DALENE FRANCES MICHAELS ❏ I walked to and from my elementary school, which was about a kilometer from home, along sand streets. On one particular summer day, I was walking home by myself. With my schoolcase in hand, I kicked empty cans along the street and skipped stones across the sand, entertaining myself on my lonely walk home. Lost in the fantasy world of my mind, I bent over to pick up a stone. From between my legs, I could see everything behind me upside down. I saw a group of people led by a man running toward me at a fast clip. My flight or fight instinct kicked in and I popped back up.
ISHRAT CHOWDHURY ❏ Kariya Park. It is the heart of Mississauga. It is situated at the south of Square One shopping Mall. The park features Japanese style gardens, pavilion, magnolia, cherry trees, rhododendrons, hydrangea, daffodils, tulips and several sculptures gifted to us By Kariya City in 2001. The Japanese garden “delights the senses and challenges the soul” as well as creates a sense of balance and aesthetics. It was officially opened in 1992 on the eleventh anniversary of our twin relationship with Kariya City. It was started after World War 2 in 1960. The idea was to connect cities over the World to reduce the conflicts and coldness among them. It was to create awareness among the citizens.
MICHELLE HILLYARD ❏ Shannon was a dear member of our poetry community, the Mississauga Writers Group, and to me, a sweet, sweet friend. I enjoyed her art, her poems, but most of all her company, and the deep conversations we’d have. She was such a support to other artists, and a welcome addition to all the shows she’d come to. She had a smile which could brighten anyone’s day, and the biggest, most compassionate heart. She truly cared about people. I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. The writers group also collectively wishes to pass on condolences. She will be greatly missed. ❤️
ASHLEIGH RYAN ❏ Julie has twenty-six plants in her three hundred square-foot apartment. Half she maintained when her ex still lived there; the other half she acquired in the eighteen months since. There are nine different succulents, mostly teacup sized, placed in cream-coloured planters shaped like llamas and other animals. There’s a trio of African violets placed on a tiered display close to the window like toddler girls posing for a portrait. There’s a fern hanging in the corner beside the couch and a large palm on the opposite side in a wooden pot on the floor. There’s a skinny dracaena beside the television that she frequently turns away from the light to coax into a more pleasing shape, only to have it grow taller and more haphazard. Butted against it are three baseball-sized cacti in a series of white pots placed in a wooden tray like a set of dips.
HASAN ZIA ❏ I love you! I love what is eternal in you And in you – What is eternal is nothing And I love nothing in you Nothing is what carries you Holding you on to be something Something lovable – That is eternal And I love nothing in you Longing for you – A soulful sigh echoes inside me Leaving nothing but sorrow – That is eternal