Guest Poem by Daniel Boland

Daniel Boland’s poems have appeared in a variety of magazines in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. including Orbis, Canary, The Antigonish Review, Carousel, The Prairie Journal of Canadian Literature, and The Saranac Review.  Two of his poems were included in an anthology entitled The Heart is Improvisational (Guernica Editions, 2017). He has two full-length collections: Toward the Chrysalis (2005) and Detours (2014) both published by Ottawa’s Stone Flower Press. He is a recently-retired English teacher and is currently doing on-line teaching/tutoring while continuing to focus on his writing. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with his wife (a visual artist and retired French teacher) and daughter.

Poppies by the Sea

Orangey-red prayer flags of the past –
they are opium –
a secret incense.

They are a doorway to everything –
from a small room
to an endless blue seascape.

They launch all the people
that you have encountered –
the living and the dead.

They are the raw emotions
housed in your always changing body
unfurling now like a beautiful sail.

They all well up and churn on the waves.

They give visions of a solitary hosta plant
that made you think of the venerable Bede.

They are those curvy-stemmed flowers that grew
beside the red wagon you had as a child.

They gesture nervously
toward a pod of blue whales in the distance
as you draw
closer and closer to the shore
to the crashing surf
to the lighthouse.

Then back to the world.