother I used to know, and hoping to find the one who knows me.

We found hers on a nightstand in a neighbor’s room.

Oh my gosh – amazing pic of you. Black hump of a whale diving under your kayak. Ashamed of this uninspired cliché all I can say is “Amazing.” You are so God blessed to have been in the eye of a whale saying hello.


In the Eye of a Whale for David Swanger

Dear David,

25 years ago I was in arms reach of a Right Whale sailing in the Atlantic with buddy Barry on his 55-foot gaff cutter. Mainsail taut against stiff winds, storm jib only half unfurled listing, dumping gusts from furrowed brow. Port gunnel dipped into teaming ocean, my arm splashing leaping surf when out of the green abyss glided the black glisten

Richard Marvin Tiberius (Tai) Grove

September 27, 2021

of a snorting whale. My instinct was to pull back with fear. If I had been prepared I could have caressed his ebony gleaming back. Your splashedphotome back to that July moment. Thank you. All the dry-landedbest,and smiling, Tai



A New Day Dawning in the Quietude of Anticipation

In the early hours of yesterday, the hush of quiet fills the dew covered streets with the yawn of inactivity, a new day is dawning. The fruit vendor, LaoLin, with drowsy anticipation, tenderly places his fruit, the sweet smell of citrus, a rainbow of orange, on display for when the city of Guangzhou will finally come to life.

All is still quiet, no honking, no hustle bustle of pedestrians zigzagging through weaving cars, no screaming sirens shrieking over vendor’s beckoning chants.

For now there is LaoLin in the quietude of anticipation. All is calm.

Thank you, Pablo, for your photo in China


If you are the dreamer then you are also the dream even if under the dreamer’s dream of being awake, mesmerized by your own dream. The dream and the dreamer are onealwaysinthe same and neither are the master of the so called majesty of stillness that seems to reign over the far-off city of now that we strive to live in.

The Dream and the Dreamer After Rilke

Anna Panunto


Angel Kindelan



Er Vijay Richhiya


Richard M. Grove

Only ever in the bathroom mirror, my father appears— his face in mine.

Ian Fitzgerald

He catches bluster covering doubt, (of course, he does) and one other weakness, at Theleast.moment


Through a Certain Mirror

Sudden, unannounced, eyeing me askance, scanning for evidence of flaws he may have sent.

shutters, leaves me certain that I see through him and he sees through me.

Far above the abandoned pits

Chuck Macinnis

A broken cairn, like a king, still sits In darkened stone and coat of moss Watching o’er “The Sons of Martha”

Spirits of “The Sons of Martha”

An overgrown track draws the hardy soul

Yet a stone will rise at the village square In memory of the men who once worked there Cutting and shaping these stones of time A memory to “The Son’s of Martha”


Through intruding wood to an abandoned hole

Where ghosts remain

Stone Men

While you are here

From its track to the north

On new snow

I will never hear a train


Mimicking the diesel horn

As if warning it

This is your domain

Voice raised to the sky

That I do not think of you sitting

In perfect symmetry

Pitch for pitch

Like a shadow

To guard me

My Guardian

And it must not wander

hair weft and fingers warp    twinning me to the waters kaleidoscopic bones   wrist mute velvet nuzzles the palms of my feet belies my pain    forced stillness my flesh cannot peak and fold soft as the terrain of shore

M’s brush dips sibilant into his jar I can smell the waves    sharp rustle pain and the sea and me a cresting statue I am called here for death more than holiday washed into dust on the rocks        art will be all that will embody me        dying in my soft-minded sea

I have released my mind into canvas and the multiple representations of me: imply movement by the lay of my seized hand insinuate salt air with the tip of stalagmite hip but this is a game    a sweet tale in sienna and umber while the true pace is the crooked foot  of M. Mulready’s chair there this semi-circle of lightness between it and the floor brutal caress    clawing a small space of innocent air

moment by moment the part of me that would frolic in sea-froth is likewise clutched weighty pose    moment by moment I am its whetting stone

Tanya Korigan

I dream of the sea where M. Mulready paints me try to hold the flow still in my hair   secretly commune with viscosity, unity as the muscle groups in my body are not

Clothilde Assumes a Relationship with the Horizon Line



Lynn Tait

Mike Venables


Raydel Castellanos



Wency Rosales

Jorge Alberto Pérez Hernández


Jose Henris Martinez


I look witnessinsidemyhappiest childhood memories

I find myself on the platform trying to pry the doors open with my broken fingers the doors close

Panicked and frantic my teary eyes seek a way in ticket shaking in hand waving to the conductor Stop!

Missed Train

I see my father’s loving face his eyes are serene he sits with the people we have loved and lost he shakes his head at me while I pound at the doors


rubbing the sleep from my eyes I sprint out the door to catch this train the destination is my past I understand the urgency

I springingoversleptout of bed

I’m an injured animal bellowing

out of breath

If I could just go back it will all be ok this time I’m convinced I’ll make it I need Pantingtoand

Lisa DiMenna

Our past is beyond my reach

It’s not your turn yet

Not today, sweetheart


With his hands he forms a heart over his heart our symbol

As the train starts moving I pound my fists on the door the train gains speed breaks away I am broken

I stagger back on the platform frozenstunnedin this cruel present life watching my father’s image my memories getting smaller and smaller

I can sense by the sickening gleam in her eyes

To walk properly on broken glass, isn’t it?

Time and time again

I perform my role as I’ve been taught

A sorceress hurls the glass to the floor

The fragments underfoot make my feet bleed.

It shatters

Yields the most damage

I tread lightly


And yet I do this to calm the fiend

A collection of little cuts

Such a predicament

She’s pleased Walk


An obeying student

Slowly marching on A conflicted soldier

The tiny pieces between my toes

This directive is familiar




Vanessa Shields Three Kinds of Love

breast in the tail-end of our murderresistingunit Thisministrylove, unspokensilentministryminstrelmysterygazeclinging to the stillness fusing our souls

A Woman in Spring

Beneath layers of wooly grief, Winter’s mysteries loaded on her spine, she longs for in a heap on the dirt – soaked. Chunks of cut off hair sink into a puddle cradled in twisted root lacunas.


Her nipples rise like red suns. Her earlobes dangle diamond drops. Her laughter coaxes seeds from between her tired thighs.

This plucking of Nature’s strings is musical madness. She accepts her role in the velvet mists of season’s changing.

Naked, she sits beneath the maple. The rain like a standing ovation, invites her to undo.

I don’t know who you are, but I’m going to shave you anyway.

Lew Welch, Beat Poet

Buy a new sports car? A motorcycle? Oh yes, a motorcycle! Could try new glasses, new clothes from Harry Rosen?

