Kim Goldberg | Nanaimo, BC | LCP member since 2008

#17. Push boat with flow of water

if you want to mend a cloth to
preserve it, you must send a thread
through a tiny hole in a needle
called an eye

if you want to replicate the world
to preserve it, you  must send photons
through a tiny hole in a box
called an aperture

if you want to replicate yourself
to preserve it, you must send sperm
through a tiny hole between your legs
called a vagina

when cloth gets old, world breaks
down, body’s gone to wormbait

all that’s left are  tiny holes
where light shines through

forming star-pricked sky for
creatures threading needles

* * *

From Ride Backwards on Dragon (Pig Squash Press).

* * *
Kim Goldberg’s 2007 collection, Ride Backwards on Dragon: a poet’s journey through Liuhebafa, was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Her collection of poems about homelessness, RED ZONE, has been taught at Vancouver Island University and elsewhere. Visit her online at:

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Anne Swannell | Victoria, BC | LCP member since 2009


Jamilia lives in Santa Clara
With her mother, waits
where touristas take pictures
of the purple bouganvillea,
the church’s yellow bell-tower
for her father

who brings tourists up from Varadero
to visit the little towns,
an old sugar plantation,
the compulsory tiendas.

En route, he drops off matches,
a bar or two of soap when he can get it.
Today, he managed three baby soothers
mothers in Matanzas have been begging for.
Next week, it might be safety pins
or pens he passes through the window
as he threads the palm-thatched villages.

He takes Jamilia
for lunch with the visitors
to a bodiguita
where she can have jugo de naranja
with thee spoons of sugar
and Coca-Cola,
fish as well as rice,
and ensalada.

Today, he will buy some small thing for her
because he so much wishes
she weren’t going to cry when he leaves her
and that this
were not her only decent meal all week.

This poem is from Shifting (Ekstasis Editions, 2008), Anne Swannell‘s
third book of poetry.  When she isn’t writing, she paints and makes mosaics
in Victoria, BC.

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John B. Lee | Port Dover, ON | LCP member since 1982

Ill Beauty

I am watching the little girl
snipping milkweed leaves
to feed the fat larvae
she has brought indoors
set in the deep prison
of a brown box …
she holds in her hand
a clutch of green
a ragged bouquet of ugly
autumn withered old-veined things
a veritable gluttony
meant for the thickening of the worm
and she also insists upon
scissoring the chrysalis she finds
she has thread and glue
in the house meant for fastening
she will hang them all
like an elderly woman’s chuchka
knickknacks from the orient
bric-a-bracs from the far east
imagine the weak-winged monarch
waking in the warm corrugation
of her urban bedroom
trying the windows
fluttering between sash and curtain hem
like wind-stirred price tags

John B. Lee is the author of over sixty published books.  His work has appeared internationally in over 500 publications.  He is the recipient of over 70 prestigious awards for poetry.  He was appointed Poet Laureate of the City of Brantford in perpetuity in 2005 and Poet Laureate of Norfolk County 2010-2014.  The poem, “Ill Beauty” is from his most recent collection, In the Muddy Shoes of Morning, (Hidden Brook Press, 2010).

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Bren Simmers | Vancouver, BC | LCP member since 2010

1985 Toyota Van 

Back-seat intimacy of buckles and belts,
hot red vinyl. Steering wheel sticky

with sugar and grease. Late night confidante
to three past relationships. Every dent catalogued,

every rock that’s pocked the windshield, headlight
split on the logging road to Kennedy Lake.

Not knowing when the transmission will go,
but that it will, and soon.

Such a fierce love – goddamn it,
don’t quit on me now, willing her up steep grades

on the Coquihalla, fully-loaded –
a love that can’t help but let you down,

waiting for a tow truck at midnight;
power steering pump shot, last straw

on a lengthy list of hard-to-find-parts.
Repairs now more than triple her worth, it’s time

to give in to the Buy & Sell, wipe the dash free
of apple cores and parking receipts.

