(December 2001) Page 2


was born on March 11, 1945 in Guelph, Ontario Canada. He was raised on the Naval Base, H.M.C.S. Cornwallis, on the Western shore of the Province of Nova Scotia in the Maritimes. After traversing the beautiful Bay of Fundy many times during his childhood, he became addicted to the sea.

When Richard was 10 his family moved to Stratford-upon-Avon, in southern Ontario, sister city to her namesake in both England and in the United States. The new Shakespearian Theatre was constructed there in 1953.

He then went on to high school and graduated from Grade 13 with flying colours, taking the Ontario Scholarship Award for his school. Then he went on to earn an Honours B.A. at Sir Wilfred Laurier University (1968), and a Master of Library Science degree at the University of Western Ontario, London (1975).

After that he worked for several years as a Reference Librarian, first at Sudbury Public Library, then Alqonquin College of Arts and Technology (Ottawa), and finally, the University of Ottawa.

Severe alcoholism forced Richard to retire on long-term disability, nine years ago, at the age of 47. He says this is the best thing that could have happened: "I stopped drinking cold turkey on March 25th., 1992, and have never looked back since.... Before age 47, I might have composed about 200 poems. Since that age, I have written at least another 1,500, of which about 1,000 are sonnets. It's just mind-boggling! Oh well, there are always late bloomers in life. I guess I'm one of them."

Since then he has lived a "passionate, sometimes a 'tempest in a teapot' - but almost always reasonably happy life". He lives in a happy, long-term relationship with his boyfriend, Louis-Dominique Genest, who was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, on April 11, 1950. They have been together for four years.


  • 1. A Quilt of Sonnets: Forty Four Familiar Poems. Ottawa: Providence Road Press, (c) 1998 56 pp. ISBN 1-896243-07-x
  • 2. "À la belle inconnue (Robert Schumann)", in: Arts and Literature Review. Lakehead University. Vol. 1 (3), 1972
  • 3. "Chanson d'Auverge", in: A Ray of Hope. (c) 2000. 257 pp. pg. 129 ISBN 1-58235-559-2
  • 4. "Pow Wow", in: An Hour at Sunrise. (c) 2000. 313 pp. pg. 167 ISBN 1-58253-539-8

    Autumn Leaves [May/June, 2001] - and several of his poems will soon appear in A New Millenium Anthology [also in CD] and in another journal, which I am not yet at liberty to disclose.

    Yahoo Groups:
    Describe Adonis
    le jeune matelot
    Poetry Lynx Links
    and co-moderator, along with Scotty Snow at: Narcissus Reflects

    UK Smart Groups:
    Wil Shakespeare and Pierre de Ronsard - Across la Manche
    Illiassia - Homer's Iliad - Smart Groups (UK)

  • le Chevalier vermeil
    © par Richard Vallance, le 6 & 8 septembre, 2001

    d'après Pierre de Ronsard,
    «Le poète des Princes, et le Prince des poètes»

    Dressé à la chasse, le Chevalier vermeil
    Chevauche à pourchasser le chevreuil aux aboys
    Des ses chienz argentés aux reflects du soleil
    Qui pommellent les chesnes à l'escoute. Le dur carquoys,
    Ravi de frissonner aux envolées des flèches
    Se puise si aisement à essouffler la fauve
    Qu'à l'abriter encor ny vals ny montz n'empêchent
    De la briser aux palles appels des lueurs mauves
    Pres le rivage. Arrestes! Peult-elle franchir d'emblée?
    Saultes. Ou que paroisse la nuict! Voilà que l'espoyr,
    D'estoyles moirées tissu, guirlande la voye lactée.
    Quelle voyle s'est répandue? C'est quoy, ceste aquarelle?
    Ores fouldroyé ce beau chasseur serre le coursier.
    «Qui est-ce?» - Artémis, la proye qui se révelle.

