Category Archives: Poetry on the Breeze

Reading Cohen on Christmas Morning by Vin Maskell

Reading Cohen on Christmas Morning

Reading Cohen on Christmas morning
Poems of love and loss and yearning

The book a gift
From my elder son
Given on Christmas Eve

Poems of love and desire
And mourning
For flesh, for touch, for skin
For heart, for meaning.

“As soon as I saw it,” said my son
“Knew it was the one, the only one.”

Reading Cohen on Christmas morning
The house asleep
The visitors coming
But not for hours

On the page
The words are as sparse
As in song
But no sounds
No guitar, no singing, no chords
Minor or otherwise
Ink, black ink
On space, white space
Space to ponder
Space to wonder
Space to wander in ignorance

For I am not a scholar
No expert
No insights
But still a sense
That there’s something
In the way he moves
Words here and there
Doesn’t need many
Three or four to a line sometimes

Reading Cohen on Christmas morning
House quiet
Visitors still distant
My son two hundred miles away now
With his partner and her family
You can’t be in two places at once.

Reading Cohen on Christmas morning
Poems of love and loss and yearning


The book the author received from his son was Leonard Cohen’s The Flame.

Vin Maskell’s work has been published in Best Australian Essays, The Age, The Big Issue, Eureka Street, The Footy Almanac, ABC Radio and elsewhere. He is the founding editor of the music and memoir website Stereo Stories and director of the Stereo Stories concerts. His blog is subtitled ‘Tender documents, Gentle stories’.

This article has been Digiproved © 2021 James Fisher
Acknowledgements: Vin Maskell
Some Rights Reserved  

Two Poems by Denis Robillard (Part Two)

The Dark Marauder

Outside the city awakens
street sounds travel through us
like an underwater glass conduit
we hear the singular metallic
celebration of progress and faith
on wheels
marooned here on an island
of lambent thought
I think of the desperate acts dollared out
in the traffic of ambition
This constant vas et vien of vehicles
that tethers me to this place

At night, with days machinery
finally idle and gone to bed
I think of the highways’ open space
ready to flee
caught in the car cage
of simmering nerves
I am the dark marauder on
an endless excursion of aching sighs
eating up the verdant landscape
with my eyes.


Windows opened and closed

There was a window of opportunity once, I had
then it got up and disappeared another time
all the open doors left me. No leverage.
No quarter. No skin parlay. Everything was all
dried up. I had to bargain my way back to zero. Sum.
Some days fall off a dyslexic calendar
Now I am on the gauche side of 50
Tonight the stars nod in the absurd dark
we exchange vows with tired eyes, set our sights
on newer days, newer things.
Now winter gnaws at daylight long shadows retreat
Bones get colder. You imagine you are somewhere else.
A retreat to warmer climes. To seek again places
without borders, you tell the wind to stop
chasing us. Leave us alone for a while.
You swear by the inconstant moon, the moon man’s
shiver face, but no one wants to listen to your
frozen diatribes.
Memory travels like the blind zigzag of moles
beneath the surface of things
heads or tails something always comes back.

Denis Robillard is a 56-year-old poet and educator born in Northern Ontario. He now resides with his wife and children in Windsor, Ontario. Robillard was first published in 1986 and has had over 340 poems published in Canada, the USA and Europe. Recent publications include Ristau (Kentucky), Rampike (CAN), Ekphrastic Review (CAN), Windsor Review, LUMMOX (Calif) and The Nashwaak Review (2020). He is the past winner of the Ted Plantos Poetry Award in 2015 and the Cranberry Tree Press Award for his book, THE HISTORY OF WATER. His poetry book, ASK THE RIVER was published by Black Moss Press in 2018.

This article has been Digiproved © 2021 James Fisher
Acknowledgements: Denis Robillard
Some Rights Reserved  

You do not know by Susanna Peremartoni

Author’s note: Environmental protection is becoming increasingly important as we are shocked that our planet is living in its last hours.

