Canadian Poetry Review

current issue
featured poet
poem of the week
lives of the poets
poetry near you
alan crawley victoria poetry award
about us
contact us

Current Issue

The poems below are featured in Canadian Poetry Review #6. Poetry copyright © Ekstasis Editions for the authors.

Jim Christy ~ Stephen Morrissey ~ Dvora Levin ~ Lesley Choyce


Jim Christy

Doggone Poem

It’s got gnawed on ears
And might wag its tail,
Maybe give a paw
If it has a mind to. Call it
A stray dog of a poem. A doggone
Poem that looks like a cross
Between a chuckwagon and a wolverine.
This poem helped a guide dog
Cross the street and dared
Eat out of Rinty’s bowl.
It growls at the mailman
And the cop on the beat
But children often ride
On its back. And it never
Comes on all mysterious
Like a housecat of a poem.
This one sleeps where
And when it wants. Sure,
It may be querulous and misshapen but
It has something most other poems
Don’t have. It has something. Never attempt
To put a leash on it much less a muzzle.
Some have tried and lost a finger or
The seat of their pants. This poem is not
Licensed by the authorities. It likes
To saunter along, going where it wishes,
And watches the other poems in their
Enclosures. They can whine and preen
Or growl and bark all they want,
Knowing they’re safe
On that side of the fence..

The Big Thirst is Jim Christy’s 32nd published book. He continues to explore the earth as well as the ways and doings of women and men. He is also an artist who has exhibited in many countries. His songs have been recorded by singers in Canada, Europe and elsewhere. ~ back to top


Stephen Morrissey

The Poet's Coat

I wear a poet’s coat,
a great black coat
pulled tight around my body:
the arms are long,
the material rough woven.
The coat gives warmth
and casts a shadow
between two cities,
two countries, two people:
an eclipse of words and memory.

I ride my great black
horse in this coat;
I walk my half wild
dog in this coat;
I drink too much,
eat too much,
say too much,
and when I try to swim
in this coat
I am pulled to the bottom
of the Sargasso Sea.

Oh, come and try on
my great coat of shadows,
my coat without money in its pockets,
my poet’s coat I will wear one day
in my six foot grave
not far from here.

Stephen Morrissey is also the author of several poetry chapbooks and numerous book reviews. Morrissey is gathering his essays on poetry for book publication, entitled All Art is Vision. Morrissey’s body of work is an important part of the rich poetic tradition of English-speaking Quebec writers. Stephen Morrissey earned his B.A., Honours English with Distinction, at Concordia University. He studied with poet and scholar Louis Dudek at McGill University, earning an M.A. in English Literature. While at McGill, he was awarded the Peterson Memorial Prize in English Literature. ~ back to top


Dvora Levin

Ragged Light

I come to you, a scrap of ragged light,
limping down my muddied road.
My bags are empty,
my shoes worn through.
I’ve used up everything I had.
I have no choice but to come back to you.

You come to me, a ragged light,
fuck you graffiti on your tunnel walls,
littered with rusty cans of promises and piety,
never again holocausts happening again and again.
You’ve become slogans shouted at a poetry slam,
a cursing hip hop blackout trance.

Or could it be,
You are a luminescence hiding
beyond the skyline of what we’ve built,
You there, waving a flag of truce,
a couturier with bolts of silken grace,
ready to replace our muddy rags
with robes of custom-fitted light.

Dvora Levin, a former project manager in B.C. and Israel, has now projected herself into poetry. She has published two books, Sharav and To Bite The Blue Apple (Ekstasis Editions) and edited two collections of poems from her writing groups: Voices From The Edge (Ekstasis Editions) and Victoria From The Banks Of The Mainstream. ~ back to top


Lesley Choyce

All Alone at the End of the World

So there you are, as you might have expected,
all alone at the end of the world.
Sure, you’d seen it coming
as did everyone else
but it didn’t seem there was much anyone
could do.
Loner that you are,
you really didn’t mind
that cities disappeared
and busses stopped running.

It wasn’t like there was screaming and pain
and people dying.
No, it wasn’t like that.


And there you were,
standing on a misty morning
smiling at the trees,
scratching your head
with a what-now? look.

Realizing there were
no forthcoming answers,
you decided to simply
get on with your work
and sit down
to write this poem.

Lesley Choyce is a novelist and poet living at Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia. He is the author of 86 books for adults, teens and children. He teaches in the English Department and Transition Year Program at Dalhousie University. He is a year-round surfer and founding member of the 1990s spoken word rock band, The SurfPoets. Choyce also runs Pottersfield Press, a small literary publishing house and hosted the national TV show, Off The Page, for many years. His books have been translated into Spanish, French, German and Danish and he has been awarded the Dartmouth Book Award, the Ann Connor Brimer Award and the Atlantic Poetry Prize.
~ back to top

Jim Christy ~ Stephen Morrissey ~ Dvora Levin ~ Lesley Choyce