    (deuxième version, écrite selon l'orthographie en vigueur à 'époque du XVIième siècle, et suivant le style particulier de Pierre de Ronsard)

    Linear translation into English prose:

    The Vermilion Cavalier
    © by Richard Vallance, September 6th., 2001

    in the style of Pierre de Ronsard
    "The Poet of Princes, and the Prince of Poets"

    Eager for the chase, the Vermilion Cavalier
    takes to the hunt on his steed, after the deer, with his dogs
    barking silvery in the sunshine's rays reflecting
    and bouncing off oaks that listen. His hard quiver
    shivers with sheer delight at the whizzing of arrows,
    as it empties so fast in its haste to knock all the wind
    out of the wild beast, until neither mountains nor valleys
    may stop him from breaking her in the last roseate gleams
    beside the river's bank. But stop! Can she make the sudden leap?
    Leap! May the night appear. It seems that hope,
    embroidered in dazzling stars, enwreathes the Milky Way.
    What veil has spread abroad? Is this a watercolour or what?
    Now, thunderstruck, the beautiful hunter reigns his steed.
    Who goes there? Artemis, the prey who is revealed.

    (Second version. Please note that I composed this poem in Renaissance French, mimicking both the period spelling and Ronsard's style.)

    Lune aux Étoiles
    © Richard Vallance, le 27 décembre 1998, partiellement 
    pour mon bel ami de coeur, Louis-Dominique
    Ayant laissé aux belles étrennes sa famille et sa mère, il est retourné comme ça au métropole. La nuit étrange était si claire aux étincelles que le soupir aléatoire des cheminées 4 s'ensemençait aux étoiles qu'arrosait la lune moirée d'hiver. C'est là qu'il visitait son ami, égayé de le revoir après si longtemps! Toute une année s'était recoulée, elle 8 au cours de la même nuit où déjà à demi de l'aube, les touts petits premiers pas de la lumière lui faisaient rêver encore une fois. Mais si rêver, pourquoi? Ou bien encore à qui? 12 Le lendemain, il est revenu comme çà chez lui, lune revenu aux étoiles, soleil seul à moi, son bel ami. 14 Translation into English Prose by the Author: Moonlight by Starlight For my soul-mate, Louis-Dominique © Richard Vallance, 27th November 2001
    Once I'd left him with his family and his mother "aux belles étrennes" *, he returned to the metropolis. On that clearest of nights, the strangest of whiffs happened to float, meandering up around the chimney stacks, sowing itself amongst the stars the moiré winter's moon was showering with its sparkling light. He came to visit his dear Friend, who was simply delighted to see him in after such a long absence. Yes, an entire year had elapsed in the course of that single night when already, with the advent of predawn, the very first little steps of light as they came forth sent him off to dreamland again. But if he was dreaming, why? Or yet again, of whom? The very next day, he came back home, out of the blue, like the moon coming out from behind stars, my only sun, to me, his closest Friend. * "les étrennes" is the traditional New Years Eve celebration in French families, when everyone exchanges gifts, just as we English do on Christmas Eve.
    Voilà l’inévitable!
    © par Richard Vallance, le 20 Oct, 2000

    Voilà donc l'inévitable!
    Il n'arrive qu'un seul jour
    que le quai des Écomertours
    t’invite au bal de ces fables!

    C’est loin de la magique!
    “Comment ça?” Dis-tu?
    C'est hors de l’allégorique,
    l’appel du déjà-vu * [1].

    Regardes-moi! Ce legerdemain [2]
    n'aurait été qu'un brin de rêve
    qui de la nuit des pins s'éleve
    hors du passé et sans demain.

    À l'appel du départ, les passagers
    sursautent de joie à remuer!
    Les dauphins saluent un tel retour
    de l'amitié, ce passage à l'amour.

    * Ces mots sont anglais, mais d’origine française.

    [1]   Le premier, déjà-vu, signifie,  "subir une expérience
           personnelle et intime, qui évoque des mémoires inquiètes
           relatives à sa propre vie, ou quand même une expérience
           perturbante, souvent même horrifique, de la vie de quelqu'un
           qui est déjà décédé ".    Cela va beaucoup plus loin que
           la phrase équivalente en français, qui n'a rien de spécial et
           qui ne signifie pour autant que  "l'on a déjà vu" quelqu'un
           ou quelque chose, et rien de plus.
    [2]  Le prochain est un mot ancien du français du Moyen Âge,
          qui signifie,  "la prestidigitation ".
    On peut facilement se poser la question, "Pourquoi utiliser de telles expressions dans un poème composé en français?"

