‘words by me’ by Ayesha Durrani

Violated and repressed by twisted cultural toxicity
And stories misinterpreted to keep her in captivity
Hiding away the power of her enormous life force energy.
.
Backed by generations of women who did not have the luxury
Born to blaze in the expression of her sacred physicality
She will never, never, never. Be your property.
.

‘(New Year’s Eve)’ a poem by Sana Janjua

‘i am fewer in pieces than your estimation of my splintered self’

it’s here
the stabbing of the heart
pulsating

gritty against my eyes
like Nusrat says it is
until it no longer is

the sealine seamlessly beckons
inviting the gulls to conjure up the final witnessing
of the birth of turtles

omnipresent
eternally towering
like this island

i hum discursiveness
about the fire
into the dark road

i lighten up
with an out of tune song
to say i too noticed those roses

(thank you,
Michelle.)

concealing my mossy green ideation
as if what had to be sanctified shall be
at this attempt of mine

to put your life in order
or mine
or this composure of time which tells

we met commemorating
what genocide left us with
your people and mine

it’s my heart
i sleep with the fool
and know it better than the aloofness of a poem

a trigger is a doorknock
a stranger pouring coffee two aisles away
a long pause to announce the guilt is mine to possess

what does it retain?
the shunting of memory leaves behind marks
that a singular morning ray reveals damage to be beyond control

this was the last time
i ever planned to speak of it
i am fewer in pieces than your estimation of my splintered self

it’s the sweetest
and preserved as such
it shall be our our lasting love apart from each other.
..

Poet Joanne Arnott receives Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award 2017

Joanne and Wil to Write (Wil George)

Congratulations to Joanne Arnott for receiving the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award 2017. Joanne Arnott and Wil to Write (Wil George) who is a Coast Salish poet from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, were honored with the awards in the area of Literary Arts.

Jules, Joanne and Flora @ The Mayor’s Arts Awards
Photo by Stuart Campbell.

‘Joanne Arnott is a Métis/mixed-blood author, poet and arts activist who has published over ten books of poetry and prose. Her first book of poetry, Wiles of Girlhood (Press Gang) won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Award in 1992. Her latest title is Halfling Spring: an internet romance with illustrations by Leo Yerxa (Kegedonce Press 2014). Her essays and poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies.’ She is the Poetry Editor for EVENT Magazine, a Literary Adviser to Surrey Muse, and a founding member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast. More about Joanne is at the link below:
joanne-arnott-surrey-muse

Joanne’s blogs
joannearnott.blogspot.ca
josarnott.blogspot.ca

The annual Mayor’s Arts Awards recognize 20 established and emerging artists from different communities. The recipients receive a cash award.
Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Awards for 2017
..

‘Flightpaths: The Lost Journals of Amelia Earhart’ by Heidi Greco

Caitlin Press 2017

Heidi Greco’s Flightpaths is a captivating exposition into the story of Amelia Earhart (July 1897), the pilot, celebrity author and women’s rights advocate who disappeared in her bid to fly around the world over the equator in July 1937. This year, Heidi’s book commemorates the birth and the disappearance of that iconic woman.

In Flightpaths, Heidi takes us on a soulful and poetic flight of imagination exploring various possibilities in the scenario of Amelia’s disappearance. On the way, the reader experiences tiny explosions of delicate expressions where landing on ‘Howland, the tiny island’ is landing ‘on a hummingbird’s nest’ (dead reckoning, page 18); Amelia’s ‘fears of drowning’ rise like ‘a brook swelling after spring rains – the sweep of water across the window’s glass – rising, rising.’ (july 3, 20). And, at some places, it’s too compelling to just fly over:

‘Not just a mere dog.

More a man than the one
who murdered him.’
(remembering james the ferocious, poisoned, 36)

‘he said he’d buy me a plane
All I had to do
was say yes I do, I do,
All i had to do just
Do be do be do.’
(Gp and me; our story, 42)

‘This morn, I raised my hand to ask,
my silent keeper shook her head,
looked at her feet, walked away,
left me

a piece of fish, wet and raw
on my sodden rice.’
(news, unwanted, 55)

Heidi Greco has published a novella and five collections of poetry including ‘The Amelia Poems’ (Lipstick Press 2009) chapbook that Flightpaths builds upon. And in this, poems and creative prose items are woven into the mystery of the plot.

Most interesting aspect of this book is that the author takes the persona of her subject in order to explore it. The intriguing first-person fictionalized biographical narrative was earlier used by author Susan Crean to explore the life of another iconic woman in The Laughing One: A Journey to Emily Carr (HarperCollins 2001), and, it also had a precursor (Opposite Contraries: The Unknown Journals of Emily Carr and Other Writings). Susan’s The Laughing One was short-listed for three awards in 2001 including Governor General’s, and, it won the 2002 B.C. Book Prize and 2002 Hubert Evans. To me, these are good omens for Heidi’s Flightpaths.

This 96-page book makes for an effortless, smooth and fast read as it references herstory/history. Ordering information is below.

978-1-987915-47-1 / 1-987915-47-X
Paperback
5.5” x 8”, 96 pages
Paperback price: 18.00
caitlin-press.com/our-books/flightpaths

Fauzia Rafique
gandholi.wordpress.com
..

‘Consent’ by Sana Janjua

he finishes the foul smelling cheese that i nibbled at and rejected,

tastes all the drinks i poured myself to retch and show disdain for my ambivalence,

drops on my shoulder when cant-pronounce-Arthur tipsy,

sprawls his legs on mine to find comfort in having a feeling fellow-being so close yet so far,

shows me his latest mujra steps perfected to nurture the inner calling,

reveals pictures of testosterone invested naked souls born for us to view and wow as we believe so in our carnal dreams,

picks at the crumbs off my mouth when i baby-eat sushi,

gives the stalker a “maula jutt be damned; i will not let you harm my girl” kinda look when i press,

calls himself a baji, begum, khatoon, jahan aarah, taranum, sangeeta, mastaani.

but, what he doesn’t do is:
stroke my tail bone without my consent,
ever.

(“Consent”, Jan 20, 2017)
..