From political forums to scientific platforms around the world, they are talking about a global crisis: a health crisis, an economic and financial crisis, a climate crisis and a natural crisis. These are, after all, symptoms of the problem: unsustainable production and consumption.

The shock caused by the Covid19 pandemic has only pulled the veil off the systemic fragility of the global economy and society, which is characterized by inequalities.

You do not know by Susanna Peremartoni
 
This force is deep and painful -
it weighs on you, its weight tingling in your spine,
increasing the weight of your own wetness.
But your bed is your coffin;
you sink deep,
your mistakes
in its reflections.
Your dream will be short,
like the smile of a pretty girl
which gives a little more hope
if you can go further.
 
And if you succeed
you don't care. Like a bad kid,
you run around, constantly destroying.
 
Your accelerated steps
You’d better slow down, now,
and look around:
What have you done?

This article has been Digiproved © 2021 James Fisher
Acknowledgements: Susanna Peremartoni
Some Rights Reserved  

Two Poems from Denis Robillard (Part One)

On The Road

My psychic knots unravel on the long road ahead
Bound in the world’s monotonous skull glass
we are slowly climbing up the maps’ back
into elbows of water
into flailed tree limbs
and the million tears of disappearing lakes
where deep in the dreamscape
electron towers joust the sky
this endless landscape bridged by metal
like simple mechano droids ready to
devour us all.
We transpire through the secret socket
of the once and only delving dark
where we turn slowly
the flimsy pages of a dream book
soaked only in bitter nostalgia
starving at night to ring up a 3 am fetish.


Variations on a Map

#1

The county borne map opens up
Into a vast wine stain on paper
Veins of unknown rivers
Splattered and splashed
From north to south.
My fingers ranging there
Over silent topographies
The endless miles
Of dyslexic travel.

#2

The river spans and we are
Without maps again
The pathless void of
Night traversing
Roads shunting over metal
And concrete to
Manifest Destiny
The borderlands-
Clear and present water
Moves history deeper
Into the future.

#3

Reeling hot, mad and
Circumstantial. We suffer the loss
of Emotional maps.

#4

I place a blue thumb tack on the map
Where oil used to be
Red ones for uranium and iron
Next place yellow for tungsten and cadmium
Orange for realgar
And purple for Indigo.
My mind now dripping with false colors
Ersatz ink spills out in floods
We try foolishly all night to pin prick
The stake holders of the planet.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Denis Robillard is a 56-year-old poet and educator born in Northern Ontario. He now resides with his wife and children in Windsor, Ontario. Robillard was first published in 1986 and has had over 340 poems published in Canada, the USA and Europe. Recent publications include Ristau (Kentucky), Rampike (CAN), Ekphrastic Review (CAN), Windsor Review, LUMMOX (Calif) and The Nashwaak Review (2020). He is the past winner of the Ted Plantos Poetry Award in 2015 and the Cranberry Tree Press Award for his book, THE HISTORY OF WATER. His poetry book, ASK THE RIVER was published by Black Moss Press in 2018.

This article has been Digiproved © 2021 James Fisher
Acknowledgements: Denis Robillard
Some Rights Reserved  

The Great Path* by Susanna Peremartoni

Bee hotel yawning

between the holes

glancing at open fields

north wind blows snow

eating our frozen fingers

They’ll warm up by the nightfall

a Chinook greets

beyond the great river

We speed up our steps

under the hangover red clouds

the summer is preening

I could hear it in the wind

and the bees move into their new home

my grandfather smiles beyond the clouds

* One of Canada’s many miles of footpaths


This article has been Digiproved © 2021 James FisherSome Rights Reserved  

About the author: 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. The Hungarian CD is available at the Rózsavölgyi Music Store, the Wave Record Store and at the Plate Maker. The English version of the CD is sold in two locations in Vancouver, Canada (Beatstreets Records, Neptoon Records). As of September 2020, she has been a member of the new generation of beat poets with the National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc.

