Category Archives: Poetry

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”.

Limerick Fun

by Lee Anne Johnston

FIRST KISS

There was nothing intrinsically amiss
With that rite of passage, the first kiss.
I was fourteen, and curious,
My parents found out, and were furious
And the boy, I don’t remember his name!

FREE COUPONS FOR…

There was once a young man from Dundee,
Who was as tight, as the proverbial flea,
The coupons he clipped
The cashier she flipped
As he left with three bags free.

pic by stockimages | freedigitalphotos.net

pic by stockimages | freedigitalphotos.net


Lee Anne is a prose writer and has been a member of the CWC Since 2008. Her love of writing started when she learned to read as a young child. She holds a BA and an MA in English from the University of Toronto. One of Lee Anne’s current works in progress is a Victorian piece set in the City of Cambridge. It is chock full of drama, rich language and time period references. Lee Anne currently lives in Cambridge with her husband and daughter.

Heritage

HERITAGE
by Barbara Lefcourt

As if heralding royalty
throngs of wildflowers,
lacey white, petals of blue
sprays of gold
bow our way as we
drive country roads to town
in dancing ambience.

Eons from our
ancient heritage
of diaspora,
long rooted in this world’s
cloistered polity,
we swing predictably
between spells of
holiday indulgence
and fits of
fastidiousness.

With never a thought to
this life’s fragile crown:
freedom, civility, sanity
we glide through shops,
their shelves dependably stocked,
meet old acquaintances,
amiably chat, and
wait our turn in line.

Imagining well-earned diversions:
working the crosswords,
inner dialogues with
favourite columnists
we happily scoop up the
weekend paper set aside
just for us.

But, like spores of toxic fungi
finding succor in disturbed soil
to grow far
secret networks underground
and burst forth into the light

their poison fruit
luring the unwary and confused,
the living fervor of ancestral feuds
fed by passions of ancient myths
blaze headlines into consciousness.
MISSILES BOMBS WAR.

And we see
our trembling blooms wilt,
feel our high-stepping
being reined in
by eternal bonds
weeping
in our DNA.

pic by Idea go | freedigitalphotos.net

pic by Idea go | freedigitalphotos.net

* Published in BORDERLINES, Ascent Aspirations, Fall 2007


Barbara Lefcourt was born, raised and educated in New York City and moved to Kitchener-Waterloo with her young family in 1964. She had taught elementary school before staying home to raise three children. She became a member of the CWC in 2003 after starting to write poetry around the time she retired from her mid-life career as teacher of Literacy and Basic Skills for Adults.

The Cat in the Hat

by Barb Day, March 2013

The Cat in the Hat
That Cat in the Hat Is a very spry guy
He can balance on a ball with a book in his hand!
And a cup on his hat!
But not everyone is as spry as a cat

Take old Mr. Jones who lives alone
Not quite ready for an old age home
He asked his wife after they wed, after the war
“Will you still love me when I’m 64?”

Now Mr. Jones is 84
Mrs. Jones has been dead fifteen years or more
And Mr. Jones’ old bones are feeling quite frail
It’s been awhile since he ventured out

But today his pension cheque is in
So he must venture out
To pick up bread and honey
With his nickels and pennies

But poor old Mr. Jones’ feet are unsteady
And that curb’s concrete is crumbling
Now Mr. Jones lies crumbling and crumpled like a tossed away crumpet

If only Mrs. Jones was here
But now he lies alone in pain and fear
Why does a walk have to be so hard for Mr. Jones
Wherever he goes?

Then there’s Elyse
Elyse had Baby One when C.J. was still around
And things were sound
But when Baby Two entered the scene
C. was no place to be seen you see
He went back to the hood

And Elyse understood
This time C. was gone for good
This morning Elyse must walk downtown
Baby needs diapers and food
Elyse is not in the best mood
Struggling with a stroller
With a two-year old in tow on the way there

But on the way back
The skies are no longer clear and it’s clear
They must take a bus
Now she juggles an umbrella and the bags from Pharma Plus
The fold-up stroller and baby on her shoulder

Those steps up to the bus are just too much
She stumbles and the bags tumble
Spilling their contents onto concrete
As she weeps

Then there’s the story of nine year old Neil
One day he can walk and run
The next a crash leaves Neil crushed in car metal
He wakes in hospital
His mother crying trying to suppress her pain
Knowing her child will never walk again
Neil will be in wheelchair

But Neil perseveres
And pursues a career
Designing buildings with improved accessibility
To make changes for people with disabilities

So planners and developers
Keep in mind your design
And municipalities keep our roads and our sidewalks maintained
And make public transportation user friendly

Because not everyone is as spry as that Cat in the Hat
Look! Look!
He can hop up and down on that ball!
But that is not all
Oh no. That is not all

No, that is not all we can do
We can do more to make the lives of 1.9 million Canadians living with disabilities
Barrier free for a complete community
Because we don’t always see and conceive
That not everyone is as spry as that Cat in the Hat

*published in Broken, Barb Day’s collection of spoken word poetry

image by Stuart Miles | freedigitalphotos.net

image by Stuart Miles | 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”.

To Have and To Hold

by Elizabeth McCallister

To Have and To Hold

In the rough and the smooth of it all –

the razor burn on my body itches
from when you haven’t shaved
familiar callous on my hand
when you take hold of it

the smooth of your hair
when I stroke the back of your head
my shoulder when you cup it
in your hand and lead me

photo by photostock | freedigitalphotos.net

photo by photostock | freedigitalphotos.net


Elizabeth McCallister grew up in Scarborough now resides in Brantford. She is currently a member of the Cambridge Writers Collective, enjoys poetry readings and has been a winner in Cambridge Libraries’ Poem A Day contest.