The writers of the following poems have kindly given HAALSA permission to display their work on our web­site. Each poem is copyrighted by the author, who reserves all rights to the work. Reproduction by any means, for any purpose other than personal use, is prohibited. The poems are presented in order by title.
 
Ms. Oliver suggests that parents who want to encourage their children (and others?) to try their hand at poetry, should direct them to Wishes, Lies, and Dreams by Kenneth Koch (Harper 1970). "It's for teaching children how to write poems. It's an oldie but a goodie."

Buskerfest in Dundas
 
By Cate Walker Hammond
Festival of the bizarre, the incredible, the incredulous, and the plain just weird

No matter if it's stinking hot, the rain is pouring, or somewhere in between

I'm attracted like a moth to the flame
to gaze in wonderment at the offbeat vagabonds
who sail into town,

Inspire wonder
and then just as mysteriously disappear
© 2021 Cate Walker Hammond
Dishes
 
By Robert C. Dickson
Who has eaten
from my plate
before?
Who has drunk
from my cup?
A rummaged dinner set for six –
not quite complete – pieces lost or broken.
What nourishment was offered
on clay altars,
now upon my table?
What delicacies beckoned
over the years?

Some living soul
left life
and knowing not,
bequeathed a legacy
of sustenance.

Whomever next may use
my dishes,
wash them
with the utmost care.
© 2021 Robert C. Dickson
The Durand Coffee Shop
 
By Alison Cowie
An oddly rhomboid shape
On the corner opposite the church
Durand for the neighbourhood
Coffee and...for the neighbours
We smile at each other with our eyes
And say a muffled "hallo"
Something to eat this morning?
Yes please, see you tomorrow.
© 2021 Alison Cowie
In Praise of the Ordinary:  Porridge
 
By George Sweeney
The day must start
I wake and start a ritual
Oats, raisins, salt, just sheer ordinary
But how else can the day begin?

The day is every day
Not Cafe Royal but a good solid start
Shades of a Scottish heritage.

Grateful to a farmer's field of oats,
Grateful to a cow for milk
Grateful for distant sun
And grapes dried into raisins.

With so much behind who
Cannot move forward to a new day.
© 2021 George Sweeney
Parades and Weddings Permeate Ancaster
 
By Joanne Menchions
Oh the racket
Swirling under throwing over
As if it makes sense
Flashes of laughter
Pierce the procession

Solemn and silently
Watching the flow
And vowing forever
And never to know
Just who you are

Carried away by each distraction
Disconnected from the joyful reactions
Twirling dizzy lost grinning faces
Frozen as if lost in these places

Suddenly slowly retreated
Far from the frenzy
Perpetually defeated
© 2021 Joanne Menchions
Untitled #1
 
By Andrew Muller
My tummy is sore. Swollen. Stuffed.

I ate too much at the restaurant
That first restaurant sit-down since the lockdown began.

Why - oh clever one - why?
Your self-control has vanished
Like the winter snow.
© 2021 Andrew Muller
Untitled #2
 
By David Hitchcock
Be careful with those
Fifteen steps with no landing.
You might hurt yourself.
© 2021 David Hitchcock