Danny Peart Not Quite So Handsome

Lose weight, gain some muscle. I suppose this grey beard is not helping. Wearing a tux could work. A desperate measure, though.


It helps me to know that writers are not expected to be good looking anyway. Makes one thankful not to be an actor or a musician.

Could his eyes tell you how much he cares? Maybe focus on listening better? There are so many ways to show love.

The guy I see in the mirror seems to have aged 50 years,  but that’s only skin deep.

Or, perhaps, I’ll say “It is what it is.” And get on with my shave.

Then I thought about my heart. Could a man become more attractive to others by showing more of his heart?

I look in the mirror and realize I’m just not good looking anymore. But what can I do about it?

Amanda Hale



Amanda Hale

Amanda Hale



Amanda Hale


A place where people left families behind Grampy in his fedora with feather Grammy in her long mink coat with matching hat her hair always in a chignon on cold January afternoons, the rest of us coming down to the station to say good-bye back when long distance calling was a big deal.

Elizabeth McCallister


The Sound of Chimes

I Union Station a way point between grimy Red Rocket subway cars in overheated tunnels screeching round the bend; above the train concourse filled with people and bags obeying the call of a train’s whistle. Downstairs a conductor’s mouth whistle, upstairs, a French-accented baritone calling out Windsor, Montréal, Quebec City and points




Or Mom with three girls under five holding the youngest on one arm and her white toiletry case in the other. Dad seeing his family off for two weeks. Later that day I followed in my mother’s panicked footsteps clutching that same case across Montréal’s train station.

Stronger than all my train memories, Dad opening the door when we got back his face clearer than I remembered and his hair darker than I knew. How else do you describe the first time anyone came into focus?

Your words. Hers. You remember them peaceful. Rose-coloured.

How to Grieve for the Unvaccinated

Rhonda Melanson


I’m not vaccinated, you know, and you giggle back, regret asWordslater...futilefinalwills and testaments, swallowed like plastic down uncomfortable throats

Skip the denial, dive blood first into anger. Fact is, you can call red orscarletcrimsonoxbloodcandy red like her cardigan & lipstick, her nose ring, a stud bolder than mine. Cinnamon wisdom, sweet & sharp, Yet half-whisper-withmischieviousherconspiratorial


When My Dad Forgets

How to Eat a Sandwich heTodaycan’t maneuver an Irish Reuben corned beef a foreign flapping tongue pinched widthmeasuringeyeslengthofmarbled rye oncut confusingdiagonalmath look Dad I oneplacetriangular prism on his trembling hand a crumbling monument

recalls a childhood project—I seemed to be alone then too. That may have been my solitary mind, building a house, its sculpted snow walls not even waist height when I crawled through on my knees. Two stocky pine trees formed a thatched roof; I groomed rooms around the trunks, rectangle beds, wide open foyers. A spare and unforced simplicity not to be regained in any interior ever after.



Alyda Faber

Only a few green squares on the Groningen city centre map— I come upon small flower and herb plots, two ancient planes by the brick wall. Bench sitters perch beside sun-glare gravel paths, dozing or reading. At one end of the garden, you enter a lemniscate: its roofed corridors trained, trimmed shrubs, thin branch rafters, lattice leaf-shine. Doors to go in and windows to look out, but the halls lead to no rooms, just figure-eight



His pets prove themselves against the elements, predators, disease—or die. His cat did not survive the introduction of a dog, for instance. Our cats watch snow falling, or wind blowing the branches, from marble-topped rads. They leave the house only in taxis. The old and sick are given analgesics. The side of the litter box cut out for ease of access. They sleep in our beds, have too many toys, use scratching posts. He knows what it’s like to end animal suffering. Followed a trail of blood into the driving shed after an older brother ran over a tabby with the tractor: gave it a well-aimed blow to the head with a wrench. Years later he offered to kill a friend’s family dog (cheaper that way), though the offer was declined. We schedule death by appointment and house call. The old cat’s last hours are spent in front of the fireplace; she flees the room when the vet enters with a kit and a box. Sedated, she leans into death, her body a floppy toy with uneven stuffing, eye-open sleep.

A week later, we pick up the ashes in a name-plated mini-casket. His old dog dies in its own time, sick for a few days, not eating or drinking. After trying to bark several times, as if announcing some arrival, he bites down on a shadow. My brother wraps him in an old leather coat, within hours buries him in the frozen ground so the coy dogs won’t get him.

Brother and Sister

That tired smile on An oval face Full of wrinkles

A smiling Ma and a Cake with candles


And, by the next evening, Lifeless, mirthless Mere body inert.

OnlyNow—-asilence, eternal!

Swiftly from that Visage that was a source of Happiness to others.

The last picture Taken on the birthday Proved to be the Last one.

Eyes that had seen Many springs In the last autumn.

Sunil Sharma Ma

TheIronic!laughter faded

A churning sky abovearollicking school“Ityard.was

The Colour of Heaven

and life became turquoise. But then Akemi was gone, life turned darkest blue, and above, a shining god in the fading light.

the trees turned pale the road dappled with cobalt rain and building walls cerulean, kitchen pottery painted with the depths of the ocean below their ceramic surfaces.

“.... goodbye my friend, I will love you forever.” Turquoise is the colour of Heaven.


my first day in grade 3 at Prince of Wales, and I was scared, didn’t know anyone, and up ran this little girl named Akemi, who took me by the hand, and said you’re my new friend. And my world changed.”

Terry Watada

her eyes were indigo, her hair, wispy; the sky mixed with white, turning azure, deep and dark.


Jorge Alberto Pérez Hernández

Jorge Alberto Pérez Hernández



Alexis Arevalo Quesada

Alexis Arevalo Quesada


Amanda Hale



Basudara Roy

I have seen you playfully tickle the soil´s fodder and the poplar leaves complacently casting a shade over the bronzed farmer´s decaying home. But I have also seen you ragingly anythingravishstanding on your path.

And I have seen you beguile that little one crazily tangling up her long hair.



Jorge Alberto Pérez Hernández

Wind … fickle wind! It either coos gently or roars enraged. It knows how to be a breeze, to caress sensually and how to become a hurricane, to lash out ruthlessly. Today, whimsical wind, I have followed your course, far from the channeled prose of my banal street.

I have seen you gracefully comb the jet-black hair of this girl who jealously beholds the golden locks of an ocean that drinks the sun’s dazzle in a blue dawn.

Friendly wind or hostile wind, which will blow into my turbulent life?

Will it be the one auspiciously pushing my feeble little boat to the longed-for port?

