I am currently living in London, Ontario though I spent a year travelling after second year Honours English at the University of Toronto and saw 22 countries in 11 months.

Much of my poetry is about my travel experiences as I also lived in Greece, Paris and London, England in the late seventies. I am a teacher of English as a second language as well a freelance journalist and have written two children's books.

I have only recently begun to have my poetry published but it is my dream to be self- supporting writer. Writing is my passion.

  Memories  of Montmartre 
  © Donna Bamford

of Montmartre I recall one snowy day spent in a café with red table cloths, the singer singing Piaf the dancers dancing their joy in existing the snowflakes whirling outside like feathers like white peacock feathers a glass of wine, a cigarette, Galloise of course and the redness of joy and the blueness of truth My Montmartre afternoon Canto © Donna Bamford
Now shall I sing the canto of the grateful friend for there are friends like Spanish red wine ruby-lambent and dark exotic like the velvet gypsy moth fleet like gazelle with dark gazelle eyes ariel creatures, they move in air like orioles, flame tipped They scatter joy with their wings. Segovia and Sangria Or there are some, like clavier music, or the damask rose minstrels and tapestry surround them, and Chaucerian figures Or there are friends like yellow musk roses, swan-like in grace, gentle like the ring dove Terpsichore and Euridicye are with them they walk in the blue light of truth Or there are some like primrose or mead, like chiffchaffs round thatched cottages, like apple blossom in May And there are those like nightingales, full- throated, with cascading laughter like harp music They come from paintings by Bonnard and are kindred spirits. And there are those like hummingbirds, shy, and gentle, and large of soul Their voices heal you they have balm in their voices like precious myrrh And they are all rubies to be treasured they bring gladness of heart and joy, like flamboyant irises in June like wild orchids dew-dropped and fabulous Of India © Donna Bamford
Of India I recall pressed pomegranate juice like magenta jewels the red-cheeked bottoms of monkeys that played about the balustrades, tea in ricotta pots that you threw to the ground when finished, to be swept up by ubiquitous sweepers nasty camels seen on the road, unpettable a cart drawn by a water buffalo across a wooden bridge a satellite above, in a sea of stars so close they seem to sing the shocking beauty of the women the Beel people nomads, in their gypsy costume bright like child colours laughing beggars and lecherous holy men smiling lepers their stumps held out for alms the colour, oh the colour, and smells of charcoal fires, cow dung, incense, paradox from hideously grotesque to transcendentally sublime [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 Sun incinerates my days,
The Moon devours my dreams.
My hopes sparkle in the stars
With evanescent gleams.
But here, my hands grip the earth
To know its grit and stones.
Its chalk and grime and iron dust
Make my blood and bones.
The roar of winds, the sop of rains
The moods of atmosphere
Engineer duration's shape
Upon this dizzy sphere.
I am of Earth, of air, of stars
Sculptured out of time
And this shaping still goes on,
with reason, sometimes rhyme.

© Jan Sand

The gathering is at the church although
There is no religion manifest.
It is merely the community designation
For family, friends and acquaintances
To unwrap their possessions of the past
To indicate their unique value
And bundle them in common package.
There is some conversation,
Some flowers, some neutral melodies
Rendered on the proper somber instrument.
The package then is addressed, stamped,
And posted to eternity.

© Jan Sand

Periodic to this world
A stone or two decides to meet
Its atmosphere. Then hurled
By gravity in wind and heat
Bestows Hell from Heaven.

Then unwinds the thread of life,
The protein ladder splits its rung,
Waves aimless, cleaved by the knife,
Patterns shattered, gone, unsung,
Claws about for leaven.

Disintegrated by the void
Life refuses end defeat.
Small particles still not destroyed
Re-integrate, reform, repeat
And innovate in novelty.

So life transmogrifies, survives
From crawling things to flying things,
Huge living masses change their lives,
Lose and acquire minds or wings
And sing a different melody.

© Jan Sand

What relief to be free
Of the morass of memory,
To watch the articulated past
Fade away, at last.
No more do a crowd of ancient faces
Squeeze my heart with clamps of loves, hates, disgraces.
Forgetfulness has called off all bets,
All expectations, all regrets.
Pure sound, pure scent, pure light
Are restored to their childish delight,
Unfiltered by past judging,
By other peoples' other thoughts always nudging,
Always asserting the relevance
of social intelligence.
Now I can be free by the hour
To stare, fascinated, at a flower.

[email protected]

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