For Soley Cove

Andrew Patterson

the intention is to make it back 
is to go out, far out 
and to make it back 
that we can see the cradle 
cast the sun with our thumbs 
let the pores of our skin 
feel the sound of the wind 
we want to be able 
to look at one another from a distance 
and feel side-by-side 
the way the dunes are side-by-side 
but one 
but one but many 
but many but each anew 
we want to be inextricable 
even in and after leaving 
we want the ocean in the drums 
of our ears 
the sand in the creases of sole 
the air in the air around us 
the salt of the water, crystal 
we want to remember this place 
perfectly vague and empty and bursting 
we want time to hold this particular expanse 
time to remind us 
the beach begins everywhere 
the lone way is arrival 
arrival, and again arrival 
inching and metres and feet and toes 
and all of this water making mud 
making sand, making shore 
movement, like someone breathing 
or some enormous everywhere 
blowing reeds 
drawing out the bits and rush 
depositing a boundary 
and receding 
it all reminds us of the song 
that reminds us of the sway 
that reminds us of the saying 
we have all the time in the world 
the water takes up thinking along with us 
eternal caretaker, making itself 
and thinking, washing through 
here we are often 
free to be small and clear 
concise within the ever-resolving landscape 
here we are often altogether 
not the absence of tide 
not the living silent thing 
but a node amidst the notions 
a body following itself back 
to a mind following itself back 
to a memory always-already gossamer 
the way the ocean moves beyond itself 
the way a rock comes apart 
or does not 
the feeling that everything, everything 
reeling out beyond perspective 
is pitched down into earth 
or held by a zephyr 
or chipped into place 
passed through hands or holes 
or chased into sanctuary 
pushed out into darkness 
or finding out the living left to live 
laid by an egg 
or made by a mushroom 
left by a rhythm in the water 
more a dance than a place 
this massive, empty bay full of all condition 
sounding with its long low fizzle 
an elaborate momentum 
110 billion tonnes 
of shifting this-way-that 
and you 
just at the edge 
squinting on account 
of light and distance 
thought and instance 
what is intention compared to a body 
a place of land jutting out into sea 
slowly returning itself

The Woods

Whitefeather Hunter

There is a hollow in the lower end of the woods, where coyotes once howled in a chorus down from the cheese farm on the hill. They encircled our tents at night, sniffing at the hems and listening to sleepers sleeping—alert to my nervous, jagged breath as it hung in the air between us. They flowed like a brook of fur bodies, diverting around the sheer fabrics we huddled under, brushing against our walls, while I hoped my half-broken zipper would keep us apart. But this was before I understood these curious beasts, that they were no threat—though my half-eaten granola bar must have tantalized their noses with its strange sweetness. The Eastern Coyote: part wolf, part dog and part Western coyote, is a shy brother in these woods, who only comes close when invited to feast.

Don’t you be shy, though, friend—you’re invited to join everyone here. These aren’t the only howls these woods have carried. There have been daylit human voices, lifted one after another in the thrill of half-joy, half-terror, as their bodies flew through the trees along a rickety, handmade waterslide. From the top of the woods to its heart deep in the fragrant humus below, we tumbled and splashed our way down past overhanging branches, landing near the cool, shady creek—only to race back up again, dripping in line for another chance at fate. And then, just past the creek bed, there have been firelit nighttime howls, emitted from the golden faces of new friends and kin, crackling and whizzing together with the sparks of bonfire. A Big Band, louder and brassier than our raucous shared laughter, filled the open grove where we gathered to celebrate, to cheer to the creative life, and warmly sway to music together.

But shh, these woods are filled with quiet things, too—hidden, secret delights that appear and disappear with various seasons and ways of noticing. Pirate radio frequencies have whispered through vibrating leaves, and over uncovered old treasures of bottle and teacup pieces; bits of red string have dangled winged effigies, from branches stirring gently on the slightest breeze; miniature villages have appeared and become animated, fairy-home-by-fairy-home in the clay cliffside that slips into the woods from the back of the house. Tiny flames have flickered along paths in the dark, to everything one could ever need. But quieter still… are the witnessed performances of the past—fleeting expressions of both oneness and strangeness with these woods, by and for visitors like you. Along with these hushed and howling presences, now you, too, will pass through and be remembered well, in some future story told of this magical place.


Ian McFarlane and Laura Stinson




The wind inhales, arching grasses, exhales, falling leaves, lays a finger to her lips.
A relative silence. A relative silence.
At the end of the day, when anything the radio played was a perfect pairing to a cheap beer...
The smell of a freshly mowed field and the diesel of a tractor, a chainsaw.
Rustling of trees, fractured insect cries, the roar of a blue sky.
Boot prints on the floor Boot prints on the floor.
Dry pine snapping underfoot. Fungi rising to meet breath. The smell of rot.
Maple, beech, spruce and oak fill the air.
The sap of spring and fall, pollen and dust.
Sawdust settled into nostrils.
The cooler, sun beaten, dispenses ice water in dixie cups.
Sweat evaporated off the long sleeved shirt that kept the bugs away.
The creek, a rupture, roots carve valleys.
Water drips off your chin.
I lived here. I lived here. I lived here.
A rock, a fossil. Patiently attentive.
Bound by a tangle of weeds. The grass pushes up through the bleached yellow frame.
The infinite gestures of the sky. Eyes fixed.
My palm retained an etching. Dark lines of grease and spruce gum binding dust.
Where to go without hands?
The smell of memory. The smell of memory.
Once a necessity, now a receptacle for rain.
Fine sand gathers downstream.
Insides reveal themselves Insides reveal themselves
Above the workbench,there was a magazine clipping, the edges tattered, tobacco smoke lingering in its pulp
Only to collapse into dust, suspended in the shifting light.
Spiders spin webs from the corners of our past, colonies of ants gather the pieces.
The rumble of the saw, replaced by a highway's distant hum.
Carpenters of another time.
A relative silence.
Left behind to fill the night.

