National Poetry Month
Canada April 2020

Happy Poetry Month! Here are 30 daily poems by
Townships women writers, for your enjoyment.
(thanks to Angela Leuck for organizing this plan!):



We have arrived at the last day of Poetry Month!
ANY PORT IN A STORM, by Esther Saanum

In the calm after the storm
We ride the gentle waves
In the waters off Port of Hope
Driven off course
By an epic wave of a media storm
We furled our sails
Riding it out
Offshore now we’re watching
For signs of life renewed
Gulls wheel above crying disconsolately
Barking seals lay on the rocks
In the depths from which we sailed
Whales spouted as they migrated
A polar bear swam to dry land
The Coast Guard radios
“Do you folks need help?”
Starboard flag at half staff
They drop food and fresh water
In an envelope a message:
There’s a reason for the word ‘can’ in Canadian
We can get through this together

Esther Saanum, born in the Eastern Townships, still resides here with her husband and two dogs on a farm near North Hatley that offers lovely views and much inspiration for her prose writing and poetry.


For the penultimate day in Poetry Month:
PARANOIA, by JB Warren

On sidewalks all over the city
snow melts
uncovering imprints of carcasses
- sometimes the rump
sometimes the neck –
of fallen

And now
the terror of a Chinook wakes me
and i watch for the special service vans
that patrol the city
scooping up dead giraffes
as soon as they hit the ground
Thud draaaaag
into the vans and off to the place
the secret spot
where they unload the carcasses
pile them high

i know
one night i will see a giraffe
and then i'll see a van
Why are all the giraffes dying?
and i
will jump out of bed and follow that van
to the place where they pile the giraffes
and with me i will have
lots and lots of bibles soaked in gasoline
and bushels of eucalyptus
bushels and bushels of lovely smelling eucalyptus
and i will light each bible
and throw it
into those beautiful brown-eyed patterned bodies
one by one
until i have a pyre
And when it's burning nicely

i'll throw the eucalyptus on

(Previously published in Prairie Fire, Volume 12, Number 3, 1991)


For Day 28 of Poetry Month:
FOR JENNIFER, by Catherine Campbell

I went to the woods
On a cool spring night
For the warmth of my home
Singed the ends of my mind.

I entered the darkness
Of the surrounding woods
And the lights of my home
Shone far away.

I accepted the vastness
Of this particular pain
For the voices and laughter
Sent me to silence.

I have dwelled in silence
I have moved in shadow
Though in the warmth of my home
I seemed to exist.

And laughter and love and warmth
Were all mine
But I walked away
And went to the woods.

Catherine Campbell lives in Birchton with her dog and horse and works at Bishop's University.


And now, for Day 27 of Poetry Month:
by Kathleen McHale

The Arctic Lupine sleeps beneath
Centuries of snow. The seeds
Are solid in their knowledge of the bloom to come.
Seconds and minutes; hours and days; weeks and months;
Years, decades and centuries lie down and press their weight
On layers of snow and
The seeds beneath.
Whispers of mauve are barely heard in the Yukon moment;
No one stops and murmurs, “Listen.”

Imagine the silence of ten thousand years

Varieties of this seed are used by the Navajo to call
To female children and invite them to life;
The Nootka Lupine blossoms
Passionate and immediate. Fields and fields of deep
Purple, sapphire and crimson exhale under the sun,
Releasing centuries of silence with every breath.
Fragrance lifts up and takes

Imagine my heart.

(Previously published in Taproot III: Poetry, Prose and Images from the Eastern Townships, edited by Brenda Hartwell, Carolyn Rowell and Ann Scowcroft, 2004.)

Kathleen McHale is a graduate of the Concordia University Creative Writing programme and taught for many years in the English Department at Champlain College, Sherbrooke, Québec. Her work has appeared in a numerous journals and anthologies. She is the author of The Intimate Alphabet (Cormorant, 1994).