This article has been Digiproved © 2021 James FisherSome Rights Reserved  

Indirection 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. The Hungarian CD is available at the Rózsavölgyi Music Store, the Wave Record Store and at the Plate Maker. The English version of the CD is sold in two locations in Vancouver, Canada (Beatstreets Records, Neptoon Records). As of September 2020, she has been a member of the new generation of beat poets with the National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc.

This article has been Digiproved © 2020 James FisherSome Rights Reserved  

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?

The blaze of her love in my life    beloved grandmother    that for which I would sacrifice anything  until I stopped    recovered myself    went through flames to freedom    now on the other side    of the country   in wildfire

and beneath the smoke, beneath the red sun and obscured moon, the memory, the kindling and sparkle, the footprint in sand, a bowl cupping cinders and famous ash

eclipsed until masks burn away, until my voice is the only flame, then gone into earth phoenix we are not, but having spoken our words remain, a singed orange sunrise behind a veil of smog

and the smog and heat foreshadow a future    a desert of thoughtless  sand    a hibernation of dryseed in the crisp cocoon of no time    all the watches no toc no tic    paralyzed by an idea of time missing as the heads that held it    heads once clamouring for more more   now now a whimper of nothing    dreamerless    no dream

to speak in these dying days    parched tongues    charred paradigms    how you burn   controlled and uncontrolled    devastating, freeing, alive    open mouth    vernacular ripple    ring after ring unwound

the song of the saints of smog    evangelical dragons flatulent with contrived hopes of a returning messiah   now their consumptive prayers have conjured apocalypse    laid waste to Eden    our smouldering garden    our metropolis of Gomorrah   our end curated by the profits of religion

elephants stand still   burn alive   no longer believe they have strength to resist   years of life disappear into oblivion as our planet heads into stardust   the pause before the next big bang

in towers of charred bone above seas of plastic, blood, and fecal rot   in wild flaming forests that will continue to swallow cities of the poor and deluded.

Yet we have forgotten the women of birds and volcanoes and warm home hearths, their bread and the calm song of cool eventide, morning of inviting sun beckoning growth rather than parching tongues

We have forgotten Agnayi, Aibheaog, Aodh, Arani, Brighid, Caia Caecilia, Chantico, Freya, Fuchi, Gabija, Hestia, Ida, Itzpapalotl, Li, Mahuika, Nantosuelta, Oya, Oynyena Maria, Pele and Vesta

O great Stata Mater help us now to quench the outrageous flames of greed and conquest to turn these fires back to small warm lights of safe home and comfort

O Stata Mater protect us now from the world fire, although we have forgotten you, or are all the forgotten Goddesses staked and burning in the heat of culmination, the friction of insatiability?

As the last fire goes out we bury ourselves in words   wrap them around us for safety   sleep in handmade paper   breathe only nirvana

sorrows of lost years dissipate   voice returns   after the fire of patriarchy that divided our earth when jealous adults took too much   her candle extinguished

I listen for her presence   spirit and soil inhale as one   endure   quiet quotidian sky

Goddesses abide as we invite them   fan the air around them   allow them to emerge within us  she who was everything still with me   how she would prepare oatmeal each morning   lie beside me as I gently awoke   a communion of being   ordinary light


Timothy Shay is the author of The Dirty Knees of Prayer and This Cabin as the S.S. Titanic. He has contributed to numerous chapbooks and magazines, including The Fiddlehead, CV2, Grain, This Magazine and Rolling Stone and his work has aired on CBC Radio. 

Cynthia Sharp is a full member of The League of Canadian Poets and the author of Rainforest in Russet. She has been published and broadcast internationally in journals such as CV2, Lantern Magazine and untethered, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Anthology.

Timothy and Cynthia putting the final editing touches on this poem at the Britannia Public Library in East Vancouver. (Photograph by Wendy Bullen Stephenson)
This article has been Digiproved © 2020 James FisherSome Rights Reserved  

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. The Hungarian CD is available at the Rózsavölgyi Music Store, the Wave Record Store and at the Plate Maker. The English version of the CD is sold in two locations in Vancouver, Canada (Beatstreets Records, Neptoon Records). As of September 2020, she has been a member of the new generation of beat poets with the National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc.

