The League of Canadian Poets would like
to thank everyone who participated
in this year’s Blog.

If there is a poem from a particular artist below who you would like to read, simply use the “search”  feature ” on the blog.

Nellie P. Strowbridge

Heddy Johannesen

Douglas Lochhead

Joe Blades

Edward Gates

Stephen Morrissey.

Cheryl Antao-Xavier

Robert Whiteley

Josephine Stone

April Bulmer


Lenore Langs

Penn Kemp

Katerina Fretwell

Charmaine Cadeau

John B. Lee,

Patricia A. McGoldrick

ken stange

Claudia Coutu Radmore

Karen P. Ouellette

Colin Morton

Diane Dawber

Ronna Bloom

Michael Mirolla

Jill Battson

Zarko Samouk

Nik Beat

Caroline Morgan Di Giovanni

Catherine Graham

Robin Richardson


Dina E. Cox

George Amabile

George Bowering

Glen Sorestad

Katherine Lawrence

Lorri Neilsen

Vivian Demuth

Micheline Maylor

Bob Stallworthy

Paulette Dubé

Jennica Harper

Rose Busolo

Rhea Tregebov

Rosalee van Stelten

Alisa Gordaneer

Anne Swannell


Heather Haley

Janet Vickers

k.g. Sambrano

Cornelia Hoogland

Kim Goldberg

Lorraine Gane

Sterling  Haynes

Kate Braid

Carol L. Mackay

Martine Partridge

Gwen Molnar

Angela Kublik

balance point

from Ride Backwards on Dragon (Leaf Press, 2007)

in ebbing light on rainslick

oil basted iron

track laid by men

from china in a past

century – men

handed numbers

for payroll names

to haul coal, pound spikes, die

in lungblack

mineshafts, chinaman 71 – i catwalk

home. each


mothdrops sure

(or not), inline or off

into luminous wind-tossed

surf of fallen

maple leaves, soft


of yellow palms waiting

to catch me

Kim Goldberg is a poet, journalist and author of five books. Her first poetry collection, Ride Backwards on Dragon, was short-listed for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Her forthcoming collection, Red Zone, about urban homelessness, will be released this fall from Pig Squash Press. She lives in Nanaimo, BC. Visit: http://www.poets.ca/Linktext/direct/goldberg.htm



In the forest

white caps ignite a dark sea

and as the weeks go by

skins split apart at the edges

torn ragged like flowers,

yet among the sweet decay

a red skull appears

etched with a loosely drawn “Y,”

perhaps for “Yield,”

or maybe “Yes, Yes, Yes!”



this room quiet tonight,

my heart still

in the shudder of rain.


This morning

a new appearance on the fallen fir-

tongues of translucent gel,

springy to my touch

and Thoreau’s words come back to me

from a time before speed was everything:

We must know what we want;

How much is enough?


The rains have stopped,

blue sky above the tops of trees

and in this morning light

puff balls spring up in milky pods,

white lace dresses the forest floor,

such growth in the month of death,

underground the earth alive with spores,

and some heaviness lifts.

the song the stream makes

a soft bell that plays continuously,

ocean in the bell

and all the streams like this one

sounding too.

Without darkness, we wouldn’t see the light.

Our lives pass through us to the other side

where we cannot reach them,

every breath taking us there.


Published in “Rocksalt,” an anthology of B.C. poets (2008)

Lorraine Gane is a poet, writer, teacher and editor. Her poetry, essays, articles and reviews have been published in major Canadian and U.S.magazines and journals. She has taught at universities across across Canada. Among her poetry collections is “Even the Slightest Touch Thunders on My Skin.

life #2

“we write to

taste life twice.”*

i write to taste

life twice and

have a second

belly laugh along the way.

* Anais Nin

Sterling  Haynes

Northern Bach

…haunting in its emptiness and bleakness and

starkly magnificent beauty.

–Glenn Gould, speaking of the Canadian north

Snow and ice, especially ice.

The music gleams with it, blisters, blinds.

Sunlight off each struck note plays

in the key of icicle.  Bach in a blizzard.

Each note an icy seed, footprint

in a field of white.

I deliver a northern Bach, exploring solo

in a whited out world.

What matters?  This step.  The next.

Small dance along a path

that glistens with the heat of  touch.

Black and white.  Etched ice.

I’m alone on this trip. No rope securely anchored

to another explorer, either front or back.  No map.

Only one dark, overcoated shoulder, collar pulled high,

my gloves, cap, scarf already moving away, leaving a trail

of dark notes, single black flakes in a swirl of white,

a starkly magnificent score of ice

and faintly, the thin hum of a coated figure,

that sound, that thread that ties us all irrevocably together,

B-flat and A and C and B-natural…

echoes of a well-mannered storm.

from A Well-Mannered Storm: The Glenn Gould Poems.

Caitlin Press, Halfmoon Bay, BC, 2008

Kate Braid has published four books of prize-winning poetry, most recently, A Well-Mannered Storm: The Glenn Gould Poems.  Her next book, Turning Left to the Ladies is forthcoming June 2009.  With Sandy Shreve she co-edited the first book of Canadian formal poetry, In Fine Form. www.katebraid.com

Scandinavian Picnic at Markerville

The idle burnish of an ancient cowbell grows courage on a barn nail.

