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Devour: Art & Lit Canada is dedicated to the Canadian voice.

ISSN 2561-1321 Issue 004

Devour Art & Lit Canada

Cindy Conlin

Find some of Canada’s finest authors, photographers and artists featured in every issue.

Cindy Conlin

Cindy Conlin

The mission of Devour: Art & Lit Canada

is to promote Canadian culture by bringing world-wide readers some of the best Canadian literature, art and photography.

ISSN 2561-1321 Issue 004 Winter 2020 Devour: Art & Lit Canada 5 Greystone Walk Drive Unit 408 Toronto, Ontario M1K 5J5 DevourArtAndLitCanada@gmail.com Cover Photograph – Cindy Conlin Editor-in-Chief – Richard M. Grove Layout and Design – Richard M. Grove

Welcome to the 4th issue of Devour: Art & Lit Canada. This issue we have our continued contributions from our three poetry editors: 1 – April Bulmer, for our “Open Mic Canada” section, 2 – Bradley McIlwain, for our “Devour Under 25” section, and 3 – Bruce Kauffman, for our “Quintessentially Canadian” section. We are proud to continue with these three poetry sections thanks to our three editors. “Wildlife Canada” is our new photography section featuring Cindy Conlin, article written by Kimberley Sherman Grove. Stay tuned for other fine wildlife photographers in the future. We have added a couple of Letters to the Editor. Don’t hesitate to send us your comments on the Canadian Art and Lit scene. If you include pics or poems they will more than likely be published. Editor-in-chief Richard M. Grove

Cindy Conlin

Devour Content Feature Profiles: Letters to the Editor – p. 8 - 9 Our Three Poetry Editors – April Bulmer – p. 10 – Bradley McIlwain – p. 14 – Bruce Kauffman – p. 18

Open Mic Canada – p.21 Devour Under 25 – p. 28 Quintessentially Canadian – p. 32 Wildlife Canada: Cindy Conlin, wildlife photographer, article: “Patience and Passion Appear To Be Her Drive” by Kimberley Sherman Grove – p. 52

Artis t P ro f i le - John Di Leonardo – p. 62 Paper and Rags, by Morgan Wade – p. 70 Santiago’s Purple Skies at Morning’s Light, by Bernadette Gabay Dyer – p. 74

D evou r: Art & Lit C anada

Letters to the Editor The Winter Solstice, 2019 Dear Tai, I will start with Norma’s big news. Her 7th novel (and 28th literary title), Perk’s First Love: A 1984 Drum Corps Summer, was published quite late last year (2018), so her first Toronto reading from Perk’s First Love was at the Toronto Public Library (Annette Street Branch) this year. But my sweetheart is not done — her  Cabbages and Kings: poems 2012 - 2019 is expected early next year. This will also be launched at the Toronto Public Library (Annette Street Branch) during National Poetry Month. As for me, Tamaracks: Canadian poetry for the 21st century appeared so late last year (2018) that it could not be launched until this year. So far there have been a dozen Tamaracks readings (11 hosted by me) in places like Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Sarnia, and Welland. There will be more Tamaracks readings during 2020. A new poetry book,  Travelling The Lost Highway: poems 2011 - 2018 (my 28th literary title), was recently published and launched at Supermarket in Toronto. And finally, I expect my Earth’s Signature: New & Selected Jackpine Sonnets late next year. What Norma and I have in common, along with our love for each other, is that we are among 31 Canadians covered in a major study of Canuck poetry:  In a Fragile Moment: A Landscape of Canadian Poetry by Prof. Miguel Ángel Olivé Iglesias. In a Fragile Moment is being printed right now and it will be launched at the University of Holguín, Cuba, during early February. This is the first broad-scope critical look at Canada’s poetry in decades. (We consider our inclusion by Prof.Iglesias to be a great honour.) There will be readings/celebrations of Prof. Iglesias’ book in Toronto, Ottawa, etc. With Tamaracks appearing in late 2018 and In a Fragile Moment in late 2019, this truly is a wonderful time for Canadian poetry. My personal project continues at Canadian Stories with my 3-year-long study of 15 Confederation Poets. My “Conclusion” should appear early in 2020 and then I will expand these essays into a book-length study. Norma’s on-going project is to complete the revisions to the MS of her th 8 novel, Michael Newman’s Summer of Seventy-eight. With our recent and forthcoming books, we plan plenty of readings in 2020. Between now and then, we will again hunker down and spend the winter in Sarnia to avoid winter driving. But like the blossoms of spring, we will emerge in April with renewed vigour. Then we hit the road for poetry.

Wishing you health and a magical 2020, . . . James (& Norma) Deahl 8

Dear Editor: I have had the wonderful opportunity to access your magazine on line. I look forward to every issue and direct my students to it every opportunity I have. It is like an update on the best of Canadian lit‐art. It is definitely far‐reaching, all the way to Cuba and beyond. I must congratulate you on the original idea and for publishing such a fine magazine representing Canadian culture. I share the link for “Devour” with colleagues at my University of Holguin, Cuba, and with professor friends around the world. Please allow me to join in this celebration of Canadian culture and life by forwarding you this poem I wrote to Canada and to one of its most distinguished Canadian icons, Al Purdy. Thank you. MSc Miguel Ángel Olivé Iglesias Associate Professor Holguín University, Cuba

O Canada To Canada and Al Purdy Al Purdy tells us of a place… about people… Patrick Connors

I know you, O Canada, thanks to books, singers, films, friends, poems, writers and “friends‐of‐kin.” A golden maple leaf brooch (Kim’s present) sleeps on my wife’s chest of drawers. She treasures it. Next to it Al Purdy’s collection of poems, Beyond Remembering, mapping, O Canada, your heritage of names, places, people, memories. Al, “The Voice of the Land,” crosses his land, contemplates its vastness and immortalizes it in his poems. And in those poems, O Canada, you’ll always live!


April Bulmer “Open Mic Canada” Editor April Bulmer is the poetry editor for the “Open Mic Canada” section of Devour: Art & Lit Canada. She has had a dozen books of poetry and prose published. She holds Masters degrees in creative writing, religious studies and theological studies. Her work often addresses the role and magic of the divine feminine. Her most recent book, Out of Darkness, Light, was released by Hidden Brook Press in its John B. Lee Signature Series in 2018. It was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the U.S. in their Spirituality category. This book is set by the Grand River near Cambridge, Ontario where April lives and was recently nominated for the Woman of Distinction Award in the Arts category by the YWCA. The poems tell of a fictional congregation of women who worship by the river. Wind, water, moon, sun, earth and rain are all celebrated as spiritual inspirations for these women. “Imagine the fertile womb, the goddess of river and earth, the moonlight and menses of prayer, the dimming of darkness with light the flowering of candle in flame, the trimmed wick and the softening wax of its burning, the communion of alluvial soil and bursting seed, the flow of healing waters, the slaking of spiritual thirst, the blooming of life and the crossing of shadows and shades of the grave and you have entered the world of Bulmer’s lovely metaphysical poetry where the metaphysics are simplified by the clarity of luminous lines,” writes her editor, Poet Laureate John B. Lee. Similarly, poet Katherine L. Gordon writes that “this light that April Bulmer brings to us from [a] long tenebrae rises to a sanctified space where the feminine soul can at last inhabit and display...The poems, so light and lyrical on the page, are filled with an amazing depth of historical gleanings, a harvest of image and information...[The book] is a fine Canadian classic.”


