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Shai Ben-Shalom

Lindsay Foran

Jerry Golland

Seymour Mayne

Christal Steck

Doreen Taylor-Claxton

Nicola Vulpe

Betty Warrington-Kearsley

Erwin Wiens

Nicola Vulpe

Nicola Vulpe doesn’t get out much with the literati, but has nonetheless published two collections of poetry, a novella, and an eclectic selection of essays and articles. The poems included here are from Insult to the Brain, forthcoming with Guernica Editions.



I’m Walking
for Alden Nowlan (1933 – 1983)

We’re stubborn like that,
Maritimers.
 
Or just a touch too well planted
in this field we’ve been given to plough,
rocks and pine roots and all.
 
We’ll give quarter.
It’s the way we’re made, I suppose,
but expect none.
 
And, like I told Yukio,
the Cancer Ward takes no prisoners.
 
So be it then.
 
So be it!
 
But there’ll be no gurney,
not for Alden Nowlan of Desolation Creek, Nova Scotia,
lately of Fredericton.
 
I’m walking!
 



Man on Bridge
for Milton Acorn (1923 – 1986)

Did the falling man cry out?
That drunk who tumbled from the bridge?
No one heard. It was night.
 
No one heard if he obeyed the rules, the law of gravity,
if he splashed into the shivering river,
or soared off to join the saints, wingless above the city.
 
When I’m in Charlottetown next, Milton, I’ll stop by St. Pete’s for a chat.
Then I’ll get down and tighten the screws on that satin-lined box of yours.
 
We can’t have you back, shouting and crowing,
when finally we turn off the TVs and shut down our laptops,
when even the radio goes quiet.
 
When we notice it’sbe en years since we closed our eyes,
stepped off the bridge, too late to decide
if we’ll fly or meet the river.
 



Arrival
for Louis Dudek (1918 – 2001)

We sailed in from somewhere south of Iceland.
Telegraph Hill threw out a shadow we could not see through the mist.
 
The ice-strewn gulf, the river. Tomorrow.
 
We carried in our trunks, beneath the carefully folded coat,
our shirts and thin trousers, the rubbish of our histories.
 
Heraclitus said this, Euripides that. Homer, of course,
Herodotus and Sappho, Plato’s step-children. Archimedes. Voltaire.
 
We wore them like our skins, ill-fitting, chapped, supreme disguises.
 
We disembarked like everyone else, with these monsters, smiling,
a cloudless January morning, into the blazing cold.