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big art book ISSUE NO. 1

cover image by Lisa Ng - picasso’s rose period


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The Big Art Book 2012 is an experiment; a wonderful experiment. The following Digital Anthology represents a merger between two regularly recurring Scarborough Arts projects: an annual visual arts exhibition for youth, and an annual writing contest. We’ve tried to cross boundaries, blur lines and link creative people together through artwork and writing. In some cases, the work of particular artists and writers has received a special distinction. However, let us be clear: the purpose of this project is not the distribution of awards. Nor have we attempted to create a highly detailed, rigidly formatted listing of who, what, when and where. The Big Art Book is about participating in a conversation. The Big Art Book is about sampling a fresh assortment of creativity. The Big Art Book is about the power of expression, and celebrating our ideas. Scarborough is a diverse community with a creative pulse. Our lives are connected and enriched by all forms of art and culture in which everyone can participate. Scarborough Arts develops, delivers and promotes arts programming and cultural initiatives in collaboration with the community. We bring artists to the community and community to the arts. As a Local Arts Service Organization, we strive to bring free and innovative programming to everyone. Projects like this are made possible in part through memberships and generous donations from people like you. Please consider joining forces with us! If you’d like to know more about Scarborough Arts, any of the artists or pieces of artwork featured in the Big Art Book, just let us know. We’d love to connect the dots. Visit our website for more information, or to get in touch - Thank you to everyone who has submitted their work, and also to you, for taking the time to enjoy this tome. Creatively, Benedict Lopes Program Director, Scarborough Arts

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big juror A WORD FROM THE

art book 2012 awards

Nikita Marner Award

Presented to an outstanding young visual artist

Lindsay Rollins, “Love Blanket”

The first edition of the Big Art Book is unlike any publication on the internet. Diverse in every possible respect describes the visual and literary art within its virtual pages. Among the nearly 400 pieces of art and writing submitted – by young and old, professionals and amateurs, alike – just about every medium, style, form, culture and subject matter is represented. As a result, this digital anthology literally embodies the creative heart and soul of Toronto’s largest borough.

A youth artist, Lindsay Rollins, demonstrates her expertise as an illustrator with the warm and inviting mood she captures in her drawing, “Love Blanket”.

Eugenie Shehirian Award Presented to an outstanding young poet or writer

Jean Wu, “The Last Stretch”

Jean Wu’s writing exhibits a command of language and storytelling beyond her years in “The Last Stretch”, a touching love story about an elderly stroke victim’s determination to recover and return home to her blind husband.

Scarborough Arts Award Presented to an outstanding adult visual artist

Barbara Rehus, “Catherine” ; “Theresa”

Haunting best describes “Theresa” and “Catherine”, two mixed media portraits by Barbara Rehus. This thoughtful fine artist asks us to consider the impact of culture and fashion on a woman’s identity.

Monica Ladell Award Presented to an outstanding adult poet or writer

David Hobberlin, “On the Waterfront of Toronto”

David Hobberlin’s “On the Waterfront of Toronto” does more than question lakefront development in this city; it proves that good poetry is like jazz – experimental, rhythmic and memorable.


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Margaret Chown

is a long-time Toronto artist, who works primarily in digital media, and exhibits limited-edition, signed prints at local galleries and arts festivals. Her past experience as a graphic artist with IBM Canada, and her background in fine-art media, including acrylics, ink and graphite, inform her approach to digital painting. The female face and form and what it means to be a woman inspire the work of this mother of four daughters. In the fall of 2010, the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy commissioned Margaret to create a mural in Fred Johnson Park on Kingston Rd . The mural, which is called “The Lady of Scarborough Village”, depicts Rhoda Cornell, a Scarborough pioneer and mother or step-mother to 37 children. Margaret has been instructing art at community centres for many years to children, adults and adults with intellectual challenges. Margaret has been providing drawing, cartooning and fine art programming for youth at Cedar Ridge Creative Centre since 2006.


Judging Visual Arts & Literature


As an artist, art instructor and aspiring author, listing the qualities that go into a good piece of visual art or writing isn’t difficult. However, quantifying what makes any given piece outstanding is hard to put into words. To me, it’s the glimpse a painting, story or poem gives you into the heart and soul of its creator. Hence, the connection that forms between art and appreciator is always highly personal and subjective. For this reason, I feel it is essential to give the greatest weight to objective criteria, and to be open about my judging process.


First impression draws the viewer or reader in and maintains interest. Final impression is memorable and/or leaves the viewer or reader with something novel and worthwhile to ponder.


Visual and Literary Arts: The work exhibits a sufficient level of maturity and technical skill in the chosen medium and/or genre. Visual Arts: The work uses the principles and elements of art and design to create a unified composition (whether harmonious or controlled chaos). Fiction and Biographical Short Prose: The work uses language, literary devices and storytelling techniques to allow a main character to develop or work through a conflict in a wellrealized setting. Non-Fiction Prose: The work uses language, researched or experiential information and reasoned arguments to explore a question and/or express an opinion about an issue or subject; or the work uses literary techniques to describe a topic, event or place. Poetry: The work uses language, visual presentation, literary devices, rhythm and/or rhyme, in accordance with the chosen poetic form (ex., free verse, concrete poem, and sonnet) to create a unified composition.

vision • • • •

Conveys a theme, which is a statement, observation or question about humanity. Themes can be subtle or bold, personal or universal. Every aspect of the piece, including the title, works to realize the theme. (The artist or author doesn’t digress or become self-indulgent.) Elicits the artist’s intended response from the viewer or reader, which includes leading the reader or viewer to make his or her own interpretation. Changes how the viewer or reader felt about the subject matter; or leads to self-examination, or re-examination of an aspect of human nature or the human condition.

originality • • • •

Expressive and in execution and/or subject matter or theme. Imaginative and creative in approach, subject matter or theme. Experimental and/or pushes artistic, personal or social boundaries. Deals with novel subject matter or themes; approaches common subject matter or themes in a novel way, or it puts seemingly unrelated ideas together to create something novel.

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visual art adults


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FALL FIRE Why are you so excited, Sumach, your whole face flushed? MEMBER 1 summer long you grew green envy of the blooms in my flowerbeds? You’re colouring up a tad early for Chritmas. It’s not till three months hence. What’s your hurry? You’ll be plain sticks by then. No fiery bobs. No more Fall leaves. Just stalks and branches. So why are you red-faced? Embarrassed? Well, you should be. You brought your roots and rhyzomes under the fence into my yard, destroyed my bed of prized lilies. Was the magnificent bed of petunias not enough last year? Or my rich, rainbow coloured bed full of marygolds, zinnias, pansies and begonias the year before? Were they not enough? And four Springs ago, when you killed off our family’s crest, carefully planted with hyacynths, crocusses and tulips, by my now late husband, to mightily bloom? Do you know that you caused his death as you have all my plantings since? It was his dream for many a year to plant that crest, and when he finally had time, he enjoyed and relished, yes, savoured its beauty. But then you had to spoil it by forcing your way in destroying ev’rything; sucking away minerals and displacing soft rootlets. A violent attack those young bulbs could not overcome. I chide you, you say? You dare ask me why? For the loss of my loved one? Oh yes. That and all your violations of me since.

Have you no shame? Oh, I tried to kill you, you say? Yes, I wildly chopped your roots and rhyzomes at fence’s edge. What else do you expect me, a frail old woman, to do in defense of her garden? But now I’m tired. I have no more energy. You win. And as your dense panides, are flushed with the colour of victory after battle I’m inclined to admit:

we were the intruders. We came into your realm with bulldozers and cranes and plows and scrapers and . . . Still, you share with us your Fall Fire as you fill yourself to overwhelming majesty with crimson peduncles and fiery leaves in praise of Mother Nature. For that . . . I have to admit . . . I thank you.

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We Paint Mirrors We paint mirrors on your floors by roped-off squares so many to a section to not intrude as you do dine.

We paint mirrors on your floors for your rejoicing we polish them – a’ glow so you may fresh recline.

We paint mirrors on your floors with brushes – large their bristles hard and soft and furry pads of coarse and fine.

We paint mirrors on your floors for to reflect the palms in swaying shadow shapes where light and dark combine to grandly shine on mirrors we define.

We paint mirrors on your floors with wheel-round brush we do it – days on end so great beauty will enshrine.


Front cover of picture story book Designed





By: John Jansen in de Wal




From hip hop to Drum n bass, the breakbeat/ breakimage in the digital age is a symbol of perpetual reconstruction. Within mashup culture, Youtube is the contemporary theatre. This is video-music made entirely out of reappropriated/re-edited anti-piracy propaganda and optimistic newscasts/apple computer commercials from the 80’s and 90’s. Two decades ago, the present digital age was presented as an information and media utopia--but instead we are now the era of download caps, regional content restrictions, and increasing cyber surveillance, cyber censorship, and information barriers. All sound is attached/synced to the original image sources, cut up and re-arranged into video-musical compositions. This is technique is called JAWA, or “Video-Music”. What you see is what you hear.


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QUIN MCCOLGAN jurors choice

The system claims it’s getting tough on crime But it’s only incarcerating criminals While removing resources like family divorces. I could work real hard, trying to make ends meet, Or hustle the streets and be rewarded instantly! Kicked out from school, with nothing to do Who do they turn to? Gang bangers, gunshots Nobody talks. It’s a war on the block, When will the cycle stop? Tick, tick, tick. I’m not a burn out, I just have doubts. I’m bent, I can’t afford the rent and I need to vent. What about that dud I lent money to? It’s time to collect and I might have to do something I’ll regret.

You can get yourself out from the ghetto, But some troubles just don’t let go. Questionable opportunities arise at any occasion Some say it’s a test of faith. As children grow older will they grow into soldiers? Or a cold case in a folder? Feed us nutrition and knowledge. Lend a hand, make a stand. Give support for us to grow strong. Just like the anthem to our song. Everybody has some problems, But if we get together we could solve some. Take two hearts, beat at once. Show what love really means, I’m planting seeds Because the miracle is me! (2011)



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miklos LEGRADY

DEREK ensoll







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My mind, my book, Yet I continue to write I’m open to the perception of uncovering truth I seek to create the beauty around me Me? Who am I? Space, time, wisdom - all energy Be exhilarated, not frightened For would the moon be there if nobody were to look? This dance in the dark I forever waltz in wonder.


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HOPE - Through creation

... artistic delights... When darkness calls out its name to me I listen to the beat of my heart Realizing the depths of emotion I breathe Light into these feelings, with art My hands are filled with the power to heal Working magic with colours so brilliant Easing their way into my spirits to lift Realizing their strength and resilience Listen to the notes that my fingers drum out Into harmonies sneaking in play Softly the notes of my flute blend into Spirits risen and waiting to stay Glorious comfort and peace shall be yours to feel When you conquer the fear to survive Allow your true colours to shine right through Very soon you’ll feel good to be alive!



{ Mr. Toulouse }

It was a beautiful night in the city. The sky was a sparkling dark blue and the stars danced around the moon. The skyscrapers towered above all on the city streets, wanting to reach what we could not, yet still not able to reach the sky. It was well past midnight, but this city never slept. There was always light within the city.

This was our future.

In the heart of the city, Mr. Toulouse was busy doing the mountainous paperwork on his broad dark oak desk. Mr. Toulouse stressed himself too much for what it was worth. Then again, it was worth a lot. As the actuary of various big corporations, there is very little room for error in the world of business and finance intricately blended with risk and uncertainty. The poor man put everything in life on the line: his wife, his children, his friends, family. Even if his health was at stake, he still insisted on only getting four hours of sleep each night and for what? For work. The pay. For money. How else do you pay for the luxurious state-of-the-art sports car with all the little odds and ends that you don’t even drive? How else do you live comfortably in a house worth millions, with servants of the finest calibre awaiting your every command at every second? How else does your wife manage to go on her rampant shopping sprees all over the world? How else do your children have full round stomachs of gourmet food served by the finest chefs as they are escorted to school by their personal chauffeur? Off they go to their private schools that are worth more than what some people may make in a year.

More than what entire families live off in a year.

Children too young to even know the difference between gourmet dishes and leftovers. For all they care, it could be a dog bone, just dressed fancily and they’ll eat it. As long as it seems pleasing to the senses.

For money.

Tonight was no different.

In the wee hours of morning, Mr. Toulouse suddenly collapsed on his desk of fatigue. The papers swirled around him as he landed heavily on his work. Then, everything lay as still and as quiet as the dead. In the morning, Mr. Toulouse did not wake up, even when his robot servant came. “Mr. Toulouse must wash himself.” The robot washed, dressed and sloppily fed him. Mr. Toulouse still did not awake. The robot took Mr. Toulouse to the transport chute where another robot took over. “Mr. Toulouse has a meeting.” The robot led him on a highway of complex sets of glass compartments and tubes and escorted him to his meeting deeper in the heart of the city.

It is 9 a.m.

Mr. Toulouse has not woken up throughout the entire meeting.

His human servant comes and nudges him. “Mr. Toulouse, are you alright?” No answer. She shakes him. No reaction. She checks his breathing. Nothing. She checks his pulse.

She gasps.

Mr. Toulouse is dead.


JIM Ogilvie







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CAME TOGETHER For years now people have been matched together This one with that one That one with this one For years now I’ve been stood up and set up With this one for a season That one for a reason Only to reveal Just how long It would take me To find the right one And then it all came together It all came together with you




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Labels, Libels and Liberties An informal essay on the use of labels

This essay deals with the process of trying to create art. It is a summary of my thoughts and decisions made during the process of creating a diptych of two paintings that related to the same theme i.e. Anti-Islamic sentiment. This work led to a triptych composed of fridge magnets and other plans for installations of public art. Along the way I made mistakes and learned some surprising things. The Diptych – LABELS The idea for a painting began with my concern for AntiIslamic sentiments and I made a quick sketch which soon became the painting An Innocent Man. I was attempting to create an image that captured a feel for street art or poster art and I was reminded of the Anti-Semitic art that the Nazis used to visually label and dehumanize Jews. This image also contains binary coding and bar coding. It appears on a computer screen where the menu and drop-down menu have seemingly Arabic commands. It is unclear who would view this screen – a CIA agent, a jihadi, a freedom fighter, a civil rights activist - someone who reads Arabic? What application is on this screen anyway, a database? I felt this painting conveyed some of ideas I wanted to get across but it needed a counterpoint. I was thinking of an iconic image and Don Cherry sprung to mind because of all of his questionable comments and his unquestioning support of “our troops”. This idea continued to grow as I did a little Googling. I found an image that led to the painting The Man Behind Our Boys. It reminded me of a smug Mussolini. On the same search screen I also discovered the strangest racist quote attributed to Mr. Cherry in a small American newspaper. If you Google “Don Cherry Torture” you’ll find this quote attributed to him. “ “If hooking up one rag-head terrorist prisoner’s testicles to a car battery to get the truth out of the lying little camelshagger will save just one Canadian life, then I have only three things to say: Red is positive, Black is negative, and make sure his nuts are wet’.” This comment on live talk radio prompted his ejection from the studio, but to thunderous applause from the audience! ’ The majority of hits believe that Mr. Cherry said this. Few others claim it is a hoax. What is interesting is why anyone would believe that he said this (as I originally did when I saw it in a newspaper reference). Believers who support the sentiments of this quote