Out of Darkness, Light is available from April at: aprilbulmer.poems@gmail.com 4 poems from Out of Darkness, Light:

Anne April Bulmer

The river, her green skin. We gather on the new moon: prayer and hymn. Mother Scarlett, her hair long and red as serpents. I hear the Goddess in worship. I wade her waters and bathe. My body washed clean of its rash and salve. I turn rough stones in my hands. Offer thanks to water its nave and its apse.


Isabella April Bulmer

St. Lucy, my daughter wears your crown of light: candles balanced on a wreath. Outside, even dead leaves open their palms. The Congregation of Women breathes. Prayers flicker in our hearts: tallow and wick. We fall to our knees. My daughter her hat of wax bleeds.

Meg April Bulmer

It is morning the geese cry in the grey sky. The sun a rag. The dog and I breathe on Albert St. Winter ghosts drag their gowns in wet snow. A procession, a hymn. The song rises on the wind. The cold like a wafer on the tongue: a thin host.


Sugar April Bulmer

We gather by the river. There is a wind. The Holy Spirit shivers. I pray for C. He dwells in the next county. I imagine his truck. It moves through snow like a tired bison. The Congregation of Women. Our hymn a leaf. How it turns in the cold: I sing for C. We fall to our knees. A flock of damp wool. We gather our shawls: We are women of the caul.


Bradley McIlwain “Devour Under 25” Editor Bradley McIlwain lives in Ontario, Canada where he is inspired by songs in nature, and examining our relationships within it. Bradley graduated from the University of Toronto’s iSchool, where he received his M.I. in Library and Information Science. Bradley is the editor of Buried Horror, a space for fresh voices in horror, speculative fiction, and poetry. Bradley’s latest collection of poems, Elementals (IOWI, 2015) is now available on Amazon and Indigo.


Montes de Leon Bradley McIlwain

Mountain steeps under fallen leaves pumpkin orange and dandelion gold like colour in my tea at sunset swirling flames of dream and desire blushing like lovers under a coral horizon


Diana’s Dream Bradley McIlwain

If I could go back — pull back the veil layer upon layer — unveiling vast valleys in twilight glistening with titan trees — and drink with Diana at the sacred streams fill my cup with stars for dreaming for the moon is waning — and my heart is hungry for the love of the world upon waking


Passing Bradley McIlwain

Light from a train passes thick pines hidden meadows Somewhere, laughter swirls under the stars a smile of constellations and childhood memories return with the fluttering fireflies carrying the twilight from a passing dream


Bruce Kauffman “Quintesentially Canadian� Editor

Bruce Kauffman lives in Kingston, Ontario and is a poet, editor, workshop facilitator, programmer/host of a spoken-word weekly radio show, and organizer of a monthly open mic poetry series. In addition to having appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, his published work includes 2 chapbooks, and 4 collection of poetry with his latest, an evening absence still waiting for moon, having launched in May 2019. He has edited 7 anthologies.


everything Bruce Kauffman

to make sure nothing is left out I have made it a point to write my autobiography just an instant before i die and will pretend along the way i am not waiting too long


shelves Bruce Kauffman

shelves become seldom more than the collectors of dust and a collection of things in their own collection of more dust forgotten time

choice again Bruce Kauffman

perhaps it is wiser to wander about aimless then with destination in mind discover in it more the fullness of place of self


Open Mic Canada Editor: April Bulmer

Introduction to Open Mic Canada I am pleased to include poems from new and established poets in “Open Mic Canada.” As some Canadians shiver in the winter weather at this time, I reflect on Michael Mirolla’s poem “A visit to an ice cave.” Here, the poet points to a “shudder of a thaw” but an “inevitable re-birth,” as he reflects on “a line of ancestors / imbedded in ice.” Other poems in this section of Devour offer images that melt our hearts: excerpts from Mary Ann Mulhern’s new book, The Midnight Moon Sings of Murder, for instance. Mulhern has written a new collection based on research she conducted on the murder of the Donnelly family in 19th century Ontario. Kathy Robertson’s “Grandfather’s Canoe” also dips deep and glides gracefully. Poet Laureate John B. Lee’s “Mud Pie Bakery” is a fun recollection. His summer memories remind us that the sun, a perfect yolk, can warm and nourish our inner children again. April Bulmer


Mary Ann Mulhern Windsor, Ontario

A Daughter Mourns Jenny Donnelly, a young wife now weeps over her family mother, father, brothers Tom and John cousin Bridget killed in a winter night cursed by moon and stars Jenny feels grief in flesh, blood and bone I watch as she kneels over graves draped with sorrow coffins lowered into absence rough fabric of shrouds seams sewn too tight for breath

Ghost of Bridget Donnelly I am the ghost of Bridget Donnelly released from flames ashes of youth never a summer bride veiled in white a young mother nursing sons I stay close to my family land made sacred with blood


Glen Sorestad sorstd@sasktel.net Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The End of Hostilities When the Second World War ended, I was eight, certainly aware enough of the conflict to know which side to cheer for, and that we were on the side of good and right. We lived in Vancouver and I still remember the joy and elation that seized the city when it was announced the war was finally ended and our troops would return to their families, though some, like my uncle, would not come back, having been one of the casualties. I also knew the end of the war would bring a welcome end to rations, an end to the ongoing sugar shortage; which in turn would mean we’d see the reappearance of chocolate bars and candies that had disappeared from the shelves of shops. It also meant that mothers shopping for their families would no longer squabble and skirmish over rare jars of strawberry jam or canned peaches in our local Safeway. No more rowdy grocery aisle altercations, no more split-and-bloodied scalps from fracases over who had been first in the queue for the rationed sugar. The signing of the truce in Europe also marked a needed resumption of peace on the home front.


John B. Lee johnb.leejbl@gmail.com Port Dover, Ontario

Mud Pie Bakery when we were children we crossed the yard from the weathered clapboard of our cousins’ farmhouse creasing the sand with our feet so the fine-grained earth puffing blond at our ankles powdered our socks like the up-sifting there of hard-wheat pie flour our plush footsteps sizing us each and all leaving small evidence marking our wake for our having gone this way as we moved in a line out past the hand pump at the barn which we primed for water that came in a rusty gush filling the silver tomato juice can to the brim a shining liquid meniscus we dare not spill and we plodded away out past the abandoned car buzzing with wasps hiving in the Hessian jute of the sprung seats and stinging the glass from within with their warning like the coming on of a slow yellow rain as we pass on our way with our half-bucket of garden earth stolen from the headland which we poured out as well-watered pies of new mud slapping the slivered flat boards of the empty corncrib in what my sister now recalls as the mud-pie bakery a row of five or six cow-flap portions drying in the sun the dark earth fading as it cures and I remember as I write these words how my mother confessed when she was a little girl she stole six eggs from the henhouse mixing them in to her own mud pies as I imagine in those let-there-be-darkness days long before I was born the yolk spilling orange over the rim of her egg-guilty hand like the sun dropping over the edge of the earth


Kathy Robertson kathyrobertson0234@gmail.com Kitchener, Ontario

Grandfather’s Canoe Stay the course my grandfather called as we guided his canoe into inky liquid that spun intricate ribbons. Upon his passing I inherited his canoe black paint peeling; yet after two coats of crimson red it glistened. That fall I eased it into the river– solo excursion– its scarlet hue reflecting the blush of flaming forests. The waters embraced me a reverent recognition one soul mate to another as loons created haunting echoes that bounced off ancient cliffs. It was magical no words just the pool of paddle stroking the surface; an intimate awareness of conversing with my forebear still guiding me to stay the course.