    C'est qu'il agit d'un poème canadien. Bien que ces expressions soient inconnues (pour la plupart) en France, cela n'est pas nécessairement le cas au Canada. Car il y a chez nous une assez large population de gens qui sont parfaitement bilingues, et quant à ceux que ne le sont pas, ils n'ont qu'à demander à n'importe quel ami ou collègue, et la réponse voit le jour!

    Mettons que c'est un enjeu, soit un peit défi aux lecteurs.

    Richard Vallance, le 27 novembre, 2001

    Translation into English Prose by the Author:
    Well, I suppose it's inevitable!
    © Richard Vallance, 20 Oct, 2000
    Well, I suppose there's no way around it! There's only one chance in a lifetime when the "Écomertours" * dock is open for for the business of Dances and Fables. It's far from being magic! "How can that be?", you ask? It's beyond allegory, This appeal of the déjà-vu * [1]. Look at me! You see, it's legerdemain [2]. Such sleight of hand might have merely been only a sliver of a dream rising like a mist from pines in the night of the past, with no tomorrow. At the last call, "All Aboard!", the passengers just leap for joy to get on with it! And the dolphins wave back when they see us again, their passage being love's, as ours is friendship's. © by Richard Vallance, 2001 * 'Écomertours' is the name of an ecotourist cruise company out of Rimouski, Québec, the city where the infamous sinking of the Empress of Ireland occurred on the night of May 28th., 1914, claiming some 1,014 lives, many of them children. * Although these words are of French origin, they are purely English. [1] The first one, "déjà-vu", means, "to have an intimate personal experience, which brings back disturbing memories of one's own past, or even of some shocking, perhaps even horrifying experience from the life of another, who is nevertheless deceased." This meaning goes a lot further than the French, "déjà vu", which is just an ordinary phrase, meaning, "(someone or something) already seen", and nothing more. [2] The next word is a Middle French Word, meaning, "sleight of hand". Of course, you may well be wondering, why use such anglo expressions in a poem composed in French? Well, it's because this is a Canadian poem. While such expressions as these may be all but unknown in France, that's not necessarily the case in Canada. We've got a rather extensive fully bilingual population, and as for folks who aren't bilingual, they've merely to ask any friend or colleague what these phrases mean, and before you know it, they've got it nipped in the bud! Let's just say, for the fun of it, that this is a kind of guessing game for our readers. © by Richard Vallance, Nov 27th, 2001 [email protected]


    Ian Thorpe was born in Manchester, England in 1948 but brought up from an early age in the rural county, Shropshire. He opted not to go into further education in the conventional style but eventually finished up with a qualification in Sociology, which he says he has never found any use for, and a rather varied career including spells working in the construction industry, as a clerk, salesman, truck driver, house - painter, a market trader and having a couple of spells travelling in the USA and Europe before the responsibilities of marriage manoeuvred him into a career in Information Technology. Ian had always cherished an ambition to be an author and when a serious brain haemorrhage ended his career at the age of 49 and the consequent paralysis inhibited his ability to "rush around like an idiot" (at the time of the illness he was commuting weekly to a contract in Stockholm) it seemed an opportunity to pick up his writing which had been pushed aside due to career and family demands for over ten years. Things started well when there was almost immediate interest in his first novel Schlock's but he now finds himself involved in a Sherlock - Holmes style mystery "The Case of the Disappearing Literary Agent." The memoir of recovery Ian swore he would never write, "A Stroke of Luck" will now be published by Kedco Artists Profiles in a forthcoming anthology and Ian has recently put a humour e-zine online at


    Also available at Ian's personal web site http://ianthorpe.airtime.co.uk is a free download of this book, some reviews and readers comments showing it is not the heavy, schmaltzy memoir one might expect but a funny, irreverent and entertaining piece of writing.

