Sometimes a prayer
Passes through me
Like a shoot of heat,
A lightning bolt,
A beam of shade.

I greet it and send it on
To do its unknown work.

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My Children

I thought I had no children

But just now realized that all

        My unruly feelings

        All my petulant complaints

        All my bursts of impatience

         And old, forgotten rage –


They are all my children

                    Just being born


So I can look on them with love

                     Hold and rock them

                      And offer them

For a transformation

I might never see.

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I write secret notes to myself –
scraps of rough-edged papers,
corners torn and
crooked edges
anything that will hold a word –

They are sticking out of books
or among counter-top debris,
sudden thoughts and quotes,
giving words to the soul’s summons
that day.

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Just ahead
On the County Road
A woman walks slowly
Toward a lump of bloodied fur.

How I hated that job

It starts when the cat’s dish is full
She’s not on the window sill
Or anywhere.
The kids will be home soon
On the school bus.

I hated that job
In the dark shed
Finding the right shovel
To scoop up a dead cat
Hide her somewhere
Until the time is right
To tell the kids.
The time does not come
I tell them anyway
Then wait
For their hearts to break
Which they do.

I hold their hands
Or their body
Depending on their age
While the hole is dug
Out the back of the house
The wine box from Argentina
Lined with a baby’s blanket
Receives four pounds of orange fur.
Seems a small amount to be taken from our lives
Adds meaning to instant, sadness, death and anger.

Years pass
Kids stop crying,
At least for the cat.
Long grass grows over the coffin from Argentina
But seeing the woman
On the County Road
Exhumes the orange cat
And all the other cats that came after.
I stop
Ask if I can help
It takes two women and a wheelbarrow
To transport her Fletcher
Into the barn
Behind the house
Before the school bus comes.

How I hated that job.

Linda McNamara

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Cottage Remains

Driving to the Scotch Line Dump
Cleaning out our cottage life
For the last time
My old blackened pot in the passenger’s seat
Burn marks on top of burn marks line tis thinning bottom
Where thousands of corn kernels
Brings back the smell of melting butter
The sound, like gun pellets
Pinging off the sides.
The children waiting impatiently
For the first fluffy whites to lift the lid and peek at us
Often spilling onto the stove and down the floor
A fountain of surprise for dogs and crawling babies
More butter melted, poured over top
Watch it sink into the hot fluffettes,
As one wide-eyed girl called them,
Steaming into our biggest bowl.

Another round of ritual
But the next bowl of fluffettes
Goes to the dock with Mom and Dad
Who sit and watch the sun go down
Buttery fingers smudging the wine glasses
Along with the difficulties of the day.

Arriving at the Scotch Line Dump
I drive around back
To a mountain of metal:
Bicycles, mufflers, baby carriages,
Boats, kitchen sinks, trophies and a slinky.
I carefully place my old blackened pot,
My offering,
On the top of an old woodstove
So they can wait together
To be “re-purposed”.

I have a vision that one day
We will all be waiting
Old and used up, to be “re-purposed”.
Maybe nothing gets to rest in peace anymore.

Linda McNamara

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FEBRUARY – the month of HOPE


Open your eyes and see…

Softening snow mounds

Moles poking their pointed little heads out holes in the snowbanks

Barred owl hungry for a snack

Six deer snacking on corn and oats on the hot tub deck – what Beauties!

Soft brown eyes framed by white fur, ears wagging right and left watching… watching

Sunlight framing mauve shadows on chiseled pathways and the buried buggies

And the wee bridge appearing bit by bit

There is HOPE !


Lee Gauthier

Feb 17th, 2017.

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It’s 100 yards walk to a dilapidated shed that I never noticed before.
A white door hangs crooked on its hinges with dollops of snow for decoration.
What’s left of walls on both sides have dropped away with time.
The space of a room still lives inside the walls of trees.
You can see straight through to a forest on the other side.
A relationship space of 70 years,
dilapidated walls untended in a room
that used to be papered
in bronze and gold,
that was filled with the laughter of girls.
A sunny curtained window,
an older sister telling made-up bedtime stories
under shared bed covers.
With time and distance, the walls have dissolved,
replaced by familiar warm tones over phone lines.
End of life brings us together.
The forest lives on.
Andrea Bunt Percy
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