This week’s poem by George Freek is inspired by early Chinese poetry. The images it concocts are beautiful and moving.
Letter to a Friend (After Tu Fu)
Cherry blossoms fall unheard
in the middle of a forest.
So it seems with my life,
when I visit the grave of my wife.
I have lived another year
and accomplished nothing.
I have not written a word.
If I live another spring,
it will be the same.
Everything I see
seems less meaningful
than a child’s game to me.
I think a short life
is the best. There is
less harm done,
and much less to regret.
This poem is powerful in the parallels it draws between nature and human relationships. This theme is introduced at the beginning and flows throughout without mention, but is heard in the softness of the last refrain.
Tune in next week for another amazing piece!
This week’s exceptionally long-titled piece is from Canadian author Ryan Racine. The poem’s jarring use of line break, and sleep deprived tone makes this a hilarious and necessary read.
Forming Augmented Dominant Seventh Chords when You Cannot Play Jazz at Night
You must learn
to do the quadratic
formula with your fingers. Continue reading
This week we have poetry from Canadian author Joan MacIntosh who writes personal accounts from snapshots of her life, executed with exquisite, simple images. The speaker tries to find the beauty in the ordinary around us.
An Iceberg Lived
I rented a house
on the North Side
with threefold dormer windows
a picket fence cradled
the upstairs bedroom
felt like a ship at sea
to the east window
where, in the harbor,
an iceberg lived
We are discussing the comforts of home this week with Aileen Santos’ beautiful poem. This work helps define the indescribable comfort of having a place to retreat.
He had a seizure here and had to be
rushed to the hospital
She walked down those steps and entered
into her first day of school
I cried on my bed when my grandma died
We fought and he slammed that door
This week, we have a poem for those who know what it’s like to feel out of place. Contributor Bhaswati Ghosh uses evocative imagery to create for the reader a vivid picture of culture removed from country, and of family far away.
Living Abroad is Making Do and Make Believe
Every autumn, the
ghost of a drum-beating dhaaki
enters a tired CD player,
his rhythms muffled,
and Chinese flickers
shine in houses.
Outside, the street
tightens its noose of
Bylaws contain the
sound and fury.
Festivals are digest-ed
over weekends, rituals
into first world molds.
This week we are featuring a poem from another Canadian writer, Matthew Laffrade.
This poem is filled with powerful visuals and images of life in the centre of a conflict. In the writer’s own words, “it can be a dozen different places in the world so it cannot be classified as one vs other but as a human experience void of the task of taking a side in a conflict.”
They said that the rockets were coming
They said that the rockets were coming, that we would see
Their burn through the night sky and by then it would be too
Late. They said we should flee. They said that camps of
Emaciated children and forlorn adults would be erected on
The outskirts away from the skirmishes. They said “go
Now or face peril and perish.” My father wouldn’t leave.
As the eldest son I stood stoic, my arms aching under the
Weight of my rifle. Canopies of armouries, bombardment all
Around and air raid sirens signalling the end to hot dinners as
We holed up, my father and I, in that concrete basement
We called a bunker
And we sat and
Back North again, this week’s piece was sent by Jennifer Gossoo from British Columbia, Canada. This piece is haunting and draws you through it with an excellent and mind-bending premise.
I was going to do it. It was a Sunday. They would just have to miss me at work tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future. I had hoarded all of the pentobarbital that my doctor had been prescribing me as a sleep agent since February. I was now up to two bottles full. One was plenty, but I had never been one to take risks. Pentobarbital was kind of the go-to drug for ODing. I’d done my research. It didn’t have to be original; it just had to do the trick.
Somewhere in New York City, my parents were sequestered in their upscale Hampton-esque apartment. They wouldn’t think to call and check up on their youngest for at least another month. I was a big boy; I was, by societal dictation, adequately equipped to manage the daily struggles of menial employment and single life. Only I wasn’t.
I leave an open can of tuna on the fire escape for the homeless tabby which frequents my floor. He won’t even notice I’m gone.
This week’s creative work comes to us from poet Catina Noble, native of Ontario Canada. The piece is very delicately put together, using a small collection of words to convey a larger idea. The imagery is emotional and reminiscent of both youth and the loss of youth. Works like this illustrate the overwhelming power of poetry and the impact that concise language and vivid imagery can convey.
other siblings have baby books
I have the cover of mine
the rest is missing
it is a cover up and I will
uncover the truth as I am
not like the others
no photos of me in the hospital
to prove I belong and after many
phone calls to every Aunt
who will talk to me,
they say sorry, but it is true
no doubt about it, I was there
Short, precise, and poignant, telling a larger story in just three beautiful stanza’s.
Check back in with us next week for more fantastic work from writers around the world. Also, don’t forget to submit your own pieces, getting your voice out there into the digital world to carve out a comfortable notch where your literary creations can live comfortably next to the work of your fellow writers.
After a short holiday break, we are back with more fantastic creative voices from around the world. This week’s writer, Sarah Suk, comes to us from Vancouver, Canada. Her story is a lovely glimpse into memory, focusing on the small details we remember from experiences we had as a child, like the colour of our mother’s lipstick or the way the movie theatre seats smelled when we sat watching the pictures after school.
Hearing the Laughter of Ghosts
When we were kids, our moms would take us to our small town movie theatre and buy us a pack of strawberry Twizzlers to split. We would watch movies inside while they sat outside in the parking lot, smoking cigarettes and talking until we came running out, high on sugar and the jam-packed action of the big screen.
You loved my mom. You thought she was the greatest thing since the glow-in-the-dark planet stickers that you had stuck all over your bedroom walls. You told me once that you thought she smoked cigarettes like a movie star.
“Your mom smokes cigarettes too,” I said.
“But not like a movie star,” you said.
You loved how her lipstick was scarlet. You called it glamorous. You loved the way she smiled with her teeth hidden like a secret and how she laughed with her whole head thrown back and her shoulders shaking as if her laugh was an earthquake that erupted inside of her and sent tremors through every part of her body. You loved the way she’d stroke your hair as a way of saying hello and how she called you beautiful.
“You’ll grow up and be a stunner, Eliza,” she said. “Just you wait. With those cheekbones, there’s no doubt about it.”
This weeks post is a piece from Tessa Henley that illustrates a very powerful form of poetry; simple in design but incredibly evocative in its execution.
Eyes are deeply self-absorbed
only serving themselves,
careless to broader burdens.
Eyes carry the mass of judgment:
they observe and ponder,
only to conform, then try to reform
personally relevant moral matters but