    The imminent marriage of a former lover
    © Ian Thorpe

    Your guardians were all sleeping
    On the night I lowered your guard
    And we danced naked in moonglow
    Pale against the sin - black slopes
    of that sacreligious hill. The damned
    were close that night, their dead love
    reaching for your living flesh but no cold
    touch blistered our skin or marked us
    with madness. Even so you turned
    to them .Though I tried to lead you away
    I was no angel to wrap you in protective
    light as you walked between two worlds,
    unable to come with me; not wishing to return.
    Darkness and light beckoned on the road
    I had to take. Only the grey zone waited
    In your direction and so you let me
    lay you down and salve your fears.
    Perhaps life burned bright in us as our
    desires locked, The cold shades shrank
    back to their waiting world, afraid to
    claim you as their own. Perhaps. Or maybe
    to let you find that hour was their cruel joke.
    They knew I led you there not to offer my soul
    but to steal yours. Fear won and passion
    disowned you, We went in opposite directions,
    me to walk between Angels and Demons,
    you to the grey place where neither darkness
    nor light colours a cadaverous love as
    year on year it peels the life
    from your abandoned bones.

    No Morning Kisses
    © Ian Thorpe

    She hears familiar footsteps
    Then a key turns in the door
    He's late, but when he holds her
    She knows its been worth waiting for
    Because love is a strange elusive thing
    Sometimes you have to compromise
    So she keeps the things she wants to say
    Behind the pain that fills her eyes

    A few hungry hours together
    Words and kisses salve her pain
    And she nestles safe - close to him
    Deludes herself he might be staying
    But the cruel clock is counting
    Too much to lose, too soon he goes
    She whispers come - back - soon farewells
    And cries burning tears alone

    No morning kisses,
    Just midnight goodbyes
    And an empty aching feeling
    As homeward he flies

    There's a twist in every story
    There's a lie in every song
    And as she lies alone at night
    She prays it won't be long
    Before they lie together
    And stay together down the years
    But deep inside, she knows her pillow
    Will be warmed by lonely tears

    No morning kisses,
    Just midnight goodbyes
    And an empty aching feeling
    As homeward he flies

    To embrace the one whose birthing pain
    has chained his love for years
    In a bed where love no longer rages
    and the fire no longer sears.
    A future as safe as yesterday
    Cocoons him in deciet
    And he trades uncertain promises
    For a life forever incomplete
    Life makes fools of dreamers
    Cheats those who woud be free
    Blinds, binds and confuses lovers
    So to steal their destiny
    And each must guard a hidden love
    Until time finds a way to free him
    And they revel in forbidden love
    For a few more stolen hours

    No morning kisses,
    Just midnight goodbyes
    And an empty aching feeling
    As homeward he flies

    Broken Stem (a double sonnet)
    © Ian Thorpe

    The flower with the broken stem blooms first
    racing upwards, reaching for warm light,
    paints colours brighter, makes perfumes more sweet,
    to call its winged lovers from their flight.

    The bent and twisted stem may quickly heal
    but vital days are lost, the damage done,
    still the broken flower, overshadowed,
    strains to show its colours in the sun

    And you, my broken flower strove to shine,
    to grow and bloom in spite of so much pain
    your colours dazzled and sweet scents enticed
    the life - force was too strong to constrain

    And though you could not grow to the top
    your broken stem bloomed longest of the crop

    You won the right to live a different life,
    redraft the pages destiny had granted
    write stories to make the ignorant see
    the broken stem's blooms need not be tainted

    At last your beauty and presence found
    a love that would support your broken stem
    your flowers opened and threw out their seeds,
    your head lifted above the others then .

    Now we have grown together and still bloom
    though storm and drought conspired to bear us down,
    yet all too soon our blooms must fade and fall,
    and only memories and images remain

    But your colours may last beyond time's curse
    if I can preserve one bloom in this verse

    Ice Plants
    © Ian Thorpe

    Author's note: Religion is a strange beast. It has no substance but contains the power to turn people from all that is in their nature.