Day 26 of Poetry Month:
by Kathy Fisher

a duck flew over open water
yesterday a huge raven circled
the North Road field crows go
south in winter but ravens stay
Bruce says the big black bird lands
plants its shadow solid
between mound round drifts
buried rows of sheared
corn stubble scores
a black hole
into powder

i knew the lake would freeze last
night the bay was a black grin
steaming its final heat
into the night

you could hear the water
heave seize and split
in otherworldly

don't go out without a long
stick my father warns wear a hook
fastened to your wrist like Vermont
fishermen that way you can
pull yourself out

my dog runs out onto the freshly
frozen water of Sargent's Bay i
yell after him to come back
to shore he ignores me hot
on the scent of a wild

the ice holds him barely holds my heart
clutched in its mitt of winter fear
if he falls through he won't last long
my father slurs cold

it is a thin ice season we tread
carefully at the lake's edge unsure
of our footing a sliver
of solid cold between us
a numb death

my father confused from his stroke
loses days finds himself here
on the windblown grey slate

he calls after my dog strikes out
over water tapping his hook
end stick each step
a black hole
on the lightly dusted
hard skinned

(Included on the cd: think of me naked (2001), performed by the Raving Poets Band.)

Kathy Fisher is an Edmonton-based, Memphremagog-raised performance poet who writes with keen attention to the ear and eye. Fisher regularly produces multi-disciplinary evenings of words, music, and visual arts. She’s presented in venues across North America, Mexico and France and published in traditional and on-line literary journals.


On the 25th day of Poetry Month, enjoy this:
HER ARRIVAL, by Alexia Quraeshi

The gentle spring quietly steps in,
And we all breathe a bit deeper.

Purple crocuses rush to greet her,
birds rejoice to see her,
bees hurry to meet new life.

The calm, caring spring makes us come out.
Smiles return to tired faces who now say 'thank you'
The young race, the old sit to take in the new air.

The rain washes away the wounds of winter as the slate is rinsed clean.
The sun invites us out, and the chill reminds us to be patient
For warmer days are coming.

Better days are coming.

Alexia Quraeshi is new to the Townships and studying at Bishop's in Psychology. Trying to keep writing, to keep learning, and to keep taking life one step at a time.


Happy Poetry Month! Day 24:
CARRY ME ON (a song), by Trisha Pope

Cross the water, cross the sea
Let them fishes carry me
And if them fishes take too long
Carry me on, carry me
Carry me on, won't you carry me?

Among the snowy mountains, high up in a tree
A big brown bird lookin' at me
If that old brown bird messes up his song
Carry me on, carry me
Carry me on, won't you carry me?

Carry me across the Great Divide
Carry me to the Other Side
Carry me to where my soul is free
Carry me on, won't you carry me?
Won't you carry me?

Way over yonder, way up high
Let them birdies help me fly
And if them winds, they get too strong
Carry me on, carry me
Carry me on, won't you carry me?

Trisha Pope is a musician, composer, poet and choir conductor who lives in Sutton. She currently directs the Sutton Gospel Choir, an intergenerational choir at Town Hall and facilitates a monthly Open Stage.


Celebrating Poetry Month on Earth:
DIRT, by Eleanor Gang

The dark loam pours out of the box
onto clumps of dirt packed close
by winter’s chill and weight of snow
and ash from the wood stove:
rich, life-giving soil from
vegetable parings and apple cores,
eggshells and grapefruit rinds,
coffee grounds and tea bags;
nothing is wasted.
Scrapings from dinner plates,
tips of beans and celery leaves,
corn cobs and avocado shells
all thrown in together
to rot, metamorphosing
in that polyvinyl cocoon
into the black earth
that cradles the new year’s crop.
Parsley stems and tomato cores return
to the soil that grew them;
tough stalks of basil nourish
next summer’s pesto;
and all this flows onto my spade
and I spread it and bury it
and crumble the clods of clay-packed dirt
which, after years of mingling
with spring’s spoils from winter’s waste,
is still hard and rebellious
under my shovel and rake.
A clang of metal on limestone and
shale brought up by winter heaving;
these will not decompose.
They will not become soil
in my lifetime.

Eleanor Gang has called the Eastern Townships home for more than thirty years. She has taught singing at Bishop’s University; performed classical, blues and jazz; and has taken part in the Black Cat Writing Workshop for the past ten years at least.


On Day 22 of Poetry Month, enjoy this:
by Ellen Goldfinch

For us
the ones who love
crowded streets
theatres before the play starts
spotlights to step into
pre-party dress up

quarantine is a shock
the silence stretching
day after day
till the phone rings, but one friend
is not enough
to recharge, thrive

By day 14
the smugness of introverts
their love of solitude
their books
their cats

We ache to be in a stadium
with thousands of others
our faces painted red, yelling till we’re hoarse
at two soccer teams battling
on a wet green pitch

We extroverts
long to link arms
bold and brash
long to breathe in
each other’s faces
and exchange harmless microbes

Ellen Goldfinch is a librarian, playwright, freelance writer and somebody’s mother living in Baldwin’s Mills. Her play, Baking and Other Acts of Courage won First Prize in the 1999 Canadian One-Act Playwriting Competition and was short listed in the BBC World Service International Radio Playwriting Competition 2001.


