2 poems by Debra Black

Debra Black

a bad case of the asymmetrical blues 
or how to survive a pandemic

a cracking, thrumming, vibrating, anxious heart
digging deeper into paranoia,
drifting into illness,
echoes around the world.
body counts,
pieces of humanity strewn 
across the sky,
hidden in the Duomo
tattered and weary,
the end of the world.
the end of time.
then suddenly space – 



space on a page 

and in the sky.
luminescent, transcendental.
nothingness, emptiness, stillness.
no sound; no waves;
no footsteps.
just the grass greening,
birds singing,
clouds clouding; sun sunning.
awareness in this vast space – the horizon-less horizon.
before me the empty sky.
and then I hear it
your soft heart beating – beat, beat, beat --
against mine. 


teddy and the whale

staring into the abyss
as death sits on my shoulder,
stars dancing on a tapestry of golden snowdrops.
how precious this life – edgeless, limitless, expansive.
a new generation, melting into the now-ness of now. 
the spaciousness of birth and death,
the coming and going of time. 
a gasp, silence, grief, joy
seeping into the night sky,
opening to the wonder. 
an explosion of the before and the after – the big bang.
together and gone
into the land of the long white cloud,
as teddy and the whale play on.

Return to Journal

Debra Black is a former feature writer and news reporter with the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper. Over her 28 plus year career there she won a number of national awards for her journalism, including the National Newspaper Award. She also has won a number of awards for magazine writing prior to her working at the Star. Her poems were first published in University of Toronto literary magazines in the mid-1970s when she was a student. The magazines have long gone, but her love of the written word and poetry has not disappeared. Her most recent work appears on the prestigious literary website the Queen’s Mob Teahouse. To view those poems go to this link: https://queenmobs.com/2019/10/poems-debra-black/

Throughout her career as a journalist, she covered public policy issues such as education and immigration and diversity and has interviewed some of Canada’s leading politicians, writers and thinkers. She has travelled extensively and taught journalism in Rwanda and covered the HIV crisis in South Africa and Swaziland for the Star. While working and raising a child, she continued to write poetry for herself and others. Having left the Star, she now teaches yin yoga and meditation and spends many an hour writing and polishing her poetry, exploring the human condition and themes of love and existence.


WordCity Literary Journal is provided free to readers from all around the world, and there is no cost to writers submitting their work. Substantial time and expertise goes into each issue, and if you would like to contribute to those efforts, and the costs associated with maintaining this site, we thank you for your support.


Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount


Or enter a custom amount


Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

One thought on “2 poems by Debra Black

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: