publishing poetry only

Monday's Poem

Happy 2010!

Marianne and Suzanne and Ursula send you wishes for a fantastic year to come. Here's the first poem of the year —
we are so grateful to the contributors sending us their images from the deep freeze.The poets are listed below the poem. All couplets © their authors.

Photo: "Jen" by Gordon May


howling my white craft down the corridor of the Sonora,
northern electrons spelling crystal to my southern desert love

minus thirty. the river locks up
pins quietly drop into place

the cold came in couplets     unrhymed
every step     a slip     a slide     an aside

like the lock on the old barn door,
the unbidden click of its numbers

my bones are cold like frozen pipes
cold so long they cannot warm

cold enters the house through the tiniest of cracks
reminds us how like water, she can shape shift

snow is banked against the door and won't let me go anywhere. I've tried
but winter is harder than it looks, igneous in its determination; cold

as cold as the cave wherein the useless
gold is saved, hopelessly cold, and as bitter

in the marrow. Bitten. This white river
unlocks its teeth-sucks you dry and breathless


news from Kandahar. wind from the northwest
tarsus and metatarsus transmit ice

anomie curls its neck deeper into peacoat collars
propelled by cracked urbane concerns

sky, frostbite black, slings the moon at the edge
of dawn. even the air is hard

fingertips to steering wheel, then palm—
the dance of nearly letting go

in bare branches ravens perch
raw black frost-bitten leaves


snake, curled into stillness under a last
chunk of furnace wood, dreams of salamanders

clear logic of a cloudless sky
night, and the sudden snap & crack

sticks of cold bracken
caught with ice blossoms

air explodes into crystals in sudden sun: solstice
alchemy, deadly and divine

a bull turns its back to the wind, looks south
ice hanging from the sheath of its great cock


bitter moon frozen in the night sky
sleet spit onto black trees, backs of small chickadees

birds flock to the feeder warding off hunger sharpened
by this unmoving cold with a knife-like edge of wind

crunch, chatter, snap—
winter's song

I venture into 40 below
a perishable thing, bundled in down

I wade boot-high into the winter stream
untangle the twisted leaves. this cold music


been wearing long underwear since the end of November
see no reason to stop now

morning frost lies heavy, a blessing on things
every twig and branch swathed in thick gauze

for forty frozen mornings, through lenten darkness, muffled
and mittened, how I trudged my small way to salvation

fingers wrapped around my thumbs—
handknit scarf double-wrapped on cheeks and chin

hidden beneath layers of wool / fleece / angora: my skin
pale and patient, hibernating towards lighter days


the cost of fuel may be rising as the temperature drops
but the chickadee is contentedly nibbling away at a smooth round bagel

this roadside mailbox — stiff and brittle—
brims with holiday cards and heating bills

and cold is what you make it, begun and ended
with who and what you are. cold is as warm as you wish it to be

the mailman wears shorts. I'm from Newfoundland, he says
what is cold if you don't feel it? radiant knees. luminous shins

some things come early, some later. this season's cold
yields to sparrows and chickadees at the feeder in the sun


the universe in a dew drop hangs on a frond of the sword fern
cold visits here but Anna's hummingbirds soon chase her back up north

encased, she moonwalks on white
snow boots rip velcro on the sticky ground

his beer never warms and her white wine stays chilled
their bodies steam in perfect hot tub weather

she licks the frost encrusted leaf
winter consecrates her tongue

(scotch) you are cold and bitter
together, we are warm and better


feel more chilly this rainy winter day
than i felt while walking in last year's snow

so cold in our drafty house
we drive north to a motel room, turn up the heat

sleek summer coats replaced by fluffy, hairy shag
protection from the star-bright chilling nights to come

deceptive remnants of inhospitable night clutch the windshield—
extravagant plumes one morning, tiny star florets the next

a light scattering of frost on the steps
dusts the path to our solstice hearth


hanging cedar branches form tents to hold the blankets of sea-ice       winds
from winter night dreamers trying to dream themselves another reality than this park's frozen beds

the privilege of my working zipper and winter boots does not escape me
as i walk past the homeless near wharf street, their bare bones apparent

spears ice down a dog's pellucid chin
while blood retracts from numb fingers' white

this splitter splatter sheet of shortest light, its lazy drift
past sodden lives praying in cathedral beneath highway

blue eye of day. rainbow pillars arch
round the white hole of sun.


The Poets:

Al Rempel, Prince George, BC
Amy Ainbinder, Victoria, BC
Christina Shah, Saskatoon, SK
Cris Staubach, Niantic, CT, USA
Daniela Elza, Vancouver, BC
David Fraser Nanoose Bay
Dorothee Lang, Germany
Franci Louann Vancouver
Gillian Harding-Russell
Heather Cardin, Richard, Saskatchewan
Heidi Garnett, Kelowna, BC
Heidi Greco, Surrey, BC
Janet Barkhouse, Mahoney Bay, NS
Janice Retterath, Kitchener, ON
Joan MacIntosh, St. John's, Newfoundland
Kevin Gillam, Perth, Australia
Kim Clark, Cedar, BC
Kim Goldberg, Nanaimo, BC
Lenore Rowntree, Vancouver, BC
Lesley Strutt, Ottawa, ON
Leslie McBain, Pender Island, BC
Linda Lee Crosfield, Castlegar, BC
Lou Norman, Kelowna, BC
Madeleine Nattrass, Lantzville, BC
Margaret Doyle, Victoria, BC
Margaret Rutley, Victoria, BC
Marina Blokker, Burnaby, BC
Marion Beck, Regina, SK
Mark DeCarteret, Stratham New Hampshire USA
Mary Duffy, Vancouver, BC
Mildred Tremblay, Nanaimo, BC
Miriam Sagan, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Patricia A. McGoldrick, Kitchener, ON
Patrick M. Pilarski, Edmonton, AB
Rhonda Ganz, Victoria, BC
Rosemary Griebel, Calgary, AB
Sandra Lynxleg, Vernon, BC
Scott Lawrance, Cortes Island, BC
Sidney Bending, Victoria, BC
Susan McCaslin, Fort Langley, BC
Tina Biello, Nanoose Bay, BC
Veryan Haysom, Mahone Bay, NS
Wendy Morton, Sooke, BC
Winona Baker, Nanaimo, BC