On this 21st day of Poetry Week, enjoy this:
ODE TO A PILLOW, by Sarah Fournier

There is a lumpy pillow
on Philippe's bed,
balls of foam condensed
and bundled,
so hardened and wrecked
I couldn’t understand
why he’d keep such a thing
until I gathered it
up in my hands,
carefully molded
a cradle for my head,
rediscovered it
a peaceful cloud,
reimagined it
in this place
where I can rest
by his side,
in stillness let
my thoughts
float by.

Born in Sherbrooke (Quebec), Sarah Fournier is an inter-disciplinary artist who struggles immensely with writing artist bios. At once a prolific creator and artist-in-denial, Sarah dabbles in a range of mediums including photography, film, painting, writing, and culinary arts. This walking paradox hides much of her work in a messy home studio, sporadically mustering up enough courage to release some of it into the world. Eccentric and joyful, she also enjoys long walks and petting fluffy animals.


Welcome to Day 20 of Poetry Month!
FIGURE STUDY – WITH ORANGES, by Carole Martignacco

The point of drawing
has so little to do
with the pencil
so much more with the mind
and what moves through it in this act
of seeing, truly seeing
object and shadowed shape
across a checkered

feeling its skin
for just the texture
remembering other skins
I have touched

when you stop thinking
long enough to look
it is all stored in the mind -
all the oranges held, eaten, shared
amongst siblings, then later
with lovers, your children -
and all that is not

this scraping of the graphite
against the white square
a black and white cat
at the screen door
scratching to be let in.

Carole Martignacco, poet and writer, is author of The Everything Seed, an original origin myth for our times. She celebrates themes of nature, art, and spirit, and is best know for her obsession with the colour orange. Former pastor of UUEstrie for sixteen years, she now lives with her husband, David, in St. Andrews by-the-Sea.


For Day 19 of Poetry Month, this poem:

The world has come undone.
I have come undone.
A plague has hit our planet,
The world I knew is on stand-by.
Who am I without my trappings?
My possessions, money,
cars, clothing, travel, all the
things that I thought would
bring me success. Now
forced to look deeply
I realize these
things mean nothing
As the isolation
continues, I will
use this time,
to delve
into my subconscious
and search for
inner beauty and
true authenticity,
my id.
The journey,
this odyssey
I am taking,
will be arduous
and heart
wrenching, opening
old wounds and
staring them down.
Maybe, like
Mary Poppins
I will learn
to fly and my
fears will turn
into golden
Only then will
I find success.

Sheryl Taylor, a lover of beauty in all its forms,
a published writer and poet, former reading specialist.
She is fed by the constant alluring beauty of the
Eastern Townships, her utopia.


Day 18 of Poetry Month welcomes us!
SALT WIND, by Phyllis Sise

My beloved of the constant wind
You push the sea grasses to caress my arms
I stand in the place where we took our vows
wondering if the salt of my tears is joy.

Phyllis Sise has spent a lifetime constructing houses; now words fall around her to rebuild.

This series by women poets of the Eastern Townships was assembled by Angela Leuck, and posted in collaboration with the Lennoxville Library. Thank you, all!


Day 17 of Poetry Month!
FIGURE STUDY – WITH ORANGES, by Carole Martignacco

The point of drawing
has so little to do
with the pencil
so much more with the mind
and what moves through it in this act
of seeing, truly seeing
object and shadowed shape
across a checkered

feeling its skin
for just the texture
remembering other skins
I have touched

when you stop thinking
long enough to look
it is all stored in the mind -
all the oranges held, eaten, shared
amongst siblings, then later
with lovers, your children -
and all that is not

this scraping of the graphite
against the white square
a black and white cat
at the screen door
scratching to be let in.

Carole Martignacco, poet and writer, is author of The Everything Seed, an original origin myth for our times. She celebrates themes of nature, art, and spirit, and is best know for her obsession with the colour orange. Former pastor of UUEstrie for sixteen years, she now lives with her husband, David, in St. Andrews by-the-Sea.