Wind … fickle wind!


Or will it be the tempest-driven one making my boat flounder?

A Question of Memory

Louise Howerow

When the two-year old left the road she found herself in a field of poppies, petals bruising black between her fingers. The poppy’s centre—stamens, anthers, filaments—and the words for naming she learned later. Like the words displaced, coal miners. Her parents say she imagined the field, how it existed, but only for them. And, yet, the girl will hold onto the slender poppies, the road flanked with two room cabins, their concrete seeping in cold. What the girl won’t remember is her mother standing beside her on the road, her father and his camera. All this un-remembering the girl keeps hidden. So, too, how beyond the road, she knew her first instance of joy, and it was coloured crimson.

reflections on a photo, Forchies, Belgium, 1950


Let’s bid. What’s your opening lead? My tongue and feet are stilled. Sleight-of-hand, queen of hearts appears on your side of the screen.

Clumps of feather-reed grass, their narrow plumes, crest and fall in the slight wind. Between gardens, a bleached-out screen.

I don’t hear you say my name, but it’s wedged between the tongue click and “You’ve mispronounced Seurat.” Unmuted screens.

Uncut grass lies long like seaweed washed ashore. Sand cues change, Bathers at Asnieres on your-my monitor screen.

Last spring, a squirrel nursed her young in a wide-funnel drey, wedged high in the tree, fur-lined twigs & leaves, her infants’ screen.

Leafless silver maples and our empty street on an android screen, morning mist – black and white pointillism, a grainy movie screen.


Wallpaper as Ghazal

On the Coromandel Coast I carved beaches/beeches on pre-given panels, learned to scoop up luck, to layer more, more sunscreen.

If the application of colour is based on scientific law, can one justify b & w between you and me? Rude/rood screens.


Juan Miguel Verdecia

Juan Miguel Verdecia


Raydel Castellanos


Raydel Castellanos


He wanted to trash that jacket the summer we turned seventeen, the sweetness of our liberation from family turned to vinegar for this boy who favored haute cuisine over muscle-and-mind-building treks around Scottish castles, galleries, ancient churches, libraries.

JC Sulzenko

Long playing

After a half century of not thinking about him, I search online. Up pop faces—a finance mogul and five other men around the same age he would be now, each carrying his name, each already dead. Not one resembles the Daryll I recall. Or perhaps my memory plays second to my imagination. Perhaps the boy I reconstruct never existed.

We joked he’d prefer the god of lethargy to rule him. He’d rather indulge his appetite for eggplant parmesan and steak tartar with a dash of moonshine— whether from his father’s cabinet or the trunk of a car. Bootlegging never bothered him. Other worries etched his brow.


When I remember of Daryll Fletcher, I remember how he earned ‘Fletch,’ the nickname we gave him after birdsplat sullied his Blazer—fallout from a fly-past our schooner on the River Clyde.

I wondered back then what his story was. Once in a while he’d stutter over words starting with ‘S.’ He kept his laughter seal-bark short, as if to dump any humor in the nearest bin as fast as he could. He said he had a sister, never spoke of his mother. Where, how he lived, we never asked.

He yawned a lot, staggered and lagged on trails, sweated stone steps, found solace within yellowed pages of a paperback he carried everywhere, its bulge unfortunate in his pocket. Not the Bible. Not smut. Poetry? Unlikely.


Doesn’t look to me as though she’s ever suffered. That could be the light, the brushstrokes, her pose more striking, more confident than I can bear. But it is a self-portrait after all. She selected what to reveal.

Self, imagery

Of course, I never looked like her— the woman in black— one hand loose around her slim waist, the other resting against her hip. That angular face promised drama. Her green eyes, predatory as a cat’s. And those lips, pursed as though she’s made clear what she wants and when.

The artist crowed, That’s your essence. But I could taste my disappointment. The image, bland; the colours, insipid. My gaze, vacant.

I wore an earth-brown wool tunic. Offered only the hint of a smile to appear older, sophisticated. To be taken seriously.

For the sitting

The painting in oils, me at twenty, stays stacked against the basement wall. I wear no make-up. My hair falls in soft curls. Hands folded in my lap, I look a little prim. Pretty, not head-turning like the woman in black.

Forty years later, I see a ballerina’s grace in the arc of my arms. A mildness, a kindness, a quiet, particular to the gentle woman I was and had forgotten.

This outsized one, ribs of corduroy threadbare, nestled couples settling down for their net fix,  is still marked by the upset of popcorn and drink.

Chairs of Ottawa

for Amanda, who photographs and posts them

Ditched now, they linger at curbside, spattered  and downcast in rain, leaves or snow, slumped and crestfallen, moody and forlorn.

This swivel of aluminum legs, now bent out of shape,  supported plump cheeks as a torso bent forward,  laboured over spreadsheets, excel and docx.

This faux-leather one once held pride of place,  a front-row view onto the world pixelating and dominating the far wall for passers-by to see.

Blaine Marchand

This sleek wooden one, a silent foot soldier, bore the burden  of shirts and jeans as limbs went liquid with lust and  the air wheezed and wheedled with thrust and withdraw.


Each one is focused and framed, uploaded and posted, captured in the second rejection becomes dejection, like a jilted lover, a drunken uncle at a family gathering.

Mike Madill Still

I thrust my Nikon above our bus-borne horde of straw hats and sunburns, capture her stillness. Skin tinged mahogany, nose small as a kitten’s, its bridge melting in the space between cocoa-bean eyes. Black bangs pinned clear of her brow, the rest shoulder length, ends willful, restless as her backyard jungle.

She watches the tangled throng, the latest jabbering, invading, day-tripping mob, detects the unsettling descent of diesel fumes and sunscreen, too much skin called fair.


She sits in the doorway of her pole-hut home, huggable little bundle of hand-me-downs and grubby feet. Beyond the open hut, mangroves and gum trees gleam a hefty green.

Linda Hutsell-Manning



Raydel Castellanos


Lynn Tait


Raydel Castellanos


Richard M. Grove - Tai


Raydel Castellanos

shaving with an old mirror and a drop of red I trim the hairs from ears nose think of Bud my neighbour of twenty-two years — he passed away last night I’ll miss our morning chats about garbage pick up the young raccoons the whirl of coming fall aflame and lovingly glazed how it will dissolve and fade



John Di Leonardo

Empty Nest

the thump of her backpack by the entrance has ceased dust grows on the baseboards of her empty room leaves pile against windows where empty nests are revealed longing for her lovely tantrums with unfair mom on these slow fall days this scent of coming winter


Dianalee Velie

The love story that created me, born

diedBennyin the war.

