by H.RogueRaiders


I’m drawn in by a

powerful pull to the globe

that large globe intersected by

broad black meridians

an illusion of a whole but



Continents patches

float disconnected

held together in black


benign by the choice of colour

light greens soft non

confrontational inhabited by a pretty



But on closer scrutiny many

more tiny living things shouting

                     peace on earth

         from within.


Placed 3rd in the 'Poetry Challenge' write a poem, on the spot in limited time, about a work of art in the 'Lake' show April - 2011

At the New Iceland Heritage Museum Gimli, Manitoba.


The Painting on the Wall

by H. RogueRaiders


Under a tree a chair is placed against

a field basking in rich golden sunlight.

Golden rod glow from within,

gold tints bush, grass.


The chair perhaps once seated

fancy diners around tables laden

to the hilt with apricots, venison, mead,

Perhaps once seated farmhands for

meals in kitchens served begrudgingly

after a day’s work.


Perhaps once a chair to step up

at the sink, a child washes dishes,

steps up to open the armoire,

rummages through linens,

tries on mother’s hats.


The painting draws me in.

It’s warm, brilliant colours

emit serene heat.

Afternoon heat. Still,

but filled with sounds of insects,

cacophony of meadows.


The chair placed in the shade,

mottled atmosphere vacillating in

waves from rising heat.


A painting on a wall,

the perfect vehicle for time travel.

It manifests thought,

maps contemplation,

one more dimension conjured,

with paint, brush, hand

through the ages

on flat surfaces

eyes wide open ~


Won second prize in the Wayne Arthur Gallery, Winnipeg,

May 28-2010 poetry contest.

The poet had to respond to a painting in the gallery.

The title of the painting is 'Chair in Field' by Jean McCormack.

Lullaby for a Potted Tree

By H.RogueRaiders


do you miss

that wind rustling in your leaves

do you miss

a breeze to shake some aphids

from your leaves

do you miss

that rain polishing your trunk

do you miss

the summer’s heat when

all is still and waits

do you miss

that moon coming full over the lake

keeping critters & folks awake

do you miss

your place by that oak

where turtle doves coo

the gold finch hops

blue jays noisily call

do you miss all that

my love, my green screen

the apple of my eye


so weary you stand in your pot

by the window thick with frost

but, ah, with beads & trinkets

I dressed you to lift your spirit by and by

and tricked your supple growth

with fertilizer brew


do you miss

the sun’s touch

crave that rush of Robin’s song


there there these gloomy

days near Equinox soon whence

only weak ice crystals bloom

at dawn, and then are gone.

Flowering trees phenomenon -

after winter must come spring

ice fishing below the locks

by H.RogueRaiders


ice shax

dot the winter landscape


i peer down that drill hole

through river ice

in vain


what did i expect!

fishes eyeing me?


dark water flows




diamond ice crystal mist

rises above the spill



In June

The Cat Hunts Again

by H.RogueRaiders


Cindy the cat hunts again she

stalks kills then eats. In the morning we

find the little tell tales of gall bladder

kidneys and furry tails. It makes me sad,

I try to teach her- no don’t hunt, my cat, there’s

plenty of cat food in your dish.


She mieuxs and wakes me from deep

Sleep, she drops the prey right by my bed

I get wildly mad take that still warm

creature in my hand to hide outside

intent to bury it under the apple tree

at daylight to join the many little

souls already buried there.


What then if nights at full moon they

all as ghosts rise up and dance with

limbs outstretched a circle to music

not heard by you and me,

But dance they will all lit by silver

blue the little rabbits birds mice moles

with cats Chantal & Sammy in the lead.

Katzen journal

Journal entry Sunday, May 23, 2011

Dedicated to my dear friend Renate,

in her typically English/German vernacular.


At sunrise morning showers

i’m high & dry on my screen porch

Willi the cat scratches the carpet to shreds.

Ah, not quite dry  a few drops fall on me

i move mein Stuhl,

wir haben not yet stuffed das Loch made

by egg size hail last summer -

what does it matter – it’s spring.


Der alte Apfelbaum  a cloud of white blossoms

rain released petals flutter like huge

snowflakes to the ground,

later during the long evening shadows

i move over them my spatial senses tricked unsure

if i am on firm ground

the fluorescent petals glow.


