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big art

book ISSUE 3


big art

book ISSUE 3


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BACK TO BASICS


ABOUT Scarborough Arts has been serving the Scarborough community by developing, delivering and promoting arts programming and cultural initiatives for over 35 years. Scarborough Arts brings individuals and groups together to create and cultivate innovative arts and cultural programs in Scarborough. We bring artists to the community and community to the arts. As a Local Arts Service Organization, we strive to provide free and innovative programming to everyone in Scarborough. The BIG ART BOOK...

• Crosses creative boundaries • Blurs lines to link people together through original artwork and writing • Opens a broad cultural conversation • Samples a fresh assortment of creativity • Is about the power of expression and celebrating our ideas

The Big Art Book and projects similar to this are made possible in part through membership and generous donations from people like you. To learn more about Scarborough Arts, become a member or contribute to your favourite projects, visit our website: www.scarborougharts.com

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FOREWORD JEN D. FABICO Scarborough Arts Program Director Welcome to Scarborough Arts’ 2014 Big Art Book! This year’s anthology celebrates our third year of the Big Art Book – a creative collection of visual and written art pieces. Within the early months of this 2014, we set out an Ontario-wide call for literary and visual artists of all ages to submit into this year’s theme of “Back to Basics”. Several weeks later, what had returned to us was a vast array of works, with each artist varying in medium, style, narrative and of course interpretation into the theme. The submissions were collected and evaluated by two judges: Erin Peck from the Doris McCarthy Gallery - UTSC, for the Visual Arts component, and David Bester from Start Writing, for the Literary component. “Back to Basics” explored the essential qualities of a product or practice, challenging artists to discern what the fundamental makeup of their product or practice was and to view at its most bare and quintessential form. “Back to Basics” explored and presents items as an abstract core – as beginnings, stories and grand finales as they are – whether they were with or without finesse. The Big Art Book, Issue 3 boasts a gorgeous selection of “Back to Basics” which we think you’ll enjoy and want to share with your friends, family and colleagues. Many thanks to all who had participated (and congratulations to our deserving award winners!), supported and assisted in the making of this year’s Big Art Book as well as those who enjoy and share our fabulous projects.

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JUROR

DAVID BESTER STATEMENT Great themes inspire artists. The Big Art Book 2014’s call for submissions on “Back to Basics” was no different. A number of entries explored the act of writing and the power of imagination. Many took their cues from nature, particularly spring as a season of renewal. Others went to unexpected places, from graveyards to Tarzeen to the stars and beyond. All pieces featured the unique voice of their creators. Reading dozens of 100-word pieces wasn’t a project. It was a whirlwind romance. I was glad to be swept up in the experience, and hope I have done the authors and the Big Art Book justice.

BIOGRAPHY David Bester is a Toronto-based writer, editor and workshop leader. He is the founder of Sterling, a print and online literary journal of original poetry, fiction and comics; he also runs creative writing workshops under the StartWriting.ca banner. David is proud to have been a facilitator for the inaugural session of the Scarborough Arts program, Scarborough Seniors Write. If you can’t find him at any of the above locations, he’s likely in Las Vegas.

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JUROR

ERIN PECK STATEMENT As a big fan of the previous Big Art Books, I am thrilled to be involved in this year’s project, celebrating the vibrant arts community in Scarborough and beyond. This year’s theme, Back to Basics, is all about inspiration and creative spark – this comes through not only in the contributors’ work, but speaks to the experience of reading/viewing the book itself. There is so much talent to be discovered, so many fresh perspectives to be considered and so much passion in these pages! Diverse and inclusive, the Big Art Book both represents and builds a sense of creative community. Thanks to Scarborough Arts for organizing this outstanding project, and to the contributing artists for sharing their work.

BIOGRAPHY Erin Peck is Exhibitions & Outreach Coordinator at the Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough. In this role, she facilitates contemporary art exhibitions and publications; works alongside local, national and international artists and curators; and develops arts education programs for a diverse slate of audiences. She previously held positions at the Ontario Association of Art Galleries and Gallery TPW.

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AWARDS & WINNERS THE NIKITA MARNER AWARD

Patricia Goudie THE EUGENIE SHEHIRIAN AWARD

Athavarn Srikantharajah THE SCARBOROUGH ARTS AWARDS

Anya Mielniczek THE MONICA LADELL AWARD

Grace Vermeer

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YOUTH WRITING & VISUAL ART


SHAYNE DARLING Fox

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JUROR’S CHOICE


SHAYNE DARLING Momma and Baby

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SARAH DEVINE Horizons

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JUROR’S CHOICE

PATRICIA GOUDIE A Treehouse

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ANNA LIN Process

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ANNA LIN Dance

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EMMA HEWITSON Simple Pleasures

When I stare out the clear glass window in the hall, I seem to appreciate the simple pleasures that one would look over. The blossoms falling gracefully from the cherry trees, the freshly mowed grass that I would roll in during the summer. The simple yellow of a dandelion, which brightens the world, and promises a better tomorrow. The fresh springtime air, cooling on my dry skin. When the crystal clear raindrops drift down the window, it reminds me of all the amazing basic things we need to appreciate.

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JUROR’S CHOICE

ANNA SITU Creative Waves

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ATHAVARN SRIKANTHARAJAH I’ll Find Him

He drops his marbles on the floor Runs out the room and through the door “I will find you I know I can” I’ll try and find this boy again Life has got him in its grasp Oh young boy, to hope you must clasp He’s out my reach, in the lion’s den I’ll try to find this boy again This boy from long ago is me He’s lost in these words that you see I must write through hell with my pen For I will find this boy again

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JUROR’S CHOICE


HUIYI YANG Catharsis and Salvation

Unrequited love & callused fingertips; the chords of his soul were not enough for her, Gun-smoke metal & charcoal heart; absolution coloured his canvas and he was free, Brilliant lights & serotonin syllables; she felt more alive than scarlet bliss could ever make her, With blood as ink & nightmares as inspiration, it starts again, Art: Catharsis & Salvation

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GRACE TSUI I need this...