Day 16 of Poetry Month dawns...
WITHOUT PREJUDICE, by Rebecca Păpucaru

Another day spent scanning emails
from frantic parents. Subject line:
They attach photos of fluids they suspect
are toxic, evidence I’m under orders
to ignore. My First Nail Art Salon
weeps napalm. A cracked Etch-a-Sketch

knock-off has been double-bagged
and is on its way to our lab.
Conspiracy theories about chemicals
and developmental delays now hold water.
The in-house lawyer has enjoined
me to begin every standard answer
with the shibboleth: Without prejudice.

The factory’s front is blank concrete.
I enter through a side door. At lunch time
I find doll parts in the microwave:
a measuring cup of fondued limbs, one
hand gripping the glass lip; a head, crying
its features off to a soft, hairless apricot.

The only employee without a car, I take
the bus to the metro. The #115 makes
a complete circuit of the park and its residents—
makers of pharmaceuticals and industrial
solvents. Men in cast-off ski jackets,
stripped of tickets proving the wearer
can afford conveyance up mountains,

hasten from the factories to meet the bus.
A sprawl of lunch boxes on their knees
while I balance this season’s purse.
They call to each other in Spanish;
occasionally, one smiles at me;
I bring out my paper. Endangered seals
eating endangered salmon.

The bus stops across the street
from the station, a block from the cross
walk: a death trek in winter. I jaywalk
along with the men across two lanes
of rush-hour traffic. Only I know,
it’s not the cold that kills, but what
a body must do to stay warm.

Copyright © Rebecca Păpucaru,2017, The Panic Room, Nightwood Editions

Rebecca Păpucaru was awarded the 2018 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry for her first collection, The Panic Room, which was also a finalist for the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry (Quebec Writers’ Federation) and longlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award (League of Canadian Poets). Her poems have appeared in several anthologies, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English.


Poetry Month, Day 15:
IN GRETA WOODS, by Adele Ernstrom

In Greta Woods Cotman painted antinomies of flux and stasis.
'Colouring' from nature, he caught accident in the tremor of leaves
the antic posturings of birch stems
a current rushing around streambed stones
Against such vagrancy he raised the geometry of Greta Bridge
and in Chirk Aqueduct a frame and monitor of nature's fickleness.

Joining history and nature Cotman conjured a solitude after Poussin.
A hanging wood descends from solemn cliffs
and, entering a pool of light,
resumes direction in the river's path, a stillness.

Most apodictic, his Waterfall in oil,
is cut by frame at midpoint of the water's drop.
Issuing from a masonry surround, the cataract stands arrested
threads of pigment tracking lines of force: the enchantment of paint.

Adele Ernstrom is an art historian retired from Bishop’s University. Her publications treat landscape painting of the era of William Turner and John Sell Cotman as well as women in the writing of art history, especially Anna Jameson. A sometime collagist, she is also interested in poetry.


Happy Day 14 of Poetry Month!

POEM ON A RAINY DAY, by Jan Draper

Somewhere else. Away. Far from here.
It’s warm and the sun shines.
People sell fruit, vegetables under an
Unnerving sun and music plays. And
Green. There is green all over. Glossy.
Green leaves along the river’s bank
And water, warm and brown, swirls
round your boat, as you sit in your pink dress
And under your pink umbrella
And floating down the flowing river
In the sun.

Jan Draper teaches English in China and coordinates
'Write Here Right Now' in the Eastern Townships.


Welcome to Day 13 of Poetry Month:
Āhāra (nutriment), by Ann Scowcroft

Obvious: anything cooked with lemon grass anything
sprinkled with fresh coriander anything for which
an essential ingredient is dew also raspberries or arugula
anything that sets your mouth on fire anything that cools
it anything you didn’t cook yourself then young leaves from
dandelions broken through crusted snow how you crave
bitter after all that cold skinned stems of lotus flowers
sliced paper thin sprinkled with vinegar also bread from
ovens sunk in the earth groundnuts roasted in sand
flaming custards the lazy suspension
of cooled coconut water

Fundamental: a lover enfolding you as he sleeps the belly
ballast of a young child that child’s abandoned collapse
in your arms how the body remembers from that moment on
when it bends to gather anything at all flowers firewood the
child himself grown beyond your height the territory
of one glass too many your wildness your
wildness the body inhabited by music the vocal chords resonating
in a small room full of women each singing only one note how
a friend can embrace you bring forth all you have held and
love you anyway how everything, finally, is reduced to arms and
your willingness to extend or be received by them

Difficult: silence
how you have dreamed the fathomless
eyes of your teacher how you have had to learn there has never
been a moment in which you were not forgiven how this means
you must learn to walk all over again without the counterbalance
of your misery every single day
how this means that sometimes now you can hear the
beauty of a crow feel tenderness for all that must collapse your
body your memory and above all
your delicately wrought plan to escape from here

from The Truth of Houses, Brick Books, 2011
Ann Scowcroft lives, works and writes near Kingscroft.


