The Ontario Poetry Society
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Ted Plantos Dedication






Poetry by TOPS members selected for presentation on this website is changed
regularly so come back often to see what your fellow poets are writing.

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Peace Seedlings

Each Peace poem is a dry speck until spring rains,
then an acceptance flows, then a shell cracks,
until one root begins to stretch and multiply -
Each Peace public statement gains
from open positive nourishment,
from added fertilizer praises,
so roots flourish more and more -
Each Peace rally adds sun warmth
to coax this first stem to burst up,
to sprout tiny, green leaves,
to subdivide again and again -
Each Peace song that sings,
each Peace music performance,
again and again until many voices
caress lush buds on multi plants -
Each Peace prayer, one recites
in private or in parliament,
encourages and supports blossoms
of all colours to bloom,
causing scents of Peace
to inoculate the world,
encircle the globe.

Bernice Lever - "Small Acts" - Black Moss Press, 2016

On All These Walks

A solitary creature first, then social,
I must relocate myself where an open ground
permits light steps leaving no harmful mark.
I come and go, aware the link is fragile.

Liking that they ignore a mild eccentric,
I'm pleased my fellow walkers are at ease here too,
inside earbuds or thick in gossipy talk.
I smile at the dogs, echo the sparse hellos.

My most constantly new relation, though,
is with whatever in this atmosphere gives off
that spirit of letting be which not only secures
a communal refreshment but is other.

Just enough habitat, with living water flowing,
for one to spot kingfisher, heron, hawk,
vulture; hear common songbirds - oriole
to whitethroat. Bats at dusk. A wary rabbit. Fox.

Fresh flora drawing bees and butterflies.
Beetles and snails, if you look close. And, yes,
summer's mosquitoes. Even the winter plies
a symbiotic, greening consciousness.

Protean language, spoken through quiet signs,
will sprout and breathe into and moisten mine:
most by provision merely for a wild outgrowth
channelled across each widened moment's portal.

Free of the yen to translate or pin down,
drawn principally toward praise, in gratitude,
I go and come back - sensing all is mortal;
resolved, still, with a livelier attitude.

Allan Briesmaster

Pencil Crayons: Sharpened

You are brighter now
perhaps sharper than a tack
a cliché lying on its back
your colorful personality
a poppy red or emerald green
peacock blue or sky magenta
despite your wood coffin shell

Each day you blaze a trail
like graphite skating on ice
the marks you leave
still etched on my mind

Your twirled shavings
like treble clefs bounced on the floor
and I hear your favorite songs
on the transistor radio
Color My World
Petula Clark
Procol Harum's A Lighter Shade of Pale
a kaleidoscope of bright and pastel notes
even Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors
brushes the chalk dust off the walls
allows the memory clouds
to waltz above your head
and dance across
a tasseled
black cap

Previously published in Chalk Dust Clouds (Beret Days Press, 2017),
First Prize Winner in The Ontario Poetry Society's 2017 Golden Grassroots Chapbook Award.

Debbie Okun Hill


A bud bursting through
single yellow daffodil
under maple tree
where grass turns carpet lush green
fills me with energy

Najah Shuqair


It is only in summer
that she dreams
cool coverlets of white
free of the hints of dirt
and piss that shade reality.
On sultry nights whitecold she feels
it melting from her heat, the moonlight
making it sparkle, adding sheen to her
moist flesh. Only in summer, long
after winter coats have been mothballed, snow
shovels hidden behind mowers, bags of mulch, rakes
do her dreams crystallize--
no two of them alike. It's then her mind drifts,
becomes desirous of cool white
flakes falling on her tongue, longs
for the very thing she'll curse
a few short months from now.

Ronnie R. Brown

(Previously published in Spire, Vol. 3, #10 and on the web
as part of the TRUCK poetry series.)

Cottage Arrival

Highway yields to gravel road,
then cottage lane.
We open the windows wider
as the car gradually slows,
guiding our transition
from city rush
to cottage wander.
The lake sparkles in greeting,
and the last turn reveals the cottage,
sun-dappled and serene,
waiting hopefully.
We emerge from the car,
inhale the sweetness of trees and water,
hear the rustle of birch leaves,
the sigh of pines.
We pull up the blinds
to welcome in the sun,
throw open windows
to the fragrant breeze,
drop bags, empty coolers,
then throw off our clothes
and run for the lake.
The first plunge
washes the city from our skin –
now we have arrived!

Anne Hofland

All poems © of the authors