Feature Poetry

The following poems are written by members of a Lenten Poetry Group from the Parish of St. Margaret.
Photography: Nikaela Peters

(a brief encounter with union)

I am pregnant with pause
my hands, palms up, palms down
I wane and unfurl
and wait for the in pour

for the very quiet unfolding of things
for a God who works
secretly and humbly
in the wholly mundane

and what’s left when I ask
of the history of Us

are the shimmering remnants
of hot light illuminating
morning rooms
and your soft body, small
settled into my soft body
and my hands under water
and my knees in the kitchen
and the flat stone in the shadow
that the darkness has not overcome

and everything is a grace
where You wait saying
come back to me
and I wait saying
come back to me

The bush burns but is not consumed
The sleeping grass shifts from its winter death

– Carla Worthington











Path to the cabin on Bunny Point, MacKinnon Island

Austere, this path,

where webs break across my face,
bare arms and legs
tenuous threads

as the body sifts particulates —

bits of twigs,
snippets of grass,
dandelion tufts and moth-wing dust,
middens, feathers drift

then settle
on the shelf by the window like
light filters through
trees, leaves
paroxysms of mirth in erratic
pulsing patterns

God as near as the sun
on my neck,
naked warmth

as the spirit shifts propensities —

concentric ripples quiver on the surface
as something like a spear
strikes, joy
clear to the bottom

– Kelly Milne

Daywork 1962

You could tell mother had been a cleaning lady just by the way she dusted.
In Plautdietsch, the Low German parlance  of our Mennonite heritage we call it
Domestic labour
begun as a  young Mennonite immigrant
in her teens,
continued after  marriage
for wealthy Engländer and Jews
in River Heights, Crescentwood,
or on avenues McAdam, Cathedral, Rupertsland
the fancy streets of the North End.

Mother rarely took charge of anything,
but when she reached for that rag,
she was in control.
With fingers wrapped round this humble tool
from  finger tip to shoulder
at stove-top caked on solids and liquids or
along the piano keyboard
her etude symphonique.

Lifting gingerly
the delicate porcelain sculpture  from the curio cabinet
into the folds of
specs of  dust  now
returning that icon of elegance to the spotlight
to shine once more
in that menagerie of wealth.
slapping  her way down Venetian slats
ensuring no remnant of  powdery
embarrassment  leap out
at the motion of opening or closing.
Lamp shades and bases, sentinels of light
atop end-tables require
special attention
lest  bridge club
roosting on the settee
mid post-game flawless English, martinis and cigarettes, judge
her work.
Lest she be found wanting.
And when vacuuming
that awkward, clacking, whirring, wheezing
tangled tangoed dance
with canister, hose and attachment
the last chore before leaving
mother, proud of her work
casts one last inspecting glance round the house,
reaches for
the two dollars and eighty cents plus bus tickets
left on the kitchen table,
locks the backdoor behind her,
and walks
to the bus stop
in the late afternoon,
on a Thursday.
day’s work
for her children.

– Leona Hiebert Rew, Tribute to my mother, Tina Hiebert


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