(including gun clubs and vendors, ultra conservative groups, right–wing newspapers, blogs and forums from across America, Canada and internationally) applaud “his statements” because these words sum up what these supporters already believe and they use “his words” and his image to further their own ideological rants. Some call him a hero or a great guy for these words. Then there are believers who are totally against what “he said” in these comments and are against many other things he is on record saying, including comments they consider racist, homophobic, sexist, violent… It is because of those other comments attributed to Mr. Cherry that these people can believe he made these comments on torture. So it seems our predisposed outlook or bias affects what we see and believe. This made me think about our use of labels in general and raised many questions. Who looks innocent? What labels do we use, consume, assume? How do labels restrict our understanding and dehumanize us? Who creates these labels? Who affixes them? How do you remove a label? How do you “unbroadcast” it? How do you delete it from distributed global databases? How do you correct it in peoples’ minds? How do we label ourselves? In terms of Mr. Cherry - What labels does this man use? What labels has he created for his own image and gain? How do other Canadians label him and what does that say about us? Undoubtedly, the iconic image that Mr. Cherry has created for himself has labelled him. He is his own brandTM. It is because of this label that people believe he could have said those words. His brand gave credence to these words and gave currency to this quote. If you or I were credited with this comment it would have soon vanished from the blogosphere. Indeed his iconic self-branding is exactly why the hoaxsters choose him to be their “spokesman”. I searched for a denial by Mr. Cherry. I found his denial of another more recent quote and buried inside that story was a denial of these older torture statements. It seems that no less than the Canada Press wire service was duped by this most recent hoax, as were many others by the torture hoax. I still find it interesting that Mr. Cherry’s denial of the

torture statements amounts to an “I never said that”. More fulsome denials usually involve a distancing from the thoughts and sentiments of such horrible words. If a politician were clearing their name in such a case they’d surely be asked if they supported torture and be given the chance to elaborate. In terms of “branding” you have to wonder why Cherry hasn’t been more complete. Certainly brands like Coca ColaTM or NikeTM protect their image and attack any infringements on it. Why not Cherry? Would he lose respect with those of his “lunch box brigade” if he stood against torture? Does he enjoy the duplicity of having these ideas associated with him while still denying the quoted words? Is this one example of “speaking in code” (by not denying the meaning of those words)? In a way, it doesn’t even matter whether he said it. It’s out there and people used his image to legitimate these words. How could one correct this? I suppose only Mr. Cherry could really deflate this but his silence is as loud as his jackets. These paintings were selected for Eccentricities – The 26th Annual Juried show for Scarborough Arts held at the Papermill gallery in April 2011. To read a write up of the show they were part of please visit, But note – it is very ironic that the gallery mixed-up the titles of the works. The IMP (interactive magnetic print) Triptych – LABELS

Examples of the fridge magnets (3”x4”)

This work derived from the original paintings and extended the ideas represented by them. This triptych was selected for The Little Art Show (Juried show) at Hangman Gallery Oct. 2011 A note on the medium and form of the work This is a limited edition print composition. In one way it is an original composition and in another way it is a print. The work is a set of fridge magnets that form a composition. They are moveable. The images of the original works have been digitally coloured and inverted then printed onto the magnetic medium. The magnets affix to a sheet metal backing which

is mounted on wooden panels (10 x 10 for that show). The title of each panel and part of the artist’s statement is incorporated into the composition using magnets with text. For example Panel #1 - The Man Behind Our Boys - includes words excerpted from the torture quote (except for the word “us” which I have added). The colour variation and inversion of the images represents these biased perspectives we can hold. Note how scary some images look when inverted and colourized but they are really the same image as the black & white positive image. The Conversation It has been said that a painting is not complete until the viewer looks at, or interacts with it. With this triptych the idea was to give the owner (or user) 18 extra image magnets. You could handle the images and create new compositions. You could change the layout or colour scheme, put an extra image on your fridge, bring it to the office, give one to a friend, even deface it or burn it if you chose. How will that change the meaning, extend the meaning or create new meaning? The user could stick one to a lamppost or mailbox but it wouldn’t be “destructive” or permanent graffiti. Could the handling of those powerful words, looking closely at them, change their affect on you? Your choice of what you do with the images, what context you put them in will be owned by you – you will create new art. In the end it is the viewer that will construct the meaning and that is part of the deep individual human subjectivity that we hope to touch through art. The Plans I plan to extend this series of magnetic prints into installations of street art and banners. I’d like to give magnets away freely. I want to float these magnets/ banners with balloons and parade them. I’d like to set those balloons free. I’d like to place these magnets/banners in different contexts and photograph/video/interview/ survey people’s reactions to them. Then I could blog that information and set up ways for people to interact and respond to these ideas – by words and all forms of art – using various media. We could even invite/challenge Mr. Cherry to fully refute these words and thus correct the hoax in peoples’ minds. (Remember how many Canadians preferred Doris Day to Stockwell Day?) A final thought – remember those old movies which showed “ignorant savages” afraid to have their photo taken because they believed it would capture their soul? Considering what you could do by changing contexts or with Photoshop and You Tube tagging, it seems those savages were on to something.



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Robbie Cook MEMBER





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PATRICK CONNORS jurors choice

{ Renaissance } Integrity turns to courageous hope Vision of what is and ought to be Only if and when we are ready to Believe there is no fear in perfection

Audacious belief in what seems unlikely Fierce like the fire which consumes me Blazing the trail as I follow it Though I would rather not, I’ll go it alone Sorrow will surely lead to temptation Reason to artfully dwell and wallow We cannot beholden to the bottom For from there is nowhere to go but up Allowing the bounty of limitless grace Growing in love we grow with each other Bonding together, made ever stronger Instruments of the divine by way of the sublime The race we run, not a sprint, But for the distance, we breathlessly seek And find in each other by want and need Delight and share as we follow the path Does my heart seem to be open again After ages alone drifting in dreams Of a time when anything could matter Breaking the barriers holding it down? Universe which defines and shapes me I long to fill you with how I feel Boundless energy towards your creation As you make me a part of your all Long have I waited to be completed Grown and felt and prospered and made ready Every different day I approach the same Until the one which makes everything new


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Something Mature and Very UnnaturaL Written on the border of Scarborough If I had but two little wings And were a little feathery bird, To you I’d fly, my dear! But thoughts like these are idle things, And I stay here. Samuel Taylor Coleridge From Something Childish, but Very Natural At night in my mind I can fly In the day as I dare to dream Of all that will come true Until my soul cries out, asks why, I can’t see you Although not doomed, all hope is gone Till I give up my hopeless scheme; To enact in my time What is destined to come anon And keep my rhyme The Sun does shine, the Moon may glow Even in rain my face will beam The world is all one’s own For when we live for what we know None are alone Sleep stays not though a monarch bids: Me to wait and let Him redeem What’s won before; Vision revealed - opened eyelids See all I sought and more


Poetic ideas expressed unpoetically Stuck in left-brain thinking The ought-to’s of day-to-day life Preoccupied with where I think I should be When all I want to do is Reach out and embrace the world Like a hippie hugging a tree And not worry that I can’t even grow A bad mullet anymore I want to be where I am and Be here more fully as always myself Ready to grow and follow the journey To go wherever this will take me

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{ The Canadian Experience! } Life is experience Living in Canada Or foreign One has to have this regardless. But here I’m standing with certificates I can’t understand why I can’t get through the gates Sir I can serve coffee and apply anaesthesia Living with others is my forte

And if angry still smile and turn away Where can you find forces and armies out Fighting for peace and human dignity? For people they know not by names All because it’s Canadian to make the world better It’s surreal this new experience I had no idea That you can live in Danforth and shop away Not in English but simply in your native way

My mama taught me respect Whether it’s old, young or one with defect They all warrant my love You can worship For growing up among diverse races you had to live like a dove Learn Be yourself So if you wouldn’t give me the job You can love How could I get the Canadian experience? All in your own tradition and language for so long How can I stay at home, And get an idea of what Canada is all about? It’s such an experience To walk into any place Canadian The Canadian experience is not about jobs alone And not feeling lost The weather is simply a shock You can leave BC and still be at home in any city So beautiful the seasons Colors of fall strikes my soul The homes, malls and stores Are beautiful archetypes Here is it though Generic prototypes For a conversation Aesthetically branded like an enlarged maple How cold it is eh! It’s such a beautiful day, yo! Such is Canadian living This is such a blessing Apart from all Never mind the cold It stands unique We need this catalyst For living here makes you speak several languages For such warmth is unheard of, trust me on this! Best of it is to hear And it seems as if we can’t live without Tims In a single sentence Look at the different flavours English, French and Arabic Of coffee in the house With the language of courtesy being the all time ice breaker Multicultural tea and cafe every second corner Where you ask how are you and your family Names like chai and cappuccino Where you ask about the well being of people Evokes a sense of Taj Mahal and the Coliseum And smilingly avoid privacy It makes me feel Niagara was brewed into hot chocolate But acknowledges with a heartfelt thank you Soothing my loneliness in this one bedroom condominium Holidays are the best The double-double and tea bags out You eat with family and friends The seasonal doughnuts and maple syrup The best bar-b-que and salad This country is like no other And get it kosher, halal or vegetarian certified if you like! For with a cup of such affection you need not bother And peace is what makes Canada an experience Imagine the politeness of everyone Good morning have a nice day 246

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jurors choice Holiday whether religious or not It’s time to feast at home And talk about past experience Enjoy a long weekend with a movie or escape on a last minute flight And what about politics? The Canadians are so lucky They get to vote in three elections regularly Yet hardly, even if they can on their blackberry Do they know how blessed it is to have democracy? Have they heard of voting at gunpoint? Or vote for loads of cash? Or those who stand up may never see the daylight? The last time you saw Nobel Canadians It’s because of the Pioneers, Who gave us a land of diverse cultures, Freedom to live and express- the envy of endless many

This is different A love found on goodness Not on passion ready to dispel like Canada dry And neither without excitement like working two jobs back to back You may travel the world and see fairies But where can you find such beauty, In CN Tower and the magnificent Prairies? In Niagara Falls and hunting caribou? Not without license can you fish Not without permit can you ride a boat, Shoot an animal, Or cut down trees, for here we’re taught discipline Such respect for life Such meaningful engagement of the environment The steady call for renewable energy Forget about oil sands we’ll soon supply the world purely Sports is definitely in the Canucks blood You never heard of football You thought it was kicking a ball You grew up in the Commonwealth or what, man! A true Canadian Always supporting his people His favorite hockey, football or home team Winning world cup cricket, soon a dream!

Where in the world will you find Friday night and football game on TV on, guys and gals watching the fun Everyone betting, beating chicken wings with a cold one. This land is special God’s own country You play with people’s dignity You’ll find yourself in self pity No one escapes the noose of injustice You know of certain outside places Where a brown sheet or who you know Can get you off the gallows But here justice is key to freedom People in the past laboured for this human dignity You’re innocent until proven guilty Bet your last dollar every dog has his day in the corridors of the Charter Canada is the country for women Yes it’s hard to know sometimes who suffers then But you can’t imagine how important this is To have women’s rights enshrined from cradle to the grave The plight of women in the world Can’t vote, can’t travel Never know what it means to choose your partner Can’t love, can’t earn; living in constant horror Yes the security it offers For women in Canadian constitution You can become anything You can lead or sing and earn with dignity Here a mother is honoured with her retirement A daughter is secured with her educational opportunities A wife is happy with her endless social securities A sister is proud with her safety from perverts It’s in Canada alone You can stand up To the Picktons and Russels And send them into the dungeons of justice and fear none Oh Canada The land of my true self I came looking for Canadian experience I found a whole world more, more than for my job!

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ON THE WATERFRONT OF TORONTO Watch the shore life reflect in water a dress rehearsal a grease paint blotter where glassy fronts sell first at auctions to the acid rain generation who zoom in on no name junkets. Or simply pack an order of lake to-to-to-go-go-go.


You know. At our gathering place the town crier fills the rim with a rocker panel ride across the city ergo the daily conjecture meaning to stimulate some eclectic adventure. But I fancy a can of ale fizzes bet-bet-bet-ter-ter-ter. Hey! Govern the greedy ones please! No down payment is the cost of a retro burn . Person-who-fears-doggerel-strives-for-boon waxes the growing insecurity I feel with the expression short term gains. Come! Share a medium well burger with m-m-m-e-e-e. It seems there is no fame for trees in the wash. So why not replace them with cement Long rudders of steel spike piers to gel alongside the blacktop instead. Prune. Shop. Jazz that walk. And since we ate. Then let us rest all ea-ea-ea-sy-sy-sy.


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{ The Persian Song } texte:

Sweet maid, if thou would charm my sight, And bid your arms my neck enfold, That rosy cheek, that lily hand, Would give thy poet more delight Than all of Bokhara’s vaunted gold, Than all the gems of Samarkand. Shams-ud-Din Mohammad (Hafiz) glosa: What youthful form can but a muse excite, Lines my hands are want to shape and touch, A distant intimacy of one’s other thoughtSweet maid, if thou would charm my sight. The music of the written pipe grows bold. Its song an echo of a seeking heart Who dared: now I ask a part And bid your arms my neck enfold. Never blush at what fairness may command. Your temper, a wishful glove you cannot conceal, For with time it opens to reveal That rosy cheek, that lily hand. The crystal draught he offers in the night Is like a fever’s cure, distributing sleeps And dreams: but to kiss your lips Would give thy poet more delight. Whose yellow suns these yellow moons behold? Reflections from the eternal home of verse. With richness enough to fill the vacant purse Than all of Bokhara’s vaunted gold.

{ The Shield Wall }

It is done. It needed doing. Like the shield wall. My father carried a shield. As his father did before him. They had different symbols on theirs, Colourful marks representing stories Or talismans of a respective faith in … what? You see, I really do not know. Those things can never be my own. Sometimes I wish to embrace them But the connection is too stretched Like the hide that makes a shield unique. He didn’t seem a particularly good father. Just ordinary as all of my ancestors were. Except that is for their shields. Mysterious, eh? Somehow they’ve built up a wall Abutting into the past. My shield is to be the newest link. Its position is at the left flank Or maybe that’s the right. I’ve worked hard to depict the fortunes From this life atop the frontal side. It’s not as brawn as some of the others. However, my grip is firm. So I’m certain it shall be enough Whenever I take my place In the shield wall.

Stay awhile. Let’s you and I defend That wine is always red and flowers white As love and words are surely more content Than all the gems of Samarkand.

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{ I’m Thinking }

I’m thinking…of what’s to come tomorrow. Will I wake up? What will God provide me to get me through the day? Who will be the first face I see tomorrow? What will I hear tomorrow? What will I accomplish? Am I going to improve someone’s life? Will I help someone in need? Will I have a good hair day? How will I put cash in my pocket? Who will I end up with later on in life, A close friend or an old boyfriend? Where will I be in 2 days, 2 months, 2 years or decades? Will God talk to me, and provide me with answers? I’m thinking…


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{ I AM…….}


Susan Dimitrakopoulos

{ Wishing well }

My daughter gave me a wishing well On Mother’s Day, Made of clothespins and purple flowers, So bright and gay. Wishing well, wishing well, Oh the secrets you could tell…. Baby ducks and children wading In the stream, Memories of childhood, just like a dream. Wishing well, a penny’s found, And children dancing ‘round and ‘round. The old folks speak of days gone by And sip ice tea, While children gaze at carved initials, On a tree. Fragant cooling summer rain Reminds us of, Such precious moments growing up And our first love. Wishing well, in the park, Lovers strolling after dark…. Wishing well, wishing well, Oh the secrets you could tell…. Wishing well, the dream comes true, The child will….remember you.


{ A Tree’s thoughts } It is autumn Look how beautiful I’ve become for you! You felt happiness and hope when you saw my new buds and blossoms in the spring … a new beginning. I gave you shade in the summer with my full dress of leaves. Look! I’m showing off for you! My leaves are a painter’s palette but will soon disappear with the wind. My branches will be blanketed in snow, my winter friend. I will see you in the spring and once again take great pleasure in revealing my beauty to you with new growth. Treasure these moments, these memories, the sights, the sounds, the fragrances of autumn to carry you through the winter, while I sleep and rejuvenate.

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m. Janice webster


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william k. mcconnell MEMBER

{ Milky Immortality} I remember the sun as we rode on rubber raft and dived off into murky waters, its waves us with strengths and enjoying us. It would still be there on our backs as in photographs, but.... as we tannned on the beach felt weightless, we could walk on up high in the sky. At night bats would fly from the tree tops as we talked of ghosts and angels in fact occult signs were all about us. Our sense of dying-we just knew we were mortal. We felt it like muck in our strife. stricks in the emphatics of my magics. We are the better sides of October Yes, we were in awe as boys; the worlds to encounter ! We knew each time we went outside, if we were to leave a minute latter would mean a different adventure. We wanted the waves.

