Polar Starlight #5 Is Live!

I’m so excited!

The latest issue of Polar Starlight, the Magazine of Canadian Speculative Poetry is live! Inside you’ll find my first ever scifi poem titled Other Worlds Than These.

The best part? You can read the entire issue for free!

Just go here:

http://polarborealis.ca/currentback-issues/

Or better yet, you can download the issue by clicking below:

http://polarborealis.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/POLAR-STARLIGHT-5-March-2022.pdf

I’m so proud of my poem and so honoured to have it published in Polar Starlight. I hope you enjoy it and that it moves you in some way. I had so much fun writing it!

The Many Selves of Me – A Poem

I no longer know my own body.

It houses people

I’ve only seen in passing

and yet,

they have control over its movements,

its mechanics.

One person controls my voice,

deciding on the volume

or the words I am able to speak.

Another,

he picks the distance

that I can walk in a day,

sometimes he confines me to a chair,

unable to move because

I have only enough energy to breathe.

Someone else,

they choose the amount of pain

I carry, wearing it like a hairshirt

or a mantle made of glass.

Still another,

he takes my balance,

filling me with water,

making me walk on a tightrope.

It sloshes around,

spilling onto the floors as I walk,

eventually falling when

I’m unable to keep my balance.

And still more,

they fill my mind and body with sand,

clouding my vision

and my mind,

so that I am unable to see  

or find my way

through the clouds to the sun.

It always feels like it’s always raining.

I’ve lost count of the people within me,

they have overstayed their welcome.

I watch them,

waiting,

hoping for a moment where I can breathe,

where I have total control

over the body that used to be

mine.

Covidly Speaking in Paperback!

The paperback edition of Covidly Speaking is live!

It’s such a joy that my little book is now out in ebook and paperback. Here’s a little bit about Covidly Speaking:

The poems in this collection were written during the first two years of the covid pandemic.

They contain a range of emotions including confusion, anger, pain and upset, yet they also contain light, love, hope and laughter. Life during the covid pandemic has been about finding balance, despite the imbalance of the world.

Go on a journey and discover how hope and love can conquer even the darkest of times. Sometimes, even when we’re alone, we’re stronger together.

You can get the paperback of Covidly Speaking here.

You can get the ebook of Covidly Speaking here.

And here!

It’s hard to believe that the book is finally out in paperback! I’m so thrilled that it’s out there in the world. If you’ve read it, please consider leaving a review!

The First Star in the Sky – A Poem

It’s hard to believe

that you’re gone.

When I was younger,

we met by chance

and the connection was immediate.

Lost in the world,

you were an island of calm.

You taught me what it was

to be loved

for who I was,

not for what I wished to be.

You taught me that love,

this insurmountable emotion,

could be so simple.

You were the first man

to tell me they loved me.

Though whole lifetimes have passed

and neither of us is the same

as we once were,

there was still a little star within me

that I carried for you,

kept safe even after all this time.

You never forget your first love

and you were the standard

with which I measured everyone

that came after.

When I learned that you were gone,

that your light had left this world,

I went back to that island

that I had shared with you,

just for a moment.

You were waiting for me.

I was struck by how happy you looked.

You began to fade

into the night and I knew

that you had been waiting for me.

I watched as the outline of you

began to slowly seep into the night

and I walked away from that island,

toward the life I have now,

one in which I live surrounded

by more love than I ever thought possible.

Looking up at the night sky,

I saw the stars and I know what

needed to be done.

I took that kernel of light

that I have been carrying within me.

I hold it up to the darkened sky

in my cupped hands and I watched

as it glowed brighter just for a moment.

I knew that was you saying goodbye to me.

I let you go and watched as

the night sky

welcomed you home.

Three Left Turns to Nowhere by Jeffrey Ricker, J. Marshall Freeman and ‘Nathan Burgoine – A Book Review

Hopewell Ontario is a place where magic exist.

It’s a place where one person can see ghosts, where the town knows what direction you really need to go in to find your hearts desire or where you’ll find what you’ve been searching for all along. In three interconnected novellas, we’re shown that magic can happen in many ways, all you have to do is let it happen, whether you like it or not.

When three different cars get stuck in Hopewell, we’re introduced to three different men who are about to find what happens when magic gives things a helping push to help them along the right path.

In Roadside Assistance by Jeffrey Ricker, we’re introduced to Ed. He’s travelling with his friends Siobhan and Curtis, and they are heading to Toronto so that they can attend SciCon when their car breaks down in Hopewell. Ed isn’t hopeful, but even less so when they meet the town mechanic, Lyn. Sparks fly, but not the good kind, not right away. Sometimes attraction takes time. It complicates things a little when Ed realizes that Lyn can see ghosts, or one ghost, really. Whose ghost is it and what does it want from him?

In The Scavenger Hunt by J. Marshall Freeman, we’re given Rome’s story. He’s focused on working on the scavenger hunt for SciCon and he won’t let a little thing like a fallen tree in the road blocking the road to the convention stop him either. It’s not like he doesn’t have a lot on his mind. His grandmother is recovering after having a stroke. To take his mind off of that and the tree, he begins to look for a prize for his SciCon scavenger hunt. He is searching for the perfect prize when he sees meets Darcy, an artist who appears to be just as lost in the world as Rome feels. The two men come together and find a little of what was missing in each other.

In Hope Echoes, we meet Fielding. He is on his way to SciCon and he is also stopped by the tree in the path of the road. With nothing left to do, he decides to wander the town of Hopewell. He leaves the echo of his cousin in the car. He’s always seen ghosts, or echoes, but Hopewell seems to be full of them. In the local antique store, he sees an echo of a woman leave a note inside a book and disappear. He pulls the book off the shelf and finds it’s a copy of Sense and Sensibility. Inside the book, he finds the note still inside but it’s not one he can read. It’s written in some kind of code or cypher. This will lead Fielding on a hunt of his own and help him find a piece of himself he didn’t know he was missing.  

I have to admit that I got Three Left Turns to Nowhere because I love the work by one of the authors. I heart anything written by ‘Nathan Burgoine so I knew that I had to get this book, simply so that I could read his novella. I’ve never read anything by Jeffrey Ricker or J. Marshall Freeman.

Sometimes, a collection of novella’s set in the same place can be disastrous. When I read one, I usually only pick it up for that one author. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this book up, but I was hoping for a little bit of magic. I wasn’t expecting to be completely enchanted.

Each story stands on its own but has secondary characters or elements that tie all three novellas together. Hopewell feels less like a set piece and more like an actual town that I found myself wishing I could to there to experience my own bit of magic.

I loved how each of the three stories wasn’t about lust. More than that, they focused on the possibilities of love or romance and though each story does have a solid ending, I’m left wondering if the characters are still in Hopewell, celebrating their magic in some way. The characters were all written so well and the emotions that filled each of the stories was real and true.

You never know what you’re going to get in a book of novellas, but each of the stories contained in Three Left Turns to Nowhere do away with LGBTQIA+ stereotypes. Instead, I felt like I was reading real stories, with the occasional bit of magic thrown in; but no one can convince me that magic isn’t real, especially after reading this book.

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