Welcome to the third 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 new series!

The feeling that there is a mine
by Sue Sorensen

The feeling that there is a mine: miniscule, erratic, somewhere on my person that may or may not be triggered by you, by me, by nothing that has been named but nevertheless might have reality. The feeling that the soul no longer is a recognized part of this project. The feeling that there is no valid name for this project, event, nightmare. The feeling that the truth I honoured may have been a dream. The feeling that legs may give out, climbing to that room. The feeling that silence is acceptable to you, but smashes me to pieces. The feeling that wakes me, before dawn, asks me: search conscience for crime, memory for accident, personality for fatal flaw.  The feeling that I am lost, and no one seeks me. The feeling that the ground beneath me can give way at any moment and this terror is laughable to others. The feeling that you have judged my heart for something I do not know and sentenced it to death, and while I prepared an appeal, you

went out for coffee.

SUE SORENSEN lives in Winnipeg, where she teaches English at Canadian Mennonite University. Her latest book (2014) is The Collar: Reading Christian Ministry in Fiction, Television, and Film. She is the author of a novel, A Large Harmonium (2011), and the editor of West of Eden: Essays on Canadian Prairie Literature (2008). She is a published poet and has done academic work on topics ranging from A. S. Byatt, Henry James, Ian McEwan, and Guy Vanderhaeghe to detective fiction, children’s books, rock lyricists, and the filmmaking of Neil Young.

Love in Trouble
by Carol Steel

all winter we scatter
cracked corn to feed the ducks
now spring melt
the yard soggy speckled with yellow
the window open
we hear deep quiet quacks
watch the last mallards jostle
to gather what’s left
a single drake hops on one good leg
tilts and belly-lands on dead grass
then crooks his neck to ease his limp limb
dangling flaccid and footless
into the shelter of wing

and you my darling
there on your lazy boy
bless me and curse me
rage against your broken foot
crutches and cast
your bellyaching won’t let me rest
demands for pillows cold packs
percocet and chips
your wobbling stagger can’t climb the stairs
purple black knee and dragging foot
side leaning slouch and moans
no comfort found
day or night

after a week
love is the reason
I refuse to open
the bathroom door
and crumple to the floor
cheek on the cool tiles
my eyes as red as the eyes
of the goshawk who
in one graceful movement
dive bombed and decapitated
that lame duck
ate it
to survive

Carol Steel is a poet from New Brunswick.

by Carol Stephen


is the Hebrew word for salt.

I taste it still as it lingers on my tongue,

fills my nostrils with its scent of mines

and shells carried inland from the sea.


I’ve been transfixed upon this mountain

century on century, time enough as penance

for the sin of gazing backward.


It was hard to leave the only home I’d known—


A woman still, all I wanted was to imprint one memory,

just one thing to take with me on my journey away.


Instead, it imprinted me.

I am sand,

.                I am stone,

                                I am a pillar in the wind.


cci09082016_0006Carol A. Stephen is a Carleton Place, Ontario poet, poetry selector for Bywords Journal and member of The Field Stone Poets. She serves as Ottawa Manager for The Ontario Poetry Society. She has been an active board member for Canadian Authors Association, National Capital Region (CAA-NCR), Arts Carleton Place and Tree Reading Series Ottawa. Carol coordinated CAA’s poetry circle 2008-2013. 

Curated by Lesley Strutt and Susan McMaster, 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. If you are interested in contributing to Fresh Voices, please send 3-5 poems to [email protected]. You may submit only once per month, but you may submit every month until your poetry is selected. This opportunity is open only to associate members of the League–if you are interested in joining the League, please visit our membership page!

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