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roslyn rus

{ Tom the Turkey }

Our tale takes place in 1850 in Ops Township near Peterborough, Canada. It’s about a bright and cheerful lad named Griff and his family. Grant, the father, was a hard-working, land-based man who enjoyed a good, solid meal at the end of his long farmer’s day. His wife Shirley held her weight, with cooking, cleaning, clothes making and so on. Their two sons, Jed and Griffith, also helped on the farm: the elder one Jed tended to the cows and pigs, plus the corn crops. Griff had the task of minding the feathered ones, collecting eggs and feeding the chickens as well as the rooster and their one turkey. One day, at the beginning of October, with the changing of the leaves and a hint of winter about to come, father Grant sat down by the wood-burning stove in the kitchen, with his family, to discuss Thanksgiving plans. Shirley, the ever-creative wife, suggested they have something different this time: an exotic kind of potato, larger than the ones they grew on their farm, and orange-yellow in colour inside – but oh, so delicious when baked! Even more so, when served with apples and autumn spices. But Grant had his mind set. “No, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey!” he declared. “That old guy strutting out there is just about right for our oven!” Jed and Shirley agreed, although Shirley still thought about the exotic-sounding potato. Griff, on the other hand, wriggled uncomfortably in his seat, thinking about his friend, Tom (the turkey). He and Tom had many great moments in the barnyard, and Griff had developed a unique relationship with the turkey, like Tom telling him whenever one of the chickens wasn’t right. The days passed quickly; now it was the day before Thanksgiving, Sunday, and everyone was busy preparing for their harvest meal. This season’s crop yield was bountiful: the corn had brought a tidy sum for them, their butter and eggs were selling well, with plenty left for themselves. Now Jed and Griff had been asked to do some fall cleanup, raking the leaves, pulling up dead corn stalks, and cleaning the well in “yonder” field. As an odd companion, Griff had taken along his feathered friend Tom. Jed was in the field, collecting dead stalks and leaves, while Griff was lowering and raising buckets


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of fresh, spring-like water from the ancient well. Tom was strutting around finding his midday snack – the autumn seeds were plentiful that year! Griff was standing at the edge of the well, dreamily admiring the kaleidoscope of colours that danced so gracefully on the water’s surface when, suddenly, he lost his footing! “Help!” he cried, as he plummeted down into the dark depths of the 10-foot deep well. Alas! No human could hear his calls – brother Jed was too far away in the cornfield with Dad; Mom was in the house, baking pies for Monday. Only Tom heard Griff’s cries and, as a loyal turkey-friend, he stopped his snacking instantly. “Gobble?” he questioned, wondering where his human-friend disappeared to. “Help me! … Tom can you hear me?” Griff called. “Gobble!” Tom replied, while strutting over to the well. Tom stretched his flabby-looking neck out and over the edge of the well. “Gobble?” “Gobble!” Tom said again. Now, turkeys usually don’t “think” like humans do. Even today, scientists doubt that birds can have abstract or creative thoughts. But this bird was different! Tom’s friend was in trouble, and he – Tom – instinctively was called to action! He ran as fast as he could, along the wooded path, across the open field, over to the house – quite the distance for any turkey! “Gobble! Gobble!” he cried in his quirky voice. He flapped his flight-poor wings, trying to draw the attention of Griff’s Mom, inside. A couple of minutes later, Shirley heard the noise outside. She looked out of the kitchen window, wondering, “What the …?” Then, as she stepped outside, Tom flapped his wings more! “Gobble!” he cried, flexing his neck, his waddle shivering and shaking, as Tom jumped up and down. As amazing as it sounds, somehow Shirley understood that something was wrong. She said, “Okay, you bird! Show me!” Then Tom ran! Back across the cornfield, into the woods, over to the well, with Shirley close behind. As they got closer to the well, Shirley heard her son’s cries from below. “Oh my God! Griff! Are you okay?” she called down.

“Mom! Help! I’m fine, but I can’t climb up!” “Oh! I’ll get a rope for you! Hang on!” she told her son. Meanwhile, Tom the courageous turkey, was still flapping his wings, and flexing his flabby neck excitedly. He stayed at the well now. Help was on its way. Jed came quickly with a long, strong rope. It took little time after that to retrieve Griff. He had no broken bones, only a few scrapes, and very wet clothes! As soon as Griff came up to the surface, he smiled at his heroic bird-friend who was standing by, waiting … “Oh Tom! I knew you were my best friend!” Griff gave the dark brown bird a big hug. “Well!” Shirley said, slowly. “We’ll have to think about our meal tomorrow! I’m sure that once your father hears about this, Tom will have something to be thankful for, too!” Indeed, when Grant heard the whole tale, he sat, dumbfounded for at least a full minute. Then, stroking his chin, he said, “Well, maybe it is time for a different supper – those exotic ‘taters sound good to me! What with corn, dressing and your home-baked pies, we’ll be just fine!” And Griff’s Dad was true to his word, as was his Mom. On Thanksgiving Day, the family said an extra, special blessing for “Tom” who, they decided, was to be the family mascot and local distress-caller! And Griff? Well, he was too overcome to speak! His best friend, a humble turkey, had his life spared (at least for one more year anyway)! Outside of the happy house, Tom the Turkey was strutting in full feather, in the barnyard, keeping his eye on his yardmates, the rooster and the chickens. THE END © 2003-2012 by Roslyn Rus

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E. shehirian MEMBER


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renee abigail hodges


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charles williams




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dominique m. lambright

{ Caged } { Be Yourself }

Changing personalities Every new person you meet Comes with a new attitude Proper or ghetto Whichever you feel is appropriate At the time Kind of crazy Unexplainable Does not make sense Telling all these stories Most people believe But I know the truth I catch the lies The stories change And then it’s hard to know What the truth is Then I wonder Exaggeration And trying to fit in It’s not necessary But I guess you don’t understand yet You don’t need to compare your life Or be better than anyone else Be yourself Don’t change for anyone (MARCH 30, 2011)

Flying around Then falling to the ground Trapped in this cage Women are treated As if we should be deleted We’re able to move some But freedom we get none Feeling oppressed By being depressed About, though we’re admired We feel like we’re retired Men don’t see That they should leave us be We have minds of our own Speaking in our tone That seems to be foreign to you Incapability to view The truth of it all That may be the fall Of your dominance And of your prominence (SEPTEMBER 20, 2011)

{ Elsewhere }

I’m frustrated Unfocused My mind is elsewhere So much to think about How you’re going to achieve it How you’re going to get there Slipping in the things you love Ignoring the ones who love you Feeling lost in the people around you You feel like your watching yourself But not actually there People talk to you but you don’t hear You’re not engaged in the conversation You feel as though you’re screwing up In the things you shouldn’t Doing things with struggle That usually comes with ease You know there’s something But can’t quite put your finger on it (MAY 03, 2011)

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jitka bernardova

{ Blessings } They say it’s a blessing to live in that old house on the Bluffs. I must say it’s true, even if you’re a raccoon. Lovely view of the lake, a big, and I mean big compost pile open to the public, unlocked garbage bins, wild growths of blackberries, tall tomato wines heavy with ripe and not so ripe, but still good tomatoes, nice pond to get a drink and the occasional froggy for a night snack. And of course, there is also a shed with lots of useful things like the old rags, cardboard boxes, bulbs from past years, bags of garbage with juicy remains in their bellies. As I am sayin’, there are many useful things, but one thing is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace to humanity. One wonders where did the name Human Society arrive from. Anyway, it’s a trap. I mean there is a trap on the shelf of that shed to trap live raccoons and to relocate them. Yes, you hear it correctly to “relocate” raccoons. Grrrrrrr....disgrace to humanity, nothing, but disgrace. Now, they say it’s a blessing to live in that old house, but if you’re a raccoon you don’t actually live in the house, but you never stop tryin’. In this house lives the old lady and the young lady. I must say they are both very nice ladies, but they are not very hospitable. Well, to raccoons anyway. Can you imagin’ what happened one day? The old lady was restin’ in the living room by the fire, and the young lady was workin’ in the garden. She left that huge door, and I mean huge door from the garden to her room opened, as if sayin’: “Everybody’s welcomed.” The sun was goin’ down behind the lake, me and mine woke up, and we realized it was time for a supper. I sniffed through the door and smelled something good. I went in through the room and that wife of mine followed. We had a feast, I tell you! We jumped on the counter and pulled down nice juicy roasted chicken, still warm from the oven. When we had the chicken on the floor, we tore it into pieces and were dippin’ these pieces in the cat’s water dish. For a snack, we nibbled the cat food. What a feast we had! But can you imagin’ in the middle of that feast we heard the door to the garden shut. We were trapped in, but didn’t mind. It was a pretty good place to be trapped in. We continued eatin’ with great, great pleasure and a great, great appetite. When suddenly, the door to the kitchen opened and the young lady in the rubber boots stands there. You should see the expression on her face when she saw us. It was worth ten, what am I sayin’, twenty roasted chicken and a hundred frog’s legs. And can you imagin’, she sees she is hav266

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ing guests and instead of politely greeting them, she yelled: “What do think you are doing?” Well, we didn’t understand the question, not at first anyway. We were stunned. We just stared at her, thinking this lady has nice big brown thoughtful eyes like us, she will understand without askin’ that we were eatin’, but she didn’t. She slammed the door behind her, which made us confused and in a matter of seconds the big, big door to the garden burst open. Then she appeared again at the door to the kitchen. At this point, we started to get it. She wants us to leave the same way we came in. We were reluctant, I must say. One doesn’t leave so fast from the nicely set table full of nice food. She wouldn’t do that herself, but I guess in that moment she forgot. She completely forgot even her manners and started shouting at us: “Out. Everybody out!” as if she owned the place. Well, me and my wife slowly started to make our way to the room, but what a surprise! Four cats, can you imagine, four stupid cats guarding the doors out and she wants us to leave? I know you would understand, me and my wife started to hiss and spit, but those stupid cats did the same. No, they wouldn’t clear the way for already banished ones. They would rather lash the whip over their backs, assuming the stupid cats would have a whip. We of course didn’t wait and jumped on their necks and started to fight. The young lady was yellin’, tryin’ to pull us apart, when the tiny, and I mean tiny old lady appeared at the doorway on the other side of the room. She stubbed her fists into her hips to look bigger and then the voice came out. But, what a voice in such a tiny body!: “Get out of my house!” That did it! I touched my wife’s shoulder and we were out of there. Now, both the old lady and the young lady were standing at the doorway to the garden, laughin’. Me and my wife stopped, and looked over our shoulders, tryin’ to tell them just by lookin’ that it’s not right, because in there is our dinner. What a waste! They don’t like wasting food either, but they were laughin’ anyway and more we were lookin’, more they were laughin’. Can you imagin’? There was nothing to laugh about. There was a one and only explanation. They were laughin’ at us. We started to walk away slowly, but real slowly to show them we were hurt, and we didn’t approve. That night, we overheard the conversation be-

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tween the old lady and the young lady. The old lady was sayin’ to the young one: “Dear, I am leaving for cottage tomorrow. You have to trap those coons!” “To trap them? Please how?” “There is a trap in the shed,” the old lady replied. “Trap?” said the young lady with astonishment. “Yes, trap!” Now, remember, the trap in the shed/ disgrace? “And how does one use it?” The young lady asked politely. “Well, you put it outside, put something to eat inside and wait until the coon gets in.” “And what then?” said the young lady rather puzzled. The old lady started to grow impatient. “You throw the trap into your car, drive as far as you can and release the coon.” “I can’t do it,” exclaimed the young lady. “Sure you can. What I can do, you can do!” and a radiant smile followed. Can you imagin’? She smiled with that sense of satisfaction. The young lady smartened up: “Alright, I’ll do that, Miss.” Now I am sure I don’t have to explain that after hearing that, me and my wife wouldn’t come close to the trap, but our little, three-month old with a sweet peanut-butter tooth, did. And she got trapped. And she was screemin’ through the night. I mean she was screemin’ her lungs out. Have you ever heard a threemonth old raccoon screemin’? You didn’t? Well, you are lucky. The young lady did and she came out in her long nightgown. She was lookin’ at the little yellin’ head and came closer to the cage. Now me and my wife couldn’t watch it, we just put our paws over our eyes, but yes ... of course, we were lookin’ through the fingers thinkin’, if the young lady will be smart enough to keep all her ten fingers, so she herself can look through them one day. To our relief she was and as our daughter was jumpin’ on the sides of the cage hissin’ like a wild tiger, the young lady skillfully opened the trap door with a stick and our baby was free. Thank God, she was sound and free, licking her peanut-butter whiskers long into the night. Now, when father sees something like that, he is moved, even when he is wearing raccoon skin. It was a warm night and I decided to thank the

young lady, so she thinks of me as a father with real good manners. Now, I knew that the young lady was sleepin’ in the high, high room right under the roof and I also knew she has a real nice skylight above her bed. That suited me well. I pulled myself on to the garbage bin and from there jumped on the roof of the shed. I held my balance not to slip back down and pulled myself up, up until I could get a good grip on the roof and then pulled myself even higher up, up on the roof. I sniffed, and was real happy I made it. From there, it was not a far walk to the skylight. I was glad it was opened. I stuck my head between the glass window and a screen and looked inside. The young lady was sound asleep between the white covers. She was lookin’ so lonely that I just wanted to cuddle with her, but ... I couldn’t get in. If that stupid screen just wasn’t there. Then I noticed, it can’t be that strong and I lifted my paw and drrrrrrr ripped the screen with my claws. I must tell you the young lady didn’t look happy to see me. And that was disappointing. She opened her eyes wide in horror, then jumped out of her bed yellin’: “Get out!” and Smack! she shut the window. I walked away slowly, lookin’ over my shoulder and wondered: “Is she alright?” Poor thing, her nerves got a little bit of stretch tonight. I came to the edge of the roof and then turned around and walked back to check on her one more time. I peaked in through the skylight. The shaft of moonlight lit the room enough for me to see her. She was curled up in her bed and I think I could hear her chucklin’. Her shoulders jerkin’ slightly and she was smilin’. She was alright. I climbed down the roof, jumped down on the ground and walked slowly with my head between my shoulders to the den. So much for thankin’ the lady, after all. The world is not fair. It never was ... but it’s a blessing to live in that old house. That’s what they all say and I must say it’s true.

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dr. Ehud sela


SELF PORTRAIT WITH YOU Softly, softly it reached me Grabbed me firmly —such contrast— And I that thought I knew Remained speechless Observing you pass by Through my garden’s paths, So close to me you came I felt you brush against me As if a painter drew us with a brush Picked us up from color palette Our pigments nearly touched But then he left And we remained undone.


I wake the birds and extinguish the street lights And go on painting and painting the walls But nothing is hidden Beneath lies the skeleton piercing the skin Leaving behind A trail of lost thoughts Like fumes.


The space around it withdrew Then reformed, at times recoiled As if surprised, at time absorbed As if a whole continuous form. And planes in minute degrees of change Combined to surfaces long and short And deep like glaciers, and dark Like forests never trod.   From granite’s heart of stone Or marble’s rainbow colored veins Or clay’s malleable bones There came forth the artist’s soul.   A subtle force of beauty Upon it hearts will pulse. While reading “Auguste Rodin,” by Rainer Maria Rilke.


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rainbow reed

{ The Storm }

On granite rock, The woman sat. Damp hair trickled down her Azure highlights glimmering, Golden curls shimmering. Seaweed sparkled; waving White foam horses rear and Surging through the rocky Crashing against the sleeping Woman sits and Stares alone. Black cloud glares, Fog horn blares, Lightning screams across the Green eyes pierce through As raging waters tumble by, Swirling through the hidden Sharp fanged rocks, lurk just Hungry for their prey….

back, wildly pound, mound. stone.

sky. crushing waves, reef. beneath.

Fisherman caught In the storm. Spies cast off lover all forlorn. His heart pounds with fear and shock, Demon lover clinging to demon rock, Soaked in sea spray but shining still Fisherman feels a surging thrill, Pulls rudder across hard and fast, Sails moan and flap against the mast. Fishing boat thrown up and down, Fishermans’ face creased with frown. Woman sits in silence Undertones of Violence. Green eyes glowing at her lovers face, Thinking of happier times and place. These eyes melt his heart of stone, How could he have left her all alone? Fishing boat drops from wave on high, For a minute caught, seeming to fly. Then falls and smashes into the foam, Broken, drifting forever to roam. Woman smiles and sings her Waiting for another to come

song, along….