The sun, bright as an Icelandic night,

sends a satisfied gleam across the buckboard-wide table

crowded by near empty silver-capped jars:  Gran’s jaw-shrinking dills

and vegetable marrow, prunes in sweet profusion, placed around bowls

empty of slaw and chicken.

We set out, refreshed warriors, into the bush

where cocklebur wounds, nettle gangrene fells us,

one by one into a respectable death, worthy of Valhalla.

Resurrected by the evening’s cool peace

we sing in the hayfield, sharing space with the giants of Jötunheim.

This impossible mixing of realms, of dwarf and elf,

possible only under a seafaring sky.

Carol L. Mackay’s poems have aired on CBC Radio and have recently appeared in issues of CV2 and Prairie Journal.

Crow Speaks from the Side of the Highway

I’m good at knots.

I like green pepper and Kentucky fried bones

and bingo.  The risk

of numbers.  Daubing

coloured felts on newsprint.

The sound. Smoky excitement.

I like glittery things.

I like glittery things in gravel.

I like dead things in gravel at the side of the highway.

Hubcaps with insects glued on.

Bits of snake.

Muffin cups. I love blueberry muffin cups.

Cigarette butts.

I like the mix of jewels and bugs.

I like things the way they are.  Bitter.

Lemon rind,

fishbone a week old.

People revile me.

They say I’m no lady.  No manners.

Say I kill baby birds.


Hey, a gal does some good,

cleans up the environment, recycles ­-

and they’re ready to stone you.

I like who I am.

I wasn’t born to porcelain.

I rattle a few teacups, make noise.

Good for a woman to make some noise.

My one regret is not making it into myth.

Almost but no cigar.

That raven flapping around,

making BIG noise, butting into line ­-

she scored all the tricks,

the interesting vocalizations,

the throat singing.

Where in the world did Raven learn throat singing?

Selections of Cornelia Hoogland’s Cuba Journal (Black Moss Press, 2003) as well her second and third books of poetry, You Are Home (Black Moss Press, 2001) and Marrying the Animals (Brick Books, 1995), as well as Crow (2007), and Gravelly Bay (2008), were all shortlisted for the CBC’s Literary Awards.

Photograph (Darkroom 1990)

I am a farmerabbotsford22
harvesting yesterday’s crops
or rather a pitchman
bringing coals to Newcastle

I try to count the years
as time in the photos pass-

A lovely woman whose
children by now
see themselves
in their own children’s eyes

Smell of remembrance
stains the hands
moves to the heart

These people were not old
they were not whores, or horses Book Preview
or heroes

They are my ship in the bottle now


k.g. Sambrano’s work has been published in numerous journals and magazines. Sambrano’s  latest book is Abbotsford Station (Invago Publishing) diary excerpts from a cross-Canada voyage.  Sambrano was also the Artistic Director for Freedom of Voice(95,96,97) and A Night of Dream, both fundraisers celebrating the written and spoken word.


Book of Children

Janet Vickers

Barely out of childhood ourselves

we have them.

Our lungs and flesh separate in appearance

but not in any day or night from now on.

Everything they do and say, published

on our skin. Every sacrifice we make

bruised in their future.

Love too urgent for reflection. The sun

shines through their eyes and music

from their mouths too bright and loud

to name.

It has been said they choose us.

A comfort when they become experts

on our mistakes. Those hours we trusted

our intuition when the landscape of their minds

were not available to us.

Blood and memory our navigational tools.

It’s not virtue but umbilical remnant

that keep us attached. Needle antennae

pierce the skin-pain such as angels

fly into, stays in our veins.

We are hostages, tortured by minutes

if they refuse to be well and happy

and we are the only deities they can touch.

Janet Vickers is an associate member of the League of Canadian Poets.  Her poetry has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies in Canada and the UK.


We plan, like architects

to bring the outdoors in,

parrot like realtors

the charms of a tree house,

for up on this hill,

birdsong is tangible.

We always get

what we want, camouflaged

within our mossy cabin, high

above the threshold

of discovery. Open sky.

360 degree views.

Proximity to water.

Reliable food sources. Plenty

of nesting material. Gravel flies

from under the foot of a rabbit

fleeing a resident eagle.

Ravens and stellar jays battle

over kibble, shit bomb the deck.

They want in,

past windowpanes that trick them.

Frenzied. Talons flashing,

they enter

through a door

in the firmament.

I guide them outside, stunned

at the feel of wing bones.

Banging hearts. A hummingbird goes

stillborn in the cup of my hands,

then, buzzers off, leaving a tang

in my throat, a ring

of ruby dust on my finger,

incriminating as pollen.

A Canadian national treasure,² poet, author, musician and media artist Heather Haley has been published in numerous journals. She is the author of Window Seat, forthcoming on Ekstasis Editions and Sideways, (Anvil Press) described as “brawny and uncompromising” and “supple and unusual.”  www.heatherhaley.com