Archive for September, 2009

Poem of The Day

The Machine Gunner

I saw them. They came like ghosts out of ground-
mist, moving
over ruined earth in waves, running


no, walking, shoulder to shoulder
like a belt of bullets or like
men: tinned meat lined on a conveyor belt as the sun


exploded in thin shafts on metal
buckles, bayonets, the nodding
spires of helmets. I heard faint battle cries


and whistles, piercing through the shriek
of fire and iron falling, the slurred
cadence of big guns; as they funnelled


like a file of mourners into gaps
in the barbed wire I made quick
calculations and slipped the safety catch.


But held my fire. Alongside me
the boys in the trenches worried them with
rifles, pistols, hand grenades


but they came on, larger now, their faces
almost resolving out of hazed hot
distance, their ranks at close quarters amazing


with dumb courage, numb step, a sound of drugged
choking in gas and green mud, steaming —
Who were these men. I saw them penitent


sagging to knees. I saw their dishevelled
dying. And when finally they broke
into a run it came to me


what they had always been, how I’d always,
really, seen them: boys
rushing towards us with arms


outstreched, hands clenched as if in urgent prayer,
sudden welcome or a reunion
quite unexpected. Yes. And more than this


like children, chased by something behind the lines
and hurrying to us
for rescue —


I spat and swung the gun around. Fired,
felt the metal pulse
and laid them three deep in the wire.

Steven Heighton


Treasure Hunt!

I’ve been involved in a lot of online forums and it’s been fantastic, working with and learning from some of the most creative and talented people from all over the world.  But like many of them, the craving for involvement by real live people who share the creative urge, the love of poetry, who live in their dreams and write on napkins and odd bits of paper,  images that move them, propelled by a mysterious force to do so, is overwhelming! that’s a run on sentence!

That was my first purpose in starting this endeavor.  To find some people like me.  It’s lonely, particularly if you are starting or restarting your life as a writer.

But there is a second reason.

Back when I was younger, there was no encouragement.  It had nothing to do with talent, people always admired my talent, my stuff was published, talked about however it was just a hobby.  There were no jobs for poets.  So when a real job came along, the poet was buried because life is busy and I had to live a difficult one, there was money to be made and children to be raised.

But you can only kill an artist with a spade. 

And then, still, their spirit creates their art. 

I avoided the spade, having only been in a box for a while.  I’ve broken free. So I start again.  Reading the old stuff, writing new crap, reading fiction again, starting a novel, stalling, starting a new one, it’s coming along and will be finished! 

And I must admit I that I wrote some shit back in the day!  But at least I was writing.  I was writing crap but I was writing! 

And every so often I find, in my old boxes, a line, a piece of prose, a thought or image, and it stops me, and amazes me…I wrote that!  I’m looking for those treasures from YOU!

Out there, in the community there are boxes, treasures, papers, writers, artist, people who have gems, people who are gems.  People who don’t shine because they were discouraged not to, didn’t think they were good enough or denied their own genius based solely on the fact that it is theirs.  People who didn’t say “When I grew up I want to be a poet” because such a declaration would be laughed at. 

Submit your work to the anthology.  Do it secretly if you’re shy.  But do it!  It doesn’t cost anything  and there is everything to be gained. 

And join.  The Poetry Society.  This is for you.  And for me because I want to know you.  But mostly this is for  you!

Thank you to those who have submitted already!  The guidelines are at the  left side under the Submission heading! 


Become a Member!

The Stratford Poetry Society now has a forum dedicated to the local poets of Stratford and the surrounding area and we are actively seeking members.  If you write poetry or wish to learn become part of the Stratford Poetry Society to find out what is happening in this area.  You can join by going to Stratford Poetry Society Membership

Welcome! The Stratford Poetry Society is Online!

When the suggestion came to me that I should start a local Poetry Society I was a little overwhelmed.  First of all, I’m not sure I am worth.  I don’t think I am that good as a  poet, and second of all, I’m not sure anyone cares.  I love poetry, it’s my favoured form of expression, however, I don’t really know any poets in real life and thought maybe there weren’t any in this area.

