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issue 2

All work Š Scarborough Arts & respective artists. COVER ART: Peace by Paul Clark

ABOUT THE PROJECT Welcome to the second annual Big Art Book, Scarborough Arts’ digital anthology of written and visual artwork! With our second book, we challenged contributors to address a theme inspired by the Wikipedia open source definition of digital literacy. Simply put, digital literacy refers to how we access, absorb, share and interact with information, not just being literate at using a computer. We asked that all entries relate to one or more of the following terms; literally, conceptually or abstractly: future; human; digital; animal. What came back were hundreds of surprising interpretations, each with a unique take on the theme. We think you’ll be delighted to discover the variety of treasures held within these virtual covers. ABOUT THE BIG ART BOOK The BIG ART BOOK crosses creative boundaries The BIG ART BOOK blurs lines to link people together through original artwork and writing The BIG ART BOOK opens a broad cultural conversation The BIG ART BOOK samples a fresh assortment of creativity The BIG ART BOOK is about the power of expression, and celebrating our ideas. ABOUT SCARBOROUGH ARTS 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 us! If you’d like to know more about Scarborough Arts or any of the artists or art pieces featured in this book, just let us know. Visit our website for more information, or to get in touch: Thank you to everyone who has submitted to, worked on, and/or enjoyed reading this book.

CINDY ROZEBOOM Program Director Scarborough Arts 3

THE JURORS PATRICK CONNORS Curating Big Art Book 2013 was truly a labour of love. So many great writers, and so many promising ones, contributed to what is a tremendous project. This speaks to the quality promoted by Benedict Lopes, the outgoing Program Director, and Cindy Rozeboom, his worthy successor. Not only does Big Art Book 2013 contain a bevy of name artists enough to make the worst name-dropper blush, it attracted entries from as far away as India. This speaks to the value that Scarborough Arts provides, combined with the innovation of Big Art Book being digital. A special note to Youth Writing winner Nathalie Akel: I look forward to what you will be sharing with us in a few years. Scarborough Arts Rocks! 4

PATRICK CONNORS was Lead Artist in the inaugural Making a Living; Making Art, a pilot project of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts and the Neighbourhood Arts Network. He is the arts and literature writer for newz4u. net.  He recently published his poetry in Barrie and Belgium. His first chapbook, “Scarborough Songs”, will be released by LYRICALMYRICAL Press in the Spring of 2013. He is featured at the launch of Chrysalis Issue 2, and headlined an event of Sunday Poetry at Ellington’s called, “Artists as Activists”.  He is a manager for the Toronto chapter of 100,000 Poets for Change. He can be found on Facebook: Patrick John Timothy Connors.

ANDREA CARSON BARKER I was delighted to have been invited by Scarborough Arts to judge the second annual Big Art Book. There were over 150 submissions from artists living in Scarborough and beyond, each one more different than the next. It’s always exciting to discover talented artists and I thoroughly enjoyed considering each one as I selected the winners. Overall, I was drawn to what I felt were the most technically proficient works. There was some fine drawing, from Michelle Mackinnon, who gives her foreshortened portraits a sophisticated chiaroscuro effect and Angela Thomas, whose delicate, pointillist drawings of African tribeswomen are resolutely defiant. I was also intrigued by M.T. Rivers’ strikingly detailed drawings that weave branches and leaves around the faces of aboriginal women to suggest a vital connection to nature. A painting of Niagara Falls done in traditional Chinese style by Kenneth Leung is a beautiful interpretation, perhaps by a new Canadian, and a powerful oil portrait by Brian Donnelly shows a bearded man whose mouth and jaw falls away in a brutal cascade of paint. He looks mildly concerned. Other, equally successful works engage less common materials, like Tanya Besedina’s finely crafted terrcotta plaques, which are reminiscent of fairy tales with their dreamy, romantic themes. Diane Mascherin’s photo collage is a lovely seascape that, through texture, conveys the environmental toll that is part of our everyday reality. A special mention also to Nigel Westgate in the Youth category, whose portraits have a fierce energy rarely seen in a young adult. What the winning entries all have in common is that they each make a bold statement. One of the boldest is the big-hearted, unabashedly gorgeous abstract painting by Gwen Hayes with its bleeding colours and unfurling shapes. It’s an excellent representation of spring. 5

ANDREA CARSON BARKER is an expert in contemporary art and architecture and the founder & publisher of one of Canada’s most widely read culture blogs, VoCA ( In 2012, Andrea was founding curator of the daily online art auction Artbomb (www.artbombdaily. com), and is a writer who works with cultural organizations on strategic profile building & social media implementation. In addition to blogging for the Huffington Post, as an art critic Andrea writes for publications including Azure, ARTnews, Art Review, DesignLines, the Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire and Toronto Life.  Andrea sits on the City of Toronto Public Art Commission. She promotes art, architecture & design on Facebook & Twitter (@carzoo).


Eugenie Shehirian Award ($150)

presented to an outstanding young poet or writer: NATHALIE AKEL


Nikita Marner Award ($150)

presented to an outstanding young visual artist NIGEL WESTGATE


Monica Ladell Award ($150)

to an outstanding adult poet or writer JAMES DEAHL


Scarborough Arts Award ($150)

to an outstanding adult visual artist KENNETH LEUNG 6

future human digital animal 7



Alice on your pillow Waking to a lover’s gaze for most — for me: squinted amber eyes, busied whiskers, an orange, outstretched hand in my hair.



DANIA ANSARI The Winter Pair 12

JANICE ARNOTT Gradual Emersions 13

Therapeutic Hypnosis She spoke so calmly but I never really went under. I remember thinking about the joy of prepaid medical insurance trying to concentrate on relaxing failing to slip into semi-consciousness. It was done to cure a bad habit: nail-biting. I no longer bite my nails; I need them to hold on, to prevent the slipping I don’t want.



MADEHA BATOOL I Start Everything With I 15

Me and My machines Me and my machines Mocking my tendons My arms and my knees Molding my visions My reveries my dreams Manufacturing my music My food my friends Me and my machines Make my weather My sexual fatalities My toast my tea My machines wake me up My machines take me to work My machines make me up For the company that Never arrives




Whisper in the Summer of Dark The hollow hush of little streams The fluffy flotillas of pithy greens The antique weaves of sheltered trees The Romany clef of roaring seas The moist mortar of the vaquero’s beach The season’s fragile engine’s coiled swelling heat The vestigial lock of the forests fired revelry The interminable cackle across the rapids reach The monotonous sounding hobbits of bug-eyed creeks The flight and drone of wafting bees The moribund musings of owling speech The mellifluous murmuring of the covetous larks All of these with our whispers in the summer of dark



A splash in the sea of animals Once upon a time, and for millions of years, humankind lived in a sea of animals, one splash, one wavelet among many, our daily lives surrounded by a great fluid interlocking life. Now the tide has turned, runs out. We dive, see with eyes of wonder the drops and splashes of the animals who live or work with us‌ The man and his cat reading in the cool breeze black and white patterned sheet with the blue cover tawny sable velvet cat sapphire-eyed headland high on the mountain of your thigh surveys bays of knee and belly, curving waves.




