Friday Circle Home


Contents


Shai Ben-Shalom

Lindsay Foran

Jerry Golland

Seymour Mayne

Christal Steck

Doreen Taylor-Claxton

Nicola Vulpe

Betty Warrington-Kearsley

Erwin Wiens

Shai Ben-Shalom

Shai’s first collection of poems, Martians Among Us, was published in 2012 by In/Words Press. His poetry appeared in The Calling, 2011; In Air/Air Out, 2011; Our Hircine, Murine Doppelgangers, Mars, 2013; Ottawa Arts Review, 2013; The Poetry Super Highway, 2018; and is published weekly in Blacklock’s Reporter. The poems included here first appeared in Blacklock’s Reporter, some in slightly different versions.


Roots

Ancestry.ca
offers a new service.

Analysing my DNA, they will
uncover my ethnic mix,
discover distant relatives,
find new details about my cultural
history.
 
Satisfied customers
see themselves
in a whole new way.
 
This guy is confirmed to be of
Irish, Scandinavian, Western European, and British
origin.
 
He is smiling, proud to know his
breed.
 
I’ll skip this opportunity.
I already know my genetic makeup:
ninety-eight percent
chimpanzee.
 



The Key

When I was three,
our neighbour Sarah
asked my friend Amos and me
to help her find the key
she’d lost in the yard.
 
A quarter was promised to the finder.
 
Amos went to the rear.
I saw him by the tin garbage cans
where we sword-played
the other day.
 
I remained in the front,
searching by the fence,
then along the path.
 
There it was, right in front of me:
shiny brass,
waiting.
 
Sarah kept her word,
awarded me a quarter.
 
But gave two quarters
to Amos.
 
“Because this is Amos,” she said,
looking me in the eye.
 
My first encounter
with Management.
 



Execution Chamber

A bed, adjustable,
equipped with arm rests.
A mattress for softness, clean sheets,
and a pillow for comfort.
 
Curtains on the windows;
a wall mounted clock;
mirror;
heater;
and an air conditioner.
 
Ceiling lights reflected
in a sparkling-clean floor.
 
By the bed,
a set of syringes.
Sterile, to prevent
infection.
 



Imagine

You envision a world
of perfect harmony.
 
Show me two individuals
in one room
without a conflict
and I'll show you
two liars.