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Two poems by Jamal Ali
Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive,
but to be young was very heaven.
--William Wordsworth, “The Prelude”
Alone in his backyard on that cool autumn evening,
the grey-haired and wrinkled pensioner
sat close to the fireplace, comforted by the fire’s warmth.
As he looked at the falling leaves,
he thought about the passing years.
The only child of a mailman and waitress, both deceased,
Liam, never married, was a blank page.
He recalled that distant summer,
after completion of first year university,
a summer job as a waiter at the Banff Springs Hotel.
A summer romance with Diana,
the waitress and college student from Montreal haunted him.
It was his first romance in that summer of young love.
He smiled at the memory of those beautiful moments
and thought, Is there anyway I can revisit them through time travel?
Afterwards, thoughts of his own mortality disturbed him.
She understood that time is like
a rolling river in the flowing waters of life.
In the wilderness of solitude,
ravaged by the storms of depression,
She felt unwanted the day
her husband lost his job
and walked out on her.
She shredded the souvenirs of her adolescent years:
notebooks of poems and diaries.
The former farm girl who grew up in Saskatchewan
and dubbed herself “The Pastoral Poet,”
seeked solace in her repeated recital of
the opening stanza from her very first poem, “Inspiration,”
that she wrote at the age of thirteen,
“There prevails the province where the prairie
sunrise beautifies the golden wheat fields.
It’s the Land of Living Skies that conveys
an atmosphere of serenity.”
In the buttery sunlight,
of that magical day in July,
in the front yard of her Calgary suburban bungalow
she marvelled at the flight of a flock
of Canada geese in an easterly direction
and imagined that they lifted her to the skies.
Jamal Ali’s writings have been published in Alberta Views, The Parkland
Post, FreeFall, Prairie Journal, Wax Poetry and Art Magazine, Weekly
Poem, and other publications. He enjoys reading Harlequin and Silhouette
Romance books. Jamal’s favourite movie actress is the beautiful Jacqueline
Bissett. Someday, he plans to visit Quebec City.