To let anybody see Read Feel To let anybody hear Listen Feel Me So I can be insecure And pretend it’s all OK So I can blow it up And not let people worry So I can show the world And just let them find me So I can be me And let the real world judge So I can be different And prove to them who I am For sanity Understanding Living For me

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GRACE TSUI Capturing Personas

I’d love a boy who can sing But you have a voice on the clarinet like no other What if I didn’t? I want the stars in our city But I’d never ask for the impossible Can you tell? They say that imitation is flattering Stop apologizing Do you want me to hate me? Your faces flicker through my mind like film reels Instants are permanent Don’t you know I hate photos? In your head you’re building me up But my guard’s keeping you out Do I want you to give up? (I love you when you’re you)

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ADULT WRITING & VISUAL ART


MOHAMMAD ABEDIN My Garden and the Spring

It is spring in my garden roses are blooming cuckoos are crying The winter has been passed summer is coming….. It is so easy to write a poem in the spring when the river flows gently to the sea when the sakura shines in the moonlit night…. Honey-bee dances in my garden because it is spring Flowers spreading sweet smell in the cloudless blue sky….. Could you imagine a garden in the moonlit night of a spring It can make a poem of love It can open all the windows of your mind…..

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MOHAMMAD ABEDIN The Flower and Love

I saw a flower in your hand It does not matter which flower you held either a rose or a cherry because flower is flower a sign of ever-love…… You presented me a flower with love It does not matter how much it cost because the cost of flower is love and love only…… A flower can stop a war A flower can break the domestic walls of a narrow mind….

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TATYANA ABEL Sketchbook III 19

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TATYANA ABEL Sketchbook III 21

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MARIA ANASTASIADES Dusk

When the world is wrapped In a veil of mystery, And birds go to the trees to nest, The sky is painted in magenta and lilac All colors seem intense As the sun dives into the horizon; Light burns into the night sky. I am peaceful, yet all around me In the darkness, the world doesn’t sleep Small sparks of hate and unshed tears, Moans of love and moans of pain, As the moon appears feverish cool On the darkened horizon, as all creatures Look for the shelter of the night. In a city that never sleeps, The buzz of the highways, The squeak of the breaks Mingled with the silence of the night, Under streetlights and moonlight In a city that never sleeps.

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MARIA ANASTASIADES Royal Botanical Gardens

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KIERNAN ANTARES Path to Serenity

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JUROR’S CHOICE

EDEN ARMSTRONG Injustice Urges Me

The chills up my spine force me to pick up my pen The cold feel of pain within Injustice urges me to invoke change through words Struggle pushes me over the edge All lessons must be recoded Wisdom hoarded I’m capturing all my teachings Paying attention to elders preaching Warning the next generation Guiding others to act no procrastination The helpless victims of cruelty Why are some treated so badly? Let’s rise above the hurting Power holders must change what’s not working I speak promoting changes where needed We can no longer just stay seated

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JANICE ARNOTT Red

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JANICE ARNOTT The Forest

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NIK BEAT The Mind’s Chemical Song

Paraffin of birth Aborted For the phrases For the roses For the dancing survivors Of the these poems (The mind’s chemical song) Though the people berthed Thereby the many From their offices behind Random selections of architecture All evidence of laughter gone All vexation of the holiest of stones All the evisceration of heavenly abodes Does not their silence Now make them fit for Society?

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NIK BEAT The Statue

My rain of sand Brooding over My stillness I stand straight To the foolish migrations Of women of men Their wasted reach of energies square over the deserts the oceans the air over arctic wastes and grassy lowlands through mountainous waves and ancient caverns I am not anxious to free myself Dressed in my Habit as a dagger Holding a lamp

I Preserve my bosom Full of SECRETS YOU’ll NEVER KNOW IF YOU CHIPPED AWAY AT MY Countenance YOU WOULD ONLY FIND THE folly OF YOUR DESIGN These where dark lays athwart Furred round with mouldy damps Through rain and hale And stormy freezings I stand as I stand Have always stood Steadfast and Without fear….

I’ve no need to invent Upended heavens my state so calmly spent lofty contempt at your indiscretions your silly vacillations GRIMACES and peregrinations

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KERRY BELLAMY Gentle Hands

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KERRY BELLAMY Stages of Life

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SHEILA BELLO Embedded in Me

An impulse to create is embedded in me. It is a spark of fire that bursts into flames when my senses are engaged by natural elements, human actions, interactions, words on a page or music. Perceptions and insights from such situations are the foundation of my creations.

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SHEILA BELLO All of This

From the boundless sky to an ant on the ground my drifting eyes take notes of what prevails and alert my other senses to be mindful of the surroundings on this sunny day. My senses note rays of dazzling sunlight, white clouds moving in the bright blue sky, swaying branches, singing and squawking from birds gathering on a cherry tree, two squirrels running down a maple tree, noisy bees sipping nectar from fragrant flowers, and wilting rose petals on the grass. Musing on all of this I reach for my pen.

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SUZANNE BERTON Childhood Memory

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SUZANNE BERTON Out There

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TANYA BESEDINA Baby

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TANYA BESEDINA Kiss Me for Elegance

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RALUCA BEJAN United We Save

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JUROR’S CHOICE

JEEVAN BHAGWAT Old Women, Cooking

They are always there at family gatherings, scarcely noticed on the heart’s periphery cooking and preparing, talking amongst themselves in foreign tongues unknown to hungry ears. Dressed in black with covered heads, they shift with the grace and patience of seasons, their ankles thick and strong as oaks rooted in traditions of time. These old women with their wise, dark eyes they churn their pots in secret rhythms, and spin the earth on its axis of time, flavouring our lives with history.