By the creek die Katze fliegt up the elm

into its top branches

a blue jay dive bombs then two more

the cat retreats to dodge sharp beaks

of fearless birds

their nests versteckt

i shout, nein, Willi komm down, don’t do harm

laß die Vögel singen

komm down du find’st ein cat treat

in your dish.


At sixty-five feet  the tree much

closer zum Himmel than me the dance

continues birds & predator until

the futility of it all occurs to cat

it’s an uneven match.

In Winter

On the Winds the Breath of Life

by H.RogueRaiders


With each turn of my head

pink sheets  deep rose on

my grapefruit tree fresh leaves

soft tactile sensuous green since

yesterday one two three crimson

geranium petal clusters ablaze

on pale green stems.


In the early morning sun iridescent

red blue magenta weaving &

waving in the fish bowl vie

with delicate petals of salmon candy

stripes & saturated quinacridone

violet of busy lizzies a

riot of colour against fresh



my heart leaps with

each eyeful of pink I fill my

lungs with green breath

then with pink then another

mingled with crimson the

breath of life I’m still alive

although surprised when

all is white outside.


The breath of life I fashioned

after my needs with live trees

taking up room

to be manoeuvred

to be watered cared for

aerated with my kitchen knife

tricked to grow with

fertilizer brew, my breath of

life bed covered in pink sheets


floral patterned pillow covers

for my head in sleep

deep sleep dream healing from

inside reset each cell’s DNA.


Today the snow looks different

the spruce seems green not black

& over willow’s tips hovers

bright ochre edged with cadmium

red aspen branches wave at me,

hello, not frozen solid as they were a day ago.


The breath of life returned

last night sneaked up on us

while deep in dreams,

the outdoors beckons me

it whispers screams

challenging the crimson petaled

window sills no more

blue snow its yellow grey

can’t hold the bush tree where

noon sun sucked deep wells

around each trunk to bare

black soil

blades of grass.

Our winged migrants

by H.RogueRaiders


From James Bay to Suriname

from Winnipegosis to the Florida Everglades from the Northern Polar Ice Pack to the Southern & back they fly,

flapping their wings incessantly,

great and small. They follow their instinct: navigate their course by stars sun

sail swiftly over unfamiliar territory.


Ah, Big Dipper up there and

over here – Orion: on clear nights

the stellar positions beam.

From Manitoba’s wild milkweed to

Mexico’s Sierra Madre a

Monarch butterfly migrates: set

by an internal clock driven by a secret compass.


For granted I took that

       Roukarouk rouk

of returning geese that delicate

flutter of butterfly wings.

But now when thaw is up & ice is out

I scan the skies for skeins of

V’s & roam marsh and field for

orange wings as wetlands

are ploughed from Saskatchewan to

Arkansas to Chesapeake Bay.

A killdeer calls

by H.RogueRaiders


A killdeer calls

its high-pitched whistle

travels along the wavy

line of spume   water surface

switches from lilac   purple to indigo


bloody hell serves you

right says the voice in my

head that grasshopper

masquerading as a car now

up to its axle in sand

should have been sunk

crossing the Atlantic


i drop my shift

kick off shoes   flick socks

on willow bush   there

they hang limp   dusk

erases beach line   horizon

more bird calls pierce the air


a swoosh of wings marks me

and through a sudden slice of

toxic yellow a mass of

silhouettes press east west


like tortured copper i meld

with the silver shaft of

moon   my shadow long   the

accidental hitchhiker

etched in starry darkness.


This poem placed first in the 2013 Winnipeg Free Press & Writers' Collective Writing Contest


Poetry Judges: Kellie Kamryn Winner of the RONE (Reward of Novel Excellence) Award for Best Erotica 2012


Katherena Vermette, her first book North End Love Songs, won the 2012 Governor General Literary Award and the Lena Chartrand Award for activism in poetry.


Judges’ comments: A beautiful reminder that when life gives you lemons, you must surrender, and make a poem. ‘like tortured copper I meld’; Wonderful imagery throughout and captured attention from the beginning. ‘the accidental hitchhiker etched in starry darkness’ Top notch!



by H.RogueRaiders


Poem about POINT DOUGLAS 1 by Laurie Harper-Winning.