Ellen S. Jaffe esjaffe@outlook.com Toronto, Ontario

Islands I’ve always loved islands, large and small: Manhattan (hardly deserted) where my ancestors disembarked to a new life, Ireland and the Aran Islands, the treeless, peat-rich Isle of Lewis (Outer Hebrides), haunted by stone circles, Prince Edward Island, home of kindred spirits, Newfoundland, and the nameless, tiny island in Greece, one vacation long ago, where we swam in warm lagoons, and walked from one side to the other in a few moments. Can I remember the smell of the grass? Now, after visiting my son on Vancouver Island, I am filled with the sight and scent of the trees, their ancient trunks, roots deeply connected, reaching toward the sky – the murmuring pines and the hemlocks. We saw snow-geese migrating, hawks winging, two eagles fly from the same tree... and the home of Japanese salmon-canners, evicted and interned during World War II – their possessions restored years too late, their home now a tourist attraction – or a sad reminder. We met as family, my son, his partner and child, my partner, too, warm in each other’s company, telling stories, bridging the distance between us, No man is an island said John Donne, no matter how isolated we feel, i-lands in our own minds, love brings us back to our true relations: with each other, the earth in all its growing, and our many selves. We sail and sail, find new moorings, new homes, archipelagoes of life.


Michael Mirolla mirollamichael@gmail.com Hamilton, Ontario

A visit to an ice cave Imagine then a line of ancestors imbedded in ice. Their startled faces trapped in the moment deep freeze takes hold. And time stops. Caught within this unlikely cave (a gelid force field to keep the warmth at bay) do they stare out at the passage of clouds? Breezes bringing honey and goldenrods? A sun that seems well within reach? Can they yearn for such a touch? All it would take to get the clock ticking again is for one ray to find its way inside. One drip of water from a stalactite’s tip. Imagine then a line of ancestors emerging through ice. A sudden release from stasis, inevitable re-birth. The shudder of a thaw into worlds without pause. Where motion is constant and the engine burns and belches, unable to stop from devouring itself. Where clouds are manufactured for the sole purpose of enticing those within to expose themselves. Where sun, honey and goldenrods extract the passing moment from forever and hold it out for the expiring to mourn. Best then to imagine the perfection of an empty space. A place of blinding darkness hollowed out by winds so ghostly they deflect the sunlight itself. A place that seals the ancestors in and makes them immune to life. A place with neither inside nor out. A place that can’t be imagined. Imagine then what can’t be imagined.


Devour Under 25 Editor: Bradley McIlwain

In this issue of Devour, we are excited to bring you three emerging poets writing in Canada under the age 25 with fresh and powerful voices. In Fortes of the Night, Chris Yip captivates us in a swirling crescendo and sweeps us into the soul of a skillful piano soloist; connecting us to the interconnectedness of our relationships and the cosmos is Codrina Ibanescu, taking us to scenic mountains of Costa Rica and the beauty of B.C., the reader becomes part of the greater tide that binds us together in Serendipity and Love Letters to the Universe; finally, Antonio Lanni takes on the battlefield in The Valley of the Shadow of Death, an explosive narrative which asks the fundamental question: ‘what am I now?’ Enjoy! Bradley McIlwain

Chris Yip Whitby, ON

Fortes of the Night In a bright empty room where a black key sits still ready to be played time after time an opened window hears the echo of joyful fingers to the slow, dark sorrow. In the flooding slurings, where harmony appears, on and on it goes, ‘till the metronome ceases to stand still. When the last note fortes, the night falls.


Codrina Ibanescu codrina.ibanescu@gmail.com Etobicoke, Ontario

Serendipity You gently washed into my life Life soothing waves upon a shore, And though we’ve met only recently I’ve known you in a lifetime before… I cherish every moment, And when I look into your eyes, I see an entire Universe— In disguise. You grace me with your kindness, In your embrace I take shelter And I know, like a ray shining between dark clouds You will shine, no matter the weather. I cherish every moment And when I peer into your eyes, I see an entire Soul In disguise. I hope one day you may realize The beauty and light that you carry within. With each memory made, our love deepens And goes so much deeper than skin— Your smile and embrace feels like home, And balms any wound I’ve had before, And I want you to know There’s no part of you I do not adore.


Codrina Ibanescu codrina.ibanescu@gmail.com Etobicoke, Ontario

Love Letters to the Universe Where do these thoughts come from? Where will they all go? From within the ashes that will eventually come… Will various flowers grow? Will I become a part of the tide, That will carry me to the sea Do I stand to reside With the Soul that exists within me? I ask these questions, In hopes that one day I will understand The vast interconnected nature Between humans and the land. You see— I may not be much of a talker, But I have a lot to say, and I continue To ask questions, every day. Will I become a part of the tide, That will carry me to the sea? Do I stand to reside With the Soul that exists within me? See, from when I was a child I had a joy in my heart When connecting— With an animal, nature Or Art. There are days when I awaken And I know the light that exists within me, That have carried me on my journeys From Europe, the mountains of Costa Rica And BC


And so… I ask these questions In hopes that one day I may know Where do we come from? Where will we go? Will we become a part of the Earth That has nurtured us tenderly Or will we return to the Cosmos The heavenly stars, the primordial energy?

Antonio Vincenzo Lanni officialantoniolanni@gmail.com London, Ontario

Valley of the Shadow of Death This is it. But I don’t want to die. A boy doesn’t belong on a battlefield. But here thy lay. The sounds of war press on into the night. But here thy lay. The wrong colors I bear, for today is my day. There is much I wish to say, nobody will know. He looked into my eyes. Pushed in the blade & let me go. Mama and Papa, I’m sorry. I promised I’d come home. I hope you won’t need my help for the crop to grow. All of the color began to fade and so did I. “Please I want to go home” I plead. The decision was made. I couldn’t move and I wanted to go to sleep. Goodbye cruel world this is it for me. I died fighting my father’s war, I hope I make him proud. I fear only death, but I faced my fear. I stand on the other side now. Now, I’m the puppeteer. I pull all the strings. There are no strings here. Many choose to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. But it is my home now. I am no longer my own. A boy I once was. What am I now? Everything & nothing just as it was intended. A boy I once was. What am I now? Free Me Free Me Free Me


Quintessentially Canadian Poetry Editor: Bruce Kauffman Photo Editor: Richard Grove