The death of ice Mythic creatures of the South move North forcing new words into our mouths bears shrink to nothing inside their skins who would have thought the death of ice will be ours.



a digital animal‌ future human a digital animal inevitable communications using digital means already human’s habit eyes shifting from screen to screen fingers tapping technological evolution cultural mutation digital human...



Digital Leaps The current pace of human’s digital leaps is brisk and ambitious. Human is crossing continents and transcending tribal turbulence while migrating to the future. Using digital tools human hunts and gathers information for social and economic progression. A digital culture is evolving and human is accommodating and adapting. In time it will be global and formal that human is a digital animal.






TANYA BESEDINA River of Dreams 23

WHAT THE SPARROWS SING Early morning, brittle starlight in the January sky; I awake to find you listening to what the sparrows sing. Perhaps they sing of summer, and lush, green meadows where pregnant trees are heavy with ripened fruit, where the breeze blows warm and gentle and the turquoise sky stretches out to the edge of their wild dreams. Perhaps it is this faith that keeps them warm on winter days, and gives them reason to believe in the promise of ancient songs; that gives them strength to flap their wings and brave the cold to sing.


ANGEL (For my Mother) It had been so long since my last visit and, wanting to surprise you I found you outside, your basket of linen half full on the lawn your sheets swaying on the line. You are singing softly in the cool of the evening an Ave Maria as tender and sweet as the memory of childhood when at your feet I listened for the very first time; And you turn and smile in the shimmering light, heart as pure as heavenly love while all around you white sheets gleam like angel wings unfolding.



SPIRITS I don’t feel as if I am Losing myself, But if the names Are the same, Does it count any longer? Here you are, Kissing me To the sounds Of the Clothes washing In the Other room, Knowing that Anyone Can hear Anything Through walls Made of Paper. I am feeling Reckless, And I am unapologetic, Because there is No need to Prove myself Anymore. I will let you Have everything, To empty me, Only to find you Next to me When the sounds of Morning Return us To reality. That is the Beauty In all of this.



London Bridge I met up with my old lover in London; the one who taught me of the greats. He found me at the pay phones under the bridge, rifling for pounds. He took me to the gardens, up the top of Primrose Hill and said “Don’t look yet.” And when I did turn, all of London had bowed to us and I smiled. We took the train to the big glass station, the one with the statue of two people kissing. You said you weren’t sure if they were kissing hello or goodbye. We parted ways there. You walked left, and I right.



KRISTEN CHAMBERLAIN January in Blossoms 29


SAM CHIU KWAN SING Peony “古稱洛花佳天下, 留下丹青贈萬家” 30


SAM CHIU KWAN SING Poem named 石湖再汎 by Man Jing Ming, semi-cursive script 31



Androids, Unicorns, and Electric Sheep tiny folded-newspaper horn spiraling screaming RENEGADE REPLICANTS, REPORT piercing the electric caul of dreams full of false memories, photographs, smiles long faded from the glossy paper soon to be folded by gloved hands, creasing tormenting truth, catching reflecting eyes, showing emptiness full of light



GENEVIEVE COOKE Hungry Squirrel 35

Changes Appear Which path do we take when we know not where it goes? How can we feel complete when the mosaic society is ripping us apart? Not just us but our connection to this Earth. Changes appear when we least expect them. It depends on which change is good for you that guide you in your direction chosen. Changes appear when we look to you to try and understand that not all that is written is the truth; and that for you to know who we are - we are the only ones that can tell you.



MICHAEL CYWINK Changes Appear 37

Allhallows Eve We are born with the dead — T.S. Eliot So this evening in that first hour after sundown they arrive from grave or seabed muck or ash-filled urn. A rustle of leaves as red October closes out its tale of days, a scud of clouds are all late autumn desires. Fire-born or ocean drowned, the moon and its absence cross the dark ridgetop: a lunar burial. And in that instant when a falling body turns to light like gas clouds collapsing into suns that flare and subside what grace breathes into matter a human life?


Autumn Barn for Eurithe & Al Purdy

Thanksgiving, and the frost has grasped the paper birch. A smoulder of light slants through a chill afternoon. The animals have been led into their barns and a tractor cools in pigweed by their vast, shut doors. Under the blue pavilion of an autumn sky a New Holland tractor draws coolness from the wind.



I Want To Go Some Where... fear is non existent emotions are worn as skin toes are cleansed in the clouds spirits are the windows to the soul and sight is dependent on faith I’m tired of having my fingers clawing against the wind my fronted back used as an armour words caved in without warmth love being hid behind survival I want to go some where we can truly be ourselves I’m tired of having excuses to why I hold back.



JUDY DEPASSIO Queen of Spades 41


BRIAN DONNELLY Untitled (Friend of a Friend) 42

untitled Listen, this is important. I’ve always had trouble relating to people and handling social situations. It turns out there’s parts of my brain that just do this stuff, but they weren’t getting enough blood flow. I had been activating my sympathetic nervous system too much – the ancient fight or flight response which creates feelings of stress, defensiveness and againstness. Relax into the againstness – don’t fight it, breathe deeply and open out. Parasympathetic nervous system is fully activated, blood flows back to these cool parts of your brain, and you’ll be interested in people again. Your life will be more enjoyable.



the last chance Many people always wait, The last chance. To be good, to live their life well Or even understand, Why they are living.. Although they have had millions before They wait the last As if it holds a magic; That can change their whole life With no exception or harm It holds the best, protection and charm. But really, who knows? If today, Is his last chance.



The Elephant Fort Black beauties in chainsBefore the ticket counters, A long queue does creep To scatter near the black wonders. Ears and tails always move, Ruminating the rhythms of forest. Elephants are inside the fort, Exposed to the sky barest. I hear the hushed emotions In the clinking of chains. Hearts smolder in; Eyes emit lava of pains. Burning red wild flowers And tickling streams, Each elephant longs I know: But dreams die in chains.

FABIYAS M V (Anakotta (a fort for the elephants) at Punathur, Guruvayur, Kerala, India is a tourist place, where you see a large number of elephants together. All are chained.)


CROW VISITS WOLF (shaman haiku sequence) Altar bell clears consciousness prayer wheel spins day prepared on water tower trail 3 inches new snow glistens stunted trees sun flash all blue reminder to practice blue sky mind new shaman appears pokes snow wolf tracks wishes well blue sky mind crow call Milton Acorn? around around cawing crow circles kite mind string as crow caws where I stand wolf tracks cross

CHRIS FAIERS/CRICKET First published in “Myth Weavers: Canadian Myths and Legends” Katherine Gordon, Editor Serengeti Press, 2007 Published in “ZenRiver: Poems & Haibun” Chris Faiers/cricket Hidden Brook Press, 2008 46

Laughing in Text by Ritallin at me you laugh one hundred and forty character bursts we exchange like breath blood into air sky into body when my eyes are anointed by phrases tapped by your slender fingers i smile my thumbs fly  digits frozen solid each word liquifies veins of ice in my heart until emotion overflows numb fingers  pull the door handle i stand open as  an entrance one hundred and forty character bursts these messages show what is possible  one hundred percent of the time sixty minutes of every hour then once more you laugh at me.

