Fresh Voices 15: Graham Ducker, Archana Sridhar, Bradley A. Ramsey

Welcome to the fifteenth edition of Fresh Voices, a project from and for the League’s associate members. 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!

You are my life

by Graham Ducker

As tectonic forces create the mountains;

As the mountains lift the winds;

As the winds influence the clouds;

As the clouds dispense the rains;

As the rains build the rivers;

As the rivers carve the mountains;

So the earth evolved.

Where would mountains be without tectonic pressure to lift them?

Where would winds blow without mountains to boost them?

Where would clouds go without winds to shift them?

Where would earth be without clouds watering it?

And where would I be without you?

So my life has evolved.

Graham Ducker is a Certified Primary Methods Supervisor, retired Principal and Kindergarten teacher. His memoir book Don’t Wake the Teacher was published in 2004. He has two poetry books: Observations of Heart and Mind, and Where Warm Hearts Blend. His two picture books The Elephant That Wanted to Join the Circus, and Why Pigs Have Curly Tails, were published in 2011. He has had numerous poems and stories published through the years. Visit his website at

Runaway Dandelion Galaxy

by Archana Sridhar


points of light like the first glimpse of
backroad headlights, pinpricks on darkness

glowing orbs like a smack of jellyfish
bobbing underneath a slick black ocean

coalesce into an iridescent dandelion
teeming with phosphorescent life

balancing on hair-thin tendrils undulating
the breeze of cosmic breath, in and out

each firefly reveals itself first a star
then a galaxy, a universe, even multiverses

a gentle paroxysm of eyeball planets tilts
the dandelion’s unseen stem left, a paradox

of stillness and motion in a universal draught
like a child’s warm breath that dissolves all

tension as a light-filled dandelion’s
destruction unifies our fall into space

Archana Sridhar is a university administrator and poet living in Toronto. A graduate of Bard College and Harvard Law School and a former Fulbright Scholar, Archana focuses on themes of race, meditation, motherhood, and trauma in her poetry. Her work has been featured in The Brown Orient, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, The /tƐmz/ Review and elsewhere.

The Poetician

by Bradley A. Ramsey

(Source: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1771)
(Word-Entry: Latin)

I am that student in the poetry class,
And in about the time it took to throw
Something better wrote by a professional poet
Who might have published ‘written’ there
Without the grammar-check in Word;
And in about the time it took me to poeticize
The mediocrity of my life,
And share my false beliefs with you,
Which you even fact-checked
(Off-base I am; yes, we can agree on that)
In about the time it took to throw those delusory ideas,
As the last thing you said on the phone with me was
“I’ve read a lot of poetry and what you wrote”
“Is the way poetry is meant to be written.”
(I’m sorry I accused you once of being young)
(Because something better than what you said isn’t ever wrote)
Dear Samantha, student of philology,
In the Latin nominative and genitive,
Of an exceptionable masculine noun
Of the first declension, poeta, -ae,
I have become an English cognate of a word in
“A dead language now spoken only in church.”
(From reference needing citation corresponding to 1771)
An obsolete quotation nonetheless,
Since now not even spoken in church.
But cognate of that language is what I am,
Emerging from the Latin noun subject
To the English neuter noun – a poetician,
The student in the poetry class,
Who poeticizes but strives to no longer obs. ‘aberr’
Or wander off, or go astray,
Or diverge from a recognized path…
For in about the time it took to throw
Something better wrote by a professional poet,
(And it has been such a long time)
I not only published this poem,
In which I addressed you –
In about the same amount of time,
I thanked you for calling me again.

Bradley A. Ramsey lives in Toronto and has published poetry in The Eclectic Muse. He is currently enrolled in an introductory course that will be counted toward a Certificate in Creative Writing at University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.

Curated by Lesley Strutt and Blaine Marchand, these poems represent just a small portion of the great work being produced by our members, and we are excited to have this opportunity to share their poetry with you.

NEW: Lesley Strutt will be stepping away from her role in Fresh Voices to focus on her writing after this issue! If you are interested in contributing to Fresh Voices, please visit for updates and submission information.

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