Happy 150th Canada – from Cambridge Writers’ Collective

To celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday the writers and poets of Cambridge Writers Collective have compiled an anthology of poems and stories under the theme ‘all things Canadian’. With the help of a grant form Cambridge North Dumfries Community Foundation, we are gifting this anthology to as many libraries across Canada as our funds will allow. It is our gift to Canada.

We are local writers and proud to be Canadian.

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You’re Invited to a Poetry Slam

You're Invited to a Poetry Slam

Come out to cheer on the CWC’s Barb Day, and/or read your own writings during the open mic portion.

After the Grinning

by Diane Attwell Palfrey

photo by luigi diamanti | freedigitalphotos.net

photo by luigi diamanti | freedigitalphotos.net

Cheshire Cat dissipates,
stripes drift from wonderland
as though he was never there,
never part of Tulgey Woods
where eyes hang at night
like miniature moon drops.

Providing paw prints
and parentage,
he changes his name
to Boris W. Pinkerton,
the ‘W’ impressive or so he thinks,
a delicious male title after years
of explanation on gender identification
and riddles surrounding
his pink princess palette.

He’s on a health kick, too.
Bounces on a Bosu.
Claims to tail curl 50 pound
weights when Zumba class
seems more credible
since he likes to get jiggy,
even joined a seniors’ dating site
to wink or grin at mollies
regardless of their status.

And travel plans are underway.
Sicily, Tuscany. Vineyards purrrrfect
for golden afternoons where a fat
indulgent tom might listen to Pavarotti
instead of tone deaf roses,
or court Italians with alluring accents,
all bellissimo – retire in a place
where catnip is lower class,
lapping wine shows proper pedigree
and flowers don’t need paint.


Diane Attwell Palfrey is a poet and prose writer and a long-time member of the Cambridge Writers Collective. Her poetry has been published by the Waterloo-Wellington CAA, Serengeti Press, Craigleigh Press, Hammered Out, The Ontario Poetry Society, Cruickston Charitable Research Reserve/RARE, Calvary Assembly, & several editions of Ascent Aspirations Anthologies. Diane was also the 1st place winner in the 2009 and 2010 Cambridge Festival of the Arts – Poetry Contests.

Wax and Wane

by April Bulmer
 
I fall through the mother space
crawl from her on hands and knees.
I live among the mushrooms now:
their soft, moist pleats.
I take one in my teeth
and my eyes are as big as beetles.
A caterpillar like a drop of rain on a leaf.
A mad man so nervous
his cup of tea trembles.
My heart is a deck of cards.
I play the Queen of Hearts.
Her hair the shade of blood.
At night even the moon dreams
it waxes and wanes.
How it swells and shrinks
on currant cake and drugs.
 
Queen of Hearts

April Bulmer has published six books of poetry. Her work has appeared in many national and international journals including the Malahat Review, PRISM international, Arc, Harvard University’s Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion and the Globe and Mail. She recently placed second in the Trinity College Alumni Fiction Contest and was a judge for the Hamilton Literary Awards

Listen

Listen
by Barb Day

Can you hear Mother Nature weep?
As man reaps the benefits
Of a perfect creation
The only colours left on her palette
Hues of brown and grey
The only green to be seen from an ATM machine

As acid rain drips
Drops splatter history books
Blending with the blood stains of slain species
Butchered to extinction
Discard the shark. Keep the fin
Whales dying
In the aftermath of a bloodbath

Birds’ beating wings silenced
As CEO’s wait silent in the wings
Sow concrete subdivisions to reap the profits
But their credit cards won’t repair the damage they deny
As the Reaper stands by
Overlooking horizon no longer gold with wheat
What will your gold card buy you now?
When there’s no food left to eat
Every cloud’s silver lining ripped apart at the seams
It seems immaterial what you once held in high esteem

Food flowing with poison
Rivers arteries clogged
With the cholesterol of overindulgence
Elegant waterfalls no longer cascading
And rushing downstream
Rushing, rushing like the stream of suits and briefcases
On Wall Street on Monday morning
The rivers mourning
Warning of last chances caught in the current
As continued dumping in streams
Turns rivers to sand

Preserve the ground on which you stand
See brittle twigs break off and fall
Hear the forest cry for sanctuary
Speak as chain saw scars
Through trunk already marred
Where you carved your names
Samantha loves Shane
Your only claim to fame

Weeping willow weeps
As axe falls
Severs the lifeblood
The sap a flood of teardrops flowing
Onto dry earth
Roots ripped from the dirt and bark torn like paper shredded

The bells toll the peal of impending doom
The world has blown a fuse
But still we refuse to stop the abuse
We choose not to acknowledge the smog we breathe
We bleed the planet with our greed
Strip it bare, but beware
Sand in hourglass will turn to ash

Our world on life-support
We huddle, praying for redemption, salvation
For the preservation of the slaughter of God’s creation
Clean the slate
Clean up your act before it’s too late

Wait! There’s time to plant a tiny seed of hope
Watch it grow
And lower our heads in prayer

Let your children’s children
Play in parks of green
And still see sunlight through polluted skies
Don’t bleed the planet before it dies
Don’t leave future generations victims of our crimes

See, hear, speak out!

pic by worradmu | freedigitalphotos.net

pic by worradmu | freedigitalphotos.net


Barb Day, lives in Paris, Ontario with her husband and daughter. A Writing for Publication graduate of Mohawk College, Barb’s short stories frequently appear in local publications like “Daytripping”.