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MUSSARAT BHATTI Roses and Buds from my Garden

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MUSSARAT BHATTI Canadian Glow

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KAREN BOISSONNEAULT-GAUTHIER Seeing my Elements

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KAREN BOISSONNEAULT-GAUTHIER Iced in Elegance

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CLARE BONNELL Iced Juniper

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CLARE BONNELL Palm Fan

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AMANDA BOULOS Instructions for the Day 1

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AMANDA BOULOS Instructions for the Day 2

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AMANDA BUSBY Spadina

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AMANDA BUSBY Still Life with Gourds

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JOYLYN CHAI Underwater

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JOYLYN CHAI Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

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ROSEMARY CHAPMAN Curious and Curiouser Cats

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JUROR’S CHOICE


JUROR’S CHOICE

ROSEMARY CHAPMAN Horsemen

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ARLENE CHIN Chin-Ups and Downs

Renegade visions dancing ‘round in my mind. What a canvas this life does provide. Breath, death and the human condition. Ups and downs like a carnival ride. Spreading smiles across their face. Silent amusement blooms. Simply with words and clean white space. No other sound in the room. Feel the power of creating a dream when life’s not always what it seems. Spontaneous laughter and quizzical looks brought on by the stories in wonderful books. It is who I am. Imagination my tool. Embrace. Express. Create.

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ARLENE CHIN Luke’s Window to the Soul

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MARGARET CHOWN Equinox

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MARGARET CHOWN Solstice

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ALEXEY BEREZOV Tesla’s Laboratory

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CONMAN Abstain

So I’ve gotta abstain From playing this blame game Because I can’t remain In the same lane as you Because you’re driving me insane And loving you dame, has Only brought me nothing but pain So I’ve gotta put my foot on the gas And hit that octane, move on And get back into the fast lane

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PATRICK CONNORS To the Point

The best poems are written to be read by anyone. Meticulously crafted over a period of time To seem written quickly and simply. The best moments in life are the result of years of preparation passing by in a burst causing change even if you are not ready. Before you realize they have happened they have happened and stay with you forever.

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JUROR’S CHOICE


JUROR’S CHOICE

PATRICK CONNORS In My Own Words

Warming morning dew rising from fresh cropped grass-a new beginning. To have the story told clearly and sincerely with no pretension. Beckoning all who listen with an open heart plus a sense of humour because I want you to hear my message and also enjoy how it’s said. I’m not naïve: I know we live in an imperfect world; but I believe in the good I desire a community of peace, love, and unity for every woman, man, and child to aspire to their dreams. When I meet someone who shares that hope I see things already getting better.

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JACQUELENE CUDMORE C’est La Vie

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JACQUELENE CUDMORE Eliza’s Yorrick

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GENE CUVIER Seen Yet Unseen

I am the person you see but have never met. The one you hear but have never heard my words spoken. I am the eye you understand and occasionally see through, but have never gazed into. I am the hand you’ve reached for and held on to but we’ve never touched. I am the gravity beyond your feet, holding you steady Unseen but never betraying you. I am the myth believed but never proven true. I am your unknown language and yet your native tongue. I am all that you cannot hear, What you cannot see. I am a writer, an artist, a vignette composer. I create. I discover. And though you can see my words and my pixelated conceptions it is what you feel… that is me.

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You may never meet me, you may never see my face, or a glimpse of my eyes. Yet you will read my words you will feel me soaring over you, diffusing in the air— you breathe me in. That is me.


GENE CUVIER A Narrator’s Lamentation

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ERICA DE SOUZA The Remains

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ERICA DE SOUZA Whole

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JAMES DEAHL Graveyard

in memory of my wife’s Aunt Clara

Beyond the road and a row of dusty trees the grave of a grand-aunt enjoys the stillness of stones. The village is silent under the heat of Simcoe Day Weekend. Although the spine of old mountains lies never far from the surface, the ground’s soft under foot. Like these waters stretching from Providence Bay past the horizon there’s resurrection here — the life below quietly modulated, almost self-effacing, and never exaggerated, just an obdurate aloneness that transfigures both the dead and the living.

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JUROR’S CHOICE


JUROR’S CHOICE

JAMES DEAHL Walking Abroad On A Snowy Evening

Throughout the afternoon snow drifts thoughtlessly among raised branches. Each crystal calls out to the wild geese, to those crows that never leave. Wrapped in night’s dishevelled hair we enter the solitude of January.

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SUSAN DIMITRAKOPOULOS Blue Mountains

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SUSAN DIMITRAKOPOULOS The River

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TIFFANY DAWE Vestiges of Fall

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JUROR’S CHOICE

GEORGE DUNBAR Lifeguard Station

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CHERYL DUGGAN Capturing my Love of Music

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CHERYL DUGGAN The Phoenix

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RAYMOND DUTRISAC Moon Shadow

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RAYMOND DUTRISAC It’s Raining Outside

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IRIT EPSTEIN Inner Spaces

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JUROR’S CHOICE


JUROR’S CHOICE

IRIT EPSTEIN Tree House

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PAUL FEGAN Fancy

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PAUL FEGAN Jean Paul Mullett

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MARY FITZPATRICK Circle of Life

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DAVID FLETT Northern Cottage

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JENNIFER FOOTMAN The Poem

Yes, I had to write this Don’t ask me why, but I just did. Did Did not Did Did not. It was there as the mountaineers say, it was there. It was my Everest, setting its peak in my face it said, You can’t ignore me any longer you know you can’t hide, for if you do I’ll set off an avalanche and suffocate you. That’s why I had to write this, so now you know.

