Four Poems

Jim Johnston

Temps Mort
Hell is empty. All the devils are here.
– William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Look for a vanishing
point in tooth
and claw, the arrow
that predicts
equal and opposite
circles of hell.
Hell is of this world,
the wind blown
level with rooftops
on New Arthur,
cells re-circulating
as if symmetry
justified existence –
beauty where
nothing beautiful
had been.
Behind my back the
begins again and I
whether I’m needed
to complete
this scene: [...]

Four Poems

Robert Melancon

It all has to fit into twelve lines—a lesser sonnet—
all that’s depicted at every instant inside the cave
dug out by Plato for the chaining up of those
whom he deemed to be dupes of illusion. But in his
system’s sphere, the soul struggling to be free
had to swap for a stale whiteness, all pleasing things:
these wind-harrowed trees, [...]

Three Poems

Evan Jones

after Miltos Sachtouris
When I was walking up the street
and the moon burned my hands
the baker’s daughter the owl would awaken
then I’d go out and call the Night

When I was wading down the river
the tanner had nowhere to sleep
her secret wounded me in the chest
then I’d go out and call the Night
When I was going [...]

Three Poems

Alex Boyd

Summer stayed no longer than a sparrow.
Medication is passed over a trembling lip.
The postcard arrives one day too late.
A man notes he’ll get an Asian hooker if
he’s dying, maybe if he isn’t. A spider
in the woodpile ends up in the fire.
One beggar spits in the air at another.
The [...]

Three Poems

Nyla Matuk

That strange flower, the sun,
Is just what you say.
Have it your way.
—Wallace Stevens, “Gubbinal”
Three hundred times as heavy as our sun.
The Bubble Observer scientists report
buzzing and whizzing and gesturing in a ball
of swollen crimson gas burning standingl
ike a braintrust of firebrands and cake batter.
See the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
for updates, they say. [...]

Six Poems

Laura Lush

So the tree.  And the wrongful
way the wind de-leaved it.
Down to bare bark and skid-wracked
branches.  But I’m exaggerating of course.
This is the law of all taking. Savour the small moments—
apples with their red out, skins glossed to luster.
I found a leaf the other day,
red and tattered on the sidewalk.
The wind kept lifting its
papery [...]

The Selected Sonnets of John Smith

John Smith

These sonnets originally appeared in Midnight Found You Dancing (1986), Strands the Length of the Wind (1993), and Fireflies in the Magnolia’s Grove (2004). Smith’s essay is an abridged version of the introduction to Island Voices: John Smith (UPEI Integrated Promotions, DVD format, 2006).
Poems can be complicated critters. It’s hard, perhaps impossible, to say enough [...]

Are you serious?

Robyn Sarah

What is that little grating chink

in college girls’ voices, like the chirp

of glass marbles rubbed together

in a child’s palm?


Robyn Sarah

Always a wild openness

to the left and right of our path,

a humming in the high grasses.

The Well

Robyn Sarah

A well of the sweetest water

was ours, unsought; we drew,

and we did drink.