© A.GREGORY FRANKSON 2011. All rights reserved. 47

Treasure Map If I concentrate on this X long enough, the intersection of two lines marks where heaven and earth cross I see the point at the centre, a sign: “you are here” This speck between seen and unseen, you are in this spot— one pinprick in the splendid— your life your body and all your loves reside in the electric now




Next of Kin Moghur the Neanderthal medicine man throws powder into the fire. A blue-burst of flame reveals a tunnel of smoke; he sees far: Chimpanzees share stick ladders so ants can ascend to their tongues, one chimp waves a stick through the air, conducting a jungle symphony. A gorilla coddles a kitten to her breast: Cocoa puckers her lips softly as if mouthing words. Somewhere a soft dark ape palm rests in a bone-yard of ashtrays and elephant tusks. Washo the chimp has been taught sign language, has learned to press his thumb on his upper lip to make the M sound— mama, me, mine.




Come With Me Come with me to the mountain. I’ve been here before. Your turn? Close your eyes. To the east, wind turbines fall below rolling hills, just slips of white whirls against a canola-yellow prairie. The west – a farm interrupting two mountain ridges that rise and converge at some distant point. I know where they touch, but it’ll be unfamiliar again next to your fresh eyes. There’s a red barn in the distance, and a tractor working its way across the fields. Let’s go meet the farmer. We’ll have coffee and pretend we live here too. Just for today. Okay?





KENDRA GADZALA Turtlepool 53

LAURA GEIGER A Million Ways Out 54

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy The crows are back since the snow melted. They keep calling with an urgency that no longer frightens me For during the deep winter, I became one of them, a kind of screaming animal, lighting only long enough to wake you from your dream.



DARLENE GLASS Mama’s Stew 56

TOADLESS She loves her pond Her little piece of nature In the middle of the city Her handmade bench Brings her comfort While she watches her fish Swim Back and forth Back and forth While she watches the birds Play Splashing Splashing Then the sky turned dark one day The grackle swooped down fast She never saw him grab it But she saw him eating it She watched the toad Fight Squirming Squirming She sat stunned She handpicked those toads She watched the inside of her eyelids Sat Crying Crying


DAVID GRANT A New Future 58

Whistling Women

A woman, living fully her last stage of life recalled a scolding as a teenager when she proudly learned to whistle: “Whistling women and cackling hens will come to no good end.”   Other quotes encouraged this view: “A whistling girl and a crowing hen ain’t fit for garden or men.”   Another 95 year old lady at a family dinner out was most displeased at all the talk when what she wanted was her dinner! Let out a horse whistle which rang out loud and clear, silenced the restaurant bringing the waitress running at full attention to a senior’s whistling ways.  



TERESA HALL Afternoon Outing With Papa 60

JANICE HARDACRE Down. On the Farm 61







ld Series

Heartbeats i hear the tree and its percussive beat heart beat rasp whistle of birds and bugs and merry thugs emitting a click of low grade energy life in a small stone sage smelling earth spirit shadow cocooned in a velvety wetness reeling under the power of a vast and sacred wilderness irresistible terrifying conversations haunt me rhythmic as heartbeats drum beats in a raw and brilliant place a future where searing light crashes to shore tears pool and new green shining things with wings alight



A Special Valentine From the moment I saw you I thought... “This is love!” God sent you to me from the heavens above! It looked like I’d never know just how it felt, to have someone totally make my heart melt. But you were the one to show me the way, to love every minute of each single day. It may seem I speak of a husband or beau, but I’m here to tell you that just isn’t so. My Valentine is a special one, and he happens to be my adorable son!




YUEYUE HUANG Portrait 69

NANCY HOWELL Angel Hearts 70

Angel Hearts

… the Guardian of Our Hearts …

The quest for love and passion exists As innate a drive as hunger The search to share our hearts’ desires Begins when we are younger To find a fit, we try and ponder Each one has desires Trials and tribulations leave us Wounded or inspired Hesitant yet determined Scared to bare our souls Experience with time will mend Never lose sight of your goals When sparks fly and lightning strikes Chemistry ignites passion Our guardian angels watch us dance As love never goes out of fashion!



Equus 1                  Eyes on each side of the head two simultaneous pictures 320°of the horizon the animal sees too much is ever surprised by unexpected                                                         events libraries of air when horses first meet they blow into each other’s nostrils    the signalling bulk               tail position    swinging    clamped     lashing  against the side body of language     language of body muscle tension                        arched neck Impatient nodding      bared teeth                             ears pressed flat back                                                            beware of kick   respect the beast for it like you requires       other   even the shyest horse when sick or dying will move dull eyed towards  warmth


Equus 2 meet the wind on the ridge of a wave glide play                      of liquid muscle   hypersensitive creature responds to steady voice                      repeated words                                        whistling cues   show them the boundaries but if upset by Sudden noise or movement they’ll throw off the uncertain                                              rider   partially understood only the crudes sounds are audible        snicker               Neighs                      And Snorts but the finer sounds are archived in the animal’s                                           stature


Upon waking and finding my bed covered with feathers I live with three cats. Sometimes I feel I live in a slaughterhouse. Half-dead lizards on the floor. Or a bit of tail. Large moths shredded to bits Scattered to far corners of the living room. I only applaud Cockroach pieces. This morning I woke to find my bed Covered in dead sparrow feathers. The body was there as well. And it came to mind – Are they bringing me their trophies of the night Or trying to teach me to hunt Me, their large, slow, oh-so-awkward And clawless Two-legged kitten For whom they have eternal hope.

SUSANA HURLICH Havana, February 2012



ERIC JUAN Squirrel 76

Small Beginnings I stare into the depths of the electron microscope at the writhing, twisted pairs of chromosomes weaving their invisible genetic tapestries and wonder which strands code for creativity, imagine the tiniest tweezers, laser-guided, plucking the lute of the muse.




Sundial House Sundial house on a heather hill With a whisper of Spring in the air The bleating of sheep and a whistle of wind A corner of heaven you seem So long in the past since I tip-toed upstairs with candle flickering flushing my face So long since we scrambled down through the fields to a bus that took us to school So long since grandmother met us there with a handful of sweets to crunch on the way All gone just shadows but still you stand Sundial House on a heather hill



Touch of Spring Fever Heeding the willow softly cushioned with a flush of furry paws Warmed by forsythia ready to burst Yellow satin petals bright as finger nail gloss dipped in sun Trees hum with excitement As sky dwellers choreograph Spring songs Through the tickled branches I feel Spring’s velvet fingertips upon me The feather touch of love again



I AM HUMAN I checked in many months ago My fate I did not know But I was not worried I was warm and well-fed I depended upon you My whole stay through Maybe you weren’t ready for my leaving You were fighting and struggling I was suffocating! You were sobbing Urgent voices echoed all around me Suddenly I could breathe; I was free! (Years later…………….) I have many senses I have a conscience I am complex I ponder the purpose Of my existence I can think; I can reason I am whole And…I have a soul! I AM HUMAN!



To Eleanor A door opens slightly into the world of the adults. What is the mystery of Bill, Eleanor’s son? A child watches silently, wide-eyed hoping no one notices that she is studying every slightly raised eye brow. She will fold it all away and carefully carry it Until much later when she becomes Eleanor for another child. But what remains is what remains for all poets The startling first sharp taste of Philadelphia cream cheese on a crisp celery stalk And with it the realization that there are many mysteries to come.