For Day 12 of Poetry Month, and Easter Sunday:
THE DEP LIFE, by Camille Bouskéla

The day passes as people come in and out,
uncertainty written on their faces,
a gamut of stories, reflections of the whole:
a worker laid off with no income in sight,
an oblivious drunk with no personal bubble,
an anxious student whose family lives away,
an older gentleman, confused, perhaps lost,
a single working mother with a bouncy kid.
A snippet of the wider picture as I
witness in silence behind my counter
offering perhaps some respite,
a sense that things are somewhat normal.
My role is to (ob)serve.

Camille Bouskéla grew up in North Hatley and calls the Eastern Townships home. A recent graduate of Bishop’s University where she studied philosophy and religion, she is the current president of UU Estrie.


Poetry Month, Day 11 brings us:
by Angela Leuck

This morning I discovered—thanks to an email from a friend
referring me to the BBC article—the world of David Hockney,
the 83-year-old British painter, once such an iconoclast, now

serenely sketching nature, the apple, cherry, pear and plum
trees just starting to flower outside his home in Normandy,
where he lives with his beloved dog Ruby and his two

(less-beloved?) assistants. The old master, as an act of social
generosity, has made available to the public at no cost
(his work The Portrait of an Artist sold for $90 million at Christies!)

ten of his latest soothing works, reassuring us, that no matter
the pandemic, you can’t cancel spring. The drawing that
most catches my attention is the one of a tree with its first

scattered showing of white blossoms against an unmarred
azure. But it’s that tree house up there among the boughs
that I don’t trust—I feel if I were to climb the ladder

up to the platform, which appears to be held up only
by Hockney’s whimsically painted, supporting beams, it might
just collapse and take all of us with it.

Angela Leuck, an award-winning poet, has been published in journals around the world. She is the author of four poetry collections and editor of numerous anthologies, the most recent: Water Lines: New Writing from the Eastern Townships of Quebec (Studio Georgeville, 2019). She lives in Hatley with her poet-husband Steve Luxton.


Good Friday, Day 10 of Poetry Month. This is for you:

Imagine what this early spring means!
We can clean the yard, in March,
pick dead branches,
rake rotten leaves,
and get a green lawn sooner.

I know. You would prefer to hold on
to those Christmas decorations,
to what happy time they remind you of.
With the early thaw, you have no excuse
for not removing those cheerful lights.
You can’t put it off anymore.
Everybody’s home, unemployed.
Neighbours have nothing else to do but watch
and judge other idle slackers.

Exult at the thought of melting snow!
No more back breaking shoveling.
Revel at this bounty of unused salt bags.
You’ve enough sand to last all next winter.

I know. It looks like Victoria Glacier
unloaded all its dirt and stones
on the lawn as it melted.
Hours of hard labor—
a bit at a time.

But rejoice at the thought of walking
outside, on a bare sidewalk
without fear of sliding on ice
and breaking an arm or hip.

I know. You would have preferred a longer ski season,
but a longer ski season this year
would mean not being able to enjoy it
unless you defied government orders.

Oh, just stop!
You know that I love to ski,
that I would rather still be in winter
and go back in time to two months ago.

Stop, stop!


Poetry Month, Day 9, offers us:
NEW WORLD, by Carolynn Rafman

I reboot Bluetooth
and discover a connection
on my computer boosts the sound
on my smart TV

novel sound mixes
the radio plays only
Canadian artists
no more classical
nor international music

the fridge hum
overwhelms my
kitchen table office
subsides back into silence

reduced traffic
only a few buses
without passengers
rumble by my flat

Wednesday morning
garbage crews take away
our recyclables
our compost
our landfill
this essential service

birthed Friday March 13
this eerie new world
heralds an unknown future

meanwhile, watching the old world
consuming economy tank
Gaia studies her profile
in a full-length blue-green mirror
wondering whatever will she wear
to her coming-out party
and which creatures she will add
to her list of welcome guests

Carolynn Rafman: Retired. Coordinator, McGill Centre for Lifelong Learning. Program Director, Festival des films de femmes. Taught women and film history at McGill and Concordia. Mother of 2 daughters. Nana to 2. Raised beside Lake Memphremagog. Living by the St-Lawrence River in Verdun. Presently, editing decades of poetry and travel journals.