Write a pithy listing for Vehicles under $2000.
Adjectives at so-many cents a piece

scare up only tire-kickers. They don’t care
about the slight pull to the left

or the wind-shimmy on a straight stretch;
they talk mileage and rust, A to B.

Wait it out for the woman with a repair manual.
Take a couple hundred less to hand over the keys

knowing she won’t end up a junker for parts,
a love that won’t give up, just yet.


Poem from Night Gears (Wolsak and Wynn, 2010).

Bren Simmers lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she works as a park interpreter. She has a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Winner of the Arc Poem of the Year Award and a finalist for the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award and the Malahat Long Poem Prize, her work has been published in journals across Canada. Night Gears, her first poetry collection was published by Wolsak and Wynn in fall 2010.

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M.E. Csamer | Kingston, ON | LCP member since 1999

Incompetent Angel

Entering the daycare at naptime,
lights turned low, soft music,
my breath catches, every time:
two dozen little futon beds,
on each, a child, some sleep
while others play shadow games
or, eyes wide, indulge in private reveries.

My grandson, Joe, rests in the far corner
a smile from one and there, a wave,
as I make my way to Joe.
They all know I’m his Grandma,
Coming early twice a week
To take him to therapy.

I’m usually late, wanting him
to sleep as long as possible
so we have to hurry
but he runs to me, half asleep,
slips into my arms nesting his head
in my neck, like a small bird in wind.
We melt together for a time
measured like the first sip of water
after a day-long thirst.

No one notices us, our epoch moment.
Time has no construct
for such flashes, they pass and last
we hope they will come again at death
so we can go honestly, remembering.

As I embrace my grandson, love stretches
the mind, but it can’t make sense of this
how fierce and helpless love is
incompetent angel,
wanting to keep safe the innocents
but having no authority
over errant cars, defective genes,
lust and greed and poverty.

Love’s stubborn, stupid grief
Is all I have for you, Joe,
that and its courage, its strength
how it cracks me open like an egg
another birth in this room of fledglings.

M. E. Csamer is widely published in Canadian literary magazines. Her books include Paper Moon (watershedBooks, 1998), Light is What We Live In (Artful Codger Press, 2005), and A Month Without Snow (Hidden Brook Press, 2007). She is a Past President of the League of Canadian Poets.

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Marilyn Boyle | Caledon, ON | LCP member for two years

Marilyn Boyle, member of LCP for two years, lives in the Caledon Hills.  Her work appeared in Celebrating Canadian Women (Fitzhenry and Whiteside), Poet’s Market, and in a  chapbook, lyingstill. Also a member of SOCAN, she has performed readings and interdisciplinary works at many alternative galleries and venues across Canada exploring breath, design, and fragment.

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Pearl Pirie | Ottawa, ON | LCP member since 2011


Tick tock is small. Swing load, sweet bladderette; bus is comin’ for to carry us home. Words from his prime are prime numbers dividing me against myself decades later. I love you— (emphasis on the unspoken “anyway”). A heated floor. His foot bones feel safe enough now to complain that, before, they were cold. Glasses on bedside, bokeh city night. Grainy shoulder sways snores.

Among the incontinence, a double-caned eagle watches the security keypad for his break to The Street. Piebald pigeon is missing one orange leg; the other with string tangled among his toes. The roads keep getting washed out by my seeing them. Limbs are insurrections. Ledge’s sparrow, do I overload your wings with the hopes of my gaze?

Jeopardy music of debate and negate. Must. can’t. must. Can’t. Body makes an x of itself, arms crossed. One leg plays hero in front of the other. Left eye’s tic become the entire ocular implant of leather pleating spasms around the button of No. Thumbs into shoulders, into scoops along the spine, into the filet mignon of my aching. If there were more of you, I’d collect the whole set.

Pearl Pirie has run the Pre-Tree Poetry Workshop series in Ottawa since 2009. Thirsts won the 2011 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry; the collection will come out with Snare in 2011. Her first trade collection, been shed bore (Chaudiere, 2010), and chapbooks including over my dead corpus (AngelHouse Press, 2010) are available on her site (among other places):

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