Fort Mac (a poem)


underneath the darkened sky
black smoke rolls out in clouds
and fiery tongues lash out in rage
consuming tinder trees and matchbox houses
while ant trails of humans pour out
in droves abandoning
as the world watches for days

this is hell but not
in hell no relief remains in sight
in hell no return to the light of a clearing sky
no supplications for rain
only pity from the living
no shelter from the blaze
nor lunch money
nor compassionate letters
from schoolchildren on a remote island
where father
son spouse
journeyed west
to find a fortune
gone up in fiery haze
dragging Alberta to her knees
long before the oilsands run dry.

©2016, cindy lapeña

the seagull on the rooftop (a poem)


(because i saw a seagull on a rooftop…)


dead centre there it stood

the seagull on the rooftop

watching the world for all it stood

in a standstill where it chose to stop


did it see the truck was blowing steam

did it know the rain would fall

did it ever, like you and me, dream

did it know the meaning of all


the seagull on the rooftop stood

where it stopped on the centre of the roof

watching the houses as they stood

eyes empty maws shut silent with reproof


was there life within those wooden shells

were the people happy there

what sort of folks did there dream and dwell

of what did they truly care


on the centre of the roof the seagull stopped

like a carving carefully placed

like a weathervane that had rusted stuck

contemplating what it might face


did it know what roof to choose or why

does it care the way we do

does it ever care if it lives or dies

do we stand on rooftops too


© Cindy Lapeña, 2014




























Return to Poetry

Like the sunset (poem)



“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” ~Goethe

I see magnificence and beauty
and a certain sadness with the sunset
and yet again calm as my world settles down
with the hope that I, too, will rest
with a certain sadness like the sunset
and that irreplaceable calm after a storm
when my world finally settles down.

2014-04-20 19.52.42

© Cindy Lapeña, 2014

To Justin, On Your Graduation (A Poem)


Debating with myself for years

Undecided until the final moment

That you would graduate from 12th grade.

Another huge milestone in a year when you

made several: Halifax, New York, your 18th birthday.

How can I tell you, dear son, how proud I am of you

Of your accomplishments, your skills, your talents

Your intelligence, your character.

I wanted to share this moment with you

As much as a million other moments that I missed

But wanting you to be comfortable, relaxed

at such a grand day was more important to me

Than my desire to be with you

I stayed away.

As I have stayed away

If only to let you find yourself

Learn for yourself, decide for yourself

Some truths about life

I only hope that you have found

The right mentors, the right models

To guide you when I could not

To listen when I was unable

To cheer you on

Encourage you

Remind you of the lessons I taught you

As you were growing up and very young

Before you were taken away from me

Body, mind, spirit

Heart of my heart,

blood of my blood

body of my body

My wound opens anew

each time I think of you

No less painful than the day I lost you

and my blood pours out in tears

and in silence

I congratulate you.


© Cindy Lapeña, 2014



how can i say goodbye… (poem)


how can i say goodbye

when we haven’t said hello

haven’t shared a moment

haven’t heard each other’s voice

where in the world should i look

that i might find you

that our paths might cross

that our lives might intertwine

that i might hear your voice

and meet you eye to eye

so i can say goodbye

after i say hello


Charlottetown, 2014

snow days and ice days (poem)


can’t see the fine rain
but the tree branches are getting whiter
by the minute collecting ice
on every twig and bough
it’s not so much a snow day
as it is an ice day
with the frosty breath
of winter freezing the spittle of march
on everything it touches.

after the morning has dawned (poem)


late at night with sparkling wine

watching a movie alone

wishing for company that isn’t here

that might never call this home

distracted by myriad thoughts

things that all need to be done

all these things i put off tonight

till after the morning has dawned


© 2014, Charlottetown




Another birthday…another year (poem)


another birthday…another year…

will there be more heartaches? maybe more tears?

will there be joy? a new love perhaps?

i never will know…it’s all under wraps

it’s all a big secret…it’s all a surprise…

i won’t know about it till it’s before my own eyes…

i’m feeling all warm from the greetings i’m getting

it seems they’ll go on past the time the sun’s setting

there’s goodness enough to last me all year

and more than enough to keep me in cheer

i’m not going to worry what tomorrow might bring

with the right outlook it’ll be a good thing

another thing i’ll be thankful for…

another birthday…a new open door.


© 2014, Charlottetown


On a snow day… (poems for fun)


Sung to the tune of “On a clear day”

On a snow day
Rise and look around you
And you’ll see snow up your window
On a snow day
How it will astound you
That the snowfall through the evening
Lasted all night till the morning
You’ll feel part of every snowflake and snowdrift
You can hear
From far and near
All the wind gusts you’ve never heard before…
‘Cause on a snow day…On a snow day…
It’s all white forever…
And ever…
And ever…
And ever more. . .