Expositor Valentine Poetry Contest

The winner of The Expositor Poetry Contest receives the prize of ‘lovers’ dining,’ dinner for two at the Manitoulin restaurant of their choice, compliment of the Manitoulin Expositor.

The winner is…

Three Little Words

‘Please be mine’
whispered softly, closely nuzzling,
saying gently
‘I love you.’
‘Honey, I’m home!’
dirty work boots, dropping loudly,
saying tiredly,
‘I love you.’

‘It’s a boy!’
nervous smiling, grateful crying
saying proudly,
‘I love you.’

‘Please come home’
choke backed words, heart-felt pleading,
saying sorely,
‘I love you.’

‘Hold my hand’
blankly staring, resignation,
saying fearfully,
‘I love you.’

‘Please don’t cry’
eyelids heavy, weakly trembling
saying goodbye…
‘I love you.’

Deborah Moore, Kagawong

Norma’s Dance

We danced to the tune of the wooden spoon
Since we were all just babes,
And Norma was the fiddler
Just calling out the jigs.
She always had her reasons
We weren’t the greatest clan,
For eight kids are surely hard to handle
For a woman with just two hands.
Now Carol is the oldest
The first to learn the dance,
And Norma taught her all the steps
By way of the seat of her pants.
And Keith being the eldest son
Wasn’t given much more room,
With his jig he had a partner:
The handle of the old corn broom!
Paul & Ken, now there’s a pair
That trouble followed round,
They danced until their poor feet hurt
And hardly could sit down.
And Douglas she could never catch
He ran just like a deer,
But by and by she’d get a lick
That always he would fear.
Janet, Don and Susan
All know the steps real well,
And if you ask each one of them
The stories they could tell.
Grandchildren, she has many
And they all know how to dance,
She taught them singing ditties
The spoon never got a chance.
Now all of this has been in fun
Though the dances were well taught,
We know the steps well practiced
And none have been forgot.
She taught us family values,
Kindness and respect,
She raised us all with song and laughter
We never will forget.
No child was hungry at her door
Or left out in the cold,
She took them in and loved them all
Strangers, family, young and old.
And today it is her birthday
We’re here to celebrate,
To see our friend turn eighty
And help her cut the cake.
Multiply eight kids by ten
Eighty comes up pretty quick,
And if we all would take a turn
We each could get our own 10 licks.
So, Happy Birthday Mother
Birthdays always seem to come to soon,
But before this day is over
You’ll dance to the tune of the wooden spoon.

-Susan Riching

Happy Valentine’s (Hump) Day

It’s the season once again when we write poems, buy chocolates and a bouquet of flowers.

There’s no better way to show your love by writing a poem and publishing it in the Manitoulin Expositor.

I hope that it is this year’s love poem winner, either way I will take you out to dinner!

I will clean off your vehicle in the morning, after a fresh fall of snow, then kiss you before it’s off to work we go.

Then at the end of the day and I just feel like going to sleep, I will even rub and moisturize your sore aching feet.

Thank you for putting your trust in me and coming with me on the ice. When I tell you how thick it is, you don’t have to think twice!

Or riding on the back of the motorcycle in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and the “Tail of the Dragon”; you’re the only woman for me, gone are my days of snaggin’

I like when we turn off our cell phones and play games like Speak Out, Monopoly or Yahtzee.

Or going to Mexico, feeding the angel fish and swimming in the sea.

I don’t care if people tell us to “get a room”, let them stop and stare. They just want what we have, we make quite the pair.

Even though I know the answer is ‘yes,’ I still like to ask, will you be my Valentine? Let’s have dinner, go dancing and have a glass of ‘Island Time’ wine!

The only thing better than Valentine’s Day, my dear, is having Valentine’s Day on “Hump Day” this year!

True Love Always and Forever,

-Robbie Shawana


No matter how hard I try, I can’t help but believe in fate.
In truth it is because of you.
My veins spell out your name
and my blood runs through it
straight to and from my heart and mind
in a circular motion it returns to you again and again
the life force must run through you or I will perish.
Forever I am bound,
no matter how I try, to put miles and mountains,
conflicts and ideas, between us,
over again and forever, I will return to you,
for my blood runs through it, and I am bound eternally.