Poetry Month, Day 8:

Don’t need to hoard toilet paper
because pre-crisis bought myself
a hugely expensive bidet toilet—
unfortunately, an American brand.

It just doesn’t dry your tush
like the Japanese models. Moist
bottom, tear drenched wine glass,
I’m a soggy mess.

I suppose I should mention
the 24 bottles of red in the trunk of my
car; the litre of cheap brandy and
the Jamieson whisky.

Never mind the 8-month binge
buying fancy clothes I’ll never
wear. Painting the house from top
to bottom to increase the value.

The value of an unsalable asset.
Go figure—

Helette Gagnon spent thirty years of weekends in a shack on Glen Road outside Brome Lake that gave her time and space to think about bigger issues than stocks and bonds.


On Day 7 of Poetry Month, enjoy this:
APRIL 1st, NEW YEARS DAY, By Janice LaDuke

Strolling across
the still sleeping garden
a gray tom with white moustache
sniffs tentatively at the
sun-warmed stump
by the chicken house door
leaps, landing lightly
folds legs and tail under
and blinking into the morning sun
calmly surveys his world

In the pasture beyond
a horse
paws at a thin crust of snow
seeking spring
Then, letting his body down slowly
rolls, to and fro, to and fro
4 legs pawing the air now, ungainly
Pulls himself up again, shaking
his beautiful head at the
sun, the morning sun

At my kitchen window
hands submerged in suds, remains of a breakfast
I witness another beginning
and know
the calendar has it wrong again.
A new year has just begun.

Janice LaDuke is a bookselling, bass playing, bread baking townshipper (though she’s only been in these parts forty-two years… not a “true” Townshipper yet) who writes.


And here is your poem for Day 6 of Poetry Month! An initiative of Angela Leuck and the Lennoxville Library.
DAY 29, by R. A. Garber

Today, at home, I

1. Turn up thermostats here and there
Get washed get dressed brush teeth and hair

2. Make coffee make toast fry eggs
Wash pills down with coffee dregs

3. Watch blue jays at feeder and in bush
Note none have touched my homemade suet

4. Take a little bathroom break
See litter box needs to be changed

5. Think I will do it another time
Think I want to write a poem

6. Put dirty clothes in washing machine
Answer phone call from my son

7. Open my computer see two days’ emails
See Trump’s lawyers may prevail

8. Delete messages about silver palace and real steals
ten-bathrooms-to-pee-in-before-you-die and travel deals

9. Type text and edit a last minute
newspaper ad for a dear friend

10. Study dear friend’s dietary regimen
for colonoscopy in days to come

11. Peel, boil and mash potatoes for said diet
Stir-fry onions cabbage apple for son’s lunch and mine

12. Simmer onions lentils squash in crock pot
For hot supper during hydro critical-peak-event

13. Eat more slowly than dear friend and son
Think it feels good to sit awhile alone

14. Watch lone hairy woodpecker warily peck
at my own homemade ball of suet

15. Feel relieved the birds will eat my
humble handiwork a scabrous spherulite

16. Put away leftovers and wash dishes
Clean the sink and tidy the kitchen

17. Gather the hens’ scraps stir the stew
Empty the garbage sweep the floor

18. Change cat’s dish serve some friskies
It’s four o’clock – power down promptly

19. Pay homage to dear friend’s website
Fetch firewood in snow and low light

20. At last sit down at my love-lorn desk
and list all my long day’s little tasks

A woman’s work is a poem.

R.A. Garber lives in Maple Leaf, Quebec. She finds joy in writing, editing, artwork, photography, and every waking moment.


