licensed maurizio demattei
War Musket Grass (Bay of Fundy)
by Donna Allard

I see no soldier’s uniform as I walk along these shores
but fresh blood cliffs, musket grass,
and a labyrinth of our relics,
the unfolding of this puzzle to figure out a broader picture,
as rose clashed with la fleur de lys…
like an arcanum shared by a friend
who said to follow water trails
like a pirate in search of a chest, as magnet speaks closer to sand …
He said many have found treasures under the sheet of their own graves.
Yet I favour its peaceful clay to dyed denim & origin,
as I connect with those who fell for their flower & sleep inside
this bay of mud.
Today, hooves flit in Fundy sun,
safe & watchful over my eyes,
and I wonder if that story was ever passed to their offspring,
since man conquers on a saddle.
Come walk with me, sense a presence, their memory
dancing with tides, like a final oratory
along red cliffs & grassy shores.
Let me retreat from time & fog, as I fear ghosts & bellwalkers,
they swear the land still smells of powder.

Herbes, simulacres de mousquets (Baie de Fundy)
par Donna Allard

Aucun uniforme en vue le long de ce rivage,
le regard se contente de falaises couleur sang, d’herbes,
simulacres de mousquets,
d’un labyrinthe de reliques ;
la floraison de cette énigme pour mieux se figurer l’image,
au moment où la rose écorcha la fleur de lys…
comme un arcane soufflé par les lèvres amicales
qui nous invite à suivre les traces de la mer,
tel un pirate à la recherche d’un coffre, tant bien l’aimant
se réveille dans le sable…
Que de trésors à débusquer sous les draps scintillants
du cimetière marin lance-t-il à tout vent.
Mais je favorise l’argile teinter de paix le jean et l’origine,
comme j’amarre mon âme à celle de ceux tombés pour une fleur,
enracinés depuis dans cette baie de boue.

Aujourd’hui les sabots batifolent sous le soleil de Fundy,
hors de danger & bienveillants ;
je me demande si leurs aïeuls leur ont raconté cette histoire,
tant l’homme s’accapare le monde monté sur une selle.
Viens te promener avec moi, sens cette présence,
leur mémoire danser parmi les vagues, ce requiem d’éloquence
le long des falaises vermeilles & bord de mer fardé de vert.

Laisse moi me retirer de la brume & du temps,
tant je redoute fantômes & présages ;
tous jurent que ce bout de nouveau
mon desent encore a poudre.

PHOTO: Sandstone formations, Bay of Fundy, Canada, by Maurizio DeMattei, used by permission. The Bay of Fundy lies between two Canadian provinces, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Bay of Fundy Campaign (1755) took place in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada, during the French and Indian War when the British ordered the Expulsion of Acadians (French-speaking descendants of French settlers loyal to France). Approximately 7,000 Acadians were deported to the colonies. Many ended up in what was then French-colonized Louisiana. The name “Acadian” evolved to Cajun.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This is a landmark poem about the French and British civil war fought along the Fundy coastline of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada. Beautiful area with fields of tall grass that sway forever into night and where cows linger with their young. One day we were taking a drive and stopped here…you could feel the history and I wondered if the cows ever passed down to their calves the ancestral accounts of those times…the land still smells of powder…”War Musket Grass” changed my writing career when it won first place for the Canadian Poetry Association.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: I took this photo at the Bay of Fundy during the Canadian Poetry Association LitFest I organized. Poets from around the world attended…and a curious bunch, too.

canadian poet Donna Allard

A peaceful purdyesque writer, Donna Allard’s most recent book Cold Fire is short-listed for the 2020 Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best Book Award” published by SkyWing Press 2019. On Apr 28, 2014, she accepted the position on the Canada Cuban Literary Alliance: Honorary member of the CCLA by Poet Laureate & President Richard Grove. In August 2019, she accepted the title of International Beat Poet Laureate, Canada, from the National Beat Poetry Foundation Inc., Connecticut, USA. She now curates the “Canadian Beat Scene (CBS)” and CBS publishing. She resides in Aldouane, New Brunswick, on a 1909 farmstead, down a long dirt road…