New Brunswick Book Awards

It was quite the surprise, but I am very happy to see that my book of Flash Fiction Short Stories, BISTRO, is one of the three finalists in this year’s New Brunswick Book Awards, organized jointly by the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick (WFNB) and The Fiddlehead. It’s great to see that self-published books can get recognition at the highest (for me) level. Thank you to all who are involved in organizing this annual book award.

Bistro Cover.jpg

Bistro is available online at

https://www.amazon.com/Bistro-Flash-Fiction-Roger-Moore/dp/1537254405/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1490464520&sr=8-2&keywords=Roger+moore+Bistro

Here’s the link to the Writers Federation of New Brunswick / Fiddlehead New Brunswick Book Awards short list page

https://thefiddlehead.ca/content/announcing-finalists-new-brunswick-book-awards

 

Minus

IMG_0133 2.jpg

Minus

“The earth is geoidal, i.e. earth-shaped.”
These words, dictated to me by the geography
master when I was about fifteen years old,
taught me that teachers didn’t really know
all there was to know. Nor, indeed, did they
need to know everything. “I don’t know,
I’ll check and tell you later,” breaks the myth
of infallibility but sets up sympathetic links.

“What do groundhogs eat?” the little girl
asks her classroom teacher. “Spaghetti,”
comes back the instant answer from one
who doesn’t know that every day the child
watches the groundhog that lives in her yard
devour delicate New Brunswick violets.
“Spaghetti, with mushroom sauce, of course.”

Then one day comes the spelling test:
“How do you spell minus?”
M-I-N-O-S.”
“Wrong. Try again.”
M-I-N-A-S.”
“Wrong again.
You think you’re so clever.
Everybody knows it’s
M-I-N-U-S.
Don’t we class?”
The class breaks into shrieks and giggles.

Everyone knows how to spell minus:
even the one who has just read how Theseus
followed Ariadne’s thread to escape from
the Minotaur who roamed the Labyrinth
beneath the Cretan Palace of Knossos.

That one was present too, in her own mind,
at the Siege of Minas Tirith, when Gandalf
held five evil kings at bay and Aragorn fought
the nameless Dark Lord who dwelt beneath
the shadow in the land of M-O-R-D-O-R,
a Lord not so powerful M-I-N-U-S his ring.

Not On My Watch!

img_0141-2

Not On My Watch!

The black-and-white cat
sits in the window and watches
the ginger cat who lounges on the porch
and watches the five deer
who stand in the woods at the garden’s foot
and watch the neighbor’s little dog
who watches the raccoon
who disdainfully removes the garbage can lid
and fishes out the food, scattering
paper and wrappers and cans
as four crows sit in the tree and watch
the wind as it whistles the papers
round and round in a windmill
that wraps itself round the feet
of another neighbor who is watching
the raccoon with open-eyes
as a seagull flies above him
and bombs him from above,
damn seagulls, and the bird poop
falls right on my neighbor’s watch face
and he cries out
“Oh no, not on my watch!”

Full Moon Fading

IMG_0033

Full Moon Fading

Full Moon fading outside my window
still draws up water, attracts high tides,
drags the wolves by their drawstrings
struggling, bedraggled, out of my chest.
Soon to be invisible, they clutch and claw
as they climb the moon path’s golden light.

The piper has paid his rent and packed
up his pipes, leaving me at last alone.
A silence rules my lungs. Five deer stand
silent in the woods beneath my window
and I watch them as they watch the piper go.

My body’s house lies drained and empty.
The Fading Moon flushed out my body,
leaving it high and dry like a great white whale
abandoned, breathless, on a summer shore.

It’s all over now, the cough, the splutter,
the sharp reality, the aches and pains
that told me I was alive. I miss my music.
I miss the swish and roar of my incoming,
outgoing breath. I miss those Full Moon
fingers tinkling the tides of my inner being,
making me strive to keep myself alive.

Pibroch

img_0385img_0385

Pibroch

This morning, the bailiff, Mr. Kovdrop,
evicted the two gnomes from my lungs.

Landlord Bodie placed an ad on Kiji
then rented the free space in the left lung
to a tiny piper who took up residence by my heart.
This piper piped a pibroch, sad to play,
on his worn and wheezy bagpipes.

A pack of miniature wolves infiltrated
the midnight forest flourishing in my other lung.
When the pibroch played, they pointed their noses
at that spot in my throat where the full moon
would have been, if she could have broken in.
They mingled their howls with the bagpipes caterwaul
and I lay awake all night with my heart beating
arrhythmic suspicions on its blood red drum.

The drum played, the pibroch wailed, the wolves howled
and my body lay scarred by an absence of moon and stars.

White Wolf

img_0407

White Wolf

The white wolf of winter
exits her den-warmth and
shakes cold from her coat. Snow
flies, whitening the world.

She points her nose skywards,
clears her throat until
cold winds howl a chorus:
crystals, crunchy crisp.

We cower behind wood
walls, peer out through steamed
up glass. The white wolf draws
near. She huffs and she puffs.

The snow drifts climb higher,
blotting out the light. Night
falls, an all-embracing
Arctic night of endless

snow snakes slithering on
ice-bound, frost glass highways,
side roads and city streets.
Outside, in the street lights’

flicker, snow flies gather.
Thicker than summer moths,
they drop to the ground, form
ever-deepening drifts.

Our dreams become nightmares:
endless, sleepless nights, filled
with the white wolf’s winter
call for even more snow.

Sun and Moon 11

IMG0076_1

 

Sun and Moon 11

nochebuena[1] – a star spreading crimson fire
girasol – bright mirror to his golden face
colibri – hovering on a whirr of wings

am I less than a flower or a bird?

if my fingers could grow feathers…
if my face could sprout petals and leaves…

hollow bones whistle a sad song
the sailor lost at sea
the wanderer asleep in foreign soil

both far from home

[1] Nochebuena / Poinsettia; girasol / sunflower; colibri / humming bird.