Happy Poetry Month - Here is your poem for Day 5:
I WISH YOU TIME, by Bernice Sorge

I wish you
time in bed
tin roof overhead
raindrops bouncing

I wish you
doors that open
both in and out
to the scent of wild blossom

I wish you
muddy knees
muddy toes
old clothes

a garden
a sky canopy
of light-filled rain
that doesn't fall
until you've pulled
the last weed
and planted the first seed
for tomorrow

I wish that
your waiting
for coffee
transforms into
sound of dry
the fine wave
soon to enter your nostrils

May you cherish
the wait space
the silence between you
the coming together
time in the tub

to reflect until your toes have doubled
to ten
on each foot.

Bernice Sorge is a visual artist living in the townships since 1976. She has been a printmaker and painter for the last 40 years and has exhibited her work in different parts of the world. She has been writing poetry in her sketchbooks for many years.


April 04 2020

Happy Day 4 of Poetry Month!
CONFLICTED, by Heather Davis

Don’t touch your face
I want to touch your face

People touch their faces more than 20 times an hour
The interminable space between you and me

Touching your face is an act that most people perform without thinking
I reach out

Simply make it more difficult to touch your face
You are dangerously close

Face touching is an instinctive response to stress
My fingers brush the stubble on your cheek

You probably don’t realize how often you touch your face
I stare into your eyes

There’s one simple measure we can all take
Trace your lips with my fingers

Face-touching is a hard habit to break
Tilt my head, feel you kiss my forehead

Don’t touch your face

I won’t touch your face

Heather Davis studied creative writing at UBC and now lives in Sherbrooke where she teaches at Bishop’s and Université de Sherbrooke while leading a sporadic, nomadic writing group.


April 03 2020

On the third day of Poetry Month:
by Tanya McIntyre

Our mother tongue did not have a word
for how the river wore away
the stone without meaning to;
for the shadows made when August
fell through the leaves;
for the dirt—the taste of it,
that home was built on;
for the one small handful of words
that make a stranger
not a stranger; for the shattered emerald
body of the ebony jewel-wing born
only a fortnight past; for the memory of
a memory;
for how you long
to come to a full stop
that is
not death

Tanya McIntyre is a native of the rural Eastern Townships of Quebec, where she pursues beauty through poetry, art, photography, gardening and design of all kinds.

The League of Canadian Poets invites you to the World of Poetry this April. Here is our Day 2 poem:


April 02 2020

by Marjorie Bruhmuller

In the birdhouse
I found a bluebird on its side,
claws curled, eyes shut, feathers
lucent on brittle bones.

As if she had drifted off
one hot afternoon to a deeper sky,
invincible - into the dream of a land
teeming with jittery orange butterflies,

her lapis soul levitated by a gentle wind
into cool morning air, into a paradise
without the worry of a squirrel’s violation,
or a tenacious cat.

And amongst hills, tinseled with spider webs,
by meandering brooks, she could rest, on branches
of butternut and larch, in milkweed silk
and thistle down left by a winter from long ago.

Don’t we all imagine this... an empty sky,
time erased, warm sun on our mantles,
and peerless wings -
to fly us anywhere we yearn to go.

(Previously published in The Bell You Hardly Hear, Ekstasis, 2017)

Marjorie Bruhmuller’s poems have appeared in various literary magazines in Canada, the US and UK. She writes poetry, fiction, and makes handmade art books with her haiku and photographs. Her poetry collection, The Bell You Hardly Hear (Ekstasis Editions) was published in 2017, her haiku book, Back Porch Haiku is to be launched in spring of 2020. She’s now working on a third book of poetry. She lives near Lennoxville, Quebec.



April 01 2020

by Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt

Nine months from now,
after all this sequestering
is over, the ban is lifted
and we can leave our houses,
there’ll be a boom.
Thousands even millions
of babies coming into our
bruised and anxious world
after our season of quiet cloister.

There are only so many hands
of Solitaire we can play.
If babies are made
when the power goes out
and we go to bed
a bit earlier than usual
how much more
when we’re confined
to our homes
with only each other
for company?

I see the tiny bodies
forming even now,
knit together
with the strands
of our social isolation,
these new ones
bursting forth
from our collective

Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt’s stories, poems, and essays have been published in Grain, EVENT, Prairie Fire, Malahat Review, sub Terrain, carte blanche, Room, Crux, The Centrifugal Eye, and Qarrtsiluni, and reprinted in Best Canadian Essays of 2019. She has been nominated for a National Magazine Award as well as a Western Magazine Award. She holds an MA from McGill and an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. She lives in North Hatley.




©2020 John Mackley & R.A. Garber