This Winter Issue’s Quintessentially Canadian section offers a diverse selection of reflections and observations around and within the Canadian landscape, and delivers a variety of image-laden, poetic explorations. Poems that suggest both where we are, and who we are. Poems of hope, remembrance, and, as in the last issue, here in our land of seasons, many of the poems submitted and selected for this section in this issue are offerings centered now in the heart of this current winter season. Bruce Kauffman We hope you enjoy the poems and the photographs in this section called Quintessentially Canadian. As the Photo Editor I am always looking for fun, interesting, stimulating photographs by amateur and pro photographers that say something about Canada and what Canada is quintessentially all about. Some of the photographs are snapshots taken with the ubiquitous phone and some are taken with the high end camera. Pass the word to your Canadian pic-taker friends. Richard M. Grove

Cindy Conlin


Nathalie Sorensen Kingston, ON nsorensen@cogeco.ca

The Valley at Winter Solstice For us the earth is tilted far from the sun and star-filled nights are long and black. On short, bright days chickadees and nuthatches flit from bush to feeder to bush, small bundles of verve in the stilling, white landscape through which I walk, studying tracks in the snow: rabbit, deer, vole, partridge. A solitary stone in a stand of bare maples speaks what it’s known since the glaciers passed. Ahead, a conversation of jays echoes sky and snow while ice floating on the dark river scrapes, crackles on shining shores. As one being, the valley listens and settles.

Cindy Conlin


Mori McRae St. Catharines, ON morimccrae@icloud.com

Sightings I have followed the broken yellow line, beside my husband, before him and behind, as now, he disappears over the hill, I am about to climb. Out of habit— we have looked to each other’s needs, the splurges of the body; to pee or eat, aware of the constant hunger of our differing gobble-up gasoline machines gliding through a funnel of trees on the left and the right the land seeks closure for us, makes a nest of itself where hay bales have come to rest in a golden field, and the black squiggle of a tire expired as it gave up on the road like a signature on a last will and testament. Will it really be like going home. A stepping off. A stepping out. A step at all, or a mad glad dash blast of speed towards a well-worn shape sitting in a mild daze looking up to ask, what the hell took you so long.


Marion Mutala Saskatoon, SK marion.mutala@gmail.com

Prayer for Climate Justice The time for climate justice is now: now is the time for people to urgently pray, speak and take common responsibility for living and non-living things in the universe. From the Global 4 corners we ask for blessings but especially for the global south who suffer greatly from the impacts of climate change and issues of ecological justice. The earth is a magnificent gift given for creatures big and small to enjoy, celebrate, respect and use with utmost dignity. Teach and guide us to become great stewardships of creation. Bless Mother Earth and help us to honour it graciously. The time is now: now is the time to peacefully preserve the world, to pray and act consciously. Amen!


Lisa Makarchuk Toronto, ON lisamakarchuk@sympatico.ca

Autumn’s Northern Woods Autumn preens With bursts of reds And orange and golds Primping as crimson sumac Exact attention leaves of maples and birches Provoke a dreamy response Of winter’s embrace Covering all with its blanket Enshrouded with verdant firs Above it the world chatters and Moves about While underneath the white and fluff And crunch The two intertwine In earthy hibernation leaves re-sustaining From whence they’ve come Nurturing new life That will surge into being To sprout its sprays Of blooms in the spring.


Lisa Makarchuk Prince Edward County


Keith Inman Thorold, ON inman@vaxxine.com

A Way The cathedral was almost full. Pilgrims milled about staring at the loomed light as they waited for mass. Anne touched his arm, “You’re blocking the confessional,” and continued to one of the few open seats. A panel slid open behind his left shoulder. It reminded him of a story about a young priest caught in the catechisms of life, when a drunk stumbled into his confessional on Christmas Eve, “Hello. Operator? I need a taxi to King and Yonge.” * More stalls lined the busy, pillared nave, voices rising to the ceiling the way chisels and hammers once rang the bones of wood and stone to fill the world with echoes of who they were, the way words worked through people to ring the air with joy or sorrow. He turned and walked toward Anne. The pew creaked as he sat under the murmur of the crowd swirling up to the portal arches holding heaven’s floor in place. And he waited for the Botafumeiro to swing its blessing over their heads. After the service, Anne rose. “Didn’t you hear Juan say they don’t do that anymore. Unless someone pays hundreds of Euros. Come on. Let’s eat. I’m starving.” * after Morley Callaghan’s A Predicament


Ellen S. Jaffe Toronto, ON esjaffe@outlook.com

First snow in Toronto Bicycles huddle by muffled trees, Lone flamingo keeps watch.

Ellen S. Jaffe


Glen Sorestad Saskatoon, SK sorstd@sasktel.net

Spring Magic They were there – just like that. The day preceding, they hadn’t been. Not a solitary one. We had passed the pond several times as April waned and felt something missing. It did not register until today. As we approached, we could hear it — the sound, missing the day before, the startling bursts, the cheeky trills: red-winged blackbirds, boisterous males, their ebony feathers gleaming, resplendent in late April morning sun, their scarlet epaulets bright gashes against glistening black, as they staked territory for the new nesting season, chose strategic trees and twigs to shriek their raucous in-your-face presence at us like midway barkers, announcing they were here again, back to reclaim this tiny pond for the brief summer. There they were, just like that.


Glen Sorestad


Glen Sorestad Saskatoon, SK sorstd@sasktel.net

False Spring: February The back of a two-week deep freeze siege has been broken. From heated homes, people emerge, tentative as Spring’s first gophers blinking at the sun. But it is not Spring at all, the temperature still below freezing — winter prevails. This brief respite from chill stirs us all. A blue smear above and a skitterish sun that skulks just above the southern horizon, buoys us with a day parole from the cold walls of winter. This warmth is ephemeral, but listen – snow melt burbles its song in the eaves, and we offer tiny prayers of unforced gratitude to the weather gods.


Wally Keeler Cobourg, ON poetician1@gmail.com

Cobourg Cenotaph 11h/11d/11m They gather solemnly, the people of the poppy. They encircle it, embrace it, community it, together. Under great breeze-tousled trees; they stand still. The vets, the cadets, the civilians, all stand still. In the cool, in the crisp, in the clear air, they stand, still. An old man snuffles the late autumn air. A tear slips silent down a widow’s cheek. Invocations, anthems, prayers and poetry, leaves fall. In the silent minute, the sound of wild things: wind, dogs, birds. Around it all, trees disrobe their last load of leaf. While the poppy people community themselves for freedom, for all, time.

This poem appeared Nov. 19, 2019 in Cobourg Poet Laureate Jessica Outram’s “Poetry Present” section of the Cobourg Poet Laureate’s website. That section displays a poem a week there.