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JUROR’S CHOICE


JUROR’S CHOICE

JENNIFER FOOTMAN The Poet Said

It’s not in things, in words, images or all the other factors they name. Hell no. It’s all in the head only in ideas. I am uroborus tail in mouth searching ways to complete the circle dance a double snake dance, tell the turtle to go to hell. I am not an ordinary poet but one of darkness, hot as white iron burnished, hardened to hell, burned in purgatory, trying to call deaf ears trying to tune dead voices making myself blind, dumb and senseless in the process.

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NATALIE FRIJIA Manitoba Sunrise

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JUROR’S CHOICE

NATALIE FRIJIA Dictionary

I read the dictionary during recess in the fifth grade. Anachronism was an adventurer, Ideology a confidante. Juxtapose extolled philosophies and together we discussed the world over juice boxes and granola bars. I romanticized Quixotic because it felt like quicksand to my ears and I just fell in. The binding cracked and one by one the last pages flew out. I expected Traitorous to lead words off the page stumbling with dots and crosses gathered gingerly in broken arms. I snapped the cover shut to preserve what remained. I still prefer their fragments To the whole of anything else.

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KEITH GAREBIAN Apple Fever

Birds stalk the fruit before they bloom blood red. Beauty in crimson skins nakedness of natural truth. He tells a different truth— posing her with apples on a branch and a long phallic leaf for a New Eve. What we see makes us change from the core. In high summer her shanty studio is glutted with apples. Their shine fills trees all morning, burdened boughs straining with the weight of this light that falls on her nakedness like fever.

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JUROR’S CHOICE


KEITH GAREBIAN Maui Sunset Rain

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ALLEN GLYNN Ribfest and Lindsay

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ALLEN GLYNN Bobcaygeon Fireworks

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SUZANNE GORENFLO Urban Greening

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SUZANNE GORENFLO

Broadview and Gerrard

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MARK GRAHAM The Search for Solace

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MARK GRAHAM Synthesis

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MANORI GUNATILLEKE Layered Heart

like the seven veils of Salome’s dance break after break tear after tear purging, soaring more love spills out and light, seeps in

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MANORI GUNATILLEKE The Trail

you left messages                     along the way
           whispered over miles, over years,                             a trail               in their eyes, in limbs, in ways,               in books, in movies, in song,
                        the light filtering through memories unformed
 nudging me back, from where i don’t belong
               i,     stubborn, lost, desperate,     heard wrong
                                 till the final message                                   shattered us all,                       spraying shimmering shards of my shell apart,
                                           feeling again                                             this heart,
                                  a glow in its original form

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RYAN GIBBS New Giverny

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RYAN GIBBS New Giverny

slender willow branch strokes clear surface sending tiny ripples across tranquil pond windsor red koi fish glisten in bright sun’s aestival reflection fine cattail reeds guided by gentle breeze brush between light and shadow chartreuse lily pads adrift as day opens like Monet’s nymphaea

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JANICE HARDACRE Stonefaced

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JANICE HARDACRE The Rose

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THERESA HALL Loss

Butterfly with broken wings, you’d flown so high, had lost too many, your tortured soul fell to earth, bereft and alone you wandered helpless, searching for the pieces. On spindly legs you gathered to your breast the tattered remnants. With all your strength You tried to dance upon the wind, It swirled you round disoriented and confused until you fell again, defeated. Love found you lying there, bound the gossamer wings kissed with nectar from the sun, they grew anew with tender shoots within your spirit then lifted you among the heights to fly once more again.

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JUROR’S CHOICE

LISA HAZELWOOD-GOUDIE Typewriter

You are lost to me But I picture you in a museum, Dark red velvet ropes, Throngs of crowds, Housewives with sleep-deprived eyes And fuzzy pink slippers, Business men, With razor sharp creases And black leather shoes, Exasperated teachers Of grimy-handed six year olds, All passing over purple bills Just to see you. Then I picture myself standing in the corner, Hidden by shadows, And I smile, Because they can never know you like I did, Never unlock the sounds, The strike of the key against the ribbon, The screech of the roller as it releases My words.

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DAVID HOBBERLIN Voyage Run

Voyage Run…run…Run…go. Follow the path. Be fearless though when leaving the midnight sun behind to wander the swirling starry bough. I watch this fiery tail of Run journey further from the planet drawn. It’s propelled by forces unrestrained. Run is confident without the man. Travel the tireless galactic expanse to seek Eden from its atmosphere. An untouched garden awaits approach, would that I could come there. Run is free. I make it so. Voyage Run…run…Run…go. Become a footprint in the sand where Run is truth…where Run can grow.

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NANCY HOWELL Summer Cometh

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HELEN JAMES Cheltenham Badlands

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HELEN JAMES Earth, Air and Fire

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I.B. ISKOV From Adversity to Poetry – A Therapy in Progress

On Mental Illness   Shadows on the ceiling. Faces in the night. Monsters in my closet. Huge dogs that growl and bite.   Voices calling out to me. They live inside my head. I wish that they would go away And bother someone else instead.   Is someone right behind me? I feel them breathing down my neck. Is someone ‘round the corner? Would you please go and check?   I feel so scared and lonely, For no one else can know These things that are a part of me. I simply can’t let go.   I wish I wasn’t like this. I wish I was like you. Then nothing could stand in my way Of being normal too.