    The Sun Shone on closed petals
    of the Ice Plants as I poured my
    love on you; but your body
    was claimed by the sacrament.
    Only in the dark hours could you
    open; only in forsaken places meet
    a jealous lover who hides his face
    and caresses you with cold fingers
    as he commands you shun the light.
    The summer sun falls from the sky,
    your moon - pale lover watches
    and weaves his ornate rituals while
    the pretty ice plants die. But warmth
    protects you, defiant light breaks the
    darkness and my ancient gods rise up
    to touch the seeds that fell in the place
    where I made your flowers bloom.

    [email protected]

    Jan Sand in New York

    JAN SAND, poet and illustrator from New York, is a regular contributor to Poetry Life & Times and the newsgroup alt.arts.poetry.comments. A great deal of his work is about animals, or science fiction.

    Recently Jan was published by Kedco Studios Artist Profile Press, on their latest CD ROM e-book, "A Way With Words (Poetry Real and Surreal), which also includes complete books by Dale Houstman, Sara L. Russell and Keith Gabriel Hendricks. Jan's illustrated book on the CD is called "Wild Figments And Odd Conjectures", which is also sold separately, in a limited-edition "single" CD.

    To see an illustrated article about Jan's poems, visit the November '98 issue of Poetry Life & Times, and scroll down past the Editor's Letter. He also has his own poetry pages on Charlotte's Web at Artvilla.

    © Jan Sand

    The raucus music of the streets
    Cannot pull the mind
    From what the eye discerns,
    Though one might prefer to be blind
    To that image of the jaws of Hell
    From which protrude black broken teeth,
    While death exhales its acrid smell.
    Around the crater circles a wreath
    Of frightened crowds, their white faces
    Move like animated worry beads
    Horrified to see the places
    Filled with stony dust, shattered needs
    Of all the common things that fill our lives,
    Scraps of bones and telephones, ripped wires
    Charred chairs, flesh of husbands and wives
    Bent, distorted, cooked, blasted, churned in fires.
    The sweet clear blue stupid sky
    Smiles with sunlight on this mess
    And receives into its blank eye
    The nightmare fumes of our distress.

    © Jan Sand

    It is now the hammer strikes the nail,
    Convinces nail to bite the wood.
    It is now the Sun melts the sky
    to drain into the bowl of night.
    It is now the city howls its dreams
    With loud radios, brake squeals and screams.
    Now gobbles down the soon to come
    Spurting bright novelties, blood and fright.
    Now sometimes answers questions why,
    Separates should not from should,
    Adjudicates what succeeds or fails
    And quickly zips by like a mouse
    That speeds from hole to hole in house.

    © Jan Sand

    Tall and thin.
    Tall and thin with a grin.
    An ironic smile, with guile
    To permit an opening. Friendly enough
    So that approach might coach
    In anticipation a reciprocal

    I saw him in the subway station.
    No one else about.
    In this city late at night he might,
    Considering his dress
    Evoke panic, shouts, distress.
    But no.
    He seemed harmless enough
    Made of funny friendly stuff.

    "Hello," he said. Shook his head.
    "Sorry about those." Indicated ragged clothes.
    "I am, in this moment, at these dates,
    In dire financial straits".
    "I am", one eyebrow rose, "a magic man."
    He pinched his nose. "I can produce wonders."
    He curled his thumb, touched his chin
    To indicate he would begin.
    I heard distant thunders.

    "Watch!", he said, and a red
    Balloon popped out from his palm.
    Without a qualm he twitched his nose.
    The balloon arose.
    But on his toes ha poked the thing.
    It sprouted, first, one wing, then another.
    Tweeted. Then flew down the tunnel.
    "Look!", he cried, produced a funnel, out from which
    Poured golden streams. He grinned and from his eyes
    Sprang glowing gleams. I leaped back.
    With a "crack!" he shook his beard
    And disappeared!

    I peered behind a nearby post.
    There he stood, most delighted
    At my surprise.
    He winked his eyes.
    I wished him luck.
    Gave him a buck.

    [email protected]

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