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Mary ann barker MEMBER


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*an excerpt from the book “The Magical Adventures of Emma and Jake”, by Mary Ann Barker

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k.V. Skene


She never told us who our fathers were, but mother, the flamboyant, fabulous Nut, gave her children the best of everything as she should – being who she was. Osiris, first on the inside track, was her wide-eyed boy while Seth, despite placing second-best, and I, Isis, and Nephthys my twin shared an idyllic existence until half-past adolescence. Whereupon mother, the magnificent, manipulative Nut, decreed Osiris and I must marry and Seth would wed Nephthys. A ploy to keep the enormous wealth and power of the family intact and, as mother knew best, everything was arranged – setting an unlikely precedent which had unfortunate repercussions for all – but we could not know that then. Mother the wily, workaholic Nut mentored us well and Osiris’ multinational connections and my worldly charms overwhelmed the competition. Revelling in the juicy fruits of success, Osiris set out to take over the world leaving me in charge. At first I loved being boss but Seth became increasingly bothersome. The boy felt slighted. I had to use all my charms to placate him. When Osiris returned, full of himself, and Seth and Nephthys offered to host the welcoming I relaxed. Too soon. High on wine and wellbeing he bedded Nephthys. My sister! My twin! That tore it. Seth was, quite justifiably, aggrieved and he was cunning. He acquired a large chest made of cedar from Lebanon,


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ebony from Punt, richly inlayed with ivo and illustrated throughout with painted

One look and Osiris was hooked. Seth an conned my unconscionable husband int sealed the cracks with molten lead and c

So the deed was done. At once I placed deep in the papyrus swamp, into the car and set out to locate the body of my hus

To bury him. The chest (now a coffin) flo to Phoenicia near Byblos and there it res and that tree had become much talked a

I sourced the gossip and made my way t The tree had been cut down and built in admired it so). But one of their children w

disguising myself, I cured the child and b as repayment. They were most obliging, as well. I sailed home, hid the coffin in th

and hastened to my baby, my little Horu on his own, had extended his hunt into t and stumbled upon a chest of cedar, ebo

and knew it! Incensed, he ripped it open into fourteen pieces, scattering them up so the crocodiles might eat them.

Once again I set out to search up and do my let’s-all-just-kiss-and-make-up Neph and Anubis, her son (by my Osiris) lent a

and piece by piece we recovered the fra re-membering the wholeness of his bod except for his penis which had been eate

I fashioned its likeness out of gold and he was complete. When the embalm we buried him in a secret spot

so Seth could not disturb him while he l Certainly our impetuous Horus, as he gre

ory, gold and silver d gods, birds and animals.

nd his chosen cohorts to the chest, nailed it shut, cast it into the Nile.

d my newborn, Horus, re of the old woman there sband, my brother.

oated into the great green sea, sted in a tamarisk tree about throughout the land.

to Byblos. Too late. nto the palace (the queen was sickly. Quickly

begged the coffin out of the tree , granting me ship’s passage he papyrus swamp

us. But Seth, over the moon the darkness of night ony, ivory, gold and silver

ned and rent Osiris’ body p and down the length of the Nile

own the land. This time hthys, a hand

agments of Osiris dy – en by an oxyrhynchus fish.

ming was done

lived among the dead. ew in this world,

wanted his father’s spirit to teach him all he needed to know. When the time came Horus challenged Seth for his rightful place as head of the family. Seth could not, would not give up what he had gained by murder. Untenable mergers collapsed, untoward loans defaulted, untimely positions were lost while the family’s fortune deflated and I did try to help but could never strike the fatal blow. I could not bring down my brother. Horus raged and rampaged and cut off my head only to lose his sight. Eventually we both recovered but matters moved from mayhem to malfeasance to malfunction to over-lengthy litigations in court. Horus proclaiming his birthright. Seth citing inexperience, importunism, incompetence, impotence... A few of the judges considered Horus too young. Of course some had solicited backhanders. Others owed Seth on all accounts but a last-minute letter reached us from beyond the grave in Osiris’ hand. Horus was sole (legitimate) son and heir and that was that. Finally. Seth never surrendered but his cohorts sold out so he negotiated a grudging accommodation with Nephthys – my peace-at-any-price twin. Anubis kept up but everyone else has downsized. Mother, the disingenuous, drama-queen Nut, was wrong. The most hostile takeover of all took over all in the family.

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piorre hart

{ What’s Happened! }


I rush here and I zoom there

We talk to, watch those away

I do this and I manage that

On social sites we play our part

I run: No time have I to rest

But those close-by seek us too:

And yet here I am: growing fat…

We look away and break their heart

My broadband becomes faster

Drugs do cure complex ailments

The signal’s unhindered and strong

Science saves lives; even unborn

But my blood flow has slowed down

But how many of us live to be hundred

A block is what is wrong…

And how many are asleep before its dawn?

The a/c cools the desert’s heat

Worlds shrink: so many mergers

The heater melts the snow

Distances reduce, time is gained

But anger boils my blood inside

But patriots vanish, differences abound

Lipid clots don’t melt, they grow

Egos expand, even joy is feigned…

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AGNEs Botta Hillier



BONHOMME, POURSUIS TA ROUTE Ecoutez l’histoire de Bonhomme Qui, se sentant vide et désolé A décidé d’aller marcher Et s’emplir d’intentions bonnes

{ CONTRASTES } Tout a été écrit, Tous ont écrit en vain ! Le monde entier s’en fiche Dans sa décrépitude.

Il recherche, il est vrai, et ce depuis sa première heure L’oiseau bleu fabuleux qu’on nomme ‘’l’oiseau bleu du bonheur ‘’

Le soleil, on m’a dit Se relèv’ra demain Et les jours se finissent Toujours en crépuscules.

Un soir qu’il est las alors là veut se poser Dans un squat remplis de drogués, de paumés Tous ont les yeux vagues et le vague à l’âme Même ceux qui ont l’espoir d’un jour espérer rament

Ce qui m’aide à rester Jusqu’au jour naissant C’est la crainte d’affronter Mon mal, en écrivant.

Sortir de ce trou sans vraiment le pouvoir Car la drogue possède ses secrets et pouvoirs

Mais ces mots posés là Qui sont sans moi ni maître Insultent ce pour quoi Ils ont voulu naître.

Notre Bonhomme demande à deux yeux qu’il admire ‘’Ce bleu vient d’un oiseau, saurais-tu où il migre ? -Bonhomme, cette couleur je la tiens de ma mère Qui boit souvent la tasse de ses pleurs amers L’oiseau n’est pas ici, et il ne viendrait pas Car s’il voulait venir, ce serait peine perdue Jamais on ne le reconnaîtra A cette heure le bonheur, personne n’y croit plus Va-t’en d’ici, Bonhomme, continu donc ta route Et s’il neige, pleut ou vente, continu coûte que coûte Ne reste pas où il n’y a rien à gratter Tu vas te faire prendre, puis tu vas regretter Ici, à défaut de trouver l’oiseau bleu du bonheur Tu vas finir comme nous, en oiseau de malheur Vas, suis ton chemin, c’est beaucoup mieux ainsi Et si tu croise l’oiseau, rends-moi donc un service : Passe-lui le bonjour d’une vieille, vieille amie Qui a cru pouvoir le trouver dans le vice Mais quand il était là, l’a toujours repoussé Se croyant trop ou pas digne d’être invitée Tu vas le rencontrer, n’hésites pas à le croire Car lui seul chante vrai, le reste est illusoire.

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veneTia ghozian




I wait at the counter patiently; it is a busy day at the corner market. Children attempt to cajole their parents for the latest advertised gadget, but the parents are tired and just want to pay for their purchases. We are all tired but still, one has to eat and if the frig is bare…then one waits. I glance at the lady behind me and she looks pass me so I smile at her little girl, instead. She is a beautiful child with a mass of tiny, black, beribboned braids, caramel skin, and a gamine smile. The little girl shyly smiles at me and yanks on her mother’s hand. “Mamma, whatsa matter with the lady’s yegs”, she asks with a toddler lisp. I hear gasps from others in our line while the mother attempts to hush the child. Being ignorant of polite society’s insistence on pretense, the little one inquires loudly, again, insistently, “Whatsa matter with the lady’s yegs, mama”. The mother is starting to become frantic and bends down placing a cautionary finger across the child’s lip. Taking matters in her hands, she ignores her mother’s attempt to shush her and escapes from the restrictive hand, walking up to me innocently. She taps me on the hip and asks me, “Whatsa matter with yer yegs”? Wincing while bending down to her, I notice that all eyes are on us. We have become the afternoon’s entertainment. The child has dared to inquire about my disability. I have dared to step out of the shield of invisibility. The one that all disabled or others bear. Pointing to my cane, I explain that I have bad legs and sometimes it hurts to walk. I say, “This is my friend, Mz. Cane and she helps me walk”. She oohs and I show her the various butterfly stickers on my cane, lovingly, decorated by my son. I tell her that he wanted to make my ugly cane a thing of beauty and flight. The little beauty lightly, reverently touches the butterflies and tells me “they are soooo bootiful”. She flourishes a gap-toothed smile at me again, turns and skips back to her mother. I feel kissed by her innocence, genuine smile and grin again. When she reaches her mother, the mother with eyes looking above my head, mumbles, “Sorry, my daughter is impulsive and doesn’t know any better”. Wondering about the “knowing better”, I turn away, place my items on the conveyor belt, and wait for the cashier to ring them up. I guess the little one has yet to learn the rules of polite, adult society. Or how to avoid pariahs. When it is my turn, the cashier, speaking very slooooowly and enunciating each syllable clearly, loudly while looking to the side over my shoulder - anywhere but at me, informs me of the total. I sigh, pay for the purchase, pick-up my grocery bag. Mz. Cane, with the beautiful butterflies in flight and I, limp out the exit, with my shield of invisibility, firmly reestablished.


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Reflections of a Hopscotcher


we walk home after the day’s activities skirting the broken rubble that litters the cracked pavement debris of broken adults and their broken dreams my little daughter ignores the decrepit surroundings bombed structures, shattered glass and abandoned vehicles playing hopscotch along the way splashing in the puddles she nimbly tosses her pebble against the chalked sidewalk kangaroos uni-legged one, two, three to her destination small children are not given to reflections learning to take much in stride the daily monotony of life amidst horrors, joys and random bombs part of the fabric of life, death more concerned with warm bellies loving parents, families, and friends small, happy dogs licking their faces giggling late at night under the covers until they grow up or reality, politicians, and slogans intrude

{ More Than Human, Less Than Divine } we write of peace but declaim of love of the other, so passionately, with a bewildering sincerity yet from the day, the first man picked up a rock and bashed another man in the head we have continued to engaged in hostilities and violence against the other it has been unremitting and the chosen method of problem resolution our 5000 years of recorded history, reads like an epic saga of blood, gore and terror we are the sophomoric adult, who refuses to grow up and play nicely the child who refuses to share his toys hatred and disdain, of the other, seems to be hardwired in our genes although, hypocritically we are filled with outrage, when we view news stories and the commonness of this violence is revealed I say to you, my dear reader, my loving friends, my skeptical detractors that we are the problem you and I and we must be the solution the politicians have no payoff in solving these problems this falsely derived Linnaean, taxonomic squabbling pays them richly the gun-runners and robber-barons these bottom feeders and scavengers so it must be you and I, the ordinary person who must state quietly, or loudly, with conviction, unequivocally – no mas, no more, nicht mehr, nient’altro, não mais, niet meer, sόχι άλλος, homo sapiens sapiens must become more than human or surely we will all die we must eradicate that genetic instinct to fear the other we must breed out the fear of being different from our genome we must alter, on the microscopic level, the emotional level the need to reject other tribes... we must become more than human and less than divine

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RYAN TILLEY Our passionate togetherness began in dusky wilderness. We had our problems to untangle. We embraced at odd angle. It was an innocent game started long before my recent shame. I dreamed I spoke with angry spirit guide. He warned me to limit pride: A strong marriage is ruined by heartfelt apologies left unspoken; The mirror wants to be broken. Incomparable beauty quickly seduced me. Anger now reduced me. Lenore taught me the ancient Druid practice of drinking red fluid. She desperately wanted intimacy on truly deeper level, Although it took a Faustian bargain with the compromising devil. My happy wife handed me carving of a raven, large and oaken: Tonight, the veil can be broken. Beloved kissed me, licked my ear, and then caressed my shaved scrotum. Lenore began to plan her next brilliant sculpture of power totem. It was the end of mad October. I knew I wouldn’t remain sober. The children loudly knocked on door trick-or-treating, cycle repeating. But do these youngsters really know what dark powers they can invoke when Dividing veil is wholly broken? I knew lovely Lenore was faking orgasms during lovemaking. I couldn’t blame her for hating being married to a poor prophet. To drown my steady sorrows, I uncorked a bottle of wine to quaff it. My spouse was jealous of my muse, a fickle mistress of distress, Who gives me inspiration to compose profound poems that evoke when My heart and soul are fully broken. I met Lenore’s perfect flexibility with stubborn male rigidity. I had stupidity to swiftly marry my polar opposite. I felt like scared accountant who still couldn’t reconcile deposit. My regal lady saw cupidity, forgave my shortcomings. We gambled and lost by moving far away. We were completely broke then As eerie silence stayed unbroken. I always strived to treat Lenore as if she were real royalty. I had naively misconstrued inertia as her loyalty. A bitter marriage is complex equation, the answer never simple. I had no idea within a year, Lenore would leave her temple. Her soul felt as heavy as guilt. We never laughed or told a joke when Her sassy spirit seemed broken. Perceived long distance made lonely Lenore become emotional cripple. I walked to empty beach and searched for Lenore, and found nothing but a ripple. Did Lenore set aside her birthday to commit her suicide? I swam against the high tide, but I knew I lost all to my pride. I failed as husband, blind to hubris which did provoke mortal sin. Her silver cord was now broken!


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{ World Wide Web } As mother kissed the steering wheel, She bit her lip. The red And salty fluid gushed, but calm Replaced the mortal dread. The car decelerated, stopped On shoulder. Glass with blood Designed a lengthy spider web. The other car, a thud Against a pole. The acrid scent Of smoke polluted air. The bodies bent like question marks, An answered final prayer. I thought I saw a shadow dance. I witnessed mother leave. I heard the roll of gurney’s wheels. The rush began with heave. Hallucinations visit mom. The rhythmic beeps alert The staff about a pressure change. A parent lies inert. Another one did disappear >From family life by choice. The doctors look away. I try To scream, but have no voice. The nurses look away as well. I walk through walls with ease. I hear a doctor diagnose But never cure disease. She said addiction is a foe Who masquerades as friend. I see a nurse. She is my mom; I think I will pretend. I bring my doll. I hide in air. My mother never smiled.

I am adopting stranger mom. She won’t neglect her child. Her layered hair is dark and frames Her pretty oval face. My curly hair is dirty blonde. The past, I will erase: A mom who never slaps my face Is all I dream about. I watch her squeeze a lemon dry. The drops collect on trout. I watch my brother eat like slob. He slips a piece to dog. A television soon provides The only dialogue. I watch my father walk the dog. The skinny leash retracts With press of button. Squirrels move And crazy Dash reacts. He lunges, growls, and swipes at air. His paws extend like hook Of boxer cornered deep in ring. He gives me startled look. His master tries to silence bark By tugging collar hard. I laugh as beast advances, tries To bite my leotard. I’m soft as cotton candy rolls. His teeth are onyx hard. He tries to lick me, whimpers, runs, And hides in neighbor’s yard. Our home is colored butterscotch. I love to crawl in bed With mom and dad. I like the books

On file my mom has read. She has a magic made machine That shows a book, but hides The spine. The brick and mortar stores Will close, my dad derides. He reads archaic paper books. He likes the musty scent With yellow page and book which has A spine that can be bent. My spineless mother made a mess Of life. She loved her highs. She hated lows and ruined our deaths. I’m sick of all the lies. I watch my mother go to work. I try to tug her sleeve. This time, I touch her scrub. She fells The pull. I want to leave. I watch my father go to work. His focus comes and goes. He types with steady clack, but pile Like poison ivy grows. I watch my brother go to school. He’d rather be at home. He talks in class, is bored, and draws A sketch that features gnome. I go to cemetery gate. I jump the iron fence. I find my mother’s grave and spit. She sees the consequence. I watch a fly in spider web And wonder where’s the light. My mother had the right of way, But never way of right!

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{ The Ghost of Happiness in Fiddler’s Pond } The local water hole became A legend once he drowned. A body never floated up. A fiddle case was found.