Two years of love letters crossed the ocean by mail. Exactly one year before my  sentWandabirthday.Jack a card picturing a blonde girl with Shirley Temple curly hair. “I will“ourshehope,”wrote,littlegirllooklikethis picture.”


The photo of me on my twoofisbirthdayyear-oldadoublethatprophetic card.

Jack, Benny’s pal, consoled Wanda, then joined the Marines. Too sad.



in mother’smy dream world, became a true living  answer to her thoughts and her prayers. Magic ...

A ridingcardthe waves across the deep oceans conjured me in a real vision. Believe!

Portrait of the Poet

For my portrait, I must be nude, bared for the artist to see the scars  of body and psyche that have curtailed  my desire. An open book of poetry  will lie beside me with a sleeping cat upon the printed page. Nearby, a blue pen rests upon a folded sheet of ivory  paper, concealing an abandoned poem.  A bouquet of fragrant gardenias will fill the room with scent while  three white memorial candles illuminate my space, casting the ever-present,  incandescent shadows of my life.


I must face away from the artist,  my long mahogany hair the focus,  spilling away from the curve of my back,  not my emerald eyes, deep with sorrow. My left hand, ring less, supports me,  as I lean into the sway of my hair, making visible the closure of a necklace  at the nape of my neck, suggesting pearls hanging languidly between my breasts,  teasing the voyeur, who will stare  at this painting in the future, when I am old, or dead, yearning to unlock this poem’s intricate clasp.


Luna Cat

When the sun dips late on spring afternoons it is pleasant to slip away from the sadness lingering in the house.

Shadows fall across the road, creeping toward night. The porchlight will flick on and she’ll call my name.

Kathryn MacDonald

I am that cat you see on the neighbour’s porch, curled between clay pots of geranium red blooms bright against my dusky coat.

Then I’ll curl into her lap, offer the lemony-green scent of the heady blossoms offer my throaty purrs to console her.

Night Flyer

She is a woman wanting serenity – the mellow taste of vin rouge in the afternoon when piano practice ends, a harlequin romance to thumb when the fleeting thought of him-of-the-course-tongue enters her mind, but these bats….

If Shewhyguidesecholocationtheirflight,brushherskin?bearstheweight of silent bats slipping through the shadowed cracks to touch her cheek – blames herself for leaving him whose name she cannot speak will not speak.

woman, almost blind –a skinny broad he might have called her –a woman with the broad hips of one who’s borne children, a woman wrinkled with life’s concerns, a woman whose eyes spark in fear of shadowed things.


A shadowed wing ripples across her skin and she brushes her cheek, runs hands through her hair as if it harbours a bat or two. She has woken, tossed covers in a panic, her wild Shesearching.eyesisasmall


Manet, it is cold! Give me back my clothes! An ant crawls up my leg, mistaking me for mutton.

They are clothed: ties, tight white collars, waistcoats brown and black - wrapped, like the trees are, in bark.

Manet, it is cold! I’m naked: white, lumpy as bread dough, pale as the peach, that loaf of bread tumbled from the tipped picnic basket. I am le plat principal at this dejeuner.

And I must smile, you said, a La Jocande smile, my eyes holding yours: Eyes strain. Mouth stiffens. Toe

Carefully this morning I picked my blue poplin dress, straw hat and blue bow matching; now they lie puddled on the grass. You said: Take them off. Sit like this: your hand pressing my arm, arranging my legs, fingers, toes, so. You put me on the tablecloth.

Victorine Meurant speaking from Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe

The Model

you have propped the other model, her bathing dress diaphanous. We are the eye’s bullseye. Even that bird, a bullfinch, hovers, looking.

The men are talking Haussmann, Bizet’s new opera and Delacroix’s death: they don’t know I know. Let them take off their vests and trousers, bare asses to this breeze’s bite, la bite like a little child hiding between wrinkled hills.

Jill Solnicki


Darren Creighton

Darren Creighton



Darren Creighton


Darren Creighton

So, what’s to smile about this dreary winter evening at Clarovista City

The City Clerk passes the Mayor a note.

Proceedings are underway. I’m beginning to doze off as we give approval for Councillor Bristow to speak. Blustering Jim is quarrelling


The Mayor is expecting it. He smiles. That smile is barely noticeable, but I catch it.

Councillors made all significant decisions at last week’s committee meetings. Tenders were awarded; arena expansion plans tabled; approvals given for this and that. A long-standing item, developer J.P. Gormley’s hotel/marina/convention centre pipe dream, was finally quashed in a 5-4 vote.

Let’s face it; joviality isn’t the Mayor’s strong suit. Governing the city is serious business requiring him to think strategically. There is always an agenda but not necessarily the one printed and distributed to the public. Sometimes the Mayor’s agenda is shared with selected Council colleagues. Not with me, though.


In fact, the year’s fourth Council meeting promised to be such a nonevent that just two media representatives have shown up. The others have joined the deputy mayor at a ribbon-cutting for the new mini-mall. They’ll have an early evening while we listen to delegations (most of whom we’ve already heard at committees), go through formalities and record our votes.

“All in favour?”

Bob Wood

When the Mayor Smiles


The door opens. Resplendent in an Armani suit and Crocodile print leather loafers, J.P. Gormley makes an entrance.

I might have known.

(once again) with a proclamation promoting much needed harm reduction activities – a responsibility of another level of government.

Then, with a flourish befitting the office, the Mayor scribbles a note passing it to the Clerk.

But that smile bothers me interrupting my nap.

I scan the gallery. There’s the Planning Commissioner. I can’t remember the last time her attendance was required at Council.

silence becomes a brief thunderous song returning me to you

I saw them first reflected in your absent-minded benign image wings stroking your silver soft hair through glass as you stand in your pewter frame handing me the earth with a smile before you even knew me

and now without a sound a flash I turn to find you embodied on the wind a dozen or more strong you the leader and you again encouragement from behind


Karen Sylvia Rockwell return flight

Glued to swells, boats and buoys are frozen mid-bob fish pressed against rigid waters

Robert Priest Still Life with Girl Diving

A girl in a colourful bikini, a rainbow arc in midair neither of the dock nor of the sea

A swimmer motionless in glass, one elbow up shattered waters half knit back together behind him

Cormorants dashed on their own reflections Squid brittle in immutable nets

The old sea shanties don’t carry, the siren’s call stalled mermaids gagged on their songs

The oil tanker’s deadlocked its anchor stopped just short of the pipeline


The mechanical grinding the stuttering static of it shut off

Surfers fastened to breakers squat and wait the shrieks of gulls like squeaky wheels silenced