Kate Rogers


Ellen S. Jaffe Toronto, Ontario esjaffe@outlook.com

Canadian Winter Snow falls s ilently over the city trees parks ice icles on bicycles


Sarah Demone Hanover, ON sarahtdemone@gmail.com

My Canadian Wind maybe the wind would not feel as sharp if I had worn a hat I could pull it down over my ears my face, nose and cheeks cozy warm if I had worn a scarf the scent of the damp wool fibres worse than swallowing them I salute the sun to block out the glowing white edges wipe away frozen tears with the back of my waxen hand if only I’d doubled up on socks borrowed the grey ones with white and red stripes pulled on boots instead of shoes with laces that leave feet open to the elements if only I’d worn extra layers under my coat taken time to find the sweater and button it up I thought I would feel stifled why did I flee the house without leggings as it is I might as well be naked the vulturous wind, circles my thighs before chasing colder prey


Lisa Makarchuk The Muskokas


Lynn Tait Canadian Winters Lynn Tait Inukshuk

Ed Woods Whiteout


Marion Mutala heritage

Meg Freer High Water, Lake

Cindy Conlin Cardinal


Sarah Demone Hanover, ON sarahtdemone@gmail.com

Leonard he is a singer/songwriter a poet really she sings along quietly putting far too much importance on his words thinking they are for her she drinks too much the taste of smoke and sweat lay on her tongue a rhythm burns moves inside and outside her consciousness she thinks she will learn to sing she supposes it takes extraordinary posture that allows the breath and body to escape, voices that are sweeter, louder distract her learning to sing is harder than she thought but she’s a poet really


Lynn Tait Winter Wonderland

Cindy Conlin


Wildlife Canada

Cindy Conlin

Cindy Conlin

Patience and Passion Appear To Be Her Drive By Kimberley Sherman Grove In a society that it so fast paced that few want to even wait for a bus, it’s remarkable to meet a person willing to sit for 8 hours to get the perfect photograph of an owl or a bear in just the right instant. Cindy Conlin does just that. Patience and passion appear to be her drive. You can hear the enthusiasm in her voice when she talks about her art. She loves her subject matter. She has no objection to waiting for it to appear. Also sometimes it is there but she really has to look hard for it, in the case of the owl peeking out from hollow of a tree that camouflages it from people and prey.


Even her full-time career as a photographer took some time. Although she graduated from Seneca College from an arts program in fashion merchandising, it wasn’t until an early retirement allowed her to do what she loved to do full-time – take photos. Cindy knows a lot about her profession. She has fine-tuned the trio of aperture, shutter speed and ISO (International Organization for Standardization which “measures the sensitivity of the image sensor”). She constantly upgrades her camera to let her tool enable her to get exactly the photograph she wants. However, this doesn’t exclude spontaneity. Although it can come with a price requiring hours of waiting to get that right-moment shot, she does it with joy. And she doesn’t take any chances of missing that split second of splendor, often taking 300 pictures of the same subject. Patience doesn’t stop there. She then has to whittle the numbers down to 100 and then 1 or 2 that she will take more time to crop and edit.


Her first adventures into the wildlife world were at the Toronto Metro Zoo. Now she uses what is in her backyard at Presqu’ile Provincial Park to experiment and enhance her already excellent skills. It was her husband Mike’s family cottage that brought them to the park, where they renovated it to become their home. Mike enjoys nature, too, but does a different kind of waiting. He would rather wait for a trout to swim up to the hole in his ice fishing hut, than sit waiting for the perfect photo op. Cindy regularly visits a swan’s nest with signets or the fox den with its playful kits to focus in on nature’s beauty. “I’m trying to get different [photos] but pull at your heartstrings,” she says, “but I never bait.” She is sensitive to the animals she meets and doesn’t agree with the unnatural tactics some use to get their prize photo, like bringing a mouse to attract an owl. When shooting, she recognizes that people don’t want to see the back end of a bear or the fluffy tail of a deer prancing away so most of her photos capture the intricate frontal features of her subject, the angry looking face of the bee, or the inquisitive questioning look of an eagle. “It’s nice to have eye contact. It makes the viewer more involved with the subject.”


“Different� is one of her favourite goals when photographing. She is not looking for the all-too-familiar picture of the trumpet swan skimming across the lake with its signets following behind. Instead she takes the shot from the front with the babies wading close by their mother. She would return time and again, sometimes every day for two weeks before she captured the scene that she felt best showed a different view. Rather than the typical merganser duck floating along as one of a groupie, she caught her feathered friend in a pose as though he is in the middle of a yell or yodel. She saw the cinnamon bear wandering near the delicate blue flowers, but until he walked up beside them she waited for the shot. Her artistic sense told her that more colour was needed. She got it. She also knows the rule of thirds where it is important to wait until the subject takes up the last third portion of the photo, rather than smack in the middle. This is more pleasing to the eye.


When asked what are the pluses of her photography career now, instead of when she first entered the working world, she refers to the digital camera. The ability to take 300 pictures, deleting those you don’t want, would be an awful waste of film if she were using the old film cameras. Also, “the trick is to get friends on social media.” People will tell her where they have sighted an unusual animal which will send her on a wild goose chase, literally. “Having a camera opens your eyes. You sees things that you usually wouldn’t see.”


“I’m in a mind frame that wants ‘cute’,” she shares showing a picture of her cat, Lilly, who poses willingly. In the future she is hoping to capture the moment of mothers and babies, the swoop of the tern as its beak hits the water, old abandoned churches where she can go on a stormy day to get the dramatic background, and TIFF where she can get photos of fans and celebrities. She is even willing to go to Cape Coral, Florida, to get a photo of a special owl and Alaska to see the grizzly bears. 


“Always look for opportunities. You must take two or three hours or you’re not going to get what you want,” is Cindy’s advice to any startup photographers. If you want to see more of Cindy’s works, go to: https://cindyconlinphotography.zenfolio.com/p728979428 You won’t be disappointed. The photos are stunning. It was a treat to meet someone so in love with her art, without any hesitation to share. Kimberley Sherman Grove has been published in the Globe and Mail, The Christian Science Monitor, The Toronto Star and various smaller publications. She has taught writing at Loyalist College, the Trenton Air Force Base, the Colborne Community Care Centre and Ciego de Avila University. Her teaching comes from a love of reading what others have to share.


As Editor-in-chief and Photo Editor it was my utter joy to comb through Cindy Conlin’s photographs to choose the photographs to go with this article. When I ran out of space I could not help myself but to add yet another 2 pages. This wonderful image of the sheep just had to be included. It is one of my all-time most enjoyed photographs – what a stunning image and then how could I refuse the yellow eyes of this Snowy Owl. Thank you Cindy Conlin for upping Canadian culture with your photographs – we are all the richer. Richard M. Grove



Art i s t Pr o f i l e John Di Leonardo

“Reading the Image Exhibition” Station Gallery, 2012, Whitby, ON

John Di Leonardo was born in Pescina, Italy, and raised in Ontario. He is a graduate of McMaster University, where he earned an Hon. BA in Fine Arts. John subsequently taught Visual Arts for thirty years, and is currently a full time artist who divides his time between writing, painting, and travel. John’s poetry has received recognition in numerous poetry competitions. He has published two award-winning chapbooks Book of Hours (2014), and Starry Nights (2015). He is the recipient of the Ted Plantos Memorial Award (2017). He is member of The Canadian Authors Association, and is an associate member of The League of Canadian Poets. John lives with his wife and three children in Brooklin, Ontario. You can visit him at: johndileonardo.ca.


