Below the Surface

Visiting Newfoundland was like seeing the tip of an Iceberg. Yes I tried to absorb as much as I could in the short time I was there, booking a day trip to nearby fishing villages, taking a boat tour out of the harbour to get close to Icebergs, visiting The Rooms, a museum/art gallery dedicated to natural and  cultural history


would I ever perceive the depths of  these stories? No, I will not!

Nonetheless, like bergy bits that break off from the main ice flow, I long to drink in
this place on the edge, people fixed to the rocky shores with nothing in between them and Greenland. People rooted, always coming home.

Below the Surface

For Larry

Under a bruised sky, having just missed leaden rain beat against the rocky outcrop
at Cape Spear, this most easterly point, web into wind thrash the coast line

we follow our guide, his stories a metered cadence

Imagine! This place was always here, then Princess Di and Prince Charles came to visit so of course we needed proper washrooms and right then and there it became a historic sight. Imagine that will you!

stories all syllables dance together and then just as quickly hammer like waves buckling against rock

We came to Confederation in 49 with only 51% in favour, plucked us out of outposts, we were self sufficient. and then the cod moratorium, said it was temporary!

the next breath
a coo

Ah there’s an iceberg for you, the peril of sailors, radar can’t read the bits that break off

Ice mass juts out through layers of fog, floats on the horizon. What lies below the surface, the darkened skin, son of a line of fishermen now stranded a shore


words scour the ocean bottom
troughs crisscross the imagination
tidal currents just beyond my grasp

About Joan Conway

My artistic passions are poetry and collage. But I am curious human, always exploring new mediums, new opportunities for creative expressions.
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6 Responses to Below the Surface

  1. kfullerton says:

    Gorgeous photo and poem Joan. Thank you.

  2. I’m jealous, Joan. I’ve always wanted to see Newfoundland. But we did get to watch icebergs calfing in Glacier Bay. The coast where I live now is so gentle in comparison. Thanks for this.

  3. Joan Conway says:

    A big take away for me was how rugged and raw that coast is, no islands, or coves to offer shelter, nor sandy beaches. It is a full on blast much easier to live on our gentle west coast for sure..

  4. lizmax2014 says:

    ah Joan that was…slippery, slipped your way in to my awareness..I could feel you standing with the tour guide breathing in what he was saying..a very feeling prose poem, it packed a wallop. Thank you. woman in my writers group is writing prose poems and i love them…very difficult to pull off I think…xo

    • Joan Conway says:

      Thanks Liz, prose style seemed the only way to handle that experience, Larry, the guide, had the most mesmerizing storytelling style, Just loved it. Thanks as always for following and appreciating. And a big congratulations on your own creative endeavors, no small feat to get another book completed.

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