This article has been Digiproved © 2020 James FisherSome Rights Reserved  

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.     
Veins flow,  
leaves fall.    
I feel your gentle curves, 
embrace entropy, 
spread into earth, 
 the birth canal  
we imagine death to be. 
 
Inside the trunk 
palpable palms unveil  
a center of light,   
the paradox inside trees, 
a golden tunnel to the core, 
the moon a carriage, 
a whole earth in its cradle, 
an embryo to another world, 
an inverse cocoon 
spiralling beyond 
the descent back. 


In an Evergreen Altar  
 
Shadows won’t catch you 
if you beam toward radiance.  
Stay focussed and strong 
in the saffron night, 
no longer manipulated  
by misguided obligation  
to enter any darkness  
not meant for you. 
Inhale the auspicious candescence  
infused with the scent of cedar, 
a candle along a pomelo path 
to your inner child. 
Let the quicksand of depression 
dissolve on its own. 
Stream  along starlit stones in forest soil, 
through blood vessel rivulets 
to dissolution, 
the return to nothing 
reborn in light, 
arteries pulsating,  
universe creating, 
destination in sight. 
Flow to the heart, 
the inner transcendence of trees, 
a wrapped mummy  
in womb time bliss 
to eternity. 


This article has been Digiproved © 2020 James FisherSome Rights Reserved  

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. The English version of the CD is sold in two locations in Vancouver, Canada (Beatstreets Records, Neptoon Records).

This article has been Digiproved © 2021 James FisherSome Rights Reserved  

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

WAR MUSKET GRASS Bay of Fundy

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.

Yet I favour its peaceful clay to dyed denim & origin,

as I connect with those who fell for their flower & sleep inside

this bay of mud.

Today, hooves flit in Fundy sun,

safe & watchful over my eyes,

and I wonder if that story was ever passed to their offspring,

since man conquers on a saddle.

Come walk with me, sense a presence, their memory

dancing with tides, like a final oratory

along red cliffs & grassy shores.

Let me retreat from time & fog, as I fear ghosts & bellwalkers,

they swear the land still smells of powder.


Herbes, simulacres de mousquets (Baie de Fundy)

Aucun uniforme en vue le long de ce rivage,

le regard se contente de falaises couleur sang, d’herbes,

simulacres de mousquets,

d’un labyrinthe de reliques ;

la floraison de cette énigme pour mieux se figurer l’image,

au moment où la rose écorcha la fleur de lys…

comme un arcane soufflé par les lèvres amicales

qui nous invite à suivre les traces de la mer,

tel un pirate à la recherche d’un coffre, tant bien l’aimant

se réveille dans le sable…

Que de trésors à débusquer sous les draps scintillants

du cimetière marin lance-t-il à tout vent.

Mais je favorise l’argile teinter de paix le jean et l’origine,

comme j’amarre mon âme à celle de ceux tombés pour une fleur,

enracinés depuis dans cette baie de boue.

 

Aujourd’hui les sabots batifolent sous le soleil de Fundy,

hors de danger & bienveillants ;

je me demande si leurs aïeuls leur ont raconté cette histoire,

tant l’homme s’accapare le monde monté sur une selle.

Viens te promener avec moi, sens cette présence,

leur mémoire danser parmi les vagues, ce requiem d’éloquence

le long des falaises vermeilles & bord de mer fardé de vert.

Laisse moi me retirer de la brume & du temps,

tant je redoute fantômes & présages ;

tous jurent que ce bout de nouveau

mon desent encore a poudre.