Those architectural shapes attributed to church windows through the ages

on first glance


the image pulls at me

then realization -

the Shaman in the Cathedral

but a photograph manipulated to boot

nothing more


feathered head gear masked face

fringes hanging from the crossbar

charms knotted thick

buffalo bear eagle totems

terrible beauty echoes of medieval

armour countenance lol Darth Vader


in movie pics

plethora of visuals created after

nature on electronic design intelligence

etched on peoples’ brains


a cacophony of icons the classic church window R2D2 replicates MAD MAX bionic men SUPER/BAT MAN


o the sorcery of it all -

I’m confused all points of reference fade assaulted 24/7

from cyberspace

‘Sammy The Cat'

Pastel on paper

18.25" x 8"

© Helma RogueRaiders

You can never have enough heart(s)

by H.RogueRaiders


Bare feet

pants turned up to the knees,

the water cool on my skin

calming all turbulence within.

Gull struts ahead killdeer shriek

terns scream

peep peep peeeeeep sandpiper’s whistle.


On the pier’s slender aspen rail

facing the wind herring &

ring-billed gull sit

wing to wing. Into the coarse

sand I sink, the ancient granules

once mountains boulders glossed to

shine wave after wave

toes ankles knees hips

spine realign.


From the mass of beach shapes of

rocks jump out at me. Bits of glass

rare red common green

white & brown, sharp

edges polished opaque

bright stones tumbled & shaped

plump hearts & narrow

hearts flat wide generous

mean poor. The pockets of

my jacket bulge.

A LWWG sponsored open mic presentation on February 19-2017. Louis Riel Day.

at the Ship & Plough, Gimli, Manitoba.


In Defence of Artistic Interpretation

by H. RogueRaiders


My name is Helma, I go by RogueRaiders, and I am an immigrant. I’m not talking about immigrants today. I thought I mention it because it is all in the news, right! I’m from Germany, post WW2 education.  I think of myself as an adventurer.


It is Louis Riel Day today.  I don’t profess that I have even the slightest right to whisper my take on his name.  As Louis Riel Day is the topic of today’s open mic, I’d like to bring up the name of  Marcien Lemay. Marcien Lemay was the sculptor who sculpted Louis Riel’s exquisite first statue that was placed, I believe, in 1971 in Manitoba’s Legislature grounds. Marcien Lemay worked with Etienne Gaboury.  Marcien Lemay was born in 1926, he passed away in 2005. Etienne Gaboury was born 1930 and is still around.  Marcien was born in St. Boniface and lived there all his life. Etienne was born in Swan Lake in 1930.  I Googled this. Anyway they are the ‘agents provocateurs’ in my story.  Marcien Lemay and Etienne Gaboury, whose contribution is a little bit in the background.


They collaborated in the magnificent statue that was commissioned to be in the Manitoba Legislature grounds and then removed.  It was removed because no sooner was this sculpture erected (very appropriate) in the grounds it was vandalized. (Look up to view a number of photographs of this statue).  The statue was placed facing the river, an important aspects to commemorate Louis Riel. And they wanted to commemorate Riel - they wanted to commemorate what he was to a segment of our society who called themselves Metis.  It was time - he needed to be recognized as the father of Manitoba. Of course he was.  So, again, no sooner was the statue up it was constantly vandalized, garbage was thrown at it, rants were written on the sculpture.  I am not surprised.  The sculpture was 12 ft. high, higher than that of Queen Victoria, whose statue is sitting at the front of the Legislature.  It was taller than the Golden Boy up on top of the Legislature building.  Not surprising people thought ‘what is this! The sculpture was vilified, pulled through the dirt and even the genitalia was hacked off.


It stood there for 20 years.  Then the clamour for its removal got so loud and noisy that government people caved in and ordered it to be removed because it didn’t commemorate Louis Riel although, and I quote “any memorial has the potential to denigrate even as it preserves.” (article Manitoba History “Practical Results” The Riel statue Controversy at the Manitoba Legislative Building by Shannon Bower, Winnipeg, No. 42, Autumn / Winter 2001-2002)