It is a fable some maintain. Why would there be a ghost? A wagon dropped its load in pond And then recovered most. The tourists go on local walk. The skeptics say they’re conned. Believers know the truth about The haunted Fiddler’s Pond. At night, they hear his music play A ballad quite beyond The reach of mortal hands. The song, A dirge in Fiddler’s Pond. This fiddler had a morning job. The player cobbled shoes. At night, the virtuoso tapped The transcendental muse. Adults and children speak about The olden clothes he donned. For over hundred years, he has Been haunting Fiddler’s Pond. The folks are scared to try to fish. They hear the devil spawned The evil goings-on In modern Fiddler’s Pond. A party searched for proof, but saw A lonely overgrown frond. It was another overblown Attempt to save the pond. The town had longed to fill the hole.


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The spirit would respond By serenading mayor’s wife. She loved attractive pond. Her husband was consumed with job. He tried to pass a bond. He had his business matters wrong And hated Fiddler’s Pond. The contributors held a roast. A toaster praised campaign. He substituted sparkling juice For costly chilled champagne.

The hall was lit by candlesticks. The orange and eerie glow Enhanced by phantom music played In flicker’s afterglow. Obnoxious cocky spirit played The couple’s wedding song. The mayor’s wife adored the tune. It made them get along. At college, mayor met his wife, A genius beauty queen. Attending many opera dates, They sat in mezzanine. The fiddle player dreamed about The preacher’s wife, a blonde. He dared to sing a song to her. They skinnydipped in pond. He had to find a secret way To quickly correspond. With letter, scarlet blush would stop Illicit passion pond. Her husband read the paper, drank His coffee, sighed, and yawned.

He had confession scheduled soon. He took a walk by pond.

He searched for sermon’s topic, saw A sinful vagabond. Who knew that inspiration flows In worthless stagnant pond? He read his Bible, stayed in shade. He witnessed ducklings swim. He had condemned the violin Except to play a hymn. His wife began to plan a lunch To satisfy gourmand. She brought a picnic basket full Of wine and cheese to pond. Her lover’s appetite was light, Of fancy never fond. >From water, silver fish escaped, A light above the pond. The couple dreamed about a way To swiftly flee, abscond >From meddling melancholy town. They skipped a stone on pond. The purpled pair produced a plan, But wisdom quickly dawned. The waiting game like time delayed Reprints across the pond. Returning home, she baked a cake. The quiet interlude, A peace she found through batter mix: The scent of devil’s food. The pastor heard about a man Who had a fiddle pawned. He also heard the gossip made A ghost in Fiddler’s Pond!


{ Creed }

I believe in God the father almighty most of the time but when I don’t, I wonder If there were no moral origin to the universe. No ethic or destination to colour a violent struggle for supremacy of barely civilised animal instincts in anti-social social Darwinianism. If we lived and loved and fought and lied and cried and died ephemeral flotsam on the rocky shore trudging wearily on the return to primal slime Hmmm. I prefer to believe in God!


Late night intimacy

Not a Jukebox nor a band nor excessive noise but the soft sultry song from a solo saxophone slowly sighing. Without conversation having conversed well and eaten too we sit close together comfortable sipping fine wine embraced and caressed by the lilting tones and each aware of the tired contentment in the others eyes.


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{ The Rock }

A fiery tongue, You revolutionary gushed out once. But, the lullaby of cool air And the cradle of time Turned you a dreamy igneous rock. Vanity of Ozymandias! These wrinkles and cracks Declare your weathering: No rock remains forever! Savages sharpened your pieces against their brothers. Folly carved you in queer shapes to worship. Hypocrites silenced marked harlots with you. Apes hurled your slices at evolved man, on round earth. Your callousness crushed slaves Under Pyramids, Great Chinese Wall and Taj Mahal, Glued out of sweat, blood and tears. You became the corner stone of faith And replaced one dogma with another. Farmers powdered grains Under your firmness, Prepared bread not sour and sold to fishermen. Your time has come to repeat the cycle, Return to dust And for the modern scientists to conclude ‘Rocks weather and thus form soil, Soil compresses and forms rock And that is how both are formed!’


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{ Ferryman’s Song } You are on time dear traveler; None was late ere and none will be. Things happen at these banks punctually Since I know the exact time To take a new noble guest By this silent boat.

The river is as calm as ever before; No whirlpool or unwanted turmoil Would stir you anymore. Be happy, O man! It’s against the slanted sun That you see the forest at the other bank Just like shadows. In the later hours All will be radiant and then you’ll meet Forerunners, free from ties of blood. Your two coins? O my dear traveler Useless metals brought you, adding drag, As part of ritual, I just threw away! Let me sing a song To shorten the journey long…

An Incident } { Gap

Extempore speech was going on. Stanley, the higher secondary boy at the podium once again glanced at the paper strip in his hand. Without mentioning the subject he started. Students and staff tried not to laugh at his erotic speech. As it reached, ‘yes, mightier, that can cut like a sword through any girl here’, the principal shouted, ‘Stop!’ His fiery eyes fixed on Mr. James, the moderator. ‘Sir, do you think it good for school students, eh?’ James moved forward sweating. ‘Sir, I’m afraid…when I typed…’ he collected the paper from the boy and stammered, ‘yes sir… sorry…no space between pen and…’

keith william mcfarlane

{ The Prince and HIS Kingdom } [Well personally I am…unprepared In fact I couldn’t think of…anything to say …But as a piece in a…greater game – I’ve cast myself a role…in which to play: On ponds I now stand: Stilettos that support my knights. Atop my castle I command: My-dress the focus of your sights I am a regent In the most… unconventional, sense] For to my Lord I was loyal ‘till he divorced our kingdom, henceFor those that gather here, today: The story of myself, a loverOf lands inherited from a marriageBroken, makes myself - a ruler – Speaking now as your princeCrowned in sterling decour, Your diamonds ablaze my forehead: Thy silhouette, belle de jour – - In name as I have always been in essence. My stately posture, profound… And He, who once stood beside me“My King with your golden crownYou’re a force of immeasurable stature. By dimensions measuring both space and, time, Here, at this very moment I am completely yours and you, mine…” The thought of our destinies coming together Moving forward, forever more – Across this earth, I saw what we would conquer… “…My King, the North will melt under our fiery core…” A vow of eternal promise Marked the life we would share aheadAs we stood Hand in hand… “ ‘Dearly Beloved, Your King and his Prince are wed!’ “

Our subjects knelt before us, Offering nothing, but all of their hopes and joys For peace to spread across this kingdom Governed By… a love affair between two boys… … …

Where my lord is not to be forgottenFor the sanctity of my people now rests in my hands, Thus, as each new day begins, For my people we recite our new anthemSpoken in remembrance of our Lord Lost in an affair, with a two-faced phantom… …

“My Lord? My warrior in the knight On this [the 29th anniversary] night, Why do I see a void… Where a future [the kingdom’s future] was in sight? -

“…Our Dearest Lord, To HIM, you were gay to go straightPast, our gene’s linked in chainsUnbroken by hate. A mockery of our loveFor faith, in a pseudo shapeYour prayers for an illusion, cameWith bravado’s mask and capeAs a fairytale KingRiding true towards love. You swore fealty and homageTo another Lord like, father aboveFall from your Horse. Watch your Honour run away. Feel our hate without mercy. In the words [we all] say: You’re a filthy little rodentSpreading disease across this earthPlaguing man upon manCondemning children-before-birthDisgustingly-vile!” [Vile]Vile “is the creature that, you areGuilty of the highest form of treason. Now, feel our curse from afar.

[He says] ‘Who are you now? Nothing to me’ …I am yours and you, are – ‘but an illusion, mirage along the path to HIS kingdom, far’ – wait – “ [ Pause…what they once were together Falling apart I fear can be, no moreYour visions of what was, to come, I’m sorry: Absent love, no peace and war] – “HIS Kingdom! You unfaithful little – [He says] ‘No. In that void you see there is nothing, but, faith’ -but[He says] ‘To HIM, I am an instrument of, HIS, peace.’ “ [Peace]- Peace - “Peace? – where there is hope…you will create despair where there is joy…sadness [He says] ‘He gives me love, to you, that could never be understood.’ Receipt of HIS love, is not something I want to understand! “ … … …There he went, straight - to HIS Kingdom, Alone, I became regent of these lands-

You will hate, but in a mirror: An inescapable image of oneself. See Medusa in your guiltFear the love within yourself. Nothing more is what you deserve. Alas, we gift to you our final prayer: May you suffer in our silence… [Like the rest of us, is only -Fair] - is the messenger we must sendTo all other kingdoms broken, apart By lords who lie against Truths once, spoken – [This] - “This” – this is our battle From which I grow tired and sore, so now [I pray, let my sympathy be unrelenting When all is fair in this love for war.] big art book 285


{ Recycled Talk } On the telephone you repeat stories and relive events. You tell me about your current amusements; the book you are reading, and the movies you watch on YouTube.


When the snow melts these bleeding hearts will spring again but will I be here to see their pink blossoms.

Behind your voice I hear you fidget and fumble as you move about in your wheel chair.

flowers everywhere why is this wasp on my toe did it sip from a drop of my spilled wine

You ask if and when we might meet again. You say that it will not happen. Never again, you complain.

come closer birds feast from the flower cups on these shrubs you too bees and butterflies stay away flies and mosquitoes

If it could be arranged that we meet again, I wonder what we would do. Would we repeat the same stories, or retreat from events in the past as we gaze ahead and eat.

The grass will grow back but this moment will not return. He should stop cutting and sit with me. The sun is setting.


Wine Ritual Talk swirl, sip, and smile special friends are by your side make secret wishes to have sunshine in your steps and that poisonous stuff be swept from your lives swirl, sip, and smile swirl, sip, and smile swirl, sip, and smile


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Time is the ultimate boss. Each spring it restores these flowers but reduces my number of summers to see them.

You are somewhere in the vicinity of your seventy-ninth year not far from the eighty zone.

Would we talk about a future that is distant, hazy and unsure or what we plan to do tomorrow. This too, would not be new. It would be recycled talk!

Backyard Musing

jurors choice





No particular hat this day to shape the course of thinking as thoughts propel me along. Walking in its path, the wind becomes my muse. A hurrying wind whirls and whimpers. The rise and fall of wind within me is unruffled. A green sprout grows from fertile soil in a sidewalk slit. The seed was swept in by the wind. At times the wind rushes by and shifts your feet. It rumples your clothes and tosses your hat on the ground. It shrieks around then pushes you down. You collect yourself and move on. Who can charge the wind with indiscretions! No wind commission or court to file a complaint that the wind intimidates and makes careless moves turning right and left without signaling its intent. Pretending I didn’t notice you didn’t notice me. The door shuts out a cold wind but its chill persists in you.

{ Seniorsitting }

In earlier times, his speech was confident and fluent. It overflowed with wisdom and humour. He had an answer to every question I asked. His writing was informative and engaging. He was the senior one. He never hesitated to help new coin the wind workers. He became a friend and mentor. crossing lawns -- He is now living in a seniors’ home. scent of lilacs He has mobility challenges and other health complications. Caregivers look after his physical needs. No one looks after his loneliness and sadness. He interacts with skyscrapers in its way other seniors and caregivers in the home. the wind deflects This provides superficial attention. It does and shrieks between them not comfort his deeper needs. The futility of his sad and dull existence puts him at risk for self destruction. He needs to be watched with more than a glance at times. leaves occupying a park I am sitting with my old friend today. tossed about by wind We talk. His voice is slow and soft. He a rustling response fumbles to get out his words. The effects of aging and illness are visible in his face and gestures. He repeats what I already know. “Daughter is busy with work and the raking leaves children. She comes to see me when she shifting path of the wind can. Not many friends come. Everyone is undoing the work busy.” He confides in me that the absence of human touch dampens his emotions. He misses his wife. He clings to me and heavy snow --weeps without shame. There is no comfort the echoing of wind chimes for the kind of grief he endures. A tragedy getting fainter devastated him and changed the course of his life. I let him weep. He dries his eyes after a while. Then I ask him something. “Your life was immersed in philosophy. You were always seeking knowledge and sharing your wisdom. Your wife and granddaughter died in a traffic accident caused by another person’s negligence. What interpretation of this unjust and merciless tragedy do you use to console yourself sometimes?” He is slow with his answer. Then it comes in a whisper. “There is suffering everywhere. Nothing is permanent. No one lives forever. I do not have much time left.” I say goodbye. making wind on this hot night an electric fan

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patricia doherty jurors choice


When I arrived at the hospital in the late afternoon, she was in great distress; she laboured to breathe and had not “settled” after her usual early morning rise—and fall. She was agitated. Occasionally, she mumbled words which I could not understand. The nurses came and tried to calm her. A bathroom break … She tried to get up. Get me out of here, I think she said. I need to get out of here, it sounded like. More morphine, more … The nurses described how all food and liquid had been thickened that day because she could no longer swallow properly and was in danger of aspiration. Her noon meal sat untouched on a wheeled tray pushed aside. A cup of Tim Horton’s coffee with a straw sat intact. Later, she was fitted with an oxygen mask which had the effect of amplifying each groaning breath. Sweating profusely, droplets shining through her sparse silver hair, her cheekbones were dotted high with bright red-purple bruises, although her temperature was normal. Her hands were hot but surprisingly dry. Positioned bolt upright to ease her breathing, she sat with her eyes fixed straight ahead, and she did not turn her head during the hours I sat with her. I held her hand, but felt no return pressure or grip. I talked to her and sang softly occasionally, hoping to soothe her monstrous agony in some small way. Despite never receiving any indication that she knew I was there, I felt richly privileged to be in the room, and hoped that I might offer her some small comfort. Deep in the night, after seemingly endless hours of struggle, she reached a turning point: her labour began to subside. Gradually, her breathing slowed. Her body stilled as her life force and energy dissipated, leaving only the physical shell of the person I had known as my mother. (January 18, 2012)


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Who Cries Over Spilt Milk?


Are we milk? Or, are we coffee? Mature and business-like, cozy and comfortable, exciting, animated, lively, simple. Maybe you should have taken a hint from coffee. Acted like you knew what you were doing, like you knew where you were going. Like business men hurrying down the street, travel mugs in tow. Or Beverly Hills moms. Cappuccinos? Chihuahuas? Check. Even construction workers, with their cup ‘o’ joe. At least they’re nice. Instead you met me at a movie only to ‘forget your wallet’ and, evidently, the time. 7:30’s not 9 Should I cry over spilt coffee? Do you cry over spilt coffee? Do we clean up the coffee? Only to leave a dark stain Do we pretend the whole thing was an accident? A mistake you never should have made? Was there milk and sugar, Or even honey in our coffee? It was sweet at the beginning, soothing one’s voice, your voice, over the telephone. Late night phone calls, Early morning whisperings, wanderings, day dreams. I hope it makes the mess even stickier, harder for you to wipe up. All of those sweet moments. The ones on the train, at the beach the ones during the lectures, playing hang man i’s, l’s, o’s, v’s, e’s, but never u’s. We are coffee – not the fancy kind at Starbucks, The kind from the run down diner on the corner. Watery, tasteless. one day late.

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penny mchugh



the language of words

away with words that make no sense no, wait, come hither try your tricks sing sweet silken song carry me away in a stream of consciousness on a riff of melody depart from fertile places nearest to my heart fill me with wonder as you morph and beautify then wing it, fair and fully formed much to my delight through time and space, now and forever, master of the flight … or hammer at my neurotic brain until I spill you out randomly, in hope that I can order you, line up, you that hath no rhyme, no reason, or search through countless particles of speech for sounds of life to string together and wear about my neck for all the world to see the fashion of them once, perfectly contrite now, rich and creamy polished and precious in my sight

{ Lesson from a Cat } My mind was dashing from this thing to that when I happened to notice my fuzzy grey cat totally at ease, warm and well-fed, stretched full out on his master’s bed hugging a blanket in the middle of the day, dead to the world, it would be safe to say. I gathered him up, the blanket too, and thought: Oh, how I’d love to be just like you!

{ Trash Talk }

As I walk in ill manners’ aftermath on a broken bottled walking path, I consider childhood nursery rhymes with a bit of a twist for present times: Spring has sprung, the trash is riz, I wonder where the seagulls is. Hark! Another gob aside my shoe, I look up and wonder: was it you? Our streets appeared in sudden decay; we were never meant to walk this way. Wherever our rubber should meet the road there’s a can nearby set in garbage mode. Remember this truth that’s all but gone: it’s our own path we’ve been gobbing on.


