Runner-up in the 2009 Alumni Poetry Contest
I was shown the water lines left by the spring flood on the walls of the cabin,
a train whistle blew in the distance
carried without obstruction across the reserve.
A man stumbled into the light, his breath stinking of alcohol, his pocked
brow wet with sweat,
a huge body, the body of a giant.
Table and chairs, round frowning daughters,
seven bear dogs scratching themselves at the back of the room.
Fishing with Wolf and Gus on White Lake, teenagers smoking in the boat
beside us, music from Thunder Bay on their radio.
White sport fisherman and O.P.P eyeing us with malice,
The blue speedboat runs smoothly by.
Hauling heavy nets, rising to their anchors off shore,
of pickerel tangled in the mesh.
They taught me pissing ‘Indian style’ down the sharp blade of a shattered paddle,
to drink water from empty beer bottles that
rolled across the slimy deck.
At nightfall, a stray dog with porcupine quills in its muzzle staggers
on the gravel road
Clouds blown down, river bending. I wake to sirens blaring.
A man is waving his shotgun in the air again, there are children with no shirts on
playing in the midnight summer sun
They are kicking a bald leather soccer ball that thumps for lack of air.
The moon is long and yellow like the canine of a huge animal and the stars
like flecks of silver trout scale
And the dog, just inside the periphery of my sight is black
but for his eyes
which glow bright and orange.
The strangled nature of his stride, my heart’s vacancy, the eagle
pair diving low for the ling we feed them.
I was much younger then, ignorant of the beauty of such visions and such men.
Luke Henry Howie is runner-up in the poetry contest for “The Dog / Pic Mobert.” He graduated from U of T with a degree in the study of religion in 2007 and is currently pursuing his bachelor of education at Trent University.
The winners of the 2009 Alumni Short Story and Poetry Contest are Kerry Clare (BA 2002 Victoria, MA 2007) for her story “Georgia Coffee Star” and Cory Ingram(BA 2007 Woodsworth) for his poem “Bubbles.” Clare and Ingram each received $500.
The runners-up are Liam Lacey (BA 1978 Victoria) for his story “Remorse and the Post-Op Denver Convention”and Luke Henry Howie for his poem “The Dog (Pic Mobert).”
Lacey also won a Readers’ Choice Award for his story. Laura Rock (BA 1986 St. Michael’s) won a Readers’ Choice Award – for her poem “In Rocco’s House (My Grandmother’s Poor Beginning)”