Kites Without Strings A literary journey with Debbie Okun Hill

INTERVIEW: February 24, 2019 Artist John Di Leonardo Follows His Passion in Debut Poetry Book This is a two question excerpt from Debbie Okun Hill’s blog. Find the full interview at: https://okunhill.wordpress.com/2019/02/24/artist-john-di-leonardo-follows-his-passion-in-debut-poetry-book/

Hi John, You’ve taught visual arts for thirty years. At what moment did you decide to start writing poetry and what motivated you to continue honing your literary skills to the point of having a book published? I did publish a few poems in my early twenties, but I decided to focus on the visual arts. I returned to poetry after a thirty year hiatus, when I retired in 2010. Our children were grown and, of course, that phase of life you have extra time to pursue your hobbies. As far as honing literary skills or skills in any field, I am a true believer in the 10,000 hour practice theory. After retirement I joined a number of poetry groups, and this was my training ground over the years. I became involved in executive duties, newsletter writing, judging competitions, editing and compiling anthologies among other duties. I must say that reading and editing hundreds of poems over a seven year period is great training. After a while I began to develop a sixth sense for distinguishing a mediocre poem from a good or exceptional one. In the process, of course, I developed as a reader. I began to read poetry as a writer, taking poems apart to see how they were constructed in order to create their intended impact. Also, I entered countless competitions, and learned the necessary skill of


coping with stacks of rejections. Persistence pays off. My wife tells me I’m the most determined individual she knows. All your poems are quite accessible, written concisely, in some cases in a minimalist style. They often mimicked light graphic sketches or a thin stroke of watercolour. I didn’t notice any rhymes but I noticed visual patterns on the page. Would you call yourself a people’s poet? Why or why not? My earlier poems were more narrative in tone, but over time I came to feel what Ann Carson called “combatting the boredom of storytelling.” I read poetry daily; the majority of poems I come across seem to be in the narrative / confessional tradition. I find that I rarely go back and re-read these types of poems, for me they tend to give away too much imagination for story sake. I suppose because of my visual arts background, I prefer a poetry of precise images, sharp, clear, compressed language, and elliptical image patterns where the reader gleans a personal understanding from contextual clues. This type of verse requires a few careful readings to absorb the subtle, sometimes dense layers of meaning in the poem. To answer your question, I guess that at this point in my writing evolution I would not call myself “A People’s Poet.”

Art Lab Residency: The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 2018, Oshawa, ON


Crossing Over Artistic Fences I was asked by a friend, a visual artist, what I thought about poetry and to explain why I write. Poetry asks us to consider our quality of life, the deeper perceptions of what lies before us, be it nature, people, emotions, morality or ideas. Poetry is one antidote to the “whatever” sentiment prevailing our lives in contemporary culture. Pascal said “the heart has its reasons that reason can only guess at.” For me to paint, perform dance, music, drama, to write poetry, to read it, to go to readings is a way of living emotionally in the world. There will always be those people who are suspicious of artists who express this form of “divine madness” as Plato called it. To them I repeat the old adage “yes, there is no money in poetry but then there is no poetry in money.” The assumption with the general public is that poetry is dead or at least in a coma. The truth is that all forms of artistic expression have managed to thrive and evolve their many forms in the face of all new methods of communication such as: Twitter, Face book, Instagram, Tick Tock, ... well you know what I mean. I’m happy to report that poetry and the arts are thriving right here in our “Small Apple” town of Brooklin, Ontario and right across this great country of ours, Canada. Mary Oliver says, “It is not what the words say, but how they make you feel.” So true! The heart always has its own reasons.

John Di Leonardo

“Canada Is” Triptych / Oil, 4’ X 12’, 2008.


Autumn’s Hush an amber agitation in the air over umber stubbled stones, leafless weight of wooden bones insistent buzz of insects, tangled asters, anemone beyond the sigh of fields, beyond wistful stars, where – a wayward breeze blows over us two Lenten roses in half-light as we scroll into the gasp of age

Endless Autumn When its flocked soarings descend as leaves, when evening thickens and eyes ascend to dusk divining names of the long forgotten, unfolding curves on autumn’s featherlight calm, where geese land the linger-hum of endless light, your glance of grace seasoned solemn as a Janus-light embrace

What I Will Miss When Gone your eyes, my true north, a place built for dreaming where you wake seven hues in dew a limpid light I’ll set-off to — meet your smile, lean into Algonquin’s traceless blue when I, on cusp of morning lust ecstasy-hushed, angle toward the lone call of loons my rayed aster star, my vantage point, my evening and dawn you


Title – Conditions of Desire Author – John Di Leonardo Genre – Poetry / Canadian ISBN – 978-1-927725-61-0 Publisher – Hidden Brook Press To Order – hiddenbrookpress@gmail.com Phone – 905-376-9106 Publisher – www.hiddenbrookpress.com Retail Price – $19.95

Pentimenti Inspired by Ben Nicholson’s “Vertical Seconds” Oil, 1953.

The heavy light of history enfolds me glazing over an ivory canvas A yellow ochre clears the table’s edge where I tilt my glasses

Reading People’s Choices Inspired by Gustav Klimt’s “Fulfilment” Drawing, 1905.

The day your eyes forgot themselves in art school – in your lover’s absence your nails caressed my curls wiped dampness from both cheeks – your scented lips slid down my soul painted this tiny poem, then left me to sleep for months in the great outdoors. After long years, I see your choice sitting under the rusty canopy at a bus stop layered in quilts like a Zebra fish quivering on snow waiting for a Sunset Ave connection with him, a drinker’s nose and you, your soul-smashed shadow.


Images from “Conditions of Desire”


The Literary Connection, Volume II, My Canada! Publisher – In Our Words Inc. Editor – Cheryl Antao-Xavier Paperback – 212 pages ISBN – 978-1926926582 In Our Words Inc. presents The Literary Connection Volume II, My Canada a collection of poetry, stories, and photographs on the theme of “My Canada!” This year's anthology call prompted an enthusiastic response to the theme of My Canada! Twenty-six Canadian authors write of their connection to the land they call home. Canada's natural beauty forms the backdrop of poems and stories of life 'then' and 'now;' of coping with the elements; of nostalgia for a simpler time, the old country; and quiet pride in the 'spirit' of a nation that has welcomed settlers and held on to its core altruistic values. Established writers and emerging writers are featured in this issue, many are from the Greater Toronto Area. There are entries and photographs from other parts of Canada. The editor of the anthology, Cheryl Antao-Xavier, is also the publisher of In Our Words Inc. She worked one-on-one with submitting authors to feature their work in line with the theme of the anthology. The Literary Connection Volume II is a tribute to Canada that reflects its scenic beauty, its history and heritage, its multicultural diversity, and the love and pride Canadians have in their country and its image in the world as a peace-loving nation.


