Things were much better when
I rode with Attila & drove an Etzel. 

In those days, the choral parts were terrific.
Even the incidental music got its chance

to settle old scores.
                                Any remaining phrases
hung in the forest air like wet woodsmoke
or the corpses of executed sentences. 

O, the savage verve of it.
The ruthless gore & pitiless mayhem.

The stench, the pandemonium.
All that brutal offhand cruelty. 

My heart was constantly on alert. 

The tree gods gave us their blessings.

Photo by Jon Moore on Unsplash.

Bill Howell

Bill Howell, one of the original Storm Warning poets, has had a literary career spanning five decades. With five collections to his credit, his work appears regularly in journals and anthologies across Canada, in the UK, Australia, Sweden, and the United States. Born in Liverpool, England, he grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has lived in Toronto for more than half his life. Bill was a network producer-director at CBC Radio Drama for three decades. Ranging from the lyrical to the ironic, his poetry deploys colloquial language, deliberate narrative, and a sharp sense of the focused moment. Bill’s latest collection, “The Way Things Are at the Moment,” is scheduled to be released by Kelsay Books this June.

Here’s an example of his approach.