The Fire: A Poem by Cynthia Sharp and Timothy Shay

[Note from Cynthia Sharp and Timothy Shay: “The Fire is our response to the forest fires that devour the Cascadia region in the overly hot summers resulting from climate change. It’s submitted exclusively to The Miramichi Reader with permission from both authors.”]

What was the name of the blaze that warmed you    burned you    scarred you    lifted you as ash is lifted?…

Lisbon Morning by Susanna Peremartoni

About the author: Full name Peremartoni Nagy Zsuzsanna. Susanna Peremartoni graduated in Miskolc and Budapest. From the age of 23, she lived in Darmstadt, Germany, as a ceramic assistant. She has exhibited in Helsinki and Vienna. She published her first volume in 2016 with Black Eagle Publisher (Budapest). In 2018 she produced a Hungarian and English recording of a jazz poetry CD at Origó Studio.…

New Poetry from Cynthia Sharp: The Temple of Trees & In An Evergreen Altar

Author and poet Cynthia Sharp has submitted two of her newest poems, “The Temple of Trees” and “In an Evergreen Altar” written to Jilly Watson’s painting Sanctuary (see below) for a book they are collaborating on in future. They make their debut here in The Miramichi Reader.

The Temple of Trees    
Tangerine path opens  
to the universe, 
empyrean resin made strong.    …

Waiting by Susanna Peremartoni

Susanna Peremartoni graduated in Miskolc and Budapest. From the age of 23 she lived in Darmstad, Germany, as a ceramic assistant. She has exhibited in Helsinki and Vienna. She published her first volume in 2016 with Black Eagle Publisher (Budapest). In 2018 she produced a Hungarian and English recording of a jazz poetry CD at Origó Studio. The Hungarian CD is available at the Rózsavölgyi Music Store, the Wave Record Store and at the Plate Maker.…

WAR MUSKET GRASS Bay of Fundy/Herbes, simulacres de mousquets (Baie de Fundy) by Donna Allard


I see no soldier’s uniform as I walk along these shores

but fresh blood cliffs, musket grass,

and a labyrinth of our relics,

the unfolding of this puzzle to figure out a broader picture,

as rose clashed with la fleur de lys…

like an arcanum shared by a friend

who said to follow water trails

like a pirate in search of a chest, as magnet speaks closer to sand …

He said many have found treasures under the sheet of their own graves.…

misophonic movements of the week by Mala Rai

[Editor’s note: “Misophonia is a disorder in which certain sounds trigger emotional or physiological responses that some might perceive as unreasonable given the circumstance. Those who have misophonia might describe it as when a sound “drives you crazy.” Their reactions can range from anger and annoyance to panic and the need to flee.  The disorder is sometimes called selective sound sensitivity syndrome.”

Ticker Tape and Marching Bands by Bill Arnott

Ticker Tape and Marching Bands

I’m in the corner of the living room
4-year-old me
standing behind a curtain, with a softening red balloon
stuck to a length of Hot Wheels track
flexible yellow plastic that bends when held at one end
and attached to the flaccid balloon is taped
a torn and scalloped piece of foolscap
on which I’ve printed in strong lettering:

Do’t sink I am here dad, because I am not.

New Poetry From Deborah Banks

While Crossing the Field

Today in November's fading garden
a female cardinal surprises us,
that bright beak amongst the bossy jays:
a coral and flax stab of restrained light
in the midst of rowdy blue baubles.

Then the walk through the gold saturated field
where the wind has teased the drowsy grasses
into sloppy tufts, so many yellow dunes
ignited against a sharp sky,
beside me, your companionable presence
its own billowing season in my heart.

live romance at neptoon

(inspired by a frantic surprise visit on july 20, 2019, photo documented here by David James Swanson)

100 northern lights staggered southerly as strangers
bedded shoulder-to-shoulder on cooling concrete
shrink-wrapped in wakeful dreams
perspiration a running creek along sacrum
lava plumbed anticipation, flame-seared guts
i fashioned exhaustion like a stevie nicks shawl
angelic wingspan on the fringe, delicate as a needle drop
vocal chords, softly strangled in silk and longing
we waited for the nashville storytellers

a black sharpie tickled a number on my wrist
one of the lucky ones, marked for entry into neptoon
to jam against crated stacks of albums
alternating on tiptoes behind them all, tall and wide
two ceiling fans, like hesitant whispers
you’re not dreaming this
thrusted fanfare boiled over sultry heat and screams
greenlit strangers in surround sound auroras
palpable thrum of shutter speed
camera phone crosshairs for zeus and his trident
words trembled breathlessly through vibrating awe

how quickly romance becomes a memory
three days later, retracing drips of neon on the floorboards
the day the raconteurs came to neptoon
to sing their stories
unmasked in love

A Poem by Samuel Strathman

Wagon Poem 

A broken-down wagon 
is a precursor
for the rest of the day. 

Moan in pain,
clutch your side
as if your appendix
is about to flop out
like a flailing
psycho doll. 

Trucks and cars pass
by because everyone
drinks on a holiday,
and nobody cares
to pull over. 

Don’t ask me
why you decided
to buy groceries
before the night shift,
except you might
get peckish while doing
more of the same.

A Poem by Mala Rai

Alexis Applin’s painting, "Isolation"
(Ekphrastic accompaniment to Alexis Applin’s painting, “Isolation”, 2020)

tofino sunrise, 7am

last night i couldn’t sleep / a march storm rankled ashore / soldering doubt neck deep
harmonies echoed in the void / i tried to sing along in my head / an aural polaroid
tangled torso writhing in the sea / bequeathing treasure and secrets / anchored to me

kicking to the surface / mid haze sleep paralysis / center attraction in a neoprene circus
unleashed and my board is lost / freed from expectation / some of my minutes are unbossed
from shaved cedar a frog leaps / tows me by the hair to a totem / where I carve my dreams deep

light stirs some envy / before the phone alarm triggers / the safety of blankets in a frenzy
windshield wiper the sleet / anxious thoughts trim the warmth / sandpipers wheet-wheet-wheet
one eye open to let in the sun / voice weighs heavy / as crystal shards to mirror what you’ve done

Two Poems From Chad Norman


In Memory of the Barho children, lost in a fire, February 19, 2019, Halifax, N. S.

How a floor has nothing to say
is really about a lack of listening,
a lack of hearing, is really about
the accumulation of dust left
by a lack of human awareness,
or a floor that has been stepped on,
is really about how floors
are speaking all the time
with one wish to keep speaking,
but the silence of tiles
is to remain utter loss
only found in the dust
left by certain footsteps,
when I see how the sun found them
and allowed me to finally know dust,
finally hear how the floor
has nothing to say.…

Two Poems by Denis Robillard

Sky Grotto

July 9th, 2017

I remember those stark compositions I invented with the eye

When you sat here. I look up once again and the sky rewards me

With hints of its dark palmistry. Sky grotto. Sparks from Greyson elders.

Old clouds on crutches hobbling from east to west across the sky

Like grievous angels genuflecting.

And so the book fills in its missing chapters.…