The ocean is fixed waves stopped far from shore

Sailors forever still, the sun unsinkable a red rim crushed flat on the horizon

Seaweed unable to undulate, the brine inflexible Everything stuck to everything else

Dany Hernandez Hernandez


Darren Creighton



Lynn Tait

Lynn Tait



Eihei DreamsDogen:with Plum Blossoms

The little boy watches incense smoke.  Curling and wafting, it disappears into high dark vaults. The Lady Ishi Matsudono of the Fujiwaras lies in her coffin. She is his only parent he, her only child. Nothing, nothing, he sees now, stays.

the abbot shows him a rarity a scroll of succession. Patriarchs are named, ancestor after ancestor, descending through centuries.  I have had a dream, the Abbot says, an old man appears, hands me a branch  of plum blossoms, tells me,  “If you should meet a true man who came by boat seeking the Way give him this branch.”


man, he joins a holy order, travels far, works with diligence, but cannot find his teacher in Japan. He sails to China, and for two long years journeys from monastery to monastery,


Nathalie Sorensen


last the young monk achieves the Great Matter,  he goes to his master’s room. The body and mind have been dropped, confirms his teacher.  You have attained the Way.

The young monk travels on from mountain to mountain. Years Exhausted,pass. ready to give up he, too, dreams.

Soon afterwards, his teacher appears, welcomes him as a father his son, says, Sit intensely, for days, for months, from early morning to late at night. You must drop body and mind.

As the young man bows, a fresh breeze blows petals of plum in the lucid air.

An ancestor of the Way comes to him offering a branch of plum blossoms in full bloom.

The names of the ancestors are written on plum silk embroidered with blossoms.

He Whensits. at

John Tyndall

In the library queue of babbling inquisitors she reappeared to ask me a second quiet question this time for her husband who desired to know whether Jorge Luis Borges’ A Universal History of Infamy comprised actual bibliographic entries or secret fabrications to confound his readers

The Second Time Alice Munro Asked Me a Question


Off to the lower system of rectangular rooms I took her to seek answers in The N.U.C. The National Union Catalog Pre-1956 Imprints, where looking up each author we discovered entries so near yet so far from truth we both felt we were looking for meaning in impenetrable dreams

When she returned my phone message she said she and her husband laughed when I revealed that he was not alone that graduate students of many languages had posted digital laments on various internet sites about Borges’ intentions their voices crying in the wilderness


She gave me her phone number in case any further information turned up so later I ascended the stairs to the seemingly limitless shelves of books retrieved Borges’ original Historia universal de la infamia and, repeating my quest in The N.U.C., found again only


who will cause bass and tenor drones to give voice like prayerful monks

I can but in memory see and hear cousin Douglas perform his blest duty at his brother’s graveside under the windy skies

i.m. Doug Smith

Who will pipe for our family now the piper has passed away

who will wear the regalia the kilt, sporran, hose, and jacket

I have not the strength or the ken to play for the piper’s farewell

how will we mourn with skirling sound all of our future funerals

how will we joyful celebrate weddings and anniversaries


when I said I was transported he asked me Do you know the air

Aye I replied The flowers of the forest are a’ wede away

A’ Wede Away

who will keep the bag filled with air and finger the notes of the chanter


Kate Rogers

From this cottage attic by the Loch I hear my voice lilt, flirting with you on the phone. Your breaths roll in slow, a tide, salt water meets fresh.

Your body the island I swim to, eyes rare blue granite, in your worn rock face.

Your knees, your elbows—cobbled like the streets of Auld Toun. The bones of your ankles the strongest stones in your foundation. Your spine ridge where you hit the ship deck my path to the sea.

Love Song, Edinburgh for Dai, half an earth away

Each mountain ledge muscled as your calf, cliffs broad as your shoulders riding the winch line above Ben Nevis in a forty-knot gale.

When you lived here you surfed off Kintyre at night, balanced on the surging kelpie1 without bit or bridle. Unafraid of its curled brine lip.

Uttam Chatterjee


Basudara Roy



Jorge Alberto Pérez Hernández

JJ Medina 213


Wency Rosales


Raydel Castellanos

Juan Miguel Verdicia


Raydel Castellanos


Don Gutteridge

Harry Fisher, veteran of the Somme and other killing grounds, occupied a stucco-ed abode on the corner of Monk and Michigan, his yard - front, side and back – littered with failed fridges, castaway ranges, old stoves, staggering in the sun, abandoned beds with coiled springs the wind whistled through, a three-legged couch, leaking innards, a babybuggy with no infant to hug, and sundry other pepperpots and gimcrack crockery, and any afternoon saw Harry pacing the Main, in search of something he could never quite find – in the clutter of his home or the maelstrom of his mind.

Harry Fisher



Ken “Duffy” Duffield sported a set of buck teeth that would have made a beaver boast, that no dentist could cure, and in the schoolyard, whenever he was teased he would grin the unruffled grin he wore like a buffoon’s badge, and turn away, until the day he struck back with furious fists, and we watched in awe as he marched to the principal with both palms up and held high, and the slap of the strap, like the crack of a whip on the victim’s skin, could be heard three rooms down the hall, where we shuddered with each shameful stroke, and waited for the cry –that did not come.




My pal Wiz, whose mother insisted on calling him Dave, was the captain of our small cabal, and earned that sobriquet because there wasn’t a gizmo he couldn’t fizz or a gadget he couldn’t rachet into action, and his prize pony was a derby-racer, confected out of borrowed buggy wheels and abandoned boards, and lacquered as black as Satan’s ass, and we pushed him around town, like a royal in a rickshaw, from buffed boulevard to grassy patch –to the astonished applause of passers-by and jaw-dropping awe of denizens too dazzled to wave, and when that storied day wound down, I was pleased to have basked in the glory-reflected by do-it-all Dave.

Amanda Hale



Richard M. Grove / Tai


Richard M. Grove / Tai

Richard M. Grove / Tai



Richard M. Grove / Tai

Lisa DiMenna is an educator, a wife and a mother. Her path to poetry is new as she has recently discovered that she truly enjoys writing. Poetry has helped her cope with the loss of her father. She writes about grief, power dynamics in relationships, love, nature’s ability to heal, and money’s influence on our mental well-being. It is her sincere wish to connect to people through her writing.

Ted Amsden is a creative worker in the fields of photography and writing. Retired from photojournalism, his photography is focused on archival imaging of local change through the lens of landscape and domestic and commercial exterior objects. A former Poet Laureate of Cobourg, Ontario he continues to write poetry while moving several literary projects to completion.