A Time There is a time in the morning where it feels impossible to ever do anything you’ll be proud of again. I am having a rubber stamp made with the time. I will stamp everything I feel unworthy of, starting with my sofa and cat. I will stamp the position within an ownership society that even allows me to call something “my.” I give myself x-odd number of days, a vitamin regimen, a bulletin board, the puerile MacGyvering of motion machines. And machines to keep the machines running. And machines to keep the machines running. And machines to keep the machines



Poem A poem, among other things, is an optical shift, (it says no no no no that’s not it, this is) but call it a “rose,” and it smells just the same. You see, category is our only invention. The orange peel falls into “rubbish” and “barrier,” “spongy” and “zesty” and “plant life” and “fruit,” but where could it fall without us? When my mother says “God,” I accuse her of forgetting Africa, but Australopithecus is less real than church— I can see one! Through the window! Presbyterian, this one!— and I too will die, believing a lot that’s not true.



ADÈLE KOEHNKE The Egg Goddess 84

The Egg Goddess The Egg Goddess graces my rose wall. My mother painted her in oils and signed her with love. She rises diagonally from a tilted smudged shell. She is heavenly in colours of creation: sky blue, blackcurrant, blush pink, emerald. A madonna with a slanted countenance, she casts her eyes on her maiden bosom and fertility—her cheek aflush. Baby’s Breath dots her squiggly sapphire hair. A swath of yolk curves her oval body. Blossoms bloom on her womb. Suspended in albumin she dreams of Bleeding Hearts and Passion Flowers. I gaze at The Egg Goddess at dayspring. She gives birth to my imagination as my mother gave birth to me.



ULLA LAIDLAW That no one may know my joy Stills from video 86

JENNIFER LAIWINT (dis)entangle 87

Highbrow Music Criticism “Blitz” was certainly a contemporary piece, but Mortimer took it as a genuine affront. His cannonball plunging throughout the house was the most lightning form of musical criticism ever invented. Harold Schoenberg in a blur of gray fur. His dramatic dive under the couch, just high enough for him to slide home, was certainly overdone. The drama queen. It never stopped the piece from playing. Mortimer simply had to race around to find the right tone of complaint. Until the day when he didn’t duck low enough. It was amazing how he kept his dignity. Unless he was just half-kayoed.



FATHERS AND SONS When the rapture comes this memory Will still remain: two men Standing in a river, father and son Throwing a tennis ball back and forth On a beautiful summer day With a breeze strong enough To keep the bugs away The father throwing the ball High and headed straight downwind The son leaping, returning the throw With all his strength, the ball falling Short, the current bringing it back To the son again and again



ANNE LEON Follower of the Sun 90



Niagara Falls ( 92


(尼加拉大瀑布) 93

KENNETH LEUNG Lyric of a song written by Kwan Hong Hing, semi-cursive script 94

Fragments of today and tomorrow If only I could have been there To grab you by the shoulders And stop you in your tracks Make you freeze frame - for a moment To let it all soak in No it wasn’t the end Of your life Of all life It was merely a moment that added substance to the story Your story Ever growing If only I could have come to you With a few secrets from the future Your future But would you have believed me even if I did? Or would you have called me a fool for trying?




SARAH LEUNG YIN PING Small Rain Drops in Early Spring (poem) by Hon Yue, clerical script



SARAH LEUNG YIN PING Peacock at its beautiful mood (孔雀開屏----艷影)


CLAUDETTE LOSIER Keeping the Peace Horse 98

CLAUDETTE LOSIER Busy Intersection 99

LORETTE C. LUZAJIC I Wanted To Be Like Jesus 100

Directions They told me to be their son, to wear their skin, carry their blood, to live in their heart, but be restrained by their thoughts, to never speak unless it improved the silence, to never move unless it was a move towards something, to never dream unless it was a reality. it’s like trying to think to yourself but no one is listening, to walk down the street but not know where you going, to ask for guidance, and get directions.



Me in a blurb Why can’t you let go? I can’t trust Why can’t you trust? People have left me What caused that?? Friends couldn’t handle me Family thought I was crazy What happened because of this?? I went into children’s aid Shelters Subsidy housing back to shelters What has changed? Became a mom Brought life into the world Made three shows Have made it through rough times In the end what did I learn?? You are not alone, you can get help, you are one of a kind and unique. You are who are for a reason I AM FEARLESS








ANNE MARTIN Maestro 106

ANNE MARTIN Deliveries 107



No fly


y zone

DIANE MASCHERIN As it ever was 110

NICOLE MANDELIS Fractured Loyalties 111

NOLA MCCONNAN Windy Day in January 112

ALAN MCKEE Rain Haiku 113

Endings no door slammed, no harsh, loud words hung in the air a faint breeze whiff of change blur in peripheral vision heart turned imperceptible leakage droplets left splattered upon a sidewalk of hope wearisome slow step down the corridor of mind to find the rest of my life



Dark Side She waits in the shadows teeth gnashing on old bones marrow dripping from wounds ripped afresh Reluctant outstretched hand touching gnarled fingers encrusted with pains of needless regret There is a horror a recoiling from that which is wholly owned unbelievably familiar Dark eyes, gray with loneliness hair, dried with the stains of forgotten bleeds forgotten lovers, forgotten needs The poisons drop endlessly into the dark caverns abysmal bowels of age endless inferno of rage




LISA NG Pickled Snake and Friend 117

The Bridging Challenge

consider the future intrigue, sustainability, mirrors, panic, human kindness   beyond texting, sexting, phoning, droning, googles and oodles of information, hearts beat in rhythm, the universe awakens.   a bridge is the future walk towards her, see beyond misinterpretations. shining light meets us halfway   we come together as friends what had been two arriving, left as one.   There was a bridge of mortar, steel, sweat and ingenuity constructed by humans There is a bridge constructed of human kindness, made with risk, warmth, friendship and derring-do.  



She-Devil A she-devil visited me last night A red-skinned vision of carnal delight Her breasts and nipples were afire Her tail beckoned me to lie down beside her With eyes aflame and horns on her head She slithered her way to the top of my bed I felt her forked-tongue licking and caressing my ear She flashed a wicked smile as she drew her body near Stretching out her wings, she suddenly let out a scream And in a full sweat, I awoke from my dream



Jeopardy!, February 14, 2011 One thing we laughed at was the computer they’d trained to compete on Jeopardy!. But only when it picked the Daily Double right off the bat. There was no question of how it answered the questions; we already knew they could find library books and tear open our kidneys with close precision, so even our greatest surgeons marvel. The truth is, all is lost. We are office workers too focused on our last drops of coffee, the fecal runoff of yet another machine. It isn’t fair that better things are made and done by our obvious betters.