The pubic clamoured so loud to get rid of the statue, they got their way. It was negotiated that Marcien should do another statue.  He was keen to do that, but before he got down to work, another guy was commissioned.  Miguel Joyal.  Marcien was dumb founded (I knew Marcien at the time and we talked).  Anyway what happened next was due to Marcien’s vision, I would say.  To quote Marcien’s lovely wife, Helene: “Marcien’s sculpture kept this deeply emotional Louis Riel controversy alive for 21 years.”  It gave the Metis an opportunity to actually figure out what they really wanted.  How to place good old Louis Riel back where he belonged and it was because of Marcien Lemay’s powerful & transcendent sculpture. In my mind he is the prime mover of the ‘happy’ outcome of this story.  Modern Manitoba Metis. Marcien Lemay’s sculpture was re-established at the Université de Saint-Boniface, a very apt place, as Riel’s grave is also in the Cathedral graveyard.


Miguel Joyal made his sculpture which is, at the present standing, in the Legislature grounds, in the tradition of a colonial.  Louis Riel looks like a colonial father. It had to be that way.  He couldn’t just be standing there like he was portrayed in Lemay’s statue.  He couldn’t be shown dishevelled & half-naked.  Louis Riel was voted 3 times into the Canadian Legislature, but he never took his place, he couldn’t get there.  He would have been arrested as soon as he crossed the Canadian border. So, tonight talking about my thoughts after I looked over all the ‘stuff’ written about the person Louis Riel, I think the first Louis Riel Sculpture – singularly powerful.

Laundered Mouse

by H.RogueRaiders


Today i laundered a mouse

all three inches with tail

some nasty smell from the laundry

alarmed me could be the

honey wagon going by and

sort the linen by colour

let the automatic do her thing.


At my desk i resume setting

words to rhyme   syntax   meter & tone

while sewer odor lingers in my nose

clank bang bang bong

spin cycle on uneven load

bong bang clank

down the basement i spring

to fetch the laundered whites

for sun is on the washing line.


What’s that? all over my clothes

black clumps and think my cat

with feathered prey into the dirty

laundry basket  had crept,

but it is my clean wash that stinks like

meat hung long past its tender mark

i gag once   gag twice    at this putrid offense

pink body of mouse nestles

between white sheets   bras   panties.


Poor wee thing stripped clean of hair

three-inch mouse all bare

one glance i dare

my eyes screw shut

reach for the rubber glove   arm

stretched out head turned from

this thing i killed unwittingly,

a decent burial it needs under the old

apple tree with all the other mice  birds  moles

who succumbed to cat’s play  innocent

but deadly.

On the road from Siglavik

by H.RogueRaiders


On the road from Siglavik

great grey owl startles me

flashing through the beam

eagle soars at Willow creek & Siglavik

the one we call Fisch Adler and

you Bald Eagle

head crowned white

tail feathers a bright fan

huge beak wing span of ultralights

talons keen


eagle flies at Willow creek & Siglavik

great grey owl navigates oaks on

my property

lands on a hydro pole

she perches square her back to us

ears pricked owl eagle

stalk our neighbourhoods

for rabbits kittens moles &

         one day chicks


by H.RogueRaiders


I swear Elf winked at me from the gallery wall

the portrait a photograph taken in three quarters profile

there comes a time of reckoning the synthesis of beauty and deep spirit— Elf’s eyes round dark like polished chestnuts dropped

from the ancient tree towering over the

thatch roof lights flicker

through the shadow mimicking sparks your pixie face immortalized in

fairie likenesses conjured with pen and ink soft water colour palette

fairies never played a role in my childhood it was the old woman up the road her

dwelling die Kate a cottage thatch pulled deep over windows its age emphasized by acrid wood smoke darkened brick

the timber black like crow’s feather

fly-snapping ducks waddle in the enclosed

barn yard a gloomy hedge thick spiny thorns bar my inquisitive eyes

years marked by the return of stork mates during spring who repair their family nest high up on the spine of the thatch on

long red legs large red bills chatter

clap ring into my sleepy morning ears feathered bodies white fluffy clouds

wings edged black


come come into my world the

pixie face beckons between rocks on heath and heather castles enveloped

in yellow gorse fragrant lavender &

lilacs busy bees buzzing around

groups of little folk who draw smoke from pipes sing a melody that contracts hearts then exhale

to take to wings

even the klutziest biped

pixie face reminder of the promise made two decades ago to the wood fairies not to disturb the old brush and bramble by the creek

a wise promise.