A footnote by Jean-Jacques Fournier, on “ Survival ” ~ no time for sorrow ~

A footnote on the poem “ Survival ” ~ no time for sorrow ~ The ode was to the poor men who were forced to live under such inhuman conditions, in those unbelievably cruel times.

I would point out that this poem was not intended to condone the cruelty in what these starving men of the 1914 Newfoundland world had to do to survive, which would ultimately feed the greed of the ship owners, and fur trade of the times.

 If you wish to find out more about the horrific life these hard-up men were made to endure to feed themselves and their starving families, read about the 132 men who died in The 1914 Newfoundland Seal Hunt Disaster, in Jennifer Higgins’ book ‘Perished’. Jenny Higgins is a writer and researcher living in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Her book is also available on line at amazon.ca, and chapter.indigo.ca.


“ Survival ” ~ no time for sorrow ~


The day of the hunt

Be the squeal of a seal,

Who’ll reach for a hand

Of a starved dying man,

With no choice to save

Or let live with a wave,

That another day gives

Either creature to live,

With no time for sorrow

Nor sealer to borrow,

Holds he must stride

To hunt many hides

Or shan’t morrow survive,

Nor halt downward slide

Of living the narrows,

For yesterday’s bread

And a roof overhead,

Man has no guarantee

From fated seal barrow,

Nor survival ahead

Tho finds his way back,

Before all freezes over

And frost has him dead!

                                                                ode to perished sealers,

                                                                of Newfoundland’s 1914



“ A Fading Voice ” ~ all but discernable ~

I feel reverberate

A sound that be

All but discernible,

Tho not quite dead,

There be no doubt

In not optimal state,

Yet man so begs

While fading voice

Sadly abates,

In time we hear

That erudite mind

Might effort mend,

To save held dear

Lifeblood amend,

For air we breathe

And water deemed

‘Tis equal to survive,

Save our world ends!


“ Labels ” ~ of design fables ~



Of design fables

Be latent oubliettes,

To cover flaws

Meant to forget,

Thin façades

Fixed to disguise,

The reality

Of devious wise,

Designed to cover

Their obvious lies…


Free-ride labels

You’re but lags,

Sad symbolic tags

That camouflage,

To validate

Your trendy state

Less than able,

Left to hide

In shadows

Of deceptive labels!


“ Child Memory ” ~ of an escapade ~


On a country road

Of craggy landscape

Brings to mind,

A lasting memory

Of years behind,

Tells of a boy

Be five no more,

With corn cob pipe

Said grandpa’s joy,

Tho as gramps snored

Boy made of it a toy…


Thus pipe and boy

Ran for laden trees

Whose leaves galore,

Arch rutted road

To frame a wonderland,

Where fairy-tales unfold

To fleeting boyish deeds,

Wants veil escapade’s hold

Where child memory seeds,

Deep in the fallen leaves

Fast asleep he dreams,

Of puffing on grandpa’s pipe!

                                                                        a Huntington tale

“ In Echo’s Reach ” ~ I can yet hear ~

I can yet hear

In echo’s reach,

A lingering sound

Of surging waves,

Resounds in each

A plea begs save,

Tho well beyond

Risk may be found,

To now gain near

This time around,

That one may hear

Man anguished cry,

Wants but survive!

“ In Man ” ~ we trust ~

Being bold

We ventured

To uphold,

The objectivity

Of a creature

Named man,

To trust implicitly                                                                                           

This elected being,                                             

Believed noble

And assuredly whole,

Could not be suspect                  

Of an exiguous soul,

Nor likely crafted

To a liken fraud,

As his invented god…


Thus we till dead,

Man be a mortal

Creatures most dread,

Yet can’t negate

Naively we’re beguiled

With his earthly state,

When all the while,

Hold query trust in man!

“ L’Ami s’Éteint ” ~ the end of a friend ~


He lived a life

Giving of himself,

A rare enlightened

In a world

That numbers few,

Held truly human

Be said humane,

One wants believe

His life be such,

Ought be forever

Save will mortality

Have its way,

Thus now gone,

To the unlighted

And well beyond

The end of a friend,

Alas enough to say

L’ami s’éteint,

Et ne sera plus là,

Déjà si tôt, demain!

“ Beyond Reach ” ~ a voice too far ~

I can scarce hear

A voice too far,

Now beyond reach

Undoubtedly fading,

Thusly I fear

I’ll find in time,

The voice that died

Must have been mine,

For shout or screech

No one appears,

Who can tell I am not here

And thus beyond reach,

Too far to see or hear!

“ Persistence ” ~ beyond bounds ~


An endless sound

Of hissing resounds,


In ones weary skull…


Perverse echoes

Find to devise

In a mind resigned,

The means to survive

A state that confounds,

One forced to listen

Beyond humane bounds,

Said tinnitus to suffer

In its hell bent surrounds!