Tag Archives: Barb Day


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.


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”.

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”.

Breaking Through That Dreaded BLOCK

Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Since no one person has all the answers, we’ve starting gathering around-the-table tips from members on subjects that affect us all. What follows is some of what came out of our discussion on writer’s block.

Lee Anne Johnston:
I journal every day. In my formal writing, I write in the first person so the characters seem to develop themselves and tell their own story. I also am a very slow writer. I write historical mysteries and I just love learning the gritty details about the past that will make my story come to life.

Barb Day:
There you are writing away, the words flowing from you, gushing out, you can’t get your thoughts down on paper fast enough. Your mind is working faster than your pen. And then it happens – you hit a brick wall, your mind closes (more like slams shut.) Your pen comes to a screeching halt. For me- it’s always two reasons – I’m tired of sitting in the same spot for hours or I’m not knowledgeable about the topic I’m writing about. I get up, get a coffee, take a break and come back refreshed and ready to do research. The joys of Google and from the research, ideas pop into my head like crazy just from reading what someone else has written even though it’s dry, boring facts. And then I’m back at it – full speed ahead, refreshed and armed with new knowledge.

Barbara Lefcourt:
The key for me when I want very much to write but cannot get thoughts to flow IS TO NOT SIT AT MY DESK. Rather, I turn my attention to some of the mindless household chores that always get delayed being done: dusting, vacuuming, cleaning floors, hand laundry, etc. etc. etc. It also sometimes help to put favourite instrumental music ( no vocals) on my stereo. That often sets the stage for the magical flow of poetic expression. And it’s good to have paper and pencil handy around the house so I can easily pause to jot down ideas, expressions, particular words that must be captured before they fly from my head.

Marcie Schwindt:

  • I try to write something everyday to keep the muse happy and coming back.
  • I read from something published every day. There’s always something to be learned from someone else’s successes.
  • I critique at least one unpublished work every week. Figuring out on my own what does and doesn’t work for me, and why, is more helpful to me than anything I’ve learned second-hand (through a course, instructional book, etc.).
  • I plot out my stories, then don’t write them sequentially. If I’m blocked on something, I write around it. Once I have the thing surrounded, it usually surrenders.
  • I stop writing mid-sentence or mid-scene. That way I don’t really have to face a blank page the next day. I already know how that sentence or scene should end.

Diane Attwell Palfrey:

  • I get a lot of inspiration from news stories or articles I read via different search engines. I like to research a topic and then write about it. So when the idea train has left the tracks – I head for the PC. I like to write about people and relationships, the human condition etc. News is full of items that can be turned into poetry.
  • I also get ideas from Facebook. I’ll read my homepage and that will inspire me. Sometimes I can’t quite believe the kind of things that people blog on a public forum. But then I think – well – it’s giving me a subject to write about.
  • Sometimes I ply myself with chocolate and listen to music. It soothes and helps the ideas flow.
  • Most of my writing is done after midnight. That’s when the house is quiet, the phone has stopped ringing and there are no more e-mails to deal with.
  • I’m not above asking others for ideas. I’ll often ask someone to give me an idea. I’ll just say, “hey, I need to write a poem – do you have an idea for me – tell me a story and I’ll turn it into a poem for you”. My mother is a great source for that.

Have you ever suffered from Writer’s Block? How did you overcome it?

I Write Poetry

by Barb Day

Image: winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Poetry is a record of the life around us and in us, and you’ll get a better idea from poetry what it was like to be alive in 2011 than you will from the New York Times.”

 – Garrison Keillor

Yes, the voice of a poet, in both spoken and written form can put forth a powerful message on pressing social issues of our times.   Poetry throughout the ages, from ancient civilizations to our world today, allows us to communicate personal views on current world issues and provide a device for social commentary.

Weaving our words into artistic form to relay a message can be a compelling means to entice our readers and listeners to look at an issue from a different perspective.  Never underestimate the power of the pen of a poet!

I Write Poetry
I find myself filling pages
A dream weaver, a believer
In pen scratching surface to
Dig deeper and deeper

Weaving those whimsical words into something magical
Something tangible, substantial, real
Something I can hold in my hands and feel and admire

The words leaping to life
And dancing across the page
Beating slowly at first
With a primitive rhythm
And then pulsating louder and louder, reaching a powerful crescendo
That soars skyward to strum the harps of the heavens
The words cutting through the paper like a knife
And breathing with a life of their own
A warrier of words
I write poetry.

Barb Day, current CWC President, 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”.

Complicated Coffee…I Just Want A Medium Black

by Barb Day

photo by Marcie Schwindt

It was morning, and I needed my caffeine. The long and winding line of rumbling metal snaked from the drive-through window across the parking lot. Why do people wait in this never-ending lineup for coffee when they could simply make a pot at home for a fraction of the cost? I counted fifteen cars in front of me. Better than yesterday, when there were eighteen. This was a dangerous place to be. What if a car broke down? Once in that line up, there’s no getting out. You’re blocked in by cars and concrete curbs. I wouldn’t want to be the one to have the breakdown, when behind me were a bunch of grouchy people who haven’t had their morning coffee and are now wedged in with no escape and no caffeine. I patted the dashboard of my old Chevy. Keep running, baby. We’re almost there. My thoughts were interrupted, as a crackling voice took my order. “That will be $1.52 for a medium black. Drive forward,” the crackling instructed.

A mechanical window opened, and a hand reached out of the window. I gave the hand a five dollar bill. The hand grabbed the money, and the window closed. No personal touch, no smiling face, this was an assembly line. The window came up, and the coffee came out, but no change came out of the window.

“And my change?” I inquired.

Suddenly, the personal touch appeared. A face to be feared poked out of the window.

“I gave you your change” the miserable face snapped.

“No, I didn’t get my change!”

What a racket, rumpus, commotion, hullaboo, uproar, fuss, upheaval, ado, bother, kerfuffle…just for a coffee! I was steaming, more so than the paper cup in my hand, as I sped away.

The next day I decided I had had enough of the drive-through. I decided to try one of those upscale coffee shops. I will strut around with my paper cup in my hand. A status symbol! I’ll be a somebody!

As I waited in a line-up to the door, I glanced at the intimidating board with all its extravagant selections. I fumbled through my pockets. I was definitely going to need more than $1.52 this morning. Wow, this place wasn’t cheap! I was confused. I am not a coffee connoisseur. I have limited knowledge. The selections on the board became more daunting the longer I stared at them. I was getting close to the front of the line, but still didn’t have a clue what to ask for. I could hear a lady ordering.

“I’ll have a Café Mocha, hold the syrup, add white chocolate, triple shot of expresso, non-fat steamed milk, lightly sprinkled with cocoa powder to go.”
It suddenly felt very warm in the coffee shop. I started to sweat. Don’t worry, I told myself. She’s a regular.

Next up was a man. “I’ll have a Chocolate Chip Frappacino, extra chocolate, topped with a dollop of whipped cream.”

Would you like a coffee with that, I wondered, as I desperately searched for additional change.

The customer ahead of me was ordering now. “Half café, grande, soy, double shot on ice, and make it quick I’m in a hurry.

I was next in line. I panicked! Should I memorize something impressive or embarrass myself by ordering a medium black? “Do you have herbal tea?“ I mumbled.

The young man at the counter appeared as if he had just stepped out of the pages of GQ and into his uniform with adorable matching cap. He was very dramatic as he rattled off the selections. “Cranberry, Black Cherry, Echinaccea, Eucalyptus, European Blueberry, Cinnamon, Mandarin, Ginger, Ginsing, Jasmine, Peppermint, Pomegranate, Peach Passion or how about a Wildberry Zinger!”
I bolted from the establishment. In my car, I sped to Walmart to buy a coffeemaker. I will join the ranks of Martha Stewart, June Cleaver and Susie Homemaker. I will make my own damn coffee! I am woman. Hear me roar! But there will be no roaring until I’ve had my caffeine, of course. Medium black!

Barb Day, current CWC President, 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”. Come out and see her on the third Friday of every month as she hosts an open mic poetry night at Coffee Culture in Brantford.