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


Twelve feet of serpentine muscle slither

across South American wetlands,

lying in wait for fish and baby caimans,

coiled, ready to pounce and mercilessly

constrict unsuspecting victims

under the blistering tropical sun.

The intense heat dries out its habitat

and even the anaconda must seek relief;

it is forced to slink through murky waters

which eventually evaporate

leaving only cracked clay cobblestones.

Body encrusted with dried mud,

scales lose their traction

rendering the snake immobile;

unable to escape, it slowly bakes.

The mighty anaconda heaves in agony,

reptilian head thrust backward,

gaping jaws raised towards the sky;

silent screams

rage against its earthen prison

in a defunct river,

formerly a sustainer of life,

now a parched wasteland

where a once-mighty predator

falls prey to the elements.

FERN G. Z. CARR is a former lawyer, SPCA President and teacher.  She composes and translates poetry in five languages. She has been published in the USA, Canada, Italy, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, India and Finland.  Her work has been distributed in several other countries world-wide as well.

SS Keenora

She’s landlocked now, dethroned

river queen, gussied up with paint

and varnish, brass aglow

part of prairie nautical museum.

From her bow, nothing to be seen

but treetops, waves of grass;

sturdy paddle wheeler

that once plied past our Red River home

where four ragamuffins, imagining

staterooms of titanic size, crystal chandeliers

waved to passengers who weathered

cramped cabins, wooden bunks

a salon in which you’d be

hard put to swing a ship’s cat.

She carried the staples of life: bolts

of cloth, threads of communication

to places like Sans Souci, Ponemah, Gimli

Manigotagan, Berens River, Norway House, buffeted

by curling whitecaps, beating

into jaws of inland sea.

from Pattern of Genes, published by Frontenac House
Copyright © 2001 by Rosalee van Stelten

Rosalee van Stelten’s latest book is Pavlov’s Elephant published by frontenachouse.com. “The Three Sisters,” a concert piece for wind band and narrator, inspired by her poem of the same name and composed by Dr. Kelly-Marie Murphy, received its world premier at the 2009 Calgary International Band Festival.

on hardy’s darkling thrush (haiku x 5)

thrush calls in darkness.

you have sent me hardy’s poem:

a glimmer of light.

night surrounds us now.

we start a fire between us-

new embers burn fast.

last winter’s snow melts

into hushing rivulets.

water sounds green, lush.

thrush awakens spring.

all other lovers will hear

our secret delight.

alighting this branch:

a bird, your eyes, my fingers.

we touch now, at last.

Alisa Gordaneer writes a poem a day, raises chickens and kids, and teaches writing in Victoria, BC.

A True Thing

It is a true thing that-

as they stood on the government wharf saying their vows

he from Uruguay

and she from Toronto

with the marriage commissioner, Haida Gwaii,

he not fully comprehending the words he was saying

she giggling, nuzzling his bronze neck

he wearing a rose from Copper Beach B and B

where we were staying

she carrying a bouquet of mixed flowers

culled by one of the witnesses

from the gas station on Masset’s main drag

they wearing clean but not quite-dry underwear,

the only sweaters they had with them

his knitted by a peasant woman in Peru

hers by an aunt in Winnipeg

hiking boots he’d scrubbed with an old toothbrush

in the Agate Beach Campground out near Tow Hill

and silver rings

made by a woman who lives in Skidegate now

-a great blue heron rose

from under the sodden dock we stood on

and beat its way down Delkatla Inlet

over the incoming tide.

Anne Swannell is a painter and mosaicist, which  accounts for the visual quality of her poems. Anne¹s poetry has been published in Anglo-Welsh Review, Canadian Literature, The Fiddlehead, Malahat Review, Prairie Fire, and various other periodicals.