Year: 2020

Huck Yeah! By Stephanie Henriksen

Moving to Nelson, British Columbia changed my relationship with skiing. It was never my passion. I was introduced to the sport by my Canadian father, but we spent most of our time in Indonesia, swimming in a warm ocean. The snow globe of Winter sports is unique because it requires one crucial element: snow. Where I grew up there is no snow, there are no seasons, constant Summer and tropical rain. In observing the cultures of my mother’s and father’s countries of origin I am left in awe at the creativity of humanity; our traditions deserve to live on and we are allowed to be proud of them. Honestly, ski culture seemed self – indulgent and elitist to me, always on the outside looking in. Yet it was I who decided to move to a secluded mountain town. Skiing on the mountains makes me feel alive, less depressed. How can I judge a way of life that has accepted me and helped me to heal? Well, I can’t. What I can do is use my …

Education in Hand by Cari-Ann Roberts Gotta

One day, I told a student I was going to be away the following week to take a course. His response was, “Ms. Roberts, don’t you think you’ve been in school long enough?” That was two degrees and a diploma ago. My family thinks there is no reason to go to school if you have a job. I disagree. I’ve spent most of my life in schools because there has always been something I wanted to learn or wanted to teach.  Many years ago, I went to school because I wanted to learn American Sign Language. I loved the language learning but loathed the social politics of my classmates and the field of sign language interpreting, so I left after completing the first level of training and moved to a small mountain town. One day, a friend told me about a job posting at the local elementary school for an educational assistant that knew sign language. Knowing that I had less training than was ideal, I was reluctant to apply. But it turned out that …

Creating in the Time of COVID 19

In May, we put out a submission call. Send us your work, we urged. Tell us how you’ve been writing your way through the pandemic. Show us what this moment means to you. Contributor Sarah Beauchamp asserts that “it is the misfits of the world, the artists, the poets, the writers, and the sensitive souls who have this unique ability to capture and reflect the state of the world through art and through language.” We see evidence of this here with a thoughtful, emotional collection of poems, art, even a personal essay based on an Instagram pandemic diary. As editors, we revelled in the opportunity to stare into the maw of these poems, witness the courage it takes to write them, and then for the poet to hurl them into the midst of this maelstrom.  We are reminded that this is the poet’s job – to allow, permit, and witness, and these poets are living it. Aside from the attention to cadence, rhythm, assonance and line, these poems are a true whispering of the heart’s …

Day 8, by Andisa Shayi

During this time the few words I’ve been able to muster have been representative of the profound sense of stagnation I’ve felt within myself and with my relationships in these past few weeks, and in general. When you have no time for anything writing can be a delicious escape, but now with all the time in the world, I’ve come to also see it as scary and a huge imposition on me, as if the words are now saying ‘show us what you’re capable of now that you have no more excuses’. I teeter constantly between shooing this away, and then welcoming it with open arms. Day 8 morbidly, you whisperwhen asked for silencerestless children fill their mouths withtheir forearms to kill the soundand almost choke on creased cotton sleeves What is there to do?I am high on the scent of this house.

Muffled Apocalypse Sounds, by Chantal Lunardi

A poetic reflection on writing in the time of COVID : Time I haveCreativity space equanimity?Unfruitful solitudeunceasing cerebral racketcontaminated possibly contagious.Not a cohesive worddown on paperor up on the screen. Maybe if I waitalone safe and kindsmiling perkingwashing my hands maybe This alienating distanceI am not designed forneither is the viabilityof going back to the incongruityof infinite impossibilities. I can’t. I was not designed for this world neither ParadisesWalled gardensGate communities.How grateful we areto live here and not there. But the wind tellsand the rain crieswhile the dark sky triesto hide what’s over the mountains Muffled Apocalypse Sounds Mixed feelings after a safe-semi-private session at the Kootenay Sound Healing Centre We bathe in gongsand thieves oil aromatherapy.Hearts and windows wide opendispelling our illusions of immunity. And the gongs went onwith tinkles and chimesand other cosmic sounds. Everyone looking not too welllooking better than how I feellooking better after the bells. We breathe beautyhealth and the divinityof what could be.   My heart attunes with the gongspainfully echoing the wails muffled over the fence.I hear the Minaret …

Pod Poems, by Josh Massey

In his introduction to Selected Poems of E.J. Pratt (1968), editor Peter Buithenhuis shares a startling revelation about Pratt’s poetry: “He was over thirty when the First World War broke out, and yet that cataclysmic event, which both made and killed many poets, seems to have left hardly a mark on his poetry.” (Buithenhuis, xxviii) This quote is of interest because it hints that a writer, even one who is considered the best of an era like the modernist Canadian poet E.J. Pratt was, isn’t obliged to engage with current events to satisfy their role as artist. In our day, while disease alters the course of history, many poets will write about other things. In my opinion, this seemingly oblivious attitude is quite healthy for art and society. When a writer does respond to the day’s big news, his/her work risks becoming trapped in time and thus difficult to appreciate as anything other than simply a record of how things were. And because interpretations of events change, these records could be marred with the popular …

2 Poems, by Leo Hepler

The pandemic has been a time of rejuvenation and discovery for me. It healed known cuts and let me notice new ones. I’m so thankful for these moments of clarity and self-realization, even if they only exist against a backdrop of tragedy. The galvanizing force of global racial justice protests has inspired me to reflect on my own privilege. I have profited from my white privilege in both subtle and overt ways, and am committing to educating myself to help dismantle the structures of inequality that are present within me and my communities. I want to send my thoughts to anyone who is struggling physically, mentally, or emotionally through this pandemic, and I hope these poems can provide some little solace.