We await, like eager children, the snow and ice that creates a wonderland of stark chill beauty, in all its quiet sheen.

Ice Fishing

beyond the ice warehouse

daylight barely touches the windows

at pond zero, he stands

willing to make the sacrifice

ice fishing: winter pastime

1930’s poker-faced perch decoy

shape shifter, wave maker

offshore from Harriman Hollow

created by a downriver dam

stained by tiny ice shanties

that hover over tiny holes

connected to fish

divorced from humanity

provisions: protein bars & energy drinks

he recalls the sound of black pond

ice cracking during a February thaw

it was a foreign tongue – the word

so short & loud, so bittersweet

like buried secrets re-born in the

darkest night reverberate

picture-postcard perfect from faraway

he never strays from purpose

braves single-digit temperatures

to wrestle the truth to the surface

DiTa Ondek


We've had a robust year of Belfast poetics, and look forward to more in 2014. There will be a Poetry/Spoken Word Gala as part of First Night, watch for the details as First Night schedules are announced. Join us for a fine party celebrating the role poetry fulfills in Belfast with music, movement, and verbose joviality.

Poets Corner is curated by Ellen Sander, the Poet Laureate of Belfast, and open to submissions. Send submissions in the body of an email — not an attachment — to laureate@belfastpoetry.com. Feel free to use that email address to communicate any questions, requests, suggestions or issues about poetry in Belfast. Poet Laureate office hours are Tuesdays at 1 p.m. in the Belfast Free Library third floor conference room. There will be no office hours on Dec. 24 and 31 due to the holidays, and on Jan. 7, which will be Po-Lau's 70th birthday.

The next Poetry/Spoken Word Jam, an open reading at Bell the Cat in Belfast, is Friday Jan. 17. Signup to read is at 6:30 p.m. and the readings start at 7 p.m. Poets and poetry lovers of all ages and stripes, spoken word artists and performance poets and teams are welcome to come and deliver theirs or others' works.