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{ Here Now }

Once is what makes us burn and yearn. The engine of our desires can glow crimson with passion simply because the room is sealed shut, Perfectly, and there is no sound of the butterfly wings from the ìother side.î Only the illusion of fluttering. Burn and yearn my friends! Catch on fire and live it now because it is gone in a wink. Itís already goneÖ

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yvone joyette

{ A New Day}

A grey curtain of pre-dawn mist spreads across the earth, to embrace the atmosphere. It slowly recedes, to reveal the mysterious morning sun, gradually creeping up above the horizon to arouse the world, from that dream –like state between sleep and wake! The night sounds are becoming less noticeable, as they herald the dawn of a new day. The last diminishing croak of the bull-frog and the whirring of the cicadas, are replaced by those of crowing roosters and mooing cows desperately yearning to be milked; while barking watch-dogs wag their tails, happy to be off duty. The atmosphere is damp and pregnant with expectation! Some birds are already singing their mating calls: others gather twigs to build their nests and fiercely protect their territories. A Cardinal is having a tug-of-war with his morning meal. An unfortunate earth worm is being pulled unceremoniously out of the earth, and eaten in gulps, as it curls around the bird’s beak, wriggling in protest! The elusive, diminutive hummingbird, suddenly darts from among the colorful, luxurious bougainvillea flowers, hovering in mid-air, as he probes the blossoms with it’s long, slender beak, and drink nectar to sustain it’s mesmerizing wing flutters. Bees covered in pollen dust, flit from flower to flower, and butterflies delicately display a kaleidoscope of colors, and bask in the early morning sunlight. The indigo-bluish-green Wwater-Dipper, ostentatiously extends gossamer wings after sipping glistening dew drops with relish; while the veracious Mantis waits in stealth, as if in prayer, hypnotizing and luring it’s victim within striking distance. The sensitive Memosa displays fuzzy little pink flowers, that beckons you to touch! Immediately, the plant recoils from the experience, by closing up it’s leaves in disgust. The air is scented with the pungent heady smell of the lilly, and the delicious perfume from the Langilangi tree. All around you can see, hear and feel the vibrations of life: There is a sense of hope, expectation and trepidation heralding this day. We will be faced with daunting challenges and new opportunities to write our wrongs, experiment, make new discoveries and live in peace and harmony with all of God’s creations. (2007)


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{ Inspiration } 1. A young woman with braided hair

2. Sometimes, I grow green peppers in my back yard. I looked at this one and was quite fascinated with it’s peculiar shape. This was painted with the juice from the morning glory leaf. 3. During the summer of 2010, I was walking one morning and enjoying the beauty of sounding Scarborough. There was an overhanging bunch of grapes from a back yard, which I did not pick to eat, but to examine the bunch in a closer proximity. I drew and painted it with the juice from the purple Morning-glory flowers 4. “The mango!” Very Caribbean and tropical, with dozens of exotic species. Their explosives tastes incite your taste buds to crave for more and more! This fruit is loaded with vitamin A. 5. This woman is older, quite pensive, intelligent and full of wisdom. She has lived and has extraordinary stories to tell about life’s journey! 6. This fruit is from the banana family. In St. Vincent, where I am from, we call it Fig. Some people call it “swell belly” because if you eat it before it’s fully ripened it gives you a tummy ache. It has a slightly sharp tangy taste and quite delicious. People from other islands and different parts of the world call it by different names. But, there is one member of the banana family which is called Moughfoughbough! Vincentians also call this “blogo.” It is short, with an angular shape and very thick-skinned. The fruit inside is light and is delicious when steamed with fish. Jamaicans feed this to pigs. It is more rare and expensive than bananas or even plantains! 7. Now, this is a very interesting little flower. It is very easy to cultivate, and flower profusely through out the summer. It blooms in colours of: white, red, yellow, orange, and light and dark pink. The local Caribbean name is “jump up and kiss me.” I cannot recall the biological name. This flower grows just as well in Canada. 8. Ah! the rose, the red rose-so solitary; yet quite symbolic! This flower holds much romantic significance all over the world and in most cultures, especially on Valentine’s day.

9. This morning glory leaf comes from the vine in my flower garden, and is coloured in it’s own juices! 10. The morning glory flower, purple in colour, with one huge petal which is very delicate to the touch. The plant flowers in colours of: white, pink ad purple. The flowers come out in the morning but wilt under the heat of the midday sun. Every evening I would pick the wilted flowers just to encourage more flowering. In the fall I collect the dried seed for the next year and keep some for decorating. To be rid of this plant you have to practically beg it to die. When I was a child in the Caribbean, children enjoyed rubbing the seeds on hard surfaces then placed them on the arms of their friends. It delivered a sharp burn but no scars. It was fun! 11. Here is the banana, which is very popular in Canada and loaded with potassium! There are several other varieties with different tastes. This has a taste I mostly prefer when it’s cooked green, in banana saladopposite of potato, or in soups. 12. I like the taste of this squash. Slightly yellow in colour, it contains the right amount of sweetness. 13. To enjoy a juicy piece of red outer skin sugar-cane on a hot sunny day is very satisfying. This type has a very favorable distinct smell. This plant, from the grass family, produces sugar which was considered to be “king,” because it changed societies and brought much wealth to certain parts of the world! 14. The caviar of the banana family is the plantain. It has a sophisticated taste when steamed, or fried. Green plantain makes delicious chips. 15. A type of squash or pumpkin, good for pies soups etc. 16. This fruit is purple on the outside and white on the inside with black seeds, and may be purchased from the West Indian stores. It is called Star-apple because when you cut it open around the middle, you get the outline of a star. I have painted it with the juice of the purple morning glory flower. 17. This vegetable is called “tannia” in St. Vincent and “coco” in Jamaica. It has a very likable taste and is delicious in soups, or crushed like mashed potatoes. (2010) big art book 293

samuel TAn

{ In a Pool of Starlight }


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There is a man in his darkest hour, alone; only the slightest of movements by his weary chest betraysÂŹ the unforgiving, harsh truth: that he is still alive.

It is lost in time: swirling, dusty rays pierce through gaps between broken tiles, grasping, fanning across the room, searching as the morning sun strides across the changing sky.

He breathes, he sits in a pool of starlight, gently falling through a solitary window. He is curled up, knees held close, huddling for warmth, denying the murderous cold.

Now the afternoon winds mock its geriatric frame, whistling through cracks, shoving the old walls, and as the supports sway a rope, hanging, slices the beaming sunlight like a demented knife.

And the odd chill passes as a lonely tear, thawing quietly, shivers unsteadily by his frosty right eye. The broken dawn eases its way through the glass like a thief.

There is pain in the house; the man remains still, seated alone by the setting sun in the window, streaked by watery tears. His empty eyes travel again to the hanging rope.

The probing light casts its criminal gaze as beams resolve from the inky shadows. It is an old house, broken-hearthed fireplace silenced, mantel memories long forgotten.

Now it is his darkest hour as the midnight chill begins again. The man is still alive, still alive: his weary eyes come to rest upon the old, comforting noose.

{ Up the Lonely Stairs } I’ll take you there, love. A place the world won’t find you, within these crimson walls. I’ll take us up the lonely stairs, the misty barge in ocean dreams; we’ll walk the dark. * I launched resolute, my craft carving its prow through the yielding, fearful waters, scratching its mark upon her flushed visage. We tamed her brutally, machine and man trampling her exquisite curves, slashing in relentless arcs. I am alive. I breathe. I sing. I return the horizon’s unyielding stare, accepting his insolent challenge. I pierce the ruddy heart of the sea: onward, and the waters and the winds. * Lives lay upon the ground, dying slowly, poured on the rocks, spilled on the cold stones. Little hearts waiting to be swept away by uncaring arms; little loves lost to the amusement of time - petals cruelly to peat. Yet they are beauty, even in death. Their lifeless forms slowly folding as they lie on the cold slabs dispassionate, silent. Loves broken and discarded, lives uprooted. It is a delicate passing. * And we walk under the tear-stained shadow of young trees in the dew of the dawn. A new day, and ours, and our hearts’. Along shaded paths by the resilience of abandon, we clasp gently; rapture in the embrace of beauty. The curious light probes as fingers caressing through comforting canopy, and we shelter in the glow of the shadows of the morning, resting together in the breeze of hope. * I’ll take you there, love: somewhere they won’t find us; we’ll embrace the sapphire ocean. I’ll take us up the skyward branches, we will hide in emerald dew, under the mountains’ cloudy sighs.

{ Home}

This incessant tug on the strings of my heart pulses sanguine joys, draws long notes and deep gazes, and captivates my soul. I’m trapped, bound within these walls, clouded logic repressing certainty, imaginary chains linking generations, and lineages tied surely and silently; we know why we don’t fly, don’t leave. Family matters, dictating our culture, our lives and our hearts. Deep within we know no place like home: the crimson links flow redder on this side; shared moments are etched deep in our memories. And I gaze within often, finding multitudinous worlds – a panorama of twinkling thought in the darkness of my mind, a sea of floating lights, gently waving, beckoning; I am a moth to a fire that burns in my mind. I bask in the safety of self; I hide within cities I built and forests I grew; I live within my thoughts for there’s no place like the home in my created worlds. Withdrawing, I feel alive. I taste, I touch, I see. I sense possibilities and dreams branching like the oldest trees, reaching the sky. I find limits are meant to be broken and hopes to be realized; I want to know secrets and mysteries: the colours beyond the night lights and the planets’ conversations, the shape of sound and how time passes in relentless infinity. This world is endless: there’s no place like home. big art book 295

stephen r. smith jurors choice

{ Love Sounds}

“Mama?” A tiny voice slipped quietly through the room. Between her and the woman in the bed an impenetrable forest of metal stands, tubes and blinking machinery stood guard.

chest, listening for the familiar thrub thrubbing, but there was no such noise.

“Come in sweetheart, it’s alright.” Her mother’s voice warmed the space, shushing the noisy equipment. “Mama’s alright baby, come see me.”

“Yes dear?”

Clad in a pink dress and knee socks, the girl of no more than five years bravely stepped away from the safety of the door frame. Big blue eyes focused and fixed on her mother lying in the hospital bed, and her legs carried her along that line of focus until she could reach out and touch her hand. “There, there, Mama’s all better now.” She held her daughter’s hand gently, but firmly. “The doctors made me all better. Come. Climb up here and cuddle with me.” She tried her best not to wince, shuffling a little to one side to make room. She held her one arm away so her daughter wouldn’t become tangled in the web of cords snaking away from her body. The girl climbed cautiously up the side of the bed, nearer the foot so as to avoid the side rail, and then crawled up beside her mother and lay her head gingerly on her chest. “Did they really take out your broken heart Mama?” She barely breathed the words. “Yes dear, they really did.” The girl put her ear tentatively to her mother’s


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“Mama?” She started and stopped.

“Mama, can you still love me now that they took your heart away?” The words were brave, but her voice quivered. Her mother wrapped her arms around her baby girl. “Of course I still love you. My love for you isn’t caught up in some broken old heart, it comes from everywhere.” She suppressed a gasp as the little girl squeezed her back tightly. The girl contented herself snuggling quietly a time. “Mama,” she said finally, “your love doesn’t rumble like thunder like it used to.” She pressed one ear again to her mother’s breast, covering the other ear with a free hand. The sound rising up wasn’t the familiar steady beating she had grown with, but rather a different sound that ebbed and flowed. She squeezed her eyes shut and listened to breath being drawn in, and pushed out, and to the rhythmic rushing that kept time. “Mama, your love whooshes like the ocean. Like the great big wide ocean.” She lay there, eyes closed and smiling, liking very much the new sounds her mother made. Her mother lay still too, her tears also like the ocean, but adding no sound of their own.

{ Observation without Affection } She watched him, often, from the other side of his bedroom mirror, a floor to ceiling affair that allowed her the privilege of spectating from the comfort of her own space. He would come and go, sometimes alone, sometimes with others. He would wrap himself in sheets of colour, most times his companions would too, but other times they would press just their flesh against one another. This fascinated her. The shapes his face made were peculiar, and she began to recognize them as states of being. Sometimes his face was broad, his mouth wide, insides showing white and gleaming. Other times his face creased, contracted in upon itself, on occasion becoming shiny in patches as he quivered. An unusual specimen to be sure. She knew she was pleasing, knew from the various shapes and colours of the creatures he kept company with that she too could be satisfying to him, be satisfied by him. She was certain that he would share with her his illuminated state of being, the broad face and gaping maw that she believed was an indication of pleasure. While he idled, resting, she reached out to him, siphoning away vibrations from his unconscious mind. These things excited her, these random experiential happenings that he shared so unknowingly. She needed more from him. There were times when he would stop while passing, looking at his mirror, looking right at her, as though he knew the mirror was merely a window, a portal into her space. She knew he could not see, knew with absolute certainty, but in these moments she froze, not daring to move. Sensations of fear, the need to escape overwhelmed her, but so did the need to stay, to be with him, to have him near her. He would shake

away his gaze, his visage one of unusual creases, motion and contraction. The sensations stayed with her for a time after he departed, and she found she was developing an insatiable appetite for them. In the darkened hours, when the only light in his space was that filtering in from the portals to his outside world, she would thin the membrane between their spaces to its limit, pressing herself as closely to it as she dared without crossing over so as to be as close to him as was possible. Sometimes he would stare at her through the darkness, unsure of what he could see. It was one such dark period that found them only the barest distance apart. He searching the darkness with his eyes, reaching tentatively towards a mirror that no longer showed a reflection he recognized, and she pressed against the membrane from the other side, frozen in place. The sensations that flooded her senses were overwhelming, beyond even her ability to control them. She fought the urge to escape, to slip away, to opaque the wall between them and retreat to a safe distance. When his hand touched her from the other side, it was more than she could bear. He slipped easily through the membrane, joining her in her own space without resistance. Where his hand first contacted her skin, she felt the heat of his presence, and she craved more of it. Enveloping him, she watched as his face began to undulate through the variations she was sure were those of pleasure. His eyes widened, his mouth opened, white endoskeletal elements exposed. His mouth gaped, closed and opened again, eyes wider as his body undulated, his fire radiating outward from him, through her into the cold vacuum of her space. She found him beautiful, first in motion, then still. Recognizing his stillness as a rest state, she contented herself with holding him as he cooled.

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soul-r damon maraj

{ The Wages of Life }

I’m standing here contemplating life and its philosophies From the essence to the hypocrisies Plato to Socrates Corruption in societies Everything around me is a monopoly It’s like class warfare When the rich got nuff shots to spare A mental force field you can’t see but it’s there Institute currency as nothing more than a way to control Power’s with the rich only the rich will strive While the sheep will be working for life to survive From the time you arrive on Earth until the time you’re deceased Evil monotheistic aristocrats use capitalism to mark you like a beast Institute mental slavery to cause a manic depression And when you fight back by the rules they bring a recession Got me all stressing Watching the time like it was tangible Only a fool would think it’s manageable Extreme confrontation makes U think from the left Or u think from the right. Using categories to make you blind from the light The truth of life is found through the middle Life is much like a riddle With violin and fiddles A jigsaw puzzle with a missing piece The price of living is on the increase While the wages of work remains still and seems to cease Branded like a cattle with the mark of the beast Prophecy said look for the coming of a King from the East The conquering Lion of Judah to bring peace The plight of man is an illusion of the mind When our reality is a mere porthole in time You are the fool of success for neither cause nor reason, can’t stop nor change the season Man has disrespected nature with treason From birth to conception From death to resurrection There’s a fine line between control and protection That System crosses every day for their treasury collection They control your body through circumstance and fornication Rebellion is crushed through swift eradication And for those who don’t oppose you get a 2 week vacation All the while blinding the mind and the body from its immediate relation Is it impossible for free thought? Well at least spiritual thought process & unification Your soul through your mind, your mind through your soul Don’t let your eyes deceive you with riches of gold For your soul is Eternal And your body can be bought, used and sold Read between the lines and search deep within your mind you will find the true wealth of life is there to behold BEHOLD. Be beautiful and behold Behold Be uniform and be whole Behold

© 2004 8 Rooks


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suzanne fernando

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Nancy Leyendecker Kay


Tough Love: County Cork Style

My fierce Irish gran was shocked and saddened Her wild Irish rosebud was too thorny. My dresses and black patent leather shoes Were swapped after school for Keds and Levis. In 1950, that was rank rebellion. As someone who’d faced “No Irish Need Apply” My grandma picked up more than a whiff of danger. Three pithy sayings were trotted out to tame me:


Arrow #1 “We’re lace-curtain Irish, not shanty” That was the first arrow in her quiver; White gloves , and lacy socks for girls Survival skills: good manners and domestic arts. How often did she try to teach me knitting! When she tried to talk me down from my treehouse I slipped through her fingers to play baseball. Arrow #2 “With elbows like that, you’ll never catch a man” That was her most mysterious saying Armed with a fragrant jar of Pond’s cold cream She sat in the Hitchcock chair in our front window. First she anointed both the offending elbows; A double dose was reserved for my tomboy knees. The smell was not unpleasant, but I was still wondering What kind of hunting could she possibly mean? And why was it so important to catch a man? As a nine-year-old, I’d captured frogs and fireflies; Mason Jars were involved, but never knees and elbows. Arrow#3 I triumphed over too many boys in spelling bees; Smugly I won the Essay Prize from the American Legion And got a scolding: “You’ll end up being a wallflower.” “Boys never go for girls who are too clever!” Wearing a gingham apron, breaking eggs To slow me down, she taught me to bake cookies And fuming, I finally began to understand her: When, to make me stop complaining, my mother said “Remember, my Dad died young, and left three daughters To help her run his business. I dropped out of school. She didn’t think we’d be safe till we all found husbands.” That explained the third arrow in the Cashman quiver. 1953,1964 I finally made her smile, when I was eleven: “Why, you’ve got braids, like mine, except they’re white!” From her hospital bed at St. Vincent’s, my grandma chuckled. Her grave’s in Gate of Heaven, on the Hudson.