 

 


Donna Allard is a member of the League of Poets Canada & an International Beat Poet Laureate, Canada 2019-2020

Ms Allard resides in a 1909 farmstead down a long dirt road in Aldouane NB. She has spent her life seeking, observing nature, people, universal energy & it’s silence. Donna also loves to photograph nature in its most intimate raw beauty. Her experiences lead her to the shortest light – poetry. Donna is the author of 10 books of poetry. She is also known as ‘Acadianrose’.

This article has been Digiproved © 2020 James FisherSome Rights Reserved  

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.” – from WebMD.]


Monday mourning.

            Feet grudgingly leave warm sheets to wed the cold, hardwood creak.

Water cooler grumble.

            How was your weekend? Did you watch the game? colleague banalities.

Evening fitness fumble.

            Clydesdale heels thud clumsily on treadmill belts, out of techno sync.

 Fading under a duvet, dreams consummate a palpitating heartbeat.

Tuesday tirade.

            Impatient unison of car horn beeps behind the hesitating merge.

Cadavers with coffee.

            Stride drags against tile, a colleague’s slurp of aromatic dark swill.

Cinema zombies.

            Cymbals smash in crinkling popcorn bags, a mindless movie soundtrack.

The squeal of cold brake pads cease when the car creeps into its stall.

Wednesday whispers.

             Should you take a sick day?

Yes, type the email.

            I won’t be coming into the office. I quit. Backspace. Delete. Send.

Daytime tv malaise.

            Repetitive tweet analyses on every channel ‘til twilight.

Flames flap in the fireplace while sofa swallows body whole, with consent.

Thursday thespians.

            Feigned interest in corporate goals gurgling up a parched throat.

Noon cortisol spike.

            Upward sentence inflection aggravates the wait for a vegan shake?

Gong bath zen strike.

            Deep breathing deviates by the neighbouring roar of a yogi snore.

Loose loonies clang in the dryer, waiting for pyjamas to warm.

Friday felony.

            Two days off. Eventually. A seizure of alarmed vibration on the nightstand.

Teleconference distress.

            Mute button, a small victory.

Public transit pests.

            Standing room only for teenage squawking.

Left earbud failing, the static of Morrissey’s contempt wails in one ear only.

Saturday symphony.

            A neighbour’s hammer strikes nails in the brain at 8 am.

Patriarchal revolt.

            Scorned scalp buzzed amidst dueling salon dryers.

Power nap revoked.

            Nerves on high alert obstruct fetal self-soothe solitude.

Punk distortion in a speechless arena where words cannot be heard.

Sunday sequester.

            Mountain peak pre-dawn, Vancouver still asleep in last night’s dress.

Guilt-free diet.

            Almonds in the palm vanish by grey jay sleight of wings.

Ultimate quiet.

            Clouds awash with wistful repose.

A few moments left ‘til Monday lifts the veil and we are, again, betrothed.

This article has been Digiproved © 2020-2021 James FisherSome Rights Reserved  

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. Sined Billy.

This I wave from behind the curtain
like a white cloth scrap announcing surrender
the fact “because” is spelled correctly
now baffles and delights
like chimpanzees at Remingtons or rows of Smith Coronas
banging out Hamlet or King Lear
perhaps the hardest part is awaiting dad’s arrival
discovery of my wit, my brilliance
the imminent deluge of praise
it wouldn’t be beyond reason
to be hoisted onto shoulders
lead a parade, with cheering, ticker tape
maybe a marching band

Naturally there’d be scheduling to address
requests to appear on TV
dialogue with Johnny, Ed
likely cajole with Doc
then again I may not be able to stay up that late
so sadly have to let that dream go
be satisfied with the parade
and maybe a marching band
I was thinking this through when dad came home
to find his boy no longer behind the curtain
just seated on the sofa
deep in 4-year-old consternation
with a length of Hot Wheels track and a limp red balloon
all attached with tape to a hand-printed note informing him 

not to sink I am here because I am not

to which he smiled, hugged me
the result much better than Johnny, Ed and Doc
ticker tape and yes, even the marching band
Now, more often than not, that’s exactly where I am

First published in BPR with Pandora’s Collective Honorable Mention, 2019

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