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EMILIA JAJUS Lookout Point

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BENJAMIN JENKINS Thoughts to Ink, Page to Mark

I use a Baoer fountain pen. When I finish writing My ring fingertip Is stained with ink to the rivet. I leave The Second Cup Coffee Company Still gripping a medium Americano And an unlit Cigarette. The smoke from my lungs Pours like a tidal wave, Curling and frothing As the tide incoming. Thoughts pouring from an ocean In small black droplets. They leave an after burn of ash That sticks to any surface I pass. A cold metal handle Set within a large glass door. Brands my nurture and nature. Crossing Spadina to Bloor.

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BENJAMIN JENKINS The Bleeding Atmosphere

The sky turned scarlet From a deep ocean blue. Swirling clouds; floating atop A bleeding atmosphere. The Sun’s juvenile attempts To stay above the sheets Back-lit the tents And early starlight seeps. Toronto is already asleep. The faint smell of charcoal came With the breeze and Left with a kiss of cigarette. I am the last one to bed, Probably the last to rise. Obscured by night, Like those blue skies. Like that moonlight. Tell me it will be alright, I’ll tell you I believe you. In this time The twilight is infinite.

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LORI KALLAY The Sentinel

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LORI KALLAY The Narrows

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ANDRÉ KAN Collide

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JUROR’S CHOICE


JUROR’S CHOICE

ANDRÉ KAN Quake

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JOAN KEHOE Before the Show

Birds Twittering in mass choruses Timeless tuning up For the show Wind Bustling through budded trees Snapping discarded branches Setting the stage in order Sun Unsure of its place Dodging behind jostling clouds clumps Sliding into line Silver yellow scrim All the green bouquet colours Waiting in the wings Peeping from protective soil Ready excited Before the opening ecstasy Of the show SPRING!

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JOAN KEHOE Such Peace

Such peace in a cloud of yellow daffodils Haze of new green grass Such peace as the maple prepares a hail of pale green confetti before the bold bright leaves Such joy In the dazzle of a crimson cardinal swooping then singing from the highest branch His love call quickly answered Such peace watching as the magic of spring arrives Gentle breeze trickling through the open door A soft wind chime somewhere Beds new uncluttered Waiting for me to rake order plant again

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JENNYLYND JAMES Through the Window

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DENISE KEMP A Writer’s Return

Trapped beneath winter’s ice, In a frigid and dormant state I wait For spring; for rebirth! The sun will shine once more Ice will slowly melt My frosted limbs will thaw And stretch upward “Writer’s block, be gone with ye!” My words Transport you to other worlds They inspire Lift you higher Reflect my joy, pain and strife Bring my dreams to life! Since childhood days, writing fed my soul Made me whole My imagination is that wild stallion, still un-ridden! Keeps the dull ache hidden The last bit of ice disappears As I write away my tears!

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NEEMA LAKIN-DAINOW Contemplation

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NEEMA LAKIN-DAINOW Vivant

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COLLEEN LAM Autumn Bike

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COLLEEN LAM Red Door

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SARAH LACASSE Home

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CHRIS KITOWSKI Blank White Sheet

My blank white sheet stares back at me to ask, “Do you think you might have something to say?” I try to leave this unsavoury task, Oh but blank sheet won’t let me have my way. “You think you can just get up now and leave? That you are done when haven’t yet begun? Sit right back down and write what you’ve conceived. It’s not that good, but you are far from done.” I sit and scribble lines begin to come; Some flow out fast and others are quite slow. I dig for scraps, but find no more than crumbs. Good thoughts know when to come and when to go. Put down my pen, I’ve settled up the score; Silenced blank sheet for blank it is no more.

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LES LUXEMBURGER Old Barn - Holland Marsh

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LES LUXEMBURGER Hidden Alleyway

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ADA LI Citrus Summers

freckles on hot afternoons sipping lemonade lethargy on wooden swings lemonade that would grant us ice breath the heat matted your hair and I tried to give you a new ‘do to no avail

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JUROR’S CHOICE


JUROR’S CHOICE

ADA LI Stargazers

When you cried streaks of stardust, I pressed it into my cheek to wear like powder blush. I wish we weren’t stargazers, enamoured with the births of things millions of miles away, but we’ve starry-eyed insomnia and probably always will.

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CHRISTOPHER LITTLE Blanket Statement

Spent all that time Making something Special Getting it Just Right And then it happened A blanket Came down Rained down And covered up all my efforts Now everything’s gone FOREVER Or is it? No-one knows for certain Not even the “Experts” Those number crunching forecasters But then they only work with “probabilities” anyways Probabilities? I don’t want probabilities I want answers Reassurance That everything will be all right That this “nothingness” isn’t permanent Well If it’s certainty you want Then it’s certainty you’ll get For nothing lasts forever…

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CHRISTOPHER LITTLE Rolled Decisions

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SUSY MARTINS Oceans

Deep Rhythmic longing Felt in the ebb of the waves Mist falling gently Dances on skin That shines in the silvery moonlight Shells call the sand to Come home

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JUROR’S CHOICE


SUSY MARTINS Rebirth

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WILLIAM MCCONNELL A Sonnet in Three Snowflakes

Atlantis Backyard Akashic Black Madonna Magic Curses Unfurl Person Band Wu-Ti Books Trace Paper Scroll Escape Bereft Inner Denied Graces Mind At-ends Beginnings Kabballah fifth Kingdom Turmoil Terms Truce Poems Agains Bereft Unlock Ravine Tales Versions Lady Vision Jackal Fence Number Firth Start Dreams Stars Lake Demise Bereft

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WILLIAM MCCONNELL Pound’s Journal Entry

I layed the cantos by my bed and went to watch Apochalypse Now, came back to my bedroom and sat by my lecturn altar and construction men nearly rattled my apartment down the hole-this is meaningful chance? new to this century or latent poems to come?

