Fathom 1999



Inside Cover



jessica moore (2)
A. Zachary Wells (2)
E.M. Caine
Jessie Chalmers (2)
Jantine Saul
Maud Alexandra Arthur (2)
Erin Whitmore
Christine Squire (2)
Gina M. Granter (2)
Paul McPherson
c.a. ackland
Natalie Doiron
Jessica Henderson
Luke Dobek
Melanie Muise
V. Combden
Catherine Roberts
Jenny A. Johnson
Steven Wendland


Steve Schimp


A. Zachary Wells



Second Place -

Permanently Temporary

The houses here sit above ground
with a look of nervous impermanence
roots can’t be put down in granite and permafrost
Here live the nation’s drifters
who stumble in from the jobless east
from one rock island to another
uprooted as easily as hydroponic cucumbers
and talk of going back home
as if they’d ever left
as if, like the fish, they can ever return

and here are southern rejects
who need geography to excuse their behaviour
as if they wouldn’t be drunken boors anywhere else

and here ancient people
suckled on rum-spiked milk
hold fast to old rites
their words intact, unharmed
impenetrable as the land

that preserves through hardness
the invader unable to sink in
get comfortable
unease the agent of cultural preservation
and white respect for natural residents
whose homes are made from the land
whose roots are stone and ice
who find permanence in transition

May 27, 1998, Iqaluit


Broken Island

A minor absurdity
off the coast of a greater one
Broken Island to locals
surrounded by heaps of god-made rubble
the jagged slopes
subject to the whims of the ice-strewn North Atlantic

The ocean doesn’t kiss Broughton’s shores
but stabs
with salt-edged blades of ice
the shore stabs back
jagged daggers of rock honed by the sea’s assault
the constant friction keeps it sharp

Broughton’s people no longer know this--
­native past the stuff of romance...
perhaps, but real
in a way that facts are not-­-
prefab housing
central heating
cable TV
contraband liquor and pot
away from the friction
dull-edged and docile
the real world invades
like a northbound icebreaker.

May 10 1998 Iqaluit


last updated August 17, 2007 | © 2007 Fathom Publishing
poetry, prose, and artwork © individual authours | website created by Alana Paul