Unforeseen Midlife Task by Neall Calvert

Poem title: Unforeseen Midlife Task Poet: Neall Calvert Poem: “Catch a wave and you’re sittin’ on top of the world.” —The Beach Boys Powerful tugboats carve the river, creating an unstoppable wave that spreads V-shape behind them, like migrating geese, to both shores. Life’s an invisible, advancing wave. Balanced like surfers we ride atop love and work, money and creativity, giving and receiving among friends. Then, like surfers might do, we lose our wave, wipe out . . . And now, amidst chaos and darkness, fascinated by a tug’s wake I stand on a riverbank, staring, recalling a crest I once rode— moving, always forward-moving —and knowing I must awaken and this time more consciously ride the unseen swell. End of Poem. Credits: Copyright © Neall Calvert Appears in the League of Canadian Poets’ Fresh Voices 21, edited by Joan Conway and Blaine Marchand. Neall Calvert has twenty-five years’ experience as a journalist, book editor and writer. He began creating essays and poetry at midlife after immersing himself in the lives of German-speaking poets Friedrich Hölderlin and Rainer Maria Rilke. His essays on these two writers can be found at westernu.academia.edu/NeallCalvert and in his Kindle book Hölderlin & Rilke: What I Learned from Two Great German Poets. Neall has been published in The Men’s Journal, Borrowed Solace, a Douglas & McIntyre anthology, the book Vistas of the West, and online and in print at Recovering The Self.


This poem first appeared in Fresh Voices 21, a project from and for the League’s associate members, edited by Joan Conway (Check out her personal blog!) and Blaine Marchand. The League’s associate members are talented poets who are writing and publishing poetry on their way to becoming established professional poets in the Canadian literary community. We are excited to be taking this opportunity to showcase the work of our associate members in this series!

Fresh Voices 21 includes poetry by: Lisa Alletson, Moni Brar, Neall Calvert, Melanie Flores, Michelle Hillyard, Frank Klaassen, Joseph LaBine, Josephine LoRe, John Oross and Nan Williamson.

Check out Fresh Voices 21