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At twenty-three, I responded to her advice. Was it all about the third arrow in her quiver? Still a tomboy, I pulled a triple play: An April Wedding first, with a Papal Blessing. In June, an M.A. with honours and morning sickness (The academic gown was worn with Keds and Levis) And a gorgeous baby girl, born in September. (“The neighbours will be counting on their fingers…”) I counted my lucky stars and named her Kristin. November 1st, 1964 Nursing my bright-eyed baby, I had a dream As vivid and joyful as a Chagall canvas. I saw my Grandma Cashman, white braids waving Was making the green grass ripple around her grave. She rose in the air, wearing a blue silk dress. Was she doing the graveside flip-flops my mother‘d predicted? Or was she celebrating her first great-grandchild? With her Cashman blend of good sense and imagination I long to think this vision was a christening gift And the final arrow in her fierce but love-filled quiver.

{ Luck of the Irish? } When I was growing up in New Jersey in the 1950’s, I considered myself grandparent-deprived. Three of these forebears had bitten the dust long before my birth. There were two survivors; Nana Leyendecker, who was my Dad’s stepmother, and Nana Cashman, born in County Cork, who lived in a modest aparatment on Riverside Drive in New York. Famous for her maddening Irish proverbs, Nana Cashman was a Steel Shamrock who brought up 5 children successfully despite being widowed at 40. She also had a wry humour, shown to her grandkids in succinct superstitions. My favourite one was “If you wear your underpants inside-out it’s good luck.” My least favourite was “What can’t be cured must be endured.” It made me roll my eyes. In 1964, more than 10 years after her death, I had occasion to test this Irish maxim. As graduate students on a fellowship grant, my husband and I had moved into a cheap but cheerful 4-room apartment in West Philadelphia which we considered to be a lucky find. My mother disagreed. “Isn’t that a coloured neighbourhood?” “Mom,” I said, “Your prejudice is showing! Besides, our living-room window overlooks a nice park with a fountain and a statue of Charles Dickens reading to Little Nell!” This was true, although whit I

didn’t tell her was that I had seen a few shady characters on the street, and had gotten a glimpse of a gun when one man reached under his jacket for his keys. On that fateful morning in 1965, John had laughed at me because I had put on my rainbow-swirl psychedelic style underpants inside-out but I was too busy changing Kristin’s diaper to care. I waved good bye to John from the window as he ran after the bus and went about my regular routine. The good luck part of that day came at about 4 o’clock as I was nursing Kristin. As usual I was reading a book while nursing, a weighty, green leather covered biography of the Romantic poet Shelley, and listening to “Don Giovanni” on our trapezoidal stereo. Luckily for me the window wasn’t open, so I never heard the sirens but John could. He was 10 blocks away walking home and when he arrived he also saw that 5 police cars were parked in front of our building and two burly boys in blue were guarding the front door. “What happened?” he asked the policeman. “I need to get into my apartment. It’s on the fourth floor, north side. My wife and baby are there.” “Well,” the biggest policeman said, “There was a shooting just three floors down, also on the north side. This guy there was cheating on his girlfriend, and she found out. So she came in and shot him, right in his bed. He’s still alive though. The ambulance just took him away.” My husband rushed upstairs. His hands were shaking so hard he could hardly unlock the door. He found me tranquilly reading the Shelley biography with Kristin sound asleep on the sofa. The Mozart opera was still playing on the stereo, Cherubino was singing the aria “Voi Che Sapete”, and I was singing along with him. (Ironically this opera also deals with infidelity and revenge!) When John informed me that I’d nursed, read, and sung through at least one gunshot, 5 police cars and an ambulance, I said “ Wow! Nana Cashman must’ve been right! Remember this morning you even noticed it-my underpants were inside-out” That was nearly 50 years ago, and Kristin(though not my marriage) survived to earn a Ph.D. of her own and to bring up two daughters in a house next to another borderline shady park, Dufferin Grove, in the west end of Toronto. And in Philadelphia, the statue of Dickens and Little Nell is still there, in Clark Park. My partner Patrick googled it for me, and printed a picture of it, but I have no idea what the neighbourhood’s like now.

exactly a true test of my grandma’s advice, but I do think that the pure dumb luck that stayed with me at the edge of that crime scene was a harbinger of future events. I’m healthy and happy at 70 with 5 grandchildren and a sixth one due in April of 2012. Although I don’t believe in that sick joke the “luck” of the Irish, I do think that I learned a lot from the example set by the life of my fierce Irish grandma and a little more from her maxims which drove me mad in childhood. To Anne Hickey Cashman I say thank you- and I’m sorry for rolling my eyes at your wisdom.

{ V-E Day May 7th 1945 }

I remember the sound of tin horns Blown by the big girls marching three abreast Up the sidewalk of my small New Jersey town Past the bakery where my Dad got coffee cake on Sunday “We had victory gardens before,” said my Mother “But these are victory horns”

I was a four year old in fuzzy slippers More exciting than the strange word “victory” Was wearing pyjamas in the car And getting out of bed to go get ice cream To celebrate what my Father called “V-E Day”

“What’s victory?” I asked watching waving flags From the curved back window of our Ford sedan “It means we beat Hitler,” said my Father “And I told you that Hitler was a bad man.” “Did he hit children?” I wondered

But that was an idle question I was four, so the victory meant little My envy of the big girls loomed larger Tin horns were forbidden fruit for children And polio was feared much more than Hitler

I remember well what I did next Forgetting the ice cream cones and victory I couldn’t forgive my parents for their unfairness I stuck my head out that curved car window Pointed to those three girls with their horns And yelled “You’ll all get polio!”

That was my final take on V-E Day

Now of course I realize that this incident wasn’t

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pamela caravella

I lie just beneath heaven, a revolution under the night sky. A landscape of tarnished diamonds all which are strewn against my silvery vision. A scent of lavender, one which my nose finds difficult to ignore. A twilight of careless colors and sweet caress’ from the timeless wind make this ethereal dream serenely tangible.


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Vienna Bombardieri

{ Say Goodnight} Fly me to the liquid moon On stilted legs of gold To watch the chestnut horses Prance around the light

Let me not arrive too soon Before the feast of angels come To lead us in a crescent dance Before we settle for the evening peace Neither arrive five minutes late Should I then give penance with regret When I see forgotten children on the moon Without a lantern flung across the sky Fly me to this place of altitude Where I could see the human race Is gently taking care of young and old Underneath a service dome But when the moon says come now sleep They gently rock their tired heads Remove the red cross from their arm And say, goodnight.

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{ Introspective Man } [Lights go down, music comes in How Long by Count Basie]

I walked in the bright sunshine, a beautiful Sunday afternoon guard rail to the right of me road to the left traffic fairly heavy. Going to a friend’s house a white friend that fact should be irrelevant. I walked in the

jurors choice up the road a church. At that moment I wasn’t human, I wasn’t a living, breathing organism. I was a nigger, and felt like a nigger, a non being, an anti organism, void of morality, void of essence, free will. They controlled my emotions, they altered my

bright sunshine, thinking of music and my future, dreaming of

mental state, and drove on by. They violated my conscience,

being big, dreaming of being. Many cars drove by, there was a

raped my subconscious, and drove on by. Through my periphery I saw myself smaller than life, behind innocence to the

church just up the road, and apartments directly behind me.

left a

“Nigger!” A car full of white boys screamed as they drove by.

field I neared the church “Nigger!” it echoed. I thought I

They seemed big, as I was small sixteen, fifteen, fourteen

was like everybody else, I had forgotten innocence lay in the

perhaps smaller. “Nigger!” It burned in my soul. Church just up

garden. I’ve left that space forever. As the sun bent down, the

the street, I felt like running after the car. Those motherfu... but instead, I walked stunned as my scenery changed behind me innocence to the left an industrial building and just up the street, a church. At the time I had hated with a passion still do my teeth ground together heart was pumping sweat ran down my side emanating from my black armpits. I wonder if those boys realized “Nigger!” what they did to me. It left me defenceless. I felt naked standing by the side of the road. There I stood naked east of Eden to the left a Chrysler plant

word beat down, harder, hard, ever harder. They spat on me, beat me upside my head and sped off. As the sun and world saturated my body and soul, I noticed the white church now very near. High glass

steeple, beautiful west facade. I looked at the stained

window and noticed Christ image, Mary and Joseph standing with the sun reflecting off their yellow hair. I looked at my silver watch, bright against my dark skin, and wondered if those boys were on their way to afternoon service.

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miss beverly loewen


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donald tataryn


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{ THE SCARBOROUGH SHORE } “The Scarborough Shore” is an excerpt from Along the Shore, a book BY JANE FAIRBURN about the history, landscape and people of the Toronto waterfront, to be published by ECW Press in the spring of 2013. On the evening of July 29, 1793, the Mississauga, a British government vessel, set sail from Niagara for the Bay of Toronto. Arriving at Toronto before dawn the next morning, the vessel was piloted into the Bay after daybreak by Jean Baptiste Rousseaux, a First Nations trader and interpreter, who lived nearby. Mrs. Simcoe, the wife of the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe, awoke on board the ship later that morning and was met with a sublime view of the pristine basin. The shore was lined with a plush carpet of Carolinian forest, which cast its image on the clear pool, blurring the line of demarcation between the water and beach (1). Just to the west of the Bay was the Rousseaux home, near the mouth of an ancient river, now known as the Humber. For countless centuries the river mouth had served as the entrance way to a passage into the hinterlands and the interior region of Canada. To the south of the mainland was a peninsula that formed the outer periphery of the Bay, beginning in the west, at the opening of the inlet, and stretching easterly as a finger of white sand as far as the eye could see. Within days of her arrival at Toronto, Mrs. Simcoe rode on horseback, easterly across this peninsula, now known as the Island. Continuing east along a sandy beach on the north shore of the Lake, she found herself in the vicinity of what we now know as the Beach, and from there, despite the restrictions of a proper eighteenth-century lady’s dress, climbed into a small boat and had herself paddled on farther still, until she saw a line of immense and imposing cliffs stretching far into the distance. Of the experience she wrote in her diary: “After rowing a mile we came within sight of what is named, in the map, the highlands of Toronto. The shore is ex tremely bold, and has the appearance of chalk cliffs, but I believe they are only white sand. They appeared so well that we talked of building a summer residence there and calling it Scarborough.” Although the Highlands had been known to early European explorers since the seventeenth century, and for countless centuries before that to the Aboriginal people who frequented the lakefront, it was Mrs. Simcoe who first recorded the sense of mystery and imagination that they continue to invoke to this day. It was one thing for Mrs. Simcoe to write about the Highlands. It was another thing entirely, during those times, to consider living on top of them, replete as they were with insects and beasts of all description and lacking road access to the developing town of York, which lay, at a minimum, five and a half miles distant to the west. To say the least, this was a thoroughly unconventional idea for an English gentlewoman of her times. But Elizabeth Simcoe was by no means conventional. She appreciated and rejoiced in the natural unspoiled beauty of the landscape, enough so to envision herself right from the beginning on the top of the cliffs, in the middle of nature, gazing out at an unending sea of blue. In time these cliffs came to be known as the Scarborough Highlands, and later in the twentieth century as the Scarborough Bluffs. In 1850, the whole region — bordered on the west by what is now Victoria Park Avenue, on the north by what was then the Township of Markham, on the east by what was then the Township of Pickering, and on the south by Lake Ontario — was incorporated as Scarborough Township, within the County of York. The shoreline area of the township originally included the cliffs, and directly to the east, the Highland Creek River Valley, that lies just to the west of the present-day Port Union district. Since the nineteenth century, industrial and commercial building on and near the Toronto shore has destroyed much of the natural beauty first seen by Mrs. Simcoe. The steady march toward the future has too often rendered our shoreline a by-product of Toronto’s progress, so much so that most of today’s waterfront would be unrecognizable to the Simcoes. Yet despite all that change, some places remain where one can stand in silence and respond to the natural world, not with picks and shovels but with dreams and love. The Scarborough shore is one such place.


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jurors choice

Although Mrs. Simcoe was the first to record the grandeur of the Bluffs, Torontonians have been making the journey to the Scarborough shore ever since. I know of some former long-time Scarborough residents whose parents, Jack Heron and Ruth (McCowan) Heron, had lived, almost one hundred years ago now, in the Beach at what was then the easternmost edge of Toronto. As it turns out, the couple were distantly related through a common ancestor, Sarah Ashbridge, whose family were the first settlers in the Beach district and also were pioneers of the Scarborough shore. I was told by one of their children, Ruth (née Heron) Sutherland, that in the long and lovely days of summer her parents, Jack and Ruth, sometimes gathered up their children and packed up their picnic baskets and set out for a day in the open country. They made their way along the Kingston Road to a spot near Victoria Park Avenue where the Radial Car route — the electric tram that spanned the breadth of the Township of Scarborough from the Fallingbrook district in the west, all the way east to West Hill — began. There they joined a group of locals — other day trippers, farmers, and market gardeners — waiting for the trolley that took them just a few more miles to the east and into a different and seemingly distant land. They were going to the Bluffs, still known in those days as the Scarborough Highlands. As they glided along the Kingston Road, sometimes in the car with a cupola of coloured glass, they passed through the Fallingbrook district, dominated by Sir Donald Mann’s stately mansion overlooking the cliffs. Moving east, they next passed the Toronto Hunt, an exclusive country club whose presence on the Scarborough shore dated from 1895. Beyond this elegant property was the rapidly expanding Birch Cliff district, which had begun decades earlier as a seasonal cottage community. As the train climbed Trout’s Hill to the east of these areas, they passed a stately mansion whose three-storey turret surveyed the Lake lying to the south, beyond the tableland known locally as the Flats. In later years, this property would be known as the White Castle Inn. Rising over the crest of the hill, they had their first sight of Scarborough’s gentle meadows, spread out like a patchwork quilt before them and framed on the south by Lake Ontario, an ever-present expanse of blue glimpsed fleetingly through the trees. Within minutes they passed the Halfway House, which, as it had from earliest times when it was a popular stagecoach inn, still welcomed weary wayfarers off the Kingston Road. To the southeast, beyond the cows that dozed in the shade of oak and elm, stood the twin citadels of the Roman Catholic Church’s St. Augustine’s Seminary and St. Joseph’s-on-the-Lake, a convent and novitiate. These structures stood in stark contrast to the unassuming barns and homesteads of the original pioneers, among them those of the McCowans and the Cornells, whose lands still sprawled south from the Kingston Road down to the Lake. Just past St. Joseph’s-on-the-Lake was Scarborough Heights Park, a pleasure ground that had been a popular destination for day trippers since the early 1900s. The family opted to avoid the raucous crowds at the Park, however, and continued a little farther, where they finally arrived at Markham’s Road, as it was then called. There, near the dilapidated smithy of Scarborough Village, which by then was almost deserted, they got off the radial. The children ran ahead, while their parents meandered along the time- worn path strewn with buttercups and wild strawberry. Only the freshness of the air hinted at the height of land as they moved steadily uphill toward the sumach that lined the top of the meadow. Finally, at the top of the field, they parted the brush and the brambles and sat down, drinking in the deep aquamarine and indigo tones of a still and silent Lake that stretched out to the south. Years later, the Herons would realize their lifelong dream and build a romantic stone house near the edge of this very cliff. The focal point of this lovely home was neither a hearth nor an arrangement of furnishings, as it was in so many houses of that time, just as today it might be a television or computer screen. No, it was a simple casement, rectangular window, nothing more, but a window that at night perfectly framed the moon, hanging low on the southern horizon and casting a pathway of silver light across the waters of the Lake. The memory of that simple “blue window” is cherished to this day. 1 This description is based in part on the writings of Joseph Bouchette, in the British Dominions of North America, (London, 1831), p. 89.