Notes on Contributing Poets

April Bulmer lives in Cambridge, Ontario. Her most recent book is called Year of the Dog: A Poet’s Journal. April is currently at work on a manuscript called Feats of Weakness, short prose dealing with illness and spirituality. Her “portraits” in this anthology are excerpts from that project. See her accompanying videos

Mia Burrus explores the boundaries and spaces between urban and wild, spoken and silent, fleeting and timeless, free-formed and structured, known and unknowable, mindless and mindful, through poetry, photography and bricolage.

John Di Leonardo is a Canadian visual artist/poet and a graduate of McMaster University. He has published two award-winning chapbooks, Book of Hours (2014), and Starry Nights (2015). He is a full member of The Canadian League of Poets. His debut collection of ekphrastic poetry, Conditions of Desire, was published by Hidden Brook Press, 2018. He writes and paints in Brooklin, Ontario. You can visit him at

Ian Fitzgerald’s professional background in advertising led to teaching at Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary, Alberta.  He has trifled with poetry since his teenage years and is getting dangerously close to thinking he should take it seriously. His poetry has been published in We Are One – Poems from the Pandemic (2020) and Subterranean Blue Poetry.

Chris Gartland, born in St. Louis, MO, landed in Denver to attend Denver University, graduating with a degree in mathematics in 1978. He should have listened to his Lit professors. He has been sharing his writing on Facebook (Chris Gartland | Facebook) and he is now encouraged by friends to pursue publication.


Joseph A Farina is a retired lawyer and award-winning poet living in Sarnia, Ontario. His poems have appeared in Philadelphia Poets, Tower Poetry, The Windsor Review, and Tamaracks: Canadian Poetry for the 21st Century. He has two books of poetry published, The Cancer Chronicles and The Ghosts of Water Street.

Tea Gerbeza (she/her) is a queer disabled writer and multimedia artist creating in Treaty 4 territory (Regina, SK).  Tea’s most recent work appears or is forthcoming in  Literary Review of Canada, Contemporary Verse 2, Release All the Words Stuck Inside You III, and Room Magazine. Find out more on

Alyda Faber has published two poetry collections, Poisonous If Eaten Raw (2021) and Dust or Fire (2016), with Goose Lane Editions/icehouse poetry. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she teaches Systematic Theology and Ethics at Atlantic School of Theology.

Richard Marvin Tiberius (Tai) Grove lives in Presqu’ile Provincial Park, half way between Toronto and Kingston. He is the man of 7 Ps - Poet, Publisher, Photographer, Painter, President, Public Speaker, Person. He is the Poet Laureate of Brighton. Ontario. He runs Wet Ink Books and is the founding president of the Canada Cuba Literary Alliance.

Beth Gobeil lives and works in Prince Albert, Sk. Retired from a career teaching pre-K, she now teaches creative workshops. She has one volume of poetry, Breathing Room (Radiant Press, 2015) which was short-listed for a Sask Book Award.

Linda Hutsell-Manning’s poetry has been published in Grain, Quarry, lichen, Prairie Journal, Fish Quill Anthology, Nuwork Magazine, Balm Anthology and more. Other publications are That Summer in Franklin (Second Story Press), A Certain Singing Teacher, (Playwrights Canada Press), Fearless and Determined: Two Years Teaching in a One-Room School, (Blue Denim Press), and her short fiction appears in literary magazines.


Miguel Ángel Olivé Iglesias, author, reviewer, translator, editor. Member of the Mexican Association of Language and Literature, the Shakespeare Center and the Canadian Studies Department of Holguín University. Associate Professor with a Master’s degree in Pedagogical Sciences. Has published academic papers in Cuba, Mexico, Spain and Canada, as well as poetry, prose and lit reviews.

Jorge Alberto Pérez Hernández is the Canada Cuba Literary Alliance (CCLA) Ambassador in Gibara, Cuba. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with an English Major and has published stories and poems in Spanish and English with the CCLA. Jorge has edited three books of poetry and has publications in CCLA’s newsletter, The Envoy. He writes mostly about the sea, events in life and his family. He loves fishing and runs a homebased B&B.

Louisa Howerow w rites from the traditional territory of the Attawandaron, Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, and Lunaapeewak peoples. Her poems have appeared in a number of anthologies, among them: Resistance: Righteous Rage in the Age of #MeToo (University of Regina), GUEST 19 (above/ground) and Leap (League of Canadian Poets).

Keith Inman was declared a ‘people’s poet’ for his blue-collar style. His work has won a variety of small press awards, peer reviews, and grants from the Ontario Arts Council. His books can be found in major libraries. Keith lives in Thorold, Ontario.

Don Gutteridge is an award winning poet, born in Sarnia, raised in Point Edward, now living in London. He taught High School English for seven years, later becoming a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Western University, where he is now Professor Emeritus. He has published eighty books including twenty-two novels, fifty books of poetry, one of which, Coppermine, was shortlisted for the 1973 Governor-General's Award. He won the UWO President's Medal for the best periodical poem of that year, “Death at Quebec.”

Tanya Adèle Koehnke is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society (T.O.P.S.) and the Scarborough Poetry Club.  Tanya’s poems appear in  The Ekphrastic Review; Big Art Book; Canadian Woman Studies; Foreplay: An Anthology of Word Sonnets;  Tea-Ku: Poems About Tea;  Grid Poems: A Guide and Workbook; and other publications.

Donna Langevin’s fifth poetry collection, Brimming, was published by Piquant Press, 2019. She won first place in The Banister anthology competition (2019) and also in the Ontario Poetry Society Pandemic poem contest (2020). Winner of a second place Stella award, her play, Summer of Saints, will be produced in June 2022 by Act 2, Ryerson University.


John B. Lee author of 70 titles, is a three time Poet Laureate including the Poet Laureate of the CCLA, lives in a lake house overlooking Long Point Bay on the south coast of Lake Erie where he works as a full-time author.

Dan MacIsaac’s poetry appeared in  Stand, Prism, and  Canadian Literature Brick Books published his poetry collection,  Cries from the Ark. His poetry received awards including the Foley Prize from  America. His work was shortlisted for the Walrus Poetry Prize, The Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest, and the CBC Short Story Prize.

Tanya Korigan works primarily in long form, multi-voiced, often interdisciplinary poems. Korigan has had her work displayed in galleries, libraries, and other spaces.  Periodically online at @waking_juliet (IG), she is creating in the Robinson-Superior Treaty region of Ontario, Canada.

Chuck MacInnis lives with his wife, Sally, in Merrickville, Ontario. He cofounded a poetry collective known as Rogue Poets, a group that has written and produced three poetry anthologies. His work has been accepted in several other publications. He believes poetry, like music, dance, silence or prayer, feeds the soul!

