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Shaena Lambert

You know how when you have a scrumptious treat you know just won’t last?  So you eek it out a wee, delicious morsel at a time?

That’s how I feel about Shaena Lambert’s collection of short stories, “Oh, My Darling”.  I’m savouring one story at a time. Always early morning when everyone else is asleep. I cozy up in the overstuffed, red chair under the big lamp. Shaena tells me a story, and I listen, entranced. And this is how the day begins …just so.


Only four of ten stories left.  How slowly can I read, and re-read, to make this delectable delight last, and last?

Another favourite Canadian author is Lisa Moore who says Sheana’s collection is “Fist-pump marvellous.”  It is.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 978-1-44342-434-9

downloadFrom my dedicated poetry shelf today’s selection, The Nights Also by Anna Swanson.

Without judgment or censorship, shared here with you, random poem, “Lullaby for small” at page 15.

Dedicated to Diana.

After you’ve read this poem, I’d love to hear what you think about it, your reactions, what feelings or memories the piece evoked.


What do I know of the world these days?
This room, the merciful windows
and whatever weather hits them. The world is
this: the eagles calling out into the sleepless night,
and me, small enough to fit in a coat pocket.
There is a box I keep on the table by my bed.
A box just large enough for all the doctors’
perfect remedies. The eagles call out into the night,
the falling notes of their cries like ripples around a pebble,
which has disappeared into dark water.
At five, a peacock walks the ledge
outside my bedroom window. The light
begins so slowly.  And me, curled in my bed,
small enough to fit in a coat pocket.
I have worn out my anger, and there is not much
of me left. I want the backseat
of our old orange Datsun. I want my father
to carry me in. I swore I’d never get too big.
sleep, baby, sleep. All the old songs.
Thy father tend the sheep. I want
The falling notes like ripples. The pebble.
The dark water closing around it.

Publisher: Tightrope Books
SBN: 978-1-926639-13-0

Other “Off the Shelf” Selections.


Photo: Barbara Bellows

Hard Light” by Michael Crummey is proving to be one of those books where I dread reading the last page.  Here … he retells and reinvents his father’s stories of outport Newfoundland and the Labrador fishery of a half century ago. Events long vanished are rendered here in myriad voices, with clarity and intensity of lived experience.

Today’s selection is at page 98.

‘At home on a cold winter’s night. The changing scenes of life. (1928)’

November bluster,
the night sky obscured by cloud.

On the tall ships I was taught
to steer by the stars,
took them for granted,
like a portrait of grandparents
hung in the hallway before
you came into the world.

There is a telescope on Mount Wilson
in California whose lens
weights 4 and one half tons
and measures 100 inches across –
they say it has mapped the heavens
for hundreds of millions of miles,
that the darkness is deeper than
we ever imagined.
New galaxies and constellations
discovered every day
and it is still only
the simplest things we understand.

The speed of light exceeds
eleven million miles a minute,
it travels through space
for thousands of years after
its star has collapsed;
it is possible
that all my life I have
taken my mark by
a body that does not exist.

A chunk of wood shifts in
the fireplace,
through the window I watch
winter clouds drift and gather.

Clotted field of stars beyond them,
light rooted hard in darkness.

Publisher: Brick Books
ISBN: 978-0-919626-95-9

Other “Off the Shelf” Selections.


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