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{ Good vs. Evil}

I believe that we are all born innocent. Our slate it clean, because we haven’t been exposed to experiences. To someone, you may be a burden as a new born child, and therefore seem evil in their eyes, but to someone else, you could be their miracle and they will see you as good. Experiences and choices determine if we are good or evil, because every day, there is an open door to do evil, but from personal morals and self belief, you may choose to close that door, or walk through it, into the “dark side.” When we are born, and continue to grow up, we don’t make decisions for ourselves, our parent(s) or guardian(s) make them for us. If they have a different view on something, we grow up with that view with us as well. Evil has a very vague description; if something bad happens to someone you despise, you will be happy. Does that make you evil, or human? The same thing applies to the word; Good. If you do a good deed, then you are good, but if you do three “evil” deeds, are you still good? We cannot say that when we were born, we were evil or good. We are born perfectly in the middle, and as we grow older, we grow wiser. The choices you make will impact your life, and will move you more towards the “good” side or the “evil” side. How people make those choices will change because of the society they live within, because every one of us has a conscience, and the choices we make will reflect upon the person we are. And us, being human, will think about how that makes us look in front of another person’s judging eye. They only reason why we have the words “good” and “evil”, is because we partly judge ourselves, but it’s someone else that is judging us as well. We are constantly being judged throughout our lives, and what if we make a mistake? Is that considered evil, or just a lesson we will learn from? We weren’t made to be “evil.” When soldiers come back from the war, they are shell shocked, unable to be at peace, because of the sights they saw at war, or the things they did. Doing evil acts isn’t part of our normal survival strategy, and isn’t that what we’re trying to do on this earth, survive? It’s programmed into our brains that we have to survive and procreate. We aren’t good or evil; we just are.


It’s hard to leave fantasy, when reality is facing your back

Dear Former Boyfriend; Thoughts run through my mind, like cars on the highway, all of this is happening because of what my friends say. They saw you with another girl, is this true? You thought you were pretty slick, you thought you were out of view. But on one can hide in today’s world, baby don’t you see? Why couldn’t you let things unravel and let them be? But no, you had to find pleasure elsewhere; were you even thinking about me? Did you even care? I guess none of this matters now, you’ve gone and become untrue. But don’t come running back to me baby, my back will be turned to you. Sincerely, I feel sorry for whoever gets my sloppy seconds.  


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Dear First is the worst; I messed up, what have I done. The only thing running through my mind was a home run... They say it’s mind over matter, but, there are things that are too hard to resist. I walk past you, & I see your clenched fist. But babe, please hear me out. Being with you was like waiting for rain in a drought. The work hours were horrible and the pay was no better, now that I come to think about it, You remind me of a chain letter. Everyone wants to see what the fuss is about, but we all know that the trash has to be taken out. Sincerely, Second is the best.


This Is a Feeling I Can’t Pretend


Butterflies is what I feel in my stomach, aching to break free. All I want is for you to notice me. Make me feel alive, for this feeling I have cursed upon me has stayed too long, pulling me down with such a tight grip. Your love would be like wine; just let me have a sip. You pass me in the hallways & my heart skips a beat. Silly boy, look at what you’ve done; unwind the very person I’ve become. Until I’m left as a single strand; nowhere to hide. No more laws to abide. So boy, tell me, where do your thoughts reside? This question haunts me. It taunts me. So do tell me, Do I fit into that head of yours? Or am I just another girl you want to add to the list of scores?

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{ The Final Stretch }

jurors choice

She was a ninety-one year old lady recovering from a recent stroke. Her limbs weren’t as strong as they used to be and her coordination was not great either. The first time I saw her was my first day in the stroke unit, just a few days after her own admission into the hospital. She was in a wheelchair, her hair in gray disarray. Her gown was sliding off her shoulders, and her skin lay in folds loosened by old age. Recognizing her attempts to pull herself forward on the wheelchair using her feet, I asked her if she needed help. “No!” Her bright eyes snapped fiercely at me. “Don’t touch my wheelchair!” I helped her anyway, taking her for a few laps around the unit every day. Her legs became stronger and soon, she was able to move around in the wheelchair on her own. Her body was always leaning forward, inching towards the next turn at the end of the hall. She was smart. She wanted to exercise all her limbs so she pushed first using her arms, then her feet, then her arms again. By the end of the month, she was able to stand up independently and get around using a walker, showing off to the doctors how well she was doing. She wanted to be discharged. The stroke unit was always busy with doctors, visitors, and patients. Fluorescent tubes lit up the rooms and the smell of medical equipment and airplane food perpetually hovered in the air. The unit curved in a big loop. Patients’ rooms lined along the outside of the circle while charts, nurses, and doctors moved about the center, in the nursing room, conference room, and desk area. As a volunteer, I talked to patients. I kept them company. I helped with administration, ran errands, and completed small assignments. As I did all of this, I watched her do her routine laps. Every day, she would start at 3:30 p.m. and pull herself for an hour. She never spoke. She was always focused on her task. One day, it was almost 4:00 p.m. and the halls were empty. I frowned. I walked into her room to find her behind a table crowded with keys. Her fingers were shaking. Her eyes squinted at the letters on a crumbled piece of paper. “My husband numbered them,” she sighed. And that’s when she told me. He was blind and unable to leave the house. They had no children so he was all alone since visitors were rare. She couldn’t go back to him. The doctors wouldn’t discharge her. Exercising was not just a way to escape the bland white-washed walls of the hospital. It was the way to go back to her husband, to return to their days together. It was her way of getting home. I knelt down and looked up into her worn face, lined by life. Even after all those weeks of pushing that wheelchair, her body was still weak, but those clear green eyes showed the determination of a woman who did not want to spend her last days alone in a hospital bed, confined to four dreary walls and a window looking out at the dark red brick of the next building. She had promises to keep. The days went by routinely. Her progress was evident and her determined and self-driven physical therapy made her stronger. As my days as a volunteer came to a close, so did her days as a patient. My heart leapt when I saw her discharge papers on the front counter. But when I looked closer, I realized that she was being transferred to a rehab center out of town and even farther from home. I sighed. On her last day, she waved for me to come in beside her. She gave me a hug. My arms wrapped around her small body and she whispered, “Thanks for everything.” Sometimes when the hustle and bustle of school and homework and the responsibilities of life get to me, my fingers stop tapping on my keyboard. I lean back in my chair. I close my eyes. I imagine her going home. She’s inside and the familiar smells and walls are all around. A door closes behind her. She calls out to her husband. A deep voice comes from the bedroom. She heard a chair move. “I’m home!” she happily cries and thrusts her walker forward, thumping along the corridor towards the open door, the shadows of a lamp falling on the wooden floor before her.


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sajay jey


Warm Rain – Mr Spacely Junior (LHP)

I want to spit that recognizable real I’m hoping you can feel I want to spit that recognizable real I’m hoping you can feel Used to be stormy weather now it’s warm rain beat boxer and two rappers call us the dapper Tryna be Apollo  Gods of music  took lessons from Peter Parker So powers I don’t abuse it Whose in the air built my own wings fly no cares  no seatbelts no restrictions when expressions of my feelings became an addiction An what you spit ain’t real its fiction is what the haters used to spit along time ago  and i’m interested in their opinion cause I got time to go


{ Star chasers }

I was out chasing stars til I realized they were shooting Polluting, I found what team I was rooting For eyes windows to the soul mouths the door So I lock it cause careers are the spoils of war Look, if you cook bad beef everyone’s a victim And if you’re really that sick stardoms a symptom Than the virus is the wisdom to figure out the system Or else you might have missed him You say you can’t stand it but you really don’t mind em Cause they only bright from the camera flash be hind em So if you get close maybe you’ll be some one if you get close you’ll heat up and become one More like the moon using another’s light, the sun’s son Tmz astronomy disregard for monogamy The philosophy is to treat people like commodities And feeling the way we do it judged as an oddity

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{ Broken doors}

Why use locks if they’ll just kick in the door Why bother pretending to be safe anymore It comes from desperation Or maybe just from greed From every foreign foot To every hand that feeds All at once they broke my doors They stole what I’d been fighting for They scared a fearless, strong, bold heart And shook up every stable part Foundations crumbled leaving scars Now see what a mess we are   I dressed the wounds and can happily say That each and every single day I smile at the growth I’ve seen In every cry and every scream   Safety is a sugar pill A lie they feed to keep us still But I’ll no longer be a drone I will protect myself   Alone   Walls are empty stacks of brick That keep you warm and that is it If someone wants to be inside Naivety won’t cease their stride   In anger need or jealousy In screaming rage or frenzied flee So closely linked yet worlds apart Broken doors and a broken heart


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{ Demon}

There sleeps a demon in my bed He, hunting like a vulture, said You will learn to love the ghosts As one who’d pay to be their host

Upon my heart he did bestow A shade I thought I’d never know Of fiery reds like burning life Contrasting hughes of deepened strife

Living in a new green skin And letting all his lovers in Wondering what they will take Seeking victims for the snake

I’m justly scared of his gold lies In love with how he’s hypnotized A pain that only blood can soothe Erotic, violent hands so smooth

An icy talon in my head Numbing all the parts mislead Slowly turning green to blue By suffocating what was new

His eyes do not peer into me As yours did in my purity I miss what I no longer hear A tender voice inside my ear

And all of my ethereal sleep Now disturbed by his hands creep Slow dissent from skin to flesh Sinking in to be enmeshed

So bittersweet you let me choose Resenting all you let me lose And in my blind exuberance I parted with our white romance

But there is no way to explain Why I let him leave me stained With his wishes on my cheeks And slow and lustful dreams he speaks

Intoxicated by desire I made a paramour of fire He sees my mind about to break Now save me from what he will take

His promises of beauty fly Out his lips like lullabies He sings with such validity Confused beguiling trickery

There is a hell inside of me And this is how it came to be You let him lead me to the dead Now sleeps a demon in my bed.

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{ Exhibit C (remix) – A.Habit (LHP) } Turn the beat us, base loud it mellows me, Saying I should quit? Ha, have fun telling me, Cause noting can convince me otherwise, When I dream I dream about living my dream, chilling with the stars in the night sky, But I’m about to crack under pressure, Been wanting to talk to her but know I shouldn’t text her, Listening to my friends advice and I know they’re right, Cause she’s the one who up and left my life, aint that right, Guess we hit the fork in the road she turned left, left me alone So I continued right through the night, this is that cold path that I chose, Going straight to the throne regardless of what you think, Won’t settle for nothing less, insanity’s on the brink, I have to make it, first chance I get I’ll take it, Aint never gonna fake it, aint got no time to be wasting Let’s face it; other rappers just fear my presence, Spitting 25 to life, music is my sentence


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jurors choice


Look What You’ve Done (Remix) – A.Habit (LHP)


It’s like 04’, my whole family’s on the kitchen floor, My mom and dad, my grandparents and aunts at the door, All I hear is screaming and yelling and cussing up a storm, Until my aunt just snapped, went overboard and threw the cordless phone, Across the room towards my mother, nah don’t even touch her, You aint even at your home, acting young thought you was grown, See she upset we trying to take grandpa to a home, But you never dealt with what my mom had to alone, And y’all just trying to play the victim still, I was nine but still knew that the real victim was ill, Laying up in the home, just trying to battle cancer, Like I was trying to yell the truth but y’all was too busy to answer, And that’s just irony at its best, Cause we was fighting over this, while he was trying to do his best, To keep us all together before laying down to rest, He was an amazing man, and he will always be missed, Now skip to 05’, tired of even more lies, My grandmother just passed now, crying even more times, But now, they can be together; Peace and Harmony, No man aint ever harming me, cause they always by my side

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tyra l. esterly

{ Putting life into words }

How does one live life to the fullest and encapsulate that as art which breathes life and power into words, both spoken and written? It only comes through a careful alliance between healthy bouts of adventure and one’s imagination. This indwells writing with a subtle under-current that draws and immerses readers into one’s story because they can see life’s adventures within it. It is this alliance that brings captivating color to simple black text. It is what coaxes a reader to read one more sentence, one more page, whether it is a letter, an essay, or a novel. All writers are adventurers. Whether it is exploring the far reaches of a library archive while researching a school paper, or traveling to distant and foreign places to experience cultures he never before could fathom. It takes a sumptuous dose of gumption to send one’s feet places they have never before tread. To go down that beaten path, to pursue that inspiring lead, to write that first sentence. To plunge into the adventure that is writing, then muster the daring courage to invite others into that world. To share it. Imagination melds one’s experience of the ever-evolving world we live in with the often-illusive realm of words. Experiences add a tangible weight to one’s words; they fuel an ever-ravenous imagination. Experience adds value to writing that will never diminish because no one sees things quite the same way the writer does, or expresses it in the same manner. When one teams his muse with imagination, he has something to offer the world that no one else can ever conceive. Life is an adventure. Live it to its fullest and share it with others. That is writing.

{ A Writer’s Block } It is a frequent affliction Among writers great and small; It will grow to monstrous proportions, It has the gall! That is why you must catch it, or at least forestall This pother of unappeasable foible soon to befall.

The first symptom is muddled thoughts Then a peculiar fixation with the wall, But that is not the worst of it, not at all, There is more to come! Your muse enters eternal slumber, You type every blunder, Crinkled, crumpled, and crimpled paper abounds. Quick now! Make haste! Fend off this horde of talent waste! Only then, will you find reward. Reward will come, it won’t delay. “Aha!” “I’m here!” And “I’m back to stay!” Your muse rejoices, it shouts, “Hurray!” You pat your back, the fight is won. Now true writing has begun.


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{ Capturing the Muse }

What is this I speak of? “The muse?” you say. I’ll tell you of him, it is not gainsay. He is the shadow of prose, A sly creature is he, Slippery as an eel, As quick as a bee. Yes, you can catch him, But he’ll always get free. He slips from one’s grasp like oil, He eludes you like your shadow, Always nearby but just out of reach. His walls of illusion you can not impeach. He defies logic and wisdom. Whit and whim are his close friends. He is one part cheek, Three parts insight, And a trace of mad. I tell you he’s batty –that I will add! Be grateful you’ve caught him, There’s much to be had! “Now see here,” you’ll say, “I’ve got you now, and you shall stay.” “Oh, fine, I’ll stay” says he, “but not for long! I haven’t all day.” With a twiddle of his fingers and a quirk of his brow, He sets to work, He’ll show you how. He commands your fingers, He feeds your mind, Such ideas are his! They boggle the mind! Your story comes to life as never before, You won’t stop writing, He always has more. More ideas, Around each bend, When will they stop? Where do they end? But then -dear meHe flicks his wrist and chuckles with glee, And poof! He’s disappeared. He’s gone again, He’s gotten free! Your thoughts a-whirl, Your mind’s still dazed, Your work’s near finished, And you aren’t fazed. But he’s escaped you now! He could be gone for days! Quick, now! Search through this haze, If you can catch him, I’ll be amazed! big art book 327




Scarborough Arts' Big Art Book Digital Anthology 2012 is an experiment—a wonderful experiment. The Big Art Book is about participating in...


Scarborough Arts' Big Art Book Digital Anthology 2012 is an experiment—a wonderful experiment. The Big Art Book is about participating in...