Photo by Toby Saltzman



By Seymour Mayne

Ottawa dozes amidst its leafy trees,
gathers a green belt
       around its waist,
sometimes breathes easy
and tolerates a headache
       of glass towers.

Photo by Toby Saltzman

Ottawa blinks into the Laurentian
       night, urges its rivers
      meeting on their ways--
Upon its stout bluff
       the Shield's burdens,
hunkers down and holds
       its own in encircling
       storm and snowdrift.

And in the dog days of August
       even its canines
       must observe the rules.
No one barks for long in Ottawa.
No one disturbs the haze
       of daydreaming
      with a piercing call or cry.

Photo by Toby Saltzman

(Find its tongue on side streets.
       Hear its whisper
       shaped out of a dozen accents.)
Ottawa rests
       on its ridge of rock.

Seymour Mayne, Professor of Canadian Literature
at the University of Ottawa, is the author of many
collections including most recently, Carbon Filter
(Mosaic Press) and a selection of humourous
and satirical poetry, Light Industry (Mosaic Press).



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