Chiaroscuro 1. So many angels I never thought that seraphs would move like robots stiffly crowding around me blocking out all the darkness. 2. Those who claim to live amid luminous digits have not known the fear of their faces made garish in the light of laughing screens. 3. I keep to the dark soft sweetness of mystery, abandoned chapels that hold the fragmented wings of angels lost, departing.



rainy walk like a grey puma jumping over the cityline like two vigrants sharing jokes in a transit shelter watching the rain like waiting captive to a call that might just come feeling a water drop feeling colour creating humor making it all worth something to you Â




Humanity in-transit Where are we on this train of chance? Two-dimensional people coming and going, Only when our shoulders meet do I know you’re real, Too absorbed into yourself to absolve from observation, So many smells smelling so many things, A nasal buffet of perfumery and gastric adventures, Attempts to escape from glass eyes profit in sepulchral tombs of unfinished meals laid to rest under the heals of rich women, Vandalism documents civilization, Cold virus depicts the human experience, On this train of chance, We are one human family.


Ambulatory Audiology Dear Sir or Madam, you may feel munificent, Sharing your music in a manner flamboyant In our subway car, ear-phones no deterrent To your emanating noises, so very abhorrent. You may want to broaden my musical taste, You should know, your efforts are a waste, My musical choices are much more sedate, To expand my horizons - it is far too late. Perhaps you are trying to impress me, With state-of-the-art Apple technology, Or Android device, with a trendy mod, Hate to tell you, I have a loaded ipod. To impress, try reading John Keats, And abandon ye, your killer beats!



Bereavement Outside the crematorium Dr Henry waits in the snow, whilst inside, his grandmother’s body burns to ash. She who had taken him in; clothed and fed him; made him laugh or dried his tears; rebuked or commended him; commiserated or celebrated with him; she who gave much and took little, had collapsed two mornings ago, moments after thrusting into his coat pocket “a snack because an ER doctor never has time to get food�, He retrieves the two-day old bread and cheese from his coat pocket and eats his first food since her death. It is his finest meal ever.



A Memory of Tropic Night Rain on a Leaking Roof Plop plop plop… Droplets from the roof above fall rhythmically into the tin bucket below. Heavy rain drumming on the corrugated galvanized roof and wind wailing among trees and houses accompany the song. Snug in the same bed, we children are the audience. Lightning pierces the darkness through gaps in the wooden walls. Staccato bursts of thunder rise to a crescendo, drowning the music. Momentary silence ensues. Splat splat splat… A new and different tempo commences in another part of the room. Plop splat plop splat pop splat… Two rhythms blend harmoniously. Father sighs and fetches another bucket.



Your smile I cannot help but stare at your smile, I cannot take my eyes off it, even for a while, and at the same time, remembering all the pain and sorrow of loves past, I keep saying to my self, “be careful, do not fall in love�, even if it would be a sign from above reminding me that love is a part of life.



RITA RIDAZ-LEPSI Thinking About the Future 129


M.T. RIVERS Fall Sisters 130


M.T. RIVERS That Moment 131


an afternoon well spent the rains in the sultry afternoon, packets of cigarettes, a guitar; the ashtray switching hands to bury all that’s outdone: only one solitary smoke defiant, transmitting a desire to defeat oblivion         six living creatures sing together, smile together, suspect together; the guitar switching hands to revive all that’s dead: only one solitary corpse defiant, transmitting a desire to remain buried  

SOURADEEP ROY First published in “Static Poetry III”


First More Love I dreamed a dream, wherein I held my girl: Priya, with the wild curls, and the scrunched-up giggle nose. Grenadine-and-orange-juice the sky colors, moving the clouds, and it seemed the expanse writhed to birth the sunset. Though still light, my watch read midnight and I said, “Look, ducky. Jesus is coming.” She got happy, she clapped, reached up for God to pick her up, toss her to the stars and catch her. But my face felt hot like a thousand ovens opened for bread, for, I said, “Not yet, God. First I was going to love You more.”



Thank You, From India • Flight over • Western toilets • Toilet paper • Antibiotics • Basil • Vitamins, prenatal • Learning Hindi • No rats • Electricity • Working tap • Phone cards • Pregnancy • Filter • Electricity • Second trimester, eventually • Vomiting less • No malaria yet • Finding soybeans • Tofu craving met • Not allergic to mold • Found hospital • Only third one checked • It was clean • …ish. • Access to info-- internet • Knowing why it hurts so bad • Breathing deep • Speaking Hindi • “It’s a girl.” • Meri beti ho gayi.


A Journey of Healing When there’s light at the end of the tunnel even the pain is good You gotta love your pain When the choice is to laugh or cry you might as well laugh The answer is in the blood Music can save you from the pain Last night I lay awake I couldn’t sleep I listened to the wind howl It whipped the trees The rain fell The loneliness of the wind my soul mate Things happen for a reason Pain is a greater teacher than pleasure



alone it’s so dark the silence is smothered by black no one to see, no one to listen to. “hello?” there’s a hollow tenseness as the echo is swallowed. no one knows that I’m here on my own in this cramped aloneness. it’s tight right side up and jammed wrong side down. the floor is the ceiling the ceiling, the floor two walls meet in eternity my body clings to the corner there is no one to seek me while I’m hiding





KOREEN SIMON Itchy Goose 139


WHISPERS the moon now a faint wisp in the cloud-filled sky whispers cover the sidewalk and fall into the earth the green-rusted brass bell tomorrow rings into silence the dull thud of continuing empire claims so many lives from evening until night time the same expression captures the ever-receding tree-lined horizon the leaves of so many oaks maples birch and willow litter the expanse and bend into endless fields what shadows the wild tall grass aspire to contain those bright lights waiting to explode upon the sleeping hills




Stopwatch Don’t tell me your answer. I understand the gravity of words. The weight of your past. The boulders you carry. Call me friend. Brush my arm subtly. Take things slow. There’s time to spare -on walks to nowhere. In the wilderness we will find a chorus. Constellations, satellites shall set the scene. This hallowed moment with you, each second discovering a new excuse to drag our feet. I will give you a timepiece with broken arms. ... it cost me everything. Time isn’t going anywhere. Neither am I.



Just another day another year in our present darkness, where you can barely make out the eastern star, unless you cut through the haze, but how wise is that? Mangers dismantled, crosses scrapped, replaced with pre-fab Babylons, tortured tongues ask directions & still there’s no room at the inn. With Christmas & Easter always just around the corner, wearing egg on our faces, we crucify the true meaning of everything, hoping to resurrect peace & joy, toasting the new year in the company of madmen.



LYNN TAIT Portrait of an Artist as a Young Pelican 143


ANGELA THOMAS Rendille Woman 144


ANGELA THOMAS Samburu Woman 145

JACK TOBIN Lowland Gorilla 146

JACK TOBIN Plains Bison 147

SZONJA VUCSETICS Woman Watching the Snow 148

SZONJA VUCSETICS Fire and Snow 149

A Pair of Waterfowl They sing of independence, splashing to tunes of raindrop on the roof Stormy Dancing: title of the night and I can tell they’re content, rhythmically swaying to river’s flow although the rest flew south



The Hum of After The Cicada’s hummed high pitched desperate to mate. Hot summer afternoons lust laden drenched in each other. As you come into me breath lost my mind wants. Moments in between clinging tight pants of coital hunger. Smooth vibrating skin electric nerves hot breath against my ear. Your brow damp after glow radiating breathing to calm yourself. As your chest rises my palm matches to feel your heart. Lingering in whispers sleep overtakes I watch as you fade away.