I was assured however that poets live among us, disguised as mothers, teachers, accountants, athletes, high school students.  I was told that they often mix with the general population and look  just the same as regular humans but secretly they are, or have been, or want to be, poets.

So with great humility I introduce you to the Stratford Poetry Society!  The purpose of the society is provide a place for the poets that live in secret and those who have declared themselves poets as well,  have the opportunity to share their art with the world in a new forum.  We are looking for the poets of Stratford, Ontario and the surrounding area!

The best artists are often those who do not know they are creating art.  And poetry is art with words.  So if you are interested in being a part of this endeavor please feel free to leave a comment, anonymous is fine.  In the future we will be offering classes and possible informal poetry writing sessions and reading opportunities.  But for now, dig through those boxes of old poetry you wrote in high school, collect poetry from your students or simply pick up your pencil and start writing poetry.  We want the poets among us to stand tall and proud of their words and rhymes and art on paper! 


Classic Poem of the Day


      O that gaunt House of Art which lacks for naught
      Of all the great things men have saved from Time,
      The withered body of a girl was brought
      Dead ere the world’s glad youth had touched its prime,
      And seen by lonely Arabs lying hid
      In the dim womb of some black pyramid.
      But when they had unloosed the linen band
      Which swathed the Egyptian’s body,–lo! was found
      Closed in the wasted hollow of her hand
      A little seed, which sown in English ground
      Did wondrous snow of starry blossoms bear
      And spread rich odours through our spring-tide air.
      With such strange arts this flower did allure
      That all forgotten was the asphodel,
      And the brown bee, the lily’s paramour,
      Forsook the cup where he was wont to dwell,
      For not a thing of earth it seemed to be,
      But stolen from some heavenly Arcady.
      In vain the sad narcissus, wan and white
      At its own beauty, hung across the stream,
      The purple dragon-fly had no delight
      With its gold dust to make his wings a-gleam,
      Ah! no delight the jasmine-bloom to kiss,
      Or brush the rain-pearls from the eucharis.
      For love of it the passionate nightingale
      Forgot the hills of Thrace, the cruel king,
      And the pale dove no longer cared to sail
      Through the wet woods at time of blossoming,
      But round this flower of Egypt sought to float,
      With silvered wing and amethystine throat.
      While the hot sun blazed in his tower of blue
      A cooling wind crept from the land of snows,
      And the warm south with tender tears of dew
      Drenched its white leaves when Hesperos up-rose
      Amid those sea-green meadows of the sky
      On which the scarlet bars of sunset lie.
      But when o’er wastes of lily-haunted field
      The tired birds had stayed their amorous tune,
      And broad and glittering like an argent shield
      High in the sapphire heavens hung the moon,
      Did no strange dream or evil memory make
      Each tremulous petal of its blossoms shake?
      Ah no! to this bright flower a thousand years
      Seemed but the lingering of a summer’s day,
      It never knew the tide of cankering fears
      Which turn a boy’s gold hair to withered grey,
      The dread desire of death it never knew,
      Or how all folk that they were born must rue.
      For we to death with pipe and dancing go,
      Now would we pass the ivory gate again,
      As some sad river wearied of its flow
      Through the dull plains, the haunts of common men,
      Leaps lover-like into the terrible sea!
      And counts it gain to die so gloriously.
      We mar our lordly strength in barren strife
      With the world’s legions led by clamorous care,
      It never feels decay but gathers life
      From the pure sunlight and the supreme air,
      We live beneath Time’s wasting sovereignty,
      It is the child of all eternity.

      ~Oscar Wilde


Poem of the Day

Internal Battle

Torpidity, my lassitude’s mourner
despairs and stares in disbelief
retreats to a distant cerebral corner
overcome with cranial grief

Depressive incomprehensible anguish
ego-driven false despair
hesitant to ever relinquish
the right to melancholy care

lassitude returns the victor
in the battle quietly waged
lassitude, torpidity’s heckler
motivation the compass gauge

Lassitude empowered to nourish
propagates the quintessence flourish