Thoughts on Point of View

Our most recent around-the-table discussion…

photo by Marcie Schwindt

photo by Marcie Schwindt

Elizabeth McCallister
I think point of view is one of the most difficult things that new writers can face. It seems like a simple enough task – are you writing in the first, second or third person.

It gets more complicated when you actually get down to doing it well. In a sense, you must inhabit not only the personalities of your characters but also the world that you have created. A narrator who describes someone or something seems the easiest route until you realize that you have written something from one of the characters’ POV.

Trying to write from more than one character’s POV can be one of the most difficult tasks. How do you clearly separate the two characters’ POV so that each rings clearly?

Which is the final most difficult task – creating a character who seems fully human.

Jockie Loomer-Kruger
I like first person especially ideal for memoir which is my preferred genre. I [also] like it for the poetry I write.

Second person – sounds like a lecture. Thou shalt not…

Third person – can add a different type of detail from first. Good for fiction with various characters.

Omniscient – All knowing and able to get into everyone’s thoughts – best for descriptive scenes, for commentary on a character.

Barbara Lefcourt
From 1st person, there are unlimited POV – age, sex, ethnicity, personality, stage of life. What first person POV do you feel comfortable writing from.
What kind of minds are you able to get [into] and imagine being?

A major reason I love to read novels is to be able to get into the body and minds of persons totally different from myself.

My own writing of course grows from my personal points of view that have changed with age and with living in totally different environments.

Kathy Robertson
[POV] should convey the author’s opinion without being obvious.
Metaphors are effective tools in conveying imagery.
The true meaning should be elusive, not fully comprehended until the end.
One image building on the other until the complete meaning is fully realized.

Becky Alexander
I like to use the antiquated POV known as the “omniscient storyteller,” the guy who knows all, sees all and this includes knowing (and telling) what the characters even think, let alone what they do, see, etc. Think of the writers of the Bible.

I like this form as it is time tested, has survived for centuries and is the easiest form (for me) in which to write.

Case in point: I hate second person POV. [Sounds like a lecture].

Wendy Visser
Narrative style a) where narrator stands outside the story b) where narrator is part of the poem or story

Humour – writer writes from humourous perspective
• form of entertainment
o should not be forced but natural.

3rd person perspective – work written in 3rd person allows easy access to the reader. Can identify more with the situation – empathy.

First person -[works] depending on subject matter.

Marcie Schwindt
When I think about POV, first, second, third, whatever, just seems like an obvious choice based on the character’s voice and how intimate the reader needs to be with him/her to “get” who they are.

What’s more interesting, I think, is choosing which character’s viewpoint to write from. Personally, I choose the weakest character to showcase because they always seem to pull the most interesting text from me. Strong characters are boring. Weak people have to “fake it”, still have to learn how to cope. They have the greatest potential character arc because they have less to lose from taking risks.

Life is too short to waste writing on boring characters. The next time you need to decide whose story to tell, pick the less obvious choice: the character who might otherwise have been the sidekick. Give the non-speaking stock character a voice. Their story might surprise you.

Rob Quehl
1. In my opinion, if an author switches from one character’s point of view to another’s, then the style of writing should change to reflect this, so much so, that after a few chapters, the reader should be able to flip open the book at random and know whose point of view is being shown at that point.

2. I like the second-person point of view. If done well, it can pull the reader in and get them involved in the story, as it makes it sound like YOU, the reader, are the main character. A wonderful example of second-person for children is the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series of books. (See example below.) I have also read second-person for adults, and found it unique and engaging.

Your Very Own Robot (Choose Your Own Adventure #1) synopsis:

Your parents are scientists and inventors. One day, they throw some pieces of a robot into the trash. If you can figure out how to put the pieces together, you’ll have a robot of your very own! But do you know enough to control it? Are you ready for the adventures your very own robot will bring?

Lee Anne Johnston
I find first person narration comes naturally to me and seems to flow. I feel too artificial using third person, although this is just me. First person has obvious limitations, i.e. your narrator can not get into the minds and hearts of others, whereas an omniscient 3rd person narrator can easily float from and into many characters.

Congratulations Elizabeth!

20130723-215735.jpgCongratulations to Elizabeth McCallister on the launch of her first poetry collection.

Notes From Suburbia is available from the author, and through the publisher, Craighleigh Press

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