Stepping Stone Moon I walk a landscape Of glass, concrete, grass, and Raspberries by the carton. Decorated by graffiti, Pour Boy Pub stands South of Barton. Cigarettes wink like fireflies. If I could leap Onto that moon, I could leap down to you. In homestead, I listen To the refrigerator hum In my kitchen. In a glass bowl Two rotten bananas lean forgotten With two impossibly yellow. Your mother says: “It is bad luck to return an empty dish�. She has her superstitions. This poem inspired intentions Of reaching out to you. Then ended reminding me I spent the day with family.



NATALIE AMY WATTS ocular_terra #4 153

snake woman I’m turning into another woman right now Not the one you married snake woman you cling to my shed dried skin, I rattle my tongue’s warning too late uncoil and slip away into the denizen night; stars scale a new sky.



Istvan Kantor Take Down

(Notes toward an essay in poetry) ...He is handcuffed and shuffled off‌ Some gallery goers take photos. What is this‌ this Neoism? Is this Art? Is there a feeling of the eternal in it? An ecstatic joy or beauty, an instant of transcendent wholeness, which for a brief moment denies all sense of time? Certainly there is a stifling of voice. And here, his art however intentionally, underlines the impotence of revolution. And for Kantor here, it seems the gesture of revolution is the very essence of artistic expression. It is an unconsciously religious posture, his act of rebelling a secular shamanic ritual with no end...



Another Life I want another life A better life A joyful life I want to laugh and dance And trip the light fantastic I want to soar above the world And do what happy people do I’ve had my fill of sleepness night and wringing hands Of one step forward and two steps back Of moving from misfortune to disaster I want another life A better life A life worth living



The House Across the Street I love to visit the house across the street Where love and laughter abound Where wine flows freely and passion is palpable And the goodness of life reaffirms itself In the welcome cries of a newborn child A welcome reprieve From the stagnation and decline I leave behind.



Boy One sunny afternoon I’m walking my dog and a feisty freckle-faced little redheaded girl in pigtails — couldn’t have been more than four or five-stops me on the sidewalk. “Hey, Mister, is that your dog?” “Yep.” “What’s his name?” I think about it. “Boy. I call him Boy.” She wrinkles up her freckles and glares at me. “That’s no name for a dog.” That’s a good point. I had to think fast. “Yeah, but — he comes when I call him.” She squints at me. Then she slowly nods her red head and wanders off to mull that one over.



Fox Love Her pretty face, a pale moon. His lips tremble like leaves. In a dream, their dialogue swims like calligraphic tadpoles. Behind the door, a warning sign hangs‌ footsteps fade into the forest. Day breaks earlier in this city. The morning tea reflects a fox’s shadow; he watches the crowded street: strangers flow i[nto a stream. Catching a glimpse of the bellman, he shakes a little. The tea spills. A disguise evaporates. Clouds form in distant eyes. Standing up, he raises a hand to adjust his tie.



FAN ZHANG The Fall-II 160



DREAMING Warmth caressing, I close my eyes, Daydreaming beneath azure skies. White tufts of softness floating high. On green velvet below I lie. Once you and I lay as one Under this bright and shining sun, Midst aromatic blossoms strewn, Basking in love’s erotic bloom. A serenade, the birds’ lilting song, I stretch skyward and hum along. Smiling in pleasure this golden day, Dreaming and humming the hours away. Wishing the seasons would slow in flight, Bliss unending days into night, Dozing in the light of day And dreams that draw the night away.



ZHAN ZHANG Effort on Fandom 163


Making a Living; Making Art BY:




n Friday, November 30, 2012, Scarborough Arts and Neighbourhood Arts Network launched Making a Living; Making Art, with support from Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario. I had the honour of being Lead Artist for the morning program, held in the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus.

by Patrick Connors

No happy endings No altruisms No pain I don’t want to feel By myself Late-night tip-tapping On my type-writer Old-school notions Change your mind By my words

Benedict Lopes, former Program Director of Scarborough Arts, and I formulated two questions which facilitated a live storytelling and poetry recording session. The wonderful efforts of six other members of Scarborough Arts made for a very meaningful experience, accentuated by a small but involved audience, as well as a power failure. It was a great demonstration of the relationships and spirit of collaboration, in addition to the writing ability, present in our community.

The nights get later The words don’t get deeper I need more time To get ready So I say… By day I bring cough drops of peace And comfort, for the man, Who said to the Cinderella Man, “You can break his ribs, you can do it!”

SELECTIONS FROM QUESTION 1: In response to the overall theme of the day, how did/do you balance making a living (ie. working to earn an income) with being an artist?

The world comes Anon to get certified 164


Allowed to have A similar conversation In fifteen other languages

me an autographed book of poetry by Irving Layton. I was enchanted by his words and began writing my own poetry. Irving would eventually give me encouragement for my efforts, and I now have 50 years of publishing behind me.

Glad that I, with all my experience, Don’t have to compete For hours…

There is very little monetary remuneration if you love to write poetry, but the joy of seeing your words in print is magical. I have always found time to write no matter how busy my life happened to be. Family, teaching, no matter what.

I’m waiting for the basis, Of what I am to start, To make my life begin Or, at least, to be in the flow; Which defines me as a poet

Sadly, I lost my darling David 5 years ago. My children have their own busy lives. Retirement affords me the time to totally indulge myself. Writing and singing give me incredible comfort.


Fame and fortune seem unimportant. The constant personal discovery is life-affirming.

by Joan Kehoe

Very few people can afford to devote time exclusively to the pursuit of their creative life. Most of us work for funds to live. To be truly creative is to be creative with time.


In the late fifties it was possible to become a teacher with one year of Teacher’s College. I jumped at the chance. At 19, I signed a contract for $3000 a year. I loved teaching, eventually earning two degrees over many years of part-time study.

Some people live with their artistic muse which, as I understand it, Is a bit like living with a tiger. Sometimes it’s great – they’re furry and beautiful and people think you’re very cool (to be living with a tiger and all) But it has its downsides too – there’s never any food left in the shelves They’ll bite you at whim And it’s really hard to do anything else – because you’re too busy keeping your TIGER from rampaging and getting you kicked out of your apartment * I *  have more like a feral cat that I wish would live indoors

I was already immersed in music. The church choir and a wonderful mentoring director sent me on a life-long path. I have sung on stage every year of my life since my early teens and presently belong to 2 choral groups. (In December 2012) I (did) 3 shows at Markham Theatre. I had already discovered the power of words, constantly writing letters to the family and friends I was forced to leave behind in England at the age of 9. When I met the love of my life – David – he gave 165


Every day I put a plate of morsels on the back porch and every day she’ll eat them Sometimes she’ll let me pat her, rub her bony back up into my palm, even venture into the house – so long as the door stays open And while it’s great that my rugs stay un-clawed and I can keep the cupboards stocked No one thinks me particularly cool And sometimes my heart aches for wishing she’d sleep in my bed But she doesn’t, so I accommodate I get a job where I can watch for her out the back door I stock up on kitty treats And I’m trying to learn how to purr Thinking one day, my small tigress will saunter inside, Pick a spot in a sunbeam And stay

mind instead having just enough energy to race through all the highlights of the day, and then insist on relaxing for the remainder. Regrettably, I found my art slipping. Never having enough time to write when the ideas came, and when the time arose the ideas would mysteriously vanish. It was at this point I decided to go for a different approach. Instead of having dedicated writing times every night, I began to carry a notebook and pen with me at all times. This would then allow me to scribble ideas and short pieces whenever they decided to drop into my mind. I maintain that practice today, ever on vigilante alert for the next idea to pop in.