field near soley cove

Bill Bissett

barbingr harbingr walking ovr thru rabbit holes feeling th magik creetyurs great blu sky n honey yu know 2 touch time is endless heer th molekular tapestree lets yu in in inside th shell heer th see n see th huge watr th immensitee immediasee low hanging brian he sd not onlee 2 describe th beautee but eez in2 th being heer stretching n slopeing in alive alabastr abalone moov yr fingrs thru th sand n th wethr n th sacrid gravl sallee addid ar yu feeling ths way n that thers a slideing mantra uv spruce fir n pine treez n cedar yr wishes  th ocean yr wings honey in th air yer heart sings on evr as if th dreem uv 4evr watr yr dansing wet hands sing how yr legs moov did yu answr that lettr that reelee was is sumthing wher did yu heer that did yu see that xpressyun eezee in2 that was it th moon slideing thru th avenu uv billowing n dappuld clouds ther say touch th molekular tapestree th tree barrow n th network o wch was it dew yu know n th tide roaring in look n how th stars wer that nite a slow meridian maroon crimson neuronika  i saw him sauntring tred missing mill molassu lasting elastik wud it n what ovr touch th rime n he was a virgo xcelent n rom ram run th turbulens savour th see air sew fill yr lungs n th west mewsik triage was it a memoree th giant waves lashing pounding th shore marie wher did yu go  th ocean froth in th air wet evn ths field sew wet from th  storming orming gin tor th cape blomodon not sew far away wher gluscap lives   breeth ths warming uv our arms around each othr nevr flailing or failing submareen yr hands alwayze wanting 2 moov thru folding thru th sand not onlee dscribing as if thers sum reel in th realism lasting n sumtimes kaffing thru ths realism an othr pandemik pikadilio crying n stranger smiling thru th waking tomes what we can b laffing agen dew yu know is normal evr returning was it evr evr n b4 th

sighing whn will ths pandemik b ovr th millyuns going 2 spirit oftn in such pain n agonee with th shifting changing upwinds n thos uv us still heer n c ths field fire neer parsborro wher th erth glows n si th c roar in n calmlee restore

Forest Writings


Endless summers in the forest

Remember the time when life was simple
When summers were endless
And you hadn’t a care in the world
Still makes me smile just thinking about it

I remember our summers at the cottage
Swimming in the lake
Laying in the sun, as if we had forever
The forest was our playground that would transform
To the worlds, we made up in our heads

I loved playing hide and seek
Played with my brother Kyle, who wasn’t great at it
I didn’t want to tell him but I always peaked before 10
I had a feeling he suspected but I never admitted it

One day he gave me a fright - because I couldn’t find him
I remember counting to 10 and seeing him swerve in between the trees and shrubs
I got distracted and he was gone
I frantically searched all around - my heart beating fast
Where’d he go, is he okay, mom’s gonna kill me
Between the trees, through the shrubs, by the ravine
What seemed like hours, I walk back worried about what I would tell mom
Exhausted I see a yellow in the distance poking out of a tree
I rush over
And find my brother crouched in a huddle, sleeping
I laugh quietly and then go “found ya”!
Aw man - not again
Him not realizing how much time had passed and what I had gone through
I give him my granola bar and we walk back hand in hand
Im not gonna lose him this time

There used to be more people here

There used to be more people here but they all left for the city
Remnants of life - bordered up homes, abandoned cars
Now skeletons of the past - just old photos and foggy memories
Mom and uncle Joe grew up here
The way they describe it hard to believe anyone did
“It was different back then, with travellers from all around - working at the mine”
“ It was wild, the nights were wild, people were happy”
“Then the mine closed - and everyone left “
But my uncle Joe and a small few
Recluse - who said it was a betrayal if he left
Truth is that he couldn’t adjust to city life

We’d visit uncle Joe from time to time, in his cabin in the woods
Mom said we had to - didn’t want to feel like she was abandoning him
They would talk about nothing.. The silence would be too awkward
So she’d run to the store to avoid the awkwardness
Maybe she didn’t want to admit he wasn’t her helpless little brother
He was a grown man - who had a hard life and it showed on his face
She’d go to the store to buy him groceries to make her feel better
Leaving us with him for a few hours
He didn’t say much,
He was a stoic man, didn’t say much, from the outside could be seen as scary
But quite gentle
We’d pass the time - helping him work on Bessy
A Vintage Chevy Farm Truck,
One he got it in high school to impress a girl
But she ran off with a neighbour after graduation who got a job in the city as an
He never told her how he felt
But said working on Bessy reminds him of those times
He never got close to fixing that truck - although he kept working on it
Mom says its a distraction - to keep those memories alive

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