Title – Paper and Rags Author – Morgan Wade Genre – Novel / Canadian ISBN – 978-1-927725-89-4 Publisher – Hidden Brook Press Phone – 905-376-9106 Email – hiddenbrookpress@gmail.com URL – www.hiddenbrookpress.com Pages – 452 Retail Price – $26.95 “In, Paper and Rags, the excellent sequel to Morgan Wade’s previous novel, Bottle and Glass, Wade zeroes in, with razor-sharp focus, on Kingston’s historical past, creating memorable characters in a story rich with wit and compassion." Helen Humphreys – award-winning, best-selling novelist, author of The Evening Chorus, Afterimage, and Coventry.

"A delightful picaresque, with a Dickensian cast of characters that rouse into life the ragtag world of a new Canadian town." Merilyn Simonds – author of eighteen books, including the creative nonfiction classic, The Convict Lover, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award.

"With his impeccable research and rich imagination, Wade transports the reader via literary time machine back to the seedy beginnings of colonial Upper Canada in the early 19th century. A binge-worthy story with an unforgettable cast of characters!" Brett Christopher – award-winning actor and director, Managing Artistic Director of Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, Ontario.

A well-written Canadian novel, set in Canada, that carries interesting characters, set in 1818. Creedence Scriven, an indifferent doctor and aspiring playwright, is found in the company of a young, male drug addict and is accused of sodomy. Scriven insists the charges are false, claiming that he was at the opium den only in his capacity as a physician at the behest of the boy’s mother. For the sake of propriety, Scriven’s father decides that he must leave for the relative obscurity of the colonies, threatening to cut off his substantial annuity if he refuses. When Scriven lands in Kingston in 1818, he is the town’s best dressed man. He is determined to remake himself. 70

Shortly afterward, Rupert Spafford arrives in Kingston, also from England. He has read of Scriven’s indiscretions in the English papers — gossip spreads like plague in the colonies. Spafford has come to Kingston intent on wresting the Willowpath estate from Amelia, his dead uncle’s widow and heiress. His plan of seduction, however, is complicated by the fact that Amelia is already romantically involved. Jeremy Castor, Amelia’s paramour, is the nominal business manager of her fledgling glassworks. He suspects that Amelia keeps him on out of obligation because he freed her from her abusive husband, Noble Spafford, by challenging the old Colonel to a pistol duel. He worries that, with the old Colonel out of the way, he is now superfluous. Amelia, an ambitious and determined young woman, seems quite capable of making the glassworks succeed without him. Lilac Evans, an old friend of Jeremy’s, has fled her apprenticeship to the lecherous tailor Owen Stevens and has returned to the streets, preferring them to Stevens’ clutches. Soon after her escape, she is brought up on charges of prostitution. That same evening, Jeremy encounters Dr. Scriven surrounded by a group of aggressive street kids. He rescues the doctor and they become friends. Days later, in market square, they find Lilac in the stocks. Jeremy persuades Scriven to promise her a position as his nurse, upon her release, appealing to the doctor’s sense of Masonic virtue. For his part, Jeremy agrees to help organize the Freemason’s new school for the indigent. Rupert Spafford launches a more complex scheme, claiming to be in possession of Noble Spafford's most recent will, one that promises the Willowpath estate to him, not to Amelia. Jeremy, Rupert, and Amelia meet to discuss the situation at a local tavern, the Bottle and Glass. To Jeremy’s consternation, Amelia flirts shamelessly with Rupert. Evidently, she aims to keep Willowpath at any cost. Scriven drags a disgruntled Jeremy away from the Bottle and Glass. They cross town and retrieve Lilac from the slum. She is thin from her thirty days in jail, but when she sees the disorganized state of Scriven's office, Lilac is delighted. She knows where she is needed. As Lilac settles in, Scriven is paid a visit by his friend Lenore, wife of Major Stokes. Jeremy also knows Lenore, having billeted at her cottage as a marine under the Major’s command. At present, her husband is fighting alongside Bolivar in New Granada. Lenore is lonely and she greets Jeremy with affection. In a private moment with Lilac, Lenore worries that she will never have a child. Lilac tells her that she may know of a treatment for her possible infertility. As Lilac becomes a fixture at the doctor’s office and Jeremy and Lenore become reacquainted, Amelia hosts Rupert at Willowpath. In an intimate moment, at the height of a sultry thunderstorm, Rupert tells her that he knows she and his uncle didn’t consummate their marriage and claims to have the proof that will void her will. 71

Jeremy tries to regain his standing with Amelia, both romantically and professionally, but it seems she is avoiding him, preferring the company of Rupert. Jeremy finds himself spending more time with Lenore. When he reads in the paper the notice announcing the marriage of Amelia to Rupert, he is disconsolate. He rushes to Lenore’s cottage and spends the night. Later, he resigns his position as business manager of the glass works. He will need to get by on a teacher’s wages. Part one of the book ends at the wedding of Rupert and Amelia. At the ceremony, Lenore confides to Lilac that her remedies have worked: she is pregnant. Part two begins with Lenore leaving for her sister’s home in New Haven to stay for an indefinite time. Scriven hosts an evening of the Headstrong Club with special guest Robert Gourlay, the notorious reformer, speaking on truth and censorship. For months, Gourlay has been goading the province’s most influential establishment figures. Kingston’s Christopher Hagerman ambushes Gourlay in the street, striking him with a bull whip, while the town magistrate looks on. When Scriven and Jeremy protest they make for themselves powerful enemies. Jeremy receives letters from the Anglican rector of York, lion of the establishment, warning him against supporting Gourlay. The influential clergyman could veto his teaching position, the only thing keeping Jeremy from destitution. Lenore returns from New Haven and posts a notice in the Gazette claiming that a foundling has been left on her front step. Jeremy doesn’t realize the child is his. Rupert returns to Willowpath from the cock fights, drunk. He demands that Amelia consummate their marriage. She rebuffs him. The establishment have their revenge on Scriven when they post an anonymous notice in the Gazette that Lilac, a known prostitute, continues to be in his employ. Over the preceding months, Lilac has revived Scriven’s moribund practice with her knowledgeable, evidence-based approach and friendly bedside manner. Now, with the publication of her indiscretion, no respectable citizen of Kingston dares to visit the doctor’s office. Lilac offers to leave. Scriven refuses. Two members of the establishment have purchased the Gazette, the town’s only paper. Scriven and Jeremy submit many letters and articles, urging forgiveness of Lilac and demanding a retraction of the slander she has suffered. They urge free speech regarding Gourlay. None of their letters are published. Instead, Scriven’s enemies strike again. They post a notice about the English scandal he has come all this way to avoid. His pleas to tell his side in the paper are rejected. He is on the verge of ruin. Scriven decides his only hope is to buy his own printing press and publish the truth. He invests everything he has in the necessary equipment and staff. Jeremy, Lilac, and Lenore pitch in. They prepare the first edition, gather subscriptions, and write the copy. Then they discover there is a paper shortage, orchestrated by Scriven’s rivals. 72