Marvyne Jenoff was born in Winnipeg and began publishing poems as a student at the University of Manitoba in the 1960s. A long-time resident of Toronto, she has published three books of poetry and one of short fiction. Her poetry appears in anthologies and journals across Canada and internationally.

Mike Madill has been published across Canada, including in The Antigonish Review, The Fiddlehead and Event. After earning an Honourable Mention in the inaugural 2021 Don Gutteridge Poetry Award Contest, his debut book of poetry, The Better Part of Some Time, was published by Wet Ink Books in 2022.

Kathryn MacDonald’s poems have appeared in literary journals in Canada, the U.S., Ireland, and England, as well as anthologies. Her poem “Duty / Deon” won Arc Award of Awesomeness (January 2021, shayne avec i grec ,judge) and was published online. “Seduction” was shortlisted for the Freefall Annual Poetry Contest (Gary Barwin, judge) and was published in  Freefall (Fall 2020). She is the author of  A Breeze You Whisper: poems and  Calla & Édourd, a novella, both with Hidden Brook Press.

Elizabeth McCallister resides in Brantford, Ontario. Her work has appeared in a number of anthologies including Hearthbeat: Poems of Family and Hometown, The World Around Us, Tamaracks: Canadian poetry for the 21st century and True Identity, Hidden Brook Press.

Bob MacKenzie’s poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies in Canada, the United States, Australia, India, Italy, and Greece, and has been translated into Greek and Persian. Bob’s published nine volumes of poetry and received numerous regional and international awards. In 2017, Bob attended the Summer Literary Seminars in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Tanya Standish McIntyre is a poet and visual artist, born and still living in the rural Eastern Townships of Quebec. Her first book, The House You Are Born In, to be published in McGill-Queens University Press’s Hugh MacLennan Poetry Series in 2022, tells the story of her early years growing up on an ancestral farm. An early review calls it “a stunning debut by a promising new poetic voice, haunting and uplifting in equal measure.” Visit her website at


Blaine Marchand’s writing has appeared across Canada, the US, Pakistan, India and New Zealand. His seventh collection of poetry, Becoming History, was published in August 2021 by Aeolus House. He is currently finalizing a new manuscript, Promenade. He lives in Ottawa.


Roger Nash is the inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Sudbury, and a past-President of the League of Canadian Poets. Literary awards include: Canadian Jewish Book Award for Poetry, PEN\O.Henry Prize Story, and publication in the Best Canadian Poetry Anthology (Biblioasis Press).

Danny Peart resides in Vancouver, B.C. In 2012, he published a slim volume of poems, cheerfully titled Ruined by Love. The collection was guided by Aislinn Hunter. In 2016, he published a collection of stories and poems titled  Stark Naked in a Laundromat, edited by Zsuzsi Gartner. In 2018, he published a collection of poems titled  Another Mountain to Climb, edited by Aislinn Hunter. In 2019, he was promoted to Ship’s Poet aboard the sailing ketch Seabird out of the Sunshine Coast’s port of Tillicum Bay.

Arleen Paré is a Salish Sea writer with eight collections of poetry. She has been short-listed for the BC Dorothy Livesay BC Award for Poetry, and has won a Golden Crown Award for Lesbian Poetry, the Victoria Butler Book Prize, a CBC Bookie Award, and a Governor Generals’ Award for Poetry.

Samuel Salinas Ramos is a clinical bio-analyst by profession and an autodidact creative, his poetry born from the alchemy of joy and sadness hidden behind the tobacco and sugar cane curtain of his Cuban reality. He is currently working on a poetry collection exploring the convergence of verses and beats.

Robert Priest’s words have been debated in the legislature, posted on buses, quoted in the Farmer’s Almanac, and turned into a hit song. His book Reading the Bible Backwards peaked at number two on the Canadian poetry charts outsold only by Leonard Cohen. A new collection, If I Didn’t Love the River, is forthcoming from ECW Press. He lives in Toronto.

Rhonda Melanson is a poet and teacher living in Sarnia, Ontario Canada.  She has been published in several print and online publications.  She co-edits the literary blog Uproar.

Michael Mirolla is the author of a clutch of novels, plays, film scripts and short story and poetry collections. His publications include three Bressani Prize winners: His novella, The Last News Vendor, won the 2020 Hamilton Literary Award for fiction. Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

Sunil Sharma is a Toronto-based author with twenty-three books published, both solo and joint. He edits Setu journal.

Jaydeep Sarangi is a widely anthologized poet with nine collections in English, his latest, Heart Raining the Light (2020). He is president of the Guild of Indian English Writers, Editors and Critics (GIEWEC) and vice president, EC, Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library, Kolkata. Sarangi is Principal of New Alipore College in Kolkata. He edits Teesta, a journal devoted to poetry and poetry criticism. His website is

Felicity Sidnell Reid’s poetry, fiction and reviews have been published in anthologies, online journals and collections. Her novel, Alone: A Winter in the Woods (Hidden Brook Press) was published in 2015 and as an e-book in 2020. She is co-host and co-producer of Word on the Hills (, a literary series on local radio. Last year, Felicity published a chapbook entitled The Yellow Magnolia (Glentula Press).


Karen Sylvia Rockwell is a Windsor, Ontario lesbian poet whose poetry is inspired by her work as a counsellor and by her colourful, many-faceted, extended blended family. Karen’s poetry has received both recognition and awards. Karen considers colour home, chaos a friend, and words her salvation.

Basudhara Roy teaches English at Karim City College affiliated to Kolhan University, Chaibasa. Author of four books including three collections of poems, she writes and reviews from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India.

Gwynn Scheltema’s poetry has been published in anthologies, journals and magazines in Canada, Europe and South Africa, online and in print. She is one of five featured poets in One Ticket Five Rides. (Whirling Dervish Press). Gwynn is inspired by the natural world, the sensory and sensual.

Kate Rogers’ poetry recently appeared in SubTerrain, Looking Back at Hong Kong (CUHK Press) and The Beauty of Being Elsewhere. (Hidden Brook Press) She calls Toronto, Northumberland County and the Algonquin highlands, home.

Jill Solnicki is a writer and retired teacher living in Toronto. Her two published collections of poetry are  This Mortal Coil and The Fabric of Skin. Her memoir about teaching at-risk students, The Real Me is Gonna be a Shock, was acquired by CBC Television. Jill’s poetry has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies.

