The Muse

(An International Journal of Poetry)

ISSN 2249 –2178


Volume-3                                                      June -2013                                              Number-1



Albertan Storm

by Caroline Hedin


A storm comes in

Buzzing like a cloud of irate hummingbirds

The air thickens and

Gains a new kind of feeling.

You can hear it coming, oh yes.

I am surrounded by cattail beds, and as

The storm gets closer

It runs through their dried, dead, stalks.

It rustles, and one has to look about in wonder

Of what creature stamps

Through the thickets.


The cattails are funny

That way.

You can always hear something near

But the layers of cattail hairs

Conceals any movement maker under its oil and dander.

There is always a bumping, a stirring, a trampling,

Strange utterances of birds get

Tangled in there, oh yes.

You can hear then taunting their stalker,

Or is it the sound of the snare snapping

Its jaws at the clouds?


And then, the storm is gone,

After a flutter of licks --

Spooked from its nest by a passing shadow.

We hardly noticed it leaving.

All of a sudden, we were just as we were,

With a few cattail seeds marking the air

Where the tempest lured them from

The rest of the litter.



The lost house

by Caroline Hedin


A man sweeps the floor

Of a replica house belonging to a

Kwakiutl chief of Vancouver Island.

It was built by his sons, and now,

it is shuffled through by a stream of visitors.


The replica fire crackles

In the room’s centre, surrounded by

Painted masks looking

For the lost warmth of human eyes

Poking out from the inside.


In the distance, you can

Make out the wails of a

Woman’s voice singing in an

Adjacent room. The song pours from

Speakers hidden from sight, deep within the wall.


Besides the masks, the fire, and

The voice, no one seems to linger here.

The doors are always open, billowing life

Right on by, on an air-conditioned wind.


I am unsure what to do

In this place in between a cathedral,

A graveyard, and an opening into the rainforest.

I do know, I have to stay long enough

To meet the host of this house, who lives in the

Dust chewed by termites and cameras.


Outside, there is a sign that reads

“always follow the road that makes your heart

Feel good,” but I want to do so many

Impossible things in this room.

I want to learn the old dances, pray in a language

I will never be privileged to know, to

Fall down there, alongside the other masks.


I breathe in the dust that has leapt

Into the air in the wake of the sweeper.

Now new planks are being hewn, adzed,

lifted into place. New masks carved,

and painted supernatural beings welcomed

To poke their eyes from between my ribs.