Scriven receives a letter from his elder brother back home: his father has learned that the scandal has been exposed once again. Lord Robert Scriven disowns him. Scriven’s print shop must succeed or he too will be destitute. The group decide they will make their own paper from rags. Scriven contributes his entire wardrobe, including all his finest shirts, trousers, and cravats. The night before publication a drunk mob breaks into the print shop and destroys the press. Distraught, Scriven leaves the shop with his only remaining possession, the pages of his nearly finished play. He ends up at Lilac’s old shack in the slum. He finishes writing the play, and titles it Bespoke Bespeaks. It is mid-winter and in the draughty shack Scriven is freezing. Eventually he is forced to cut and fold the pages of the play into makeshift clothing. It isn't enough. Lilac intercepts a letter to the editor that accuses Lenore of having an illegitimate baby, possibly with Jeremy. Lilac sacrifices herself by claiming that the baby is hers, an unwanted consequence of her previous profession. She stops by her old shack on the way out of town and discovers Scriven, frozen to death. Before she leaves for good, she makes sure that Scriven is given a proper funeral. Again, Rupert Spafford returns to Willowpath from the cock fights, drunk. He has won a packet. In a celebratory mood, he forces himself on Amelia. The next morning she brings him a hang-over cure laced with laudanum. She encourages him to meet his drinking companion at the ice fishing hut. He is reluctant. She cajoles him. He ventures out on to the rotten ice, dazed from the opiates taking affect, and he falls through. She raises no alarm. Jeremy is removed from his teaching position by the school board, deemed too radical to instruct the young, impressionable minds of the district's working class. Amelia has secured Willowpath once again. She also retains Rupert’s sizeable windfall from the cock fights. Her purse strings freed, she invests in the establishment of a new press, with Jeremy as her editor. When the Freemasons put a time capsule behind the cornerstone of the new county courthouse, Jeremy manages to include a copy of Scriven’s completed play, Bespoke Bespeaks. News is brought from Bolivia that Major Stokes has been killed in action. After an appropriate amount of time, Lenore remarries, taking Jeremy as her husband. Together, they adopt the foundling.

Morgan Wade 73

Title – Santiago’s Purple Skies at Morning’s Light Author – Bernadette Gabay Dyer Genre – YA Novel / Canadian ISBN – 978-1-927725-83-2 Publisher – Hidden Brook Press Phone – 905-376-9106 Email – hiddenbrookpress@gmail.com URL – www.hiddenbrookpress.com Pages – 424 6 X 9 Retail Price – $26.95 Teenaged, Irish-Canadian, Kathleen Dunkley, is a survivor in this engaging Speculative Fiction novel. She is exposed to some of life’s most trying traumas and still manages to come out on top even as she is followed by the incessant howling of a seemingly ever-present wolf. Travel from Ireland, to small town Canada, to the hustle-bustle of Toronto, then with a strange shift in plot, all the way to Jamaica with this young heroine who has to overcome her haunted past and what seems like real live ghosts. Be prepared to suspend your disbelief as you read this, believable, memoiresk style fiction. Despite tragic upheaval, forced relocation and haunting memories Kathleen forges ahead into a new beginning, where she makes new friends and experiences unexpected visitations from the spirit world. Unknown to her the plantation house she is staying in, near Montego Bay, is haunted by a mysterious long-dead Spanish boy, Santiago, for whom the house is named. Bernadette Dyer brings suspense and mystery to her well written story with real life characters and realistic dialogue. A long with Kathleen’s sightings of strange phantoms, she is also subject to visitations from the spirit of the White Witch of Rose Hall, who had lived in the neighbouring plantation and was rumoured to have murdered plantation-slave lovers. Events come to a head when Kathleen and her new-found friend, Chinese-Jamaican, historical researcher, David Chang stumble upon undisturbed bones of mythical long dead slaves. Bernadette Dyer successfully blends the ghostly activities of fiction with well researched local history of Jamaica. Colourful history, infamous spirits and ghostly activities cannot compare to the most evil of all, the White Witch of Rose Hall, a long dead notorious slave owner from Jamaica’s historic past. By the time you finish reading this spell binding novel you might just be a believer in the supernatural.


You don't need to go to Jamaica. You just need to read Santiago's Purple Skies at Morning’s light. You will see, taste, smell, hear – and quite possibly fear – Jamaica in this rich, heartfelt and, at times, spooky coming-of-age tale. Like Dyer's charming young heroine, Kathleen Dunkley, you may never want to come home again. Joe Mahoney, author of “A Time and a Place” – Five Rivers Publishing, Director of Infrastructure Support at CBC.

Reviews of Bernadette Gabay Dyer’s Previous Work A review of Chasing the Banyan Wind by Bernadette Gable Dyer – Spring 2019 Reviewed by Helene Williams

Driven out of damp and cold Bristol by bad health, Jonathan Gunn, his wife Wilemina, and their two children, Dunstan and Eliza, emigrated to Jamaica in the early 1920s. They built a house outside of the town of Hedley, and the children made friends with the locals, a diverse group including not only native Jamaicans but Chinese and Jewish immigrants as well. The narrative traces Dunstan and Eliza’s formative years and their close friendships with Peter and Maggie Chung. Both the need to travel for education (for the boys) as well as the outbreak of World War II broke up this tight band, bringing into sharp focus the social, economic, and racial distinctions rampant on the island. As the four pursue different paths, issues of gender and the limited options for women take center stage. Eliza risks her safety, her mother’s love, and society’s approval, as she chooses to follow her heart with Lucas Paynado, a Jamaican who once lived on the Gunns’ property but who now has political ambitions. Maggie turns away from what she thought was love to hide from a situation of disgrace. Wilemina also has to change her long-held beliefs, born of naiveté and her upbringing in Britain. Dyer’s story is simply told and is a haunting tale of Jamaican life for locals and immigrants during the first half of the 20th century. Local history and folklore are interwoven with imperialist overtones prevalent during the time. Dyer provides an honest, unfiltered perspective not often reflected in mainstream US or UK novels about Jamaica, which is a welcome contrast to narratives that soft-pedal the issues underlying the area’s history. Bernadette Gable Dyer


Coming Next Issue Out of Place In the next issue read the 1000 word review by Patrick Connors on Kate Rogers book Out of Place. I never like to be so pedantic and lazy as to review the first poem in any book. However, “Prayer” is the poem which most struck me from the beginning of Out of Place, by Kate Rogers. In part, “Prayer” mentions the music of Joni Mitchell, and the effect it had on Rogers. I told her I relate to this piece because I have always loved the music of RUSH, in particular the drumming and lyrics of Neil Peart, and these Canadian icons have apparently retired. “Joni Mitchell’s lyrics have always spoken to me. I grew up listening to Joni Mitchell and have always related to her lyrics. She is older than me, but her life experience, sensitivity, life choices and values have always resonated with me.”

Catch the full article in the next issue.

ALSO a Full Feature article by Kimberley Sherman Grove on the return of Kate Rogers to Canada.

Devour: Art & Lit Canada w w w. H i d d e n B r o o k P r e s s . c o m

Profile for Hidden Brook Press

Devour: Art & Lit Canada - Issue 004 - Winter 2020  

Devour: Art & Lit Canada - Issue 004. The mission of Devour: Art & Lit Canada is to promote Canadian culture by bringing world-wide readers...

Devour: Art & Lit Canada - Issue 004 - Winter 2020  

Devour: Art & Lit Canada - Issue 004. The mission of Devour: Art & Lit Canada is to promote Canadian culture by bringing world-wide readers...