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Water Bur - Mercedes Minck - Feature illustration

Winter Paws: Vol. 2, Issue 1.

While the West Kootenay’s black bears spent the fall harvesting salmon, insects and your neighbour’s garbage, the writers and editors for the Black Bear Review have been hard at work gathering literary and artistic sustenance to get you through the winter. This issue will lead you through cardboard doors to a forest of burning paper dolls, it’ll dump you in the river, gasping for breath, and it’ll serenade you with the golden sounds of a dead man’s trumpet. Winter Paws: Vol. 2, Issue 1, is a veritable feast of varied delicacies that we hope you will savour from your respective dens.

Call for submissions - Water theme 2018

Call for Submissions!

Explore the theme of water through word or image and submit your work for publication in our 2018 print magazine!*

Water is of major importance to all living things; in some organisms, up to 90% of their body weight comes from water. You may consider these and other questions:

  • What does it mean to live in fluid bodies?
  • How does water connect us?
  • Has a body of water ever meant something to you?
  • How does water’s changing states (rain, snow, ice, cloud, etc.) reflect your own lived experience?
  • Do you swim, ski, skate, paddle, or otherwise navigate watery landscapes?

Submission Deadline:

January 26, 2018

To Submit:

EMAIL submissions to see full submission guideline here.



I lost control of my words

They were in their order
when I left the house
but I left the cage unlocked and they got out

They shredded the sofa cushions and
made for themselves a nest on the floor

They seemed so happy there that
I nearly forgot to replace them on the page

O Night Sky

Under a darkening sky
troubles lift as matter lights.
I stand stripped, overwhelmed
with insignificance

Which strangely holds
a dangerous power:
careless frivolity tending
toward self-destruction.

But if nothing matters, then surely,
in a substantive universe, everything must.
And curiously, under that same sky,
nihilistic thoughts reverse.

And, what responsibility
if each action matters;
the infinitesimal yielding
the biggest bang.

So, it is to this infinity,
I’ll play my shining best,
watchful of each step
amid the all and the nothing.

Paper Dolls

trees painting skies
walking under the dimming light
looking for relief that we can’t find
as our faces darken beneath the pines

splintered footsteps lost in the dark
a trail of wonders that leaves no mark
as feet grow weary and the trees grow sparse
the trail trails off like a lonely spark

paper dolls glide in the forest
as forest fires seek to destroy us
set by the very ones we love
unaware as they burn us up

paper dolls alight from within
outside we appear un- singed
chasing the whispers that fan the flames
searching for the love that won’t be claimed

skies outlining the clouds
a beautiful chaos to backdrop the sound
of forest fires being put out
the clouds feed on smoky doubts

lost hearts calling in the dark
on trails that still leave no mark
as convincing fires drive them apart
paper-thin echoes give away where we are

paper dolls glide through the forest
as forest fires seek to destroy us
set by the very ones we love
unaware as they burn us up