Glen Sorestad has been writing and publishing his poems for fifty years. Among his more than twenty-five books of his own poetry, his work has appeared in over seventy-five anthologies and texts. His most recent book of poetry is a bilingual English/Italian collection, Selected Poems, from Dancing Birches (2020) published in Italy.

K.V. Skene’s work has appeared in Canada, U.K., U.S., Ireland, India, Australia, Austria and China. Skene’s latest collection, Unoriginal Sins, was published in 2018 by erbacce-press (UK). Her chapbook, The Love Life of Bus Shelters, appeared in 2019 courtesy of Cinnamon Press (UK).


JC Sulzenko’s poetry appears on Arc’s Poem of the Year shortlist, online, and in anthologies and journals either under her name or as A. Garnett Weiss. Aeolus House released Bricolage, A gathering of centos (July 2021.) South Shore Suite … POEMS came out in 2017. JC curates “Poetry Quarter” (Glebe Report) and selects for

Vanessa Shields is a poet, teacher, mother, wife, reader, laugher, walker, swimmer, cuddler living in Windsor, Ontario with her family. She owns Gertrude’s Writing Room, A Gathering Place for Writers. Thimbles (Palimpsest Press, 2021) is her most recent poetry collection. Visit her at

John Tyndall lives in London, Ontario with his wife, storyteller Diane Halpin. His latest book is Listen to People (Hidden Brook, 2020). He has also appeared in the print anthology The Beauty of Being Elsewhere (Hidden Brook, 2021), and the online anthology Dénouement (Beliveau Books, 2021).

Nathalie Sorensen has spent a lifetime reading poetry and now enjoys writing it. She is published in literary magazines and anthologies. She studied English literature and education and taught English at St. Lawrence College.  She lives in Kingston, Ontario where she writes, gardens, takes photographs, and spends time at the family cottage on the Salmon River.

Dianalee Velie is the Poet Laureate of Newbury, NH. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, and has a Master of Arts in Writing from Manhattanville College. She is the author of six books of poetry,  Glass House, First Edition, The Many Roads to Paradise, The Alchemy of Desire, Ever After, Italian Lesson and a collection of short stories, Soul Proprietorship: Women in Search of Their Souls. She is a member of the National League of American Pen Women, the New England Poetry Club, the International Woman Writers Guild, the New Hampshire Poetry Society and founder of the John Hay Poetry Society.

Bob Wood has penned about 200 stories and opinion pieces on municipal and provincial politics and other topics. His work has appeared in Forever Young Magazine, Canadian Dimension, Literature for the People and other publications. The Port Rowan, Ontario resident received Norfolk County’s Laureate award for fiction in 2021.

Raeesa Usmani is an academic, research scholar, translator, blogger, public speaker, poet and writer from the Western ghats of India who writes to unwind her troubled mind. Writing gives her space, liberty and ease to breathe. She has two books to her name Life: An Intriguing Roller Coaster (non-fiction, 2020) and (Her)Voice from Within (poetry, 2021).


Elena Venables was born in Miramar, Cuba to a Cuban mother and Canadian father. The family left Cuba in 1960. She has lived in Buenos Aires, New York, Montreal, Ottawa and now Merrickville, Ontario. Member of the Rogue Poets of Merrickville, she is an avid flamenco guitar player and too oftentimes a daydreamer.

Terry Watada is a well-published poet living in Toronto. He has five poetry collections in print.  The Four Sufferings (Mawenzi House, Toronto ON) was released in December 2020.

John Unruh is a Northumberland resident and writer concerned with the value of broken things and how communities come together to fix them. He is also a career technical writer and editor. You can reach him on Twitter @jtu_nwfrt or by email at

Cover Award Winner: José Alberto Pérez lives in Holguín, Cuba born in 1994. He is an entrepreneur, tourguide , photographer and travel blogger on YouTube. You can find him For

A short bio about our Poetry Editor: Antony Di Nardo is the author of seven books of poetry. His most recent, Through Yonder Window Breaks, published by Wet Ink Books, was one of the winners of the Don Gutteridge Poetry Award. His forthcoming collection, Forget-Sadness-Grass (Ronsdale Press), will be released in Fall 2022. He divides his time between Sutton, Quebec and Cobourg, Ontario.

He is an award winning photographer, the photography editor for the Evoy, the newsletter of the Canada Cuba Literary Alliance and the CCLA magazine, Ambassador. For a private or group tour, you can reach him at: or


A short bio of our Photography Editor: Wency Rosales (1972) Teacher of English as a second language, has worked in the Tourism Industry as Entertainer, Public Relation Asistant. He is currently a Tour Guide for Havanatur company in Cuba.

Donna Wootton is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her book about her late father,  Moon Remembered, is archived in the library at Trent University. Her poetry was published in the anthology,  The Divinity of Blue (Hidden Brook Press). Her latest publication is the novel  Isadora’s Dance from Blue Denim Press.

His poetry has been published in different anthologies, published in Canada.

Richard M. Grove / Tai


Dedicated to my dear sister Adonay and brother Manuel. Geography, politics and covid have kept them apart for far too long. Divine Love has kept them together. Tai

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Articles inside

Don Gutteridge – p. 218

pages 238-255

Nathalie Sorensen

pages 222-225

Karen Sylvia Rockwell

page 216

Jill Solnicki

pages 209-213

Bob Wood

pages 214-215

Blaine Marchand

page 194

Dianalee Velie – p. 186

pages 206-207

JC Sulzenko – p. 174

page 193

Kathryn MacDonald – p. 189

page 208

Louisa Howerow – p. 168

pages 187-192

Jorge Alberto Pérez Hernández

pages 184-186

Alyda Faber – p. 156

page 175

Elizabeth McCallister

pages 170-172

Beth Gobeil – p. 120

pages 141-144

Vanessa Shields – p. 145

page 164

Tanya Korigan

pages 153-161

Chuck MacInnis

pages 151-152

Danny Peart

pages 165-169

Roger Nash – p. 113

pages 133-140

Samuel Salinas Ramos

pages 123-129

Chris Gartland

pages 121-122

Donna Langevin – p. 110

pages 130-132

April Bulmer – p. 86

pages 106-108

Linda Hutsell-Manning – p. 100

page 119

Miguel Ángel Olivé Iglesias

page 95

Marvyne Jenoff

pages 84-87

Raeesa Usmani

pages 97-105

Michael Mirolla – p. 20

pages 40-41

Glen Sorestad

pages 43-45

Ted Amsden – p. 38

page 58

Bob MacKenzie – p. 27

page 46

Basudhara Roy – p. 23

page 42

Dan MacIsaac

pages 26-28

Elena Venables

pages 68-70

Keith Inman – p. 36

pages 55-57
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