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ANYA MIELNICZEK The Swamps

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JUROR’S CHOICE


JUROR’S CHOICE

ANYA MIELNICZEK Sitting Pretty

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KANSON LEE Frozen Love

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PETER MARSH Scramble

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MICHAEL MOORE Dream Machine V

What are these thoughts, these dreams that slither through this Creature’s mind while he slumbers, slithering like baby snakes with razors as they swim through the fluids within his skull. For this Creature’s brain is no more, for it has been devoured by thoughts of heavy, as it is replaced with baby serpents of razors to nest within his skull. Oh how you’re not to bore and never to lore as you conjure within these thoughts and dreams, like a phantom who rules my subconscious.

152


MICHAEL MOORE Imitations are Unbecoming

153


JOAN MOUMBLOW June 1994

I remember the yellow umbrella and the matching Yellow chairs. I remember the lush green trees around me. I remember the blue and white tea cups and the Beveled glass plates. I remember the fruit salad, the spicy eggs and Organic greens, Brunch you say. No a work of art!

154

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JUROR’S CHOICE

JOAN MOUMBLOW Helmut

He’s been coming all winter. He looks gaunt. He slurs his words. He told me he’s an alcoholic ….can he shovel the snow. We meet every snow fall and smile. He needs me. And I need him. Today I gave his some mitts. His hands were so red.

155


DARCY MILLER There’s a Hole in My Soul

Devastation and abuse is never as it seems It’s not about wars and earthquakes It’s the crushing of one’s dreams The smile that’s given freely Wiped out with a silent glare The hope of being happy Dashed by those who never share The constant drone of silence The negativity of despair The words of love that go unheard By the mindless who don’t care It’s the child who won the prize And he beams with satisfaction But on his parents face there’s no positive reaction It’s the eyes that look right past you Saying who you are is unimportant What you think just doesn’t matter The dreams and hopes they just go dormant There are no bruises on the outside No scars reveal the pain But the truth is that your heart has died And you may never trust again

156


JESUS MORA Pride

157


ELIZABETH MUDENYO We Must Get Our Hopes Up

We must get our hopes up And release them in the air To combat with all the toxins And secondhand cynicism To inspire the clouds  Into shape shifting Into becoming Whatever they wish To give the sun A reason to rise To convince The stars to come out And shine We must get our hopes up Besides They are too inflated with life To stay down And anchor us (In fact) They exist Only to carry us


158

JUROR’S CHOICE


LISA NG Onna-bugeisha Cat Warrior

159


ANNA NIEMINEN Beloved Creatures

Dedicated to the 117 souls who perished in the 2012 Dhaka fire. Several boxes of Disney sweatshirts were found stored at Tazreen without Walmart’s authorization. Back to basics can mean shopping locally…

Toronto: 100-mile child May you sleep with the wild Peaceable creatures Their hand-sewn features Not so familiar or known globally Slightly homely and made locally And beloved they’ll be Dhaka: Tazreen factory worker May you rest now the blaze Has ended your days Melted machine in the rubble A hooded sweatshirt bursts our bubble Children’s clothes in a heap Beloved Mouse, did you weep?

160

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ROSEMARIE NIZAMUD-DIN I Am I Am Not

I am love I am hate I am everything in between I am the whisper in the wind A fleeting thought, A desperate prayer I was and I wasn’t, Upon your lips I am a moment. I am crimson blood flowing violent love Between your pillars I claim you And death may come. I am unafraid Miraculous, I am you Inside me. Neither love Nor hate I am nothing in between I am no longer Not a figment Nor a spirit Not even a speck upon your universe

161


JC OLSTHOORN Portrait of an Artist as a Young Woman

162


JC OLSTHOORN Torn

163


REBECCA ONG Unravel

One step, and the soles of your shoes take flight where the gravel ends; it might not meet with them again. The earth           bends the voyager into a boulder guided by everything but the self: moving only as the geography permits. It rests your heavy bottom flat across a metal bridge. Let papers drop into tranquil waters

—or they’ll do it for you:

those weightless messengers tying strings to your notebook spine, ready to tug away, to join your abducted pen. Didn’t notice it gone, did you?

You rarely notice them taking the pieces back— you back to nature.

164


JUROR’S CHOICE

RACHEL PANO Back Home

Yesterday….. I remember myself Sitting on a rusty rooftop Of our small and simple wooden house It was one sunny afternoon Looking up at the blue clear sky I saw and wish I was in that far-away airplane And bring me to the land where I can fulfill all my dreams Today….. I found myself Standing at the window glass Of our big and beautiful concrete house It was one cloudy afternoon Looking up at the hazy sky I saw and wish I was in that far-away airplane And bring me to the same rooftop where all my dreams begun

165


RITA-ANNE PIQUET Demons and Dreams

Banish the demons and don a silly hat. It’s out we go to the bar tonight. Crowd in at tables shoulder to back and toe to toe. I’ll raise a glass to my life and times to holding on and holding fast. It’s Monday night and I don’t give a damn. Tomorrow will come and I’ll eke out my dreams. Pen to paper and brush to paint all that matters in the narrow and vast. I’ll banish the demons and dream my dreams.