SELECTIONS FROM QUESTION 2: Writing from the future, what would you say to your childhood self, regarding the role of creativity throughout your life and how to think about it?


by Amanda Rabey


Balancing work and art was always a very difficult task for me. While I was working, my mind would always begin to drift off to faraway lands. Opting to instead play with worlds of fantasy, over-focusing on the data entry I was doing, or the report I was writing, or the money I was counting. Stories about ghouls and goblins, dragons, time-travel, aliens and ordinary people who turn out to be extraordinary demanding to be written. Fictional characters pounding on the walls of my brain insisting their dialogue be recorded.Yet, I reluctantly was forced to bring myself to the present and focus my full attention on the next customer.

by Rose Anne Hart

Believe in yourself. If you want to make this world a better place, begin with you. Listen and learn from everyone you meet. Share your ideas with them. Trust your own judgement when sorting the good from the not-so-good. Don’t be afraid to share your talents. If you like to write, let people read what you have written. If you like to draw and paint, share your art with others. This interchange will help to improve your skills and theirs.

Unfortunately, it also worked vice versa. The working day would end and I would return home, yet by that time my mind would be too tired to write anything I could consider decent work. My

Read whatever you can find on the subjects that are important to you. Study and listen to opposing ideas. Contrast them with your own. Adopt what you consider good and dismiss what you think is not. 166


As long as you can do this you will continue to grow. Enjoy your childhood. Playing and sharing ideas with friends is an important part of growing up. What you learn in the playground will be with you all your life. Play fair, and do not exclude anyone. Know that you are good enough and so is everyone else. Belonging to an exclusive group teaches you nothing.

on a computer. Stay on the path to your goal, even if it meanders through fog and chaos at times. Fog and chaos contain insights just as astonishing as sunshine does. Collect and use them now, and in future. Your memories contain valuable materials. Use them whether they are pleasurable or painful. Use insights from your observations too.

Don’t be daunted by authority, but give others the respect you would want for yourself. Teachers are not always right but challenging the teacher in the class will only make enemies, and you will find yourself spending a lot of time standing in the hall or sitting in the office. Take it in, sort it out and keep the good stuff.

Free yourself from chaos that may confront you at every turn and entangle you. An artist must have freedom to create and project truth. Create because it gives you joy; because you are driven by your instincts; and because it is a passion and compulsion. Let your creations be spontaneous, or come after reflection. Let it be sincere, natural and logical.

Always remember that you are a person with rights. If you feel your rights are being interfered with discuss it with someone you trust, someone who knows you and loves you.

When you create, do it without ego and expectations. If you are rewarded with earnings to make a living, count yourself among the fortunate.

Above all, learn to love yourself because you’re worth it!



by John Jansen in de Wal

by Sheila Bello

You were a dreamer when you watched woolly-sheep-clouds graze blue, Spring-sky pastures through classroom windows.

You do not understand why creative inclinations are emerging from within you, nor do you link them with making a living. But a goal to make art is taking shape in your heart. Let your goal evolve. Let it grow branches and spread.

Your spirit withstood chastisements for “not paying attention”. It held fast, developed a deeply enquiring mind that appreciates the mystery and beauty of the sounds of words, the colours on a pallette the movement of bodies to music. You allowed me to become, a Renaissance Man.

Moment by moment, time slips into the past, easily and casually. Begin your creative writing now. If your first steps are unsure and wobbly, still continue. Save anything you scribble, even if you do it on a scrap of paper with a dull pencil. It will be handy reference in the future.You will write then, 167



Henry VIII I am my highest God Each breath I gasp a sermon My thoughts Prayers to the masses Of my body A thousand me’s In a hundred pews Few are kneeling, Some tell the children Shhh… Constant glances at the clock, When it is just too early God be with me, and me with God I’ll shake your hand Amen repeated, a woman in me And also with you In a church, in a world We’ve come dressed in our best clothes, Hungry for the diner, Begging for truth, Except my religion is penciled in comments Between each verse Amen



Oven On The mother lost Her daughter When she saw her peek open The restaurant bill And pocketed the seven-dollar tip Each time she leans To water flowers in the living room Or folds her daughter’s socks Into each other The mother wonders Is she less or more Of a child? She sprinkled why On each family dinner, Sits down last Her husband, Sat at the head Never serving himself Would daughter take her tips? The ones never Received after thanksgiving, Or Tuesday night dinners That night after Mother Cleaned the forks less And the knives more She pet the dog mindlessly


Numbers I am stalked by Nameless Faceless Figures Who whisper. Number One came happily Bringing sunsets and butterflies She called me special. First grade came and left The numbers never did. Six years old, Sixty numbers, Number Six came enraged Brought bruises and broke bones. I did what was asked Number Sixty became my new favorite Introducing white walls Soft embraces Smelling of rose petal fragrances One day Number Six got angry. Number Sixty isn’t here anymore It appears I’m alone I sit in white walled rooms Suffocated by rose petal fragrances Waiting for soft embraces. Skipping kindergarten was worth this!


Suspended Treat others the way you want to be treated Is what my mother told me Respect those who don’t deserve it and the one that do But never forget what they have done to and for you The words swirl and land like dust atop her brushed hair Making her think what they say to be true Only inside of her body and soul does the damage show Left alone to think of their lies She breaks and pops like the bottle of pills That looks a little too friendly Calling her name and waiting to bring her home





From th


he Heart


COLE BARKMAN Suspended Blocks 176

100 Words Unspoken He was soft spoken She was hard of hearing But somehow not a word was missed He forgot his pills She forgot her purse But they remembered to end every goodnight with a kiss During the game he spoke only in uh-huhs During dinner she spoke only in mhms But they always knew when things weren’t okay 45 years pumping gas 45 years of cooking For their unborn childs 45th birthday He walks in the park looking at stones He sees memories and dates He sees a name she sees her own He kisses her grave and he’s all alone



Doting Guardian Angel Full time job From conception That instinct said You were ready for You were there When I first opened my eyes To this journey I must live Unconfined like my old home But still just as comforting You were there When wondering hands Toyed with anything Because I was learning What everything was You were there When age caught up to me And I entered a new stage of life I was never anxious to begin But was helped into anyway You will be there Because you are my mom And I would be there for you



To Open Blind Eyes Nobody notices her Sitting alone In the back of the classroom Nervous to look up at the teacher Nobody notices That when the other children Talk about their fathers and their jobs She says nothing Because sitting at home Drinking alcohol doesn’t qualify As a career Nobody notices She is wearing the same Knee high floral dress She wore yesterday Because he did not feel like Washing the others Nobody notices Apprehension To roll up her sleeves Exposing patterns of bruises Lacing her arms Nobody notices Fear to go home Will they notice She’s not here next week




Villanelle The picture changed in an instant when your arms wrapped around you were soft-spoken, I was distant When only blues were consistent you faded colors down the picture changed in an instant All quiet cries resistant as royalty stripped of its crowns you were soft-spoken, I was distant With evidence persistent and sticky leftovers of a small town the picture changed in an instant Cruel fingers insistent I thought in silence, I might drown you were soft-spoken, I was distant I paused, noiseless, hesitant bruising like burial ground the picture changed in an instant you were soft-spoken, I was distant.




