Author: blackbearreview

Love Haight 69 by Tanya Coad

Note to reader The following is an excerpt from my historical fiction novel, Love Haight ‘69. It is a coming-of-age story, set in 1969, about a runaway teen from Canada, living in Haight-Ashbury and struggling to immerse herself in the counterculture scene. A square with hip aspirations, she finds love, community, and a sense of purpose across the Bay when she joins a diverse group of volunteers who transform an abandoned lot on the UC Berkeley campus into a “People’s Park.” Verity is 18, shortish, blondish, and bright yet naive. Her activist boyfriend, Richard, is a handsome 26-year old Political Science major. In the following scene, they and Richard’s roommate, Gerber, an affable African American hulk, are returning from a camping trip. Chapter 30  Thurs., May 15, 1969; noon Under a hazy mid-May sky, the white Chevy cruised northward up Telegraph Avenue. Having dropped Gerber’s girlfriend off already, the carload of grungy campers was tired and eagerly anticipating assimilation back into a world of creature comforts. “Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen…” One tanned leg pressed against the …

Three poems by Art Harrison

Candles (A memory) Stumble into a dark apartment And fumble for the light. Empty and cool with the breeze Blowing through the open window. Flick the switch and gaze around At the mess of dishes, scattered papers, And children’s toys. The kids are back with their mother for the week And the place is quiet and dead without their light. The light on the answering machine blinks three times; Someone has actually called, Three someones possibly. Savour the chance to break this awful silence. Two from the children. So often the ones who keep me in contact with the world… And one from her. After months of nothing her voice comes to me like the whispers of a ghost Calling from the other side. She sounds tired. She’s been working so hard and before I can catch myself I wish I could hold her. But I remember where I am And what has happened Replay the message to catch the content, which says very little, Give my head a shake and go to erase just …

1963 – A short Reflection on Life Guidelines by Ilkay Cakirogullari

In times, where “time” doesn’t seem to play a role, it almost seems as though everybody just keeps on running. “A new challenge”, “Something New”, “Recreate yourself”. Voices blend. Many talk, few do. Yeah! That’s how it is nowadays. Who’s done plenty in the past, may rest now. Who’s done little thus far, has to work even more. And who’s to say, if you’ve done much or little? Maybe traditional media, or even social media as they seem to be the ones dictating how and with what we are supposed to effectively fill our “leisure time”.  In the article “PositiveLivingInPositiveEnvironentsTodayfor70+” an exact time table is being suggested, which ought to give ‘my’ life – and even claims to give everyone’s life – a new and deeper meaning. In short: PLIPET70+. My daily routine should somehow look like this: 6:30: Get up 6.31: Drink a glass of water. ROOM TEMPERATURE (Neither cold nor warm) 6.33: Prepare your yoga mat for meditation 6.48: Bathroom 7.02: Breakfast (Every bite has to be chewed 20 times) 7.37: Brush your …

D.R.E.A.M. (Delusion Rules Everything Around Me) by Matty Kakes

Sung to the tune of C.R.E.A.M. by Wu-Tang Clan I grew up on the sci side, the Bill Nye don’t lie side Empirical research was my jive Had second hand textbooks and a laptop, man So then I went away to collegeland A young youth, reading strictly peer reviewed to get loose Debate your ideas and then give them the boot! But then something happened and people started behaving dumb Denying science, facts and logic, son I wish it was just a dream cause of how bizarre it all seems Crazy ass theories about cannibal lizards going mainstream And people be claiming the earth’s flat, how’s that? You know physics don’t be working like that No question, cognitive dissonance is at a peak I mean just last week, right wing media be saying we’re all sheep Empathy is vacant and critical thinking is at a lull Anti-maskers claiming freedom over lives of the vulnerable. CHORUS Delusion Rules Everything Around MED.R.E.A.M.Don’t fall for it Knowledge reigns supreme y’all Delusion Rules Everything Around MED.R.E.A.M.Don’t fall for it …

Undocumented Football by David A. Romero

When life throws everything at you Don’t drop the ball “Don’t drop the ball” “Blue 42 Set Hike!” A brown quarterback’s fingers Tighten around the white laces Of a football Roosevelt vs. Garfield They meet today Upon an annual battleground Where local legends Spell rivalry In defensive and offensive formations Upon this old field In this dirty stadium Football sounds a lot like Boyle Heights Like East L.A. Like years of pride and history “Sounds like Roosevelt is in motion Number 42 Miguel Is with them Crossing the line of scrimmage Clad in red and yellow His muscles tell a story” 20 Miguel has always been running Running from la migra Las placas Everyone who wants to Stop him Ask him, “.Donde estan sus papeles?” Where are your papers? Miguel’s too fast though How fast? Too fast Too fast for borders Laws Checkpoints Dogs Too fast for fences Ditches Detention centers And walls Definitely too fast for the fool Unfortunate enough to be D’ing up on him now Through it all Under the glare of …

The Trip By Karen Hamling

After two hours on the road, I see the wooden ‘Welcome to Nakusp’ sign. A big blue ‘N’ on a white background. The sign is weathered and worn and very much like how I feel as I travel highway 6 into town. “N” for Nakusp or “N” for numb? It is the middle of September and fall has just arrived. I spent last night in Nelson, to decompress before I headed home. I need a break to help me reset. The drive has been spectacular with the maple leaves turning to reds, oranges, yellows while the birch, larch, and trembling ash turning to various shades of yellow signs of winter approaching. I sigh with relief. It has been a difficult journey. I drive down the winding highway where lights glow in various homes and it looks cozy.  I turn right at Anderson’s gas station.  It has been in the Anderson family for years with a well-lit gas pump area a bright beacon, welcoming me home.   It is on the verge of dusk as I pull …

The Writers’ Group by Alan Ross

          On the outskirts of the tiny village of Nakusp, in South Central British Columbia, sat an old barn with a gambrel roof.  Once, it had been red but the paint had worn off and now the dry, weathered wood was ripe to be remade into chic furniture and sold to the seasonal visitors who came every summer to enjoy the uncrowded hiking trails, hot springs and lakes that encircled the isolated town. Many years ago, a photo of the barn had graced ‘April’ in the United Church Calendar. More recently, the Volunteer Fire Chief  had decried the barn a fire hazard but, at least so far, it had been left untouched. Citizens of the village disliked change and most agreed that it would be a shame if anything were to happen to the barn.           The Nakusp writers’ group met at the public library, a busy little place that boasted an admirable collection of popular books that were actually borrowed and returned, again and again. The group was comprised of eight members. Meetings  were …

The Poorest Postal Code in Canada by Meredith Joy Macdonald

I am Canadian, and my identity as a Canadian is something I cherish. I feel grateful because I was born in a country with a vibrant landscape where every person has access to healthcare. All children can receive an education and an opportunity to be literate. As a country, we appreciate the diverse cultures, the customs, and beliefs of all many types of Canadians. Despite all these beautiful strengths, there are still places in Canada where people are struggling, and one of those places is in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. I was born in North Vancouver, although I lived in Nelson from two years old until I was thirteen years old. Hume was my elementary school and I spent two thirds of grade eight at Trafalgar. By the time I was fifteen, I had moved back to Vancouver, and by the age of sixteen, I was living in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver. The DTES was my home for years, and there are lots of people who still consider the DTES their home. My …