166


RITA-ANNE PIQUET Touch the Sky

167


JANET F. POTTER My Little Library with Friends

168


JANET F. POTTER Thread and Words to Sew By

169


NADINE PRADA Night of 100 Moons

170

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JUROR’S CHOICE

NADINE PRADA Cloud Forest

171


AMI PRIVETT Pure

172


AMI PRIVETT Nature Reconstruction

173


MALINDA PRUD’HOMME Seeing Into TheSoul

174

JUROR’S CHOICE


MALINDA PRUD’HOMME Winter Beauty

175


ROBERT QUANCE Josef

176


ROBERT QUANCE Untitled

One night I saw something in my house. I began collecting old photos and personal effects of the long departed, the Forgotten. I would manipulate, transform and reimagine these artefacts into my work. My art would act as a bridge to the past; breathing new life into soldiers, labourers, ordinary people. The past can be a dangerous place. While working on a piece featuring an executed soldier‌ I tapped into something. His eyes followed me about the room. I had violent nightmares. I felt ill. Perhaps some people should not be resurrected. One night I saw something in my house—

177


COLIN QUIN Lightning Bolt Barca

It’ll take some time

to ferment my mind

(maturing on it’s own)

then throbbing

a transient aura amplified

first nausea vision

volts blitz

and I have to vomit

a migraine vibrating

soothsaying pain

in exorcism fits

and the only antidote smiting

is from the war hammer healer

his symbol to my skull (like)

the notion of Athena

178

bolting from Zeus’ brain

amnesia switch


COLIN QUIN Jack-ey boy the Crusader

Fortune

The holy man’s gonna bleed

A crimson sin

of must

preach

and the moments of bless

Where he hitchhikes in different dimensions

a different person

every time

emerges

blot of stress

at rest

When there’s no performing

It’s meaningless

179


NATALIE RAJ Of Girls and Lamb

How lonesome is the world, to have lost thy youth? Our mothers’ daughters, once fresh faces Kissed by the dew of spring, With lips as ripe as eden’s fruit And eyes undimmed like andromeda’s stars, A vision of lithe, fleeting On the limbs of daphne, fading Through the awakening meadow of childhood And how wretched is the world that it now weeps? For the blossoms and buds, the flourish of summer’s sun, Our mothers’ daughters, once fresh faces On the sweet grass, her feet did caress A verdant passage of terse delights, The throbbing heart of soil and earth Doth stir the slumbering wolf, curled in winter’s womb How rigid is the world, as it turns away? The feast of ice and biting wind, the blasted bones of autumn’s plight, A paradise lay hewn upon a pyre of white, Our mothers’ daughters, once fresh faces Cold and grim, veiled by the ashes of winter’s own, The decay of youth, repose beneath the reaper’s throne As the silver beast licks his hideous maw Above the silent slaughter of the spring lamb

180


NATALIE RAJ Baronet

181


INDRA RAMDASS Illumination

182


INDRA RAMDASS Catharsis

I scan the News headlines Plane and passengers vanish Homeless man freezes Kitten’s antics go viral Another gaffe from pompous politician Celebrity’s cousin busted for drugs I check in with Myself Weather’s sunny, yet freezing Worried about friend with cancer This rush hour traffic Worsens my migraine and temper I feel Anger, fear, disgust, frustration Despair, helplessness, irritation Nostalgia, sadness Hope and happiness Or some combination thereof.  I react Writing is my coping mechanism. I analyze, fantasize, fictionalize or romanticize events. I may feel relief. Or not. I may or may not finish my script. So what!

183


SARAH RAMKISSOON Justice

That life is unfair, is hardly up for debate With random factors affecting our fate: Wealth, status, age, gender and race Size, sexual-orientation or beauteous face. Lacking these aplenty, should I just yield? Accept life is not a level playing field? No! Through writing I can fight For justice. My pen hath might! I learned from the likes of Harper Lee Austen, Shelley and L.M. Montgomery; When power is not your natural inheritance The pen can make you a person of significance. I ponder no more the injustices in my future, Now I embrace my pen (and my computer).

184


SARAH RAMKISSOON Simple Pleasures or the Two “R’s”

The pleasure of reading another’s work, Inspires in me a desire to lurk, Unseen, on the literary scene Like a shy, wall-flowered teen. Poetry, prose, all grist for my fodder. Truly, the blame rests with ‘mudder’. It was she, who since my birth Instilled the value of literary girth. Starting with Jerry Cruncher of Dickens fame She opened a world, both wild and tame Filled with creatures divine, Vile or supremely sublime. What inspires me? What, besides mother? To give pleasure, through writing, to another.

185


RITA RIDAZ-LEPSI Can’t Stop Dancing

186


RITA RIDAZ-LEPSI Choreography of Colours

187


BREANNA SHANAHAN Guitarolin

188

JUROR’S CHOICE


JUROR’S CHOICE

BREANNA SHANAHAN Baby’s Breath

189


HELEN SHEN The Richest Place in the World

190


SONGBIRD Another Dark Day

So when are we gonna be choosing To stop emptying our rounds And stop shooting To put our guns down And stop excluding everyone And start including love Because the more we be recruiting The more we can say we’ve had enough Of seeing our loved ones dying so young Another dark day, another lost child Another heartache, another lost smile, another heartbreak So when are we gonna learn from our mistakes? Show concern and do what it takes? To not regress and get deranged But to address and rearrange Make progress and make a change

191


RANJIT SIDHU Landscape # 07

192


RANJIT SIDHU Ecstasy # 01

193


TENNESHA SKYERS Fire Brimstone

194


TENNESHA SKYERS His Blood

195


PATRICE STEPHENS-BOURGEAULT Erasing On the Wall of Time

196


PATRICE STEPHENS-BOURGEAULT A Water Baby’s Mother

197


GRAZYNA STRYJEK New Friend

198


GRAZYNA STRYJEK Good Weather Forecast

199


JAN SWINBURNE Jonas: You are Loved

You are loved. Jonas sat staring at the three words scratched in to the stainless steel on the side of the subway seat. His adolescent body tried to claim sleep as he lolled with the motion of the car. He watched the tiny words that were haplessly and willfully engraved pass in and out of darkness. This made his eyes as heavy as his heart. He had been made homeless for three days after his parents had discovered him. They had discovered “him� as if by accident through their hectic self absorbed fog. He had stopped any effort to hide himself a few years back, but for some reason they had only just made the discovery. The words felt like a beacon calling to him, a hope that would rise and fall with time and motion. There, scratched in steel, the intangible words seemed so permanent when he could see them, and so lost when he could not. He watched it for hours, slowly taking it in, tending to it. That was the day he forgave his parents.