Unnatural Intoxication You traced the outline of my lips with yours, Frozen. You were intoxicating I was numb It was as if you’d stolen the breath from my lungs, but I was safe in your arms. You pulled away, letting air flow back into me. Then you gave me a look. Rewarding me with comfort, but leaving me with confusion. Was this the first of more to come? Or the last of nothing else? I was unsettled, unsatisfied, hungry for more.



Falling into Failing I sit in class While you force information I don’t even want Into me I try not to fall asleep As you try to teach Equations and Vocabulary and How to solve this And how to learn that You strip me Of my confidence Because I can’t find X Unless there’s an R in Front And prescribed by my Corner pharmacist I memorize the days And the years When man killed man And people hated people But I forgot my father’s birthday



Dying of Grief, Not Cancer The first time I saw her She was dressed in white blankets And her jewelry were clear I.V tubes climbing up her body Her shoes were paper and her stage a hospital bed I didn’t utter a word of comfort Because I was afraid of opening my mouth And the hushed apologies falling out of me The last time I saw her They took off the bracelets that kept her alive And covered her with a blanket as pale As her head I didn’t cry I cried that night Alone Because there was nothing I could do I’m sorry Sister




Van Gogh’s Self Portraits Wide eyes focus in on the mirror As steady hands mimic what the reflection reveals. He paints. He views life through the crooked window of his mind And paints not only what he sees But how it affects him. Teal paint crusts his fingernail beds And teabags of sleep hang below his eyes. But still he paints. His only goal To replicate the face in the mirror And have it frozen in time. So that when the tide rises To wash the Past away He will not drown.




Family Matters Oh us nerds, Our fights about The feeding hour of gremlins and Who would win Superman or Batman? Will never cease to astonish me Our weekends dedicated to Lord of the Rings marathons and Arcade game tournaments Are always amusing Watching Luke and Leia Swing to safety Indiana Jones keep his hat And Captain Kirk mack his way Through every chick on the USS Enterprise Is truly wonderful And there is nowhere I would rather be, Then with my nerdy family.




Visitor I sit, Feeling superior to those around me Because they do not know what lies behind the glass door Or the screams that shatter it I shake, Not only from the Antarctic breeze that escapes the faded walls But from fear that they will know my actions My dark actions I wait, Until the red line that races the jagged track of the monitor loses And walks a straight line where the only victory sound it hears Is a long, steady beep I smile, They will not know



Unchangeable Appearances I’m honored to point out your flaws: You may not have the finest hair days Expensive clothes are much too designer for your taste Train tracks ring your teeth And compete with your smiles Glasses cannot conceal your big brown eyes Bitten nails ragged along the edges And trails of red bumps over-take your face Perfection is a challenge We come like flakes of snow Yet no one teases them for being different Look at me, I’m short but pretty Ordinary but spectacular I’m like a raven in the snow I believe, My imperfection connects me to me.



7 Seven was a beautiful year The sun rose Because I was afraid of the dark And set only when I was asleep I could look in the mirror And see yesterday Through the spaces my teeth once filled “Different� was defined When my training wheels Were the last to grace the pavement I could spell every US state Beginning with C Knowledge like this Was hard to come by At 7, I was old enough To read a clock But young enough To eat Kraft mac & cheese My world was a finger-paint creation A masterpiece of my own





Crimson Sky She watched her childhood wash upon the shore; Faded capris and Nancy Drew novels, Balloons pulling secrets out of notes passes in English classes, Nicely sewn dresses from days in Sunday masses, She looked upon ice blue crests resting on tips of waves, Ebony pianos from third grade recitals, Posters on walls of women much more than idols; She smiled at the sea and hoped she was forgiven for losing her anchor for finding her way; She watched it wash to warm shores, in hopes if needed, she could swim once more.



The Power of the Eyes She is 28, perhaps 29, or even 30 Nobody knows, not even she Eyes with the color of green Sea Flashing anger, still glaring Skin like leather Jaws so soft Though eyes still un-softened Challenging the others Never known a happy day Never seen a happy day Never beamed like that of the gleam of the light at dusk “A Life Revealed… A Life Revealed…”



Decaying with a Smile By the time my skeleton starts rotting away in the soil we walk on I want to know that everything I ever dreamt my life was going to be became a reality I want to go scuba diving in the Caribbean bungee jump from the Golden Gate Bridge feel wind blow through my hair never back to down to the bully called fear When my bones become brittle my body weak and I’m close to leaving forever I would not have to change a second regret a moment relive a single day my life was everything I could ever imagine.



From A Writer’s Perspective I open my book to write words already there Portray heartbreak and Christ’s sake Amongst the thinning air I was never taught a thing But saying I never learned Would be a lie Crossed fingers Pinky promises Things that kept me alive Nowadays it’s the pen in my hand Bleeding ink-filled words, The ecstacy taking me Higher Higher I want to help the world to Lose its mind Want you to find something in yourself That will make you smile when you die I want you to pick up a pencil and Not be afraid to Draw



ANNA SITU Digital Invasion 194

Redeem This They caged him like a wild beast Engraved tree-shaped memories into his back Disease with no vaccine letting the Sun burn skin he was rejected because of Mentality is rotted like Sympathy that was never expressed Resembling the culture that was robbed Remembrance travels longer than Forgiveness because there’s a Difference between forgiving and accepting You could Never forgive, yet easily forget Please, excuse us For not erasing your so-called regrets We can’t bleach sins you Stained



PETROSE TESFAI Industrial Parking Lot 196

PETROSE TESFAI Duck in Water Cleaning Itself 197







The Waves


s of Music

MURRYN STEELE City Lights 204

HEATHER WOODS Silhouettes in Heart 205


Access Point Danforth Workshop + Scarborough Arts


was asked to work with a group of youths in hopes of creating pieces to be included into the Big Art Book. The themes were: human, digital, animal and future. These seem quite vague and huge concepts, but we pared down the ideas into questions for the youths. Having worked with youth before, I’ve found that all of them are exceptionally smart and creative. At times, they may lack the words to help conceptualize their ideas, but give them some pencil crayons and paper and watch the idea machines begin. Some of the ideas we worked with was: What would the internet be like if it was in the world around us? What kind of program would I be? What kind of future would I want to be in? What kind of animal would I want in the future? Even as an adult, these ideas are huge and daunting, but each youth jumped into ecstatically as if they had always had the answer, but no one had bothered to ask them the question. Often, a picture if worth a thousand word, but sometimes there are a thousand ideas hidden

BRIAN, internet if it was in the real world

those pictures.


RAHEMA, me in the future with robot 206


ARZO, future zoo

RAFIA, animal of the future

MAZIN, me-in-the-future

NAJMA, me-in-the-future 207

big art book issue 2 2013


BIG ART BOOK 2013: Future, Human, Digital, Animal  

The Big Art Book 2013, Issue 2

BIG ART BOOK 2013: Future, Human, Digital, Animal  

The Big Art Book 2013, Issue 2