-Johnathan Tonge
Whitefish River First Nation

A Restless Soul-A Spirited Heart

From the past I remember
That love will never bind
That I’d never set webs
That I’d never confine
But when I need soul and heart
To my memories I fell and there I shall be
A master plan I made
That no one would be betrayed
I’d come and go with such ease
Only to find that often I would displease
I’d spare myself of such gloom
To love someone again so soon
Can surely lead to further doom
Where are the gods of faith and hope
When I had rules, promises and knew how to cope
Shall I sit and ponder my time
Over a heart that cares and a soul that’s mine
Be damned I say to heart and soul
I’m not going down to that deep hole
Life’s a risk with beginnings and past
It is now, like a visible ships mast
So hoist your soul and lift your heart
Look out as I’m about to depart
Of the every essence which is my art
Be gone the guilt and shame
Let reason crumble like a tremendous flame
And in the amber of that light
Shall emerge a victorious fight
Of a woman so alone yet humble
To finally admit she took life’s tumble
To the arms of love, life, and laughter
On that glorious day, there is morning after

-Annelinde Kelly

It’s the time of year again

It is the time of year again
To show the ones we love.
Now, near, and dear they are to us
And we thank God above.
We shower them with attention
And many gifts.
To show them that they are loved
And to give their life a lift.
So on this day remember them
With love straight from your heart
And show them on this special day
in your life they will always be a part.

-Sharon Montgomery

Our Log Cabin

Wrapped up in your love,
So happy,
So warm.
Together in this quilt,
A perfect shape
A perfect form.
It has the layers that we need,
The right batting,
The right feel.
Each stitch in its proper place,
The pattern created
Is utterly ideal.
Our quilt is superb.
Functional art,
With plenty to say.
It says that I love you,
Each and every Day.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Melissa.

Love Caleb. Xoxox
Caleb McIntosh

God Must Truly Love Us

God must truly love us,
Even though we fight and cuss.
He has given me a great gift indeed,
One He must think I need.
Greatest of all gifts I possess,
Darling wife who shares my address.
I shall attempt to describe my heart,
Which is really the impossible part.
Describe your love, you ask of me,
Forgetting to mention in actuality,
How difficult is this task at hand,
Though I will try, that is my plan.
Her love is bold, her love is great,
Ever forward her arrow goes straight.
Her skin so light and soft like butter,
Her smile that brings my heart to flutter.
How can you ask who is this I love?
Is her name not known to all, even the stars above?
Is her beauty not spoken in the valley with the sheep?
Do your eyes fail you, for that beauty to keep?
What do you say to the bird who sings so sweetly?
Is it you, who rejects its beautiful medley?
Or to the great lake, so vast and so blue,
Is it beautiful and powerful to all but to you?
Can anyone reject an obvious truth?
Why do we require so much proof?
Now can you see what it is I am saying?
It is with my heart with which you are playing.
You may toss it forth and toss it back,
Never may I take it back.
It has been given to you rightly,
Not a decision that was made lightly.
Though I trust you to take care,
Of our love that is so rare.
For you are wise in action,
You surpass my greatest satisfaction.
I pray God can hear these words,
Lifting them to the heavens with his birds.
Forever I want to speak of your beauty,
Even while He has rule over me.
Not just to your visible beauty do I speak,
For the blind must also know of your grace.
A lame leg is not why they are weak,
They must have seen in their minds-eye your face.
Your attitude and laugh and smell are there,
For those who see your butter-skin not.
As a testimony to your presence, so fair,
They struggle to retain just one other thought.
Yet the strongest desire of all is mine,
For I can see and smell and touch.
Others must not step out of line,
Or they will surely need the crutch.
To be given such a gift from you,
Has given me quite the shock.
Your love is with me like the morning dew,
And every wave that bounces the dock.
We have built our home together,
You have born our children, here they live.
Work has turned my skin tough like leather,
Yet if I had more, it I would gladly give.
I seek to bestow, to cherish and to coddle,
I look to care for and enjoy you entirely.
For my heart there is no other model,
It is how my God has wired me.
He set in my heart a longing for you,
One that cannot be silenced by a short meeting.
Therefore I know my desire to be true,
Not something like a wish, fleeting.
I could write on and on in this fashion,
For my muse is not easy to explain.
I hope it is clear, what is my passion,
I trust these words make it quite plain.
Let it be known from bridge to quarry,
Even to those who don’t see my meaning,
You, my love, are my greatest worry,
Though only when you or I are leaving.
I will say it simply, I will write it last,
All these things I swear to be true.
If you come to me, please, do so fast,
For I desperately love you.

-Noah Allison

I remember the days

I remember the days before we first met
No glow in my eyes. No spring in my step.
No one to love, nobody to tempt me.
I didn’t have a heart. If I did, it was empty.
I’d travel the lands, in search of something more,
Not knowing at all just exactly what was in store.
I was on the hunt. Looking for compliments.
But then I found you, in hindsight, it was my favourite accomplishment.
For years upon years, you always made me smile
I knew we would meet again, one day down that aisle.
No fetish had kept us together, not like how Tom ate toes,
It was the time we spent with each other, every dinner was never alone.
I always relished your presence, and finally mustered the courage
To say how I feel about you, just in three words.
“I can think of at least 57 reasons to love you,” I said
I screamed “You were the one!”; you were all red.
A bond like ours is so hard to find.
I believe what they say is true, there is no other kind.
My love for you will never let up.
If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m talking about Ketchup.

Jesse Beaudin

Songs are written

Songs are written,
Songs are sung.
The girl I love,
Has only begun.
Smiles are sent,
Smiles returned.
A sense of longing,
A sense of time.
A woman’s sensibility,
May truly win.
I can’t help but love you.
My senses are down.
I can’t be everything,
I can be a lot.
What you have brought,
Is more then you know.
You are my water,
When I’m thirsty,
My Priestess
When I need religion.
My goddess,
When I need love.
You are my everything 

Happy Valentine’s Day my Love 

Anya Cook
Gore Bay

To My Valentine Heather

 ‘Will you be my Valentine?’
I guess the question poses
Will you accept my flowers bought
And kiss like Eskimos’s?

Will you let me have your heart
To beat with mine alone?
Can I call you sweetheart baby
Every time I phone?

Will you dance the last of night
And love me when I say
“Has anyone told you how beautiful
You make the world today?”

Will you spend the rest of time
Letting me touch your face?
Holding hands and kissing me
And making my heart race?

Will you remember before we sleep
To kiss me a goodnight kiss?
And think aloud when I’m not there
It’s me you really miss?

Will you let me give you butterflies
And tingles down your spine?
To pinky swear is all I ask
You’ll be my Valentine?

For all of these things I’ll say aloud
If you’ll tell me that you’ll do
Then, Walker, all that’s left to say
Is how much I love you!!!!! 

Peter Gourlie, Toronto

Dedicated to my four treasures

When each of you was born
You touched my soul
You were the missing links
That made my life whole.
Those four pairs of blue eyes
That stared at me in awe
Each gazing in turn at the woman
Who had become your ma.
I watched each one of you grow
Along the years
All four of you bravely faced your challenges
And overcame your growing fears
Now you are all adults
And have taken many a step.
Those evolution years flew by like the wind
But in my heart they are safely kept.
If you get lost along the way
Not sure what to do or say
Know that I am there
With open arms and counsel to share.
Happy Valentine Day to my four wonders
You have all done me proud
Through Springs, Summers, Falls and Winters

Monique Dowse

Our story began

Our story began
With no real plan
Fate cheered from the sidelines
Like it was our number one fan
A baby girl was to be born—
Her diagnosis was warned:
All the doctors and specialists could have sworn
That we should make a decision to abort
With no choice but to sit sad and mourn
Our story begun
As our pregnancy journey was everything but done
Our positive instincts were right: we won!
For you, special little girl, are a perfect little one.

Rebecka Madahbee
Aundeck Omni Kaning

Valentine, Valentine

I don’t want your cards.
Valentine, Valentine
I don’t need your chocolate.
Valentine, Valentine
I need you to hold
humanity in your heart.
I need you to hold
all life as sacred.

Valentine, Valentine
I need you to know
what #metoo and #ptsd mean
and not some regurgitated definition
but an empathy that steals my heart.

Valentine, Valentine
I need you to know the names of
the people who have changed
the world.

Valentine, Valentine
I need you to know that Valentines to me
is remembering all the women
lost and dead
because of poverty
because of racism

Valentine, Valentine
I need you to hold me
when I weep for the
I need you to listen
when I am overwhelmed
by oppression
you can hold me but
you cannot fix the injustice

Valentine, Valentine
you can speak up
when that good old boy touches me
because he feels entitled to my body
because he brought me a cord of wood.

Valentine, Valentine
I need you to understand
I do not feel safe
you are the closest I get.

Valentine, Valentine
let’s fall in love again & again
while we change the world.

Kerri Lattimer, Kagawong

Gifts From the Heart

If I could give a gift
To those I love
I’d give them the strengths
To always care
To be patient with people
And always be fair
To speak with their own minds
But always with a kind thought
And to remember
Love cannot be bought
Never to be the first
To throw stones
We all have stories
We don’t want told
I’d give them the chance
To be honest and true
Not to misjudge those
That have misjudged you
To forgive people
Who caused you pain
And not strike out
But rather to try again
To share these things
That mean so much
When someone is hurt
Give them a gentle touch
These are the gifts
Others have given me
Humbly I thank them
For always helping me

Annelinde Kelly

Valentine’s Day Poem for Ryan

If you were a wind
You would be from the West
That wind of normal, constant
That wind we take for granted
Because it blows without our knowing
No tempest, no ice storm,
neither heated haziness
nor humid rains
Yours is the wind of constancy,
of sunlight, of surety
as sure as change.
And when we walk in the forest
We delight in you
For this is the wind that
keeps animals safe
to walk the paths they know best
That moves the trees
to speaking in companionship amongst each other
A medium for natural symphony
feather, pinecone, whisker, flight
With your wind the clouds
Fly fast and high
A marvel of movement
In the wide, ever wider arc of blue.


If you were a fire,
You would be the hearth fire.
Not a candle,
for though romantic, they are
solitary insipid lights
that might sputter with a wind
or gutter out, drowned in their own oils,
Or gone too soon
Or left unattended might burn down a house.
Yes, yours is the hearthfire
Not the campfire
Out there, under the stars
Party to any one who pleases to feed you
Beholden to strangers
Thrown to softwoods or punk
Or stoked to a bonfire rage.
Yes, you are the hearthfire
You create your own blaze
with intention, and intelligence
And if it’s gone cold
You are happy to scoop out the ashes
Of what came before
and start anew
New ideas, new intentions
And your bright, merry flames
Are for all of us
The whole house of us
Family and friends
We delight in the heat
and the light of your jolly dancing
And the embers that glowing
sustain me through the night
Like a blanket of warm knowing
That my house is protected and loved.

Sarah Hutchinson

Valentine Rating

You say that you like mystery
Well, I’m an open book
You say that you like beauty
Well, I’m not much for looks
You say that you like comfort
Me, I’m no warming flame
You say you like a good cook
Well, that’s a gol darn shame
No windows, mop or dishpan
I’m allergic constantly
You say you’re wanting youth
Well, I don’t fit the bill
To tell you the darn truth
I’m far beyond the hill
But this old heart of mine
Won’t somebody please

“Be My Valentine”
Pat Hall

A wekcine greeting

A welcome greeting from my dog, playing in the creek catching frogs, sitting around a campfire burning logs… that’s what love means to me 

Butterflies and lady bugs, cuddling on the couch nice and snug, a short embrace or a big strong hug… that’s what love means to me 

Peddling around, riding on my bike, enjoying nature while going for a hike, when my boy brings home a big fresh pike… that’s what love means to me 

My beautiful town of Kagawong, singing along to my favourite song, making things right when I’ve done something wrong… that’s what love means to me 

Laying in the grass looking up at the stars, going for rides in nice fast cars, sharing some nachos at the Killarney bars…  that’s