200


JAN SWINBURNE Studio Window

201


TIFFANY TANG A Pleasant Dream

202


TIFFANY TANG Bald Eagle on the Bluffs

203


THYRA THOMSON Portrait of a Girl

204


THYRA THOMSON Without a Voice

205


SHIRLEY V. TING O-Blue

206


SHIRLEY V. TING O-Yellow

207


THE TEN THIMBLES QUILTERS Spirit Quilt

208


KORINA TO Bird in an Ice Storm

209


VIRGINIA TRAN Above the Clouds

I wanna fly like a kite Into the horizon of tomorrow Until my adjacent angles, tangle With the string that guides me home I wanna fly like a kite Into the tropical cyclone Right in the eye of the storm Torn into pieces Born into peace when I enter the centre Eye wanna fly like a kite Into the wilderness of kinder surprise Morphing into the dew that rests on the pedal of wildflowers That attracts the panther’s eye Eye wanna fly like a kite Soaring side by side with rare birds in a red sky That’s lit up by the remembrance of dead stars Eye wanna fly like a kite Around the world, and beyond it Up, until I catch on fire And still I wanna go higher Eye wanna fly like a kite Until the rainstorms I pass, wash away All the pain that lasts, and the paint that masks the truth Eye wanna fly like a kite And be above the clouds (RIP GURU)

Above the clouds…

210


VIRGINIA TRAN Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter

211


BOB TUNNOCH Fetch

212


BOB TUNNOCH Hummingbirds in the Boilier Room - Adagio

213


JENNIFER TOFFOLI Bittersweet Reveries

214


SARAH VARNAM Portrait V

215


DIANA VANDERMEULEN Seven Sisters

216


DIANA VANDERMEULEN Nine Pools

217


GRACE VERMEER Postcard to my Brother

Do you remember the white clapboard church by the tracks? The black-roofed belfry rose above double doors, but in the four years we lived there, the bell never rang— was it missing? I traveled back to Fairpoint along narrow roads, winding past abandoned shafts, shabby mansions, houses clinging to hillsides. I stopped at the bend that heads into Main Street, took a photograph of the church. I was thinking about the girl I was, hung like a bell without a tongue. When I looked out over coal-ravaged hills, I heard voices like bells. One of those voices was mine.

218

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JUROR’S CHOICE

GRACE VERMEER When Stones Open Their Mouths

If you were a child, silenced with a whip, leather belt, spring-green switch, then you know the long journey back to the self, the voice you exiled lining your ear, Fear not. Write what you hear. You could fail before you even begin to pick up a pen, chained to a curse, but you remember your eyes were deep wells, and the gritty sounds of the coal mining town fell like rocks into the dark water that waited inside you. Now those stones want to tell stories. Each rock, tender as flesh, is crying out.

219


RAVI WAGHMARE Freedom

220


RAVI WAGHMARE My Mother

Becoming a mother is like having a second birth It’s a most heavenly experience on the face of the earth My mother probably felt the same When she gave me birth and when she gave me my name She gave me strength when I was weak She took care of me when I was sick She loved me regardless of what I said She stayed up all night and sat beside my bed When I’m with my mother, I don’t think of any temple, church or Lord When I’m with my mother, I am actually in the company of God

221


MEGAN WARD Scolded

222


MEGAN WARD Still Life, Autumn

223


N.K WILSON A Mother’s Prayer

When the ordinary seems insurmountable And each day is as daunting as Mt. Everest When the body is an iron cage And not a mighty vessel When memories of friends and lovers Are shrouded in a fog And life has lost its lustre Don’t fight so hard, my child, To stave off my final passage Forget the artificial breathing The re-hydration and forced feeding As, I’d much rather be on my way Than tarry here another day.

224

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JUROR’S CHOICE

N.K. WILSON Love’s Joy

Surrender to passion and longing When you are supple and strong And the body is willing Set aside the chores and “to do” lists Make loving your main intent Till you are glowing and spent And the rest of the world is no more. For love’s joy is evanescent And arduous to find Within reach one moment, gone the next A haunting melody Lost in the labyrinth of your mind.

225


MARILYN WALSH Social Networking

226


ANGELA WALCOTT The Process

The pain of truth, like a constant sun – the scribe is rendered helpless. Waves of sickness rush in amongst flourishing strokes, On a choppy sea of familiar. A single oar in hand, and in the distance, an oasis of sand. The hungry feed ravenously on drifting skies that rain inspiration. Banished rusty metaphors swash and buckle valiant similes at noon-high duels. Triumphant sweat drips past noisy thoughts en route to meaning. Diamond ink flows through fountain dreams. Only words, when handled carefully, play nicely, And learn to share the page without signs of any greed.

227


RON WILD Vasarely Cube

228


ROSANNA WONG Beginning of Time

229


SABRINA ZICARELLI The You Within

Life can be a challenge You can feel lost and alone If you don’t know who you are Or who you should be The only place you may feel comfortable is home It can seem like there’s no one out there No one for you to call Eyes are on you judging Picking out every flaw But you can’t let the world control you For they don’t know who you are Remember you will never see a stranger again So give their judging eyes the boot And always walk with pride For God made you the way you are And you have nothing to hide Show the world your colours And embrace the you within For you and your family are the only ones that matter Always remember To embrace the you within

230


SABRINA ZICARELLI Up and Away

231


JOYCE YEH Lock

232


big art book issue 3 2014


BIG ART BOOK 2014  

A digital anthology of writing and visual art.

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