A poem by Joanne Ellison


Two suitcases battered but serviceable
(that’s us) stuffed to the bulging zippers
belted tight around the paunchy middles.
So we leave to live two years in Africa.

And you (newly and rumbustiously) adult
can’t wait to heft us parents to the plane,
re-decorate the house with giant tv screens,
invite your friends to cheer the old bags’ trip.

But look how thoughtfully we leave ourselves
with you, your father’s torso in the soft imprint
of his favorite couch, my thumb smudge on a door,
our books waiting on the night-stand to be read.

Microscopic specks of silvery dust,
we settle on your lashes as you sleep,
everywhere in daily touch with you.
And we all dreamed leaving would be easy.

© Joanne Ellison
Published on leaf press, as a Monday Poem on this page.

Two poems by Deborah Lawson

Frozen Liturgy

frosted filigree, shaped
yet ever changing.
Overlay of silver hangs
on bare-boned trees.

The night is at prayer,
a shimmering worship as
peace falls, solid as darkness.

This is jewellery
to wear on the soul,
a litany of snow
memorized like
icy rosary beads, slipping
past guilt to kneel
in the clean revelation
of grace and forgiveness.

A fitting adornment for the season’s
long sanctuary of darkness,
winter-lit by the lacy candles
of rest and redemption.

Fear of Surgery

now I know
about anaesthesia
the loss of control
as sleep seeps in
     no finger crookable,
     no eye winkable,
     no thought thinkable

no one ever finishes
the countdown

I dodge the eerie approach
of this small death, fixed on
one fading but certain conviction
     This is just an impostor,
     a tiny little practice run, perhaps,
     not at all the real thing.
I cling to resurrection's hope,
knowing that eventually,
     numb with relief
     at my narrow escape,
I will emerge
from that phantasmal anteroom,
able once again
to crook, wink, think …

still myself,
counting down

©2012 Deborah Lawson

Spring haiku by Alice Major

Spring haiku

Weather change wind.
Branches swing -- a bull’s wary head,
beast about to charge.
The old struggle renews
between snow and snow-eater
We live right at ringside.
Snow’s rotting teeth.
Caries concealed by crystalline enamel.
Winter loses its bite.
April’s cumulus –
the wind’s sheepskin slippers,
soft soles on air’s blue floor.

© Alice Major

Two poems by Gary

The Kiss

Wandering off in opposite directions
blind, they never saw each other coming.
From her sportsman spouse she’d set out running,
dead set against masculine affections.
He was reeling from feminine rejection:
wife angry as a writhing wounded snake,
a venom fog round the children sprayed,
a daughter soured by mother’s confection.
Head-on they met, two worlds in collision,
two skulls, two skins, two souls, two minds, four lips,
two hearts, two still unfinished manuscripts,
two bucket seats, two rushes of passion.
If both hadn’t deeply feared the love they felt,
they would have unbuckled their shoulder belts.

I want to be

More than the icing on your cake.
I want to be the nuts in your nut loaf,
the leaven in your bread,
the rice in your stir-fry,
the whites of your eyes,
the potatoes in your chips,
the syncopated beat
of your feet as you walk,
the full moon in your night,
the blue in your sunny sky,
the water in your every drink,
the blank paper in your daytimer
before it’s cluttered with busyness.
I want to be the space around the writing,
the white that backgrounds all the plans
and bears them up and blesses your days,
and all the jots and doodles and dots
that say you passed this way.
I want to be the balm on your lips,
the powder on your nose,
the fire in your heart,
the blood in your veins.
I want to be me touching you touching me,
every day, every night until the dawn.

© Gary Garrison
These poems were published in the Boyle McCauley News (February 2012).

Two Tankas by Yukari 由香理の短歌2首

Tanka, May 2011

At the beginning
and end of the day
the robins chirp merrily –
layers of red in the sky
burnt onto my memory

一日の 始めと終わり ロビン鳴き 赤き空が 目に焼きつきて

Tanka, August 2011

The warmth through cat’s fur
with a continuous purr –
a piece of happiness
found right here on my lap
what more can I ask for?

ごろごろと 猫のぬくもり ひざの上 幸福の時 このほかになし

© 2011 Yukari Meldrum
p. 25 in Living Room, Suite1, 2011, Edmonton, the Living Room Collective

Also on this page of Yukari's blog

A poem by Ella


I did not understand life, not as a girl
catching the bumble bees by their wings,
skipping a rope, two little braids jumping behind.

The air was cotton,
crisp and fresh
like my just laundered new dress.

Not as young woman finding your love,
soaring to paradise, wings on my back,
I thought life would be bliss.

The air was velvet,
soft and magical to the touch
like white clouds covering us every night.

Not as a mother too busy to think
unnecessary things, tending to tempers
and colds, cooking dinner and wiping tears.

The air was elastic,
stretched to the limit
like my weary, overwrought nerves.

I search for the meaning now, tending
the flowers in my garden, watching each day
draw to its end, yellow leaves, the coming of fall.

The air is a shroud,
smells pungent with decay
like rotting leaves crushed under my feet.

© Ella Zeltserman
pp. 30-31 in Living Room, Suite1, 2011, Edmonton, the Living Room Collective

A poem by Alice

The short-sighted poet

I take my glasses off.
The compulsive detail of the world
goes blurred.
I no longer can distinguish
needle of pine
or finer points of sign.

But somehow I can see the warming red
of berries in a mountain ash
across the street.
For my short-sighted eyes,
some trick of how the light waves spread
their pinpoint kindling.

I put my glasses on again.
The warm orbs
into the busy green scribble, the repetitious
blethering edge
of leaves.

And I think, perhaps a lifelong fuzziness
to certain aspects of the world
may not
have been so great a handicap.
It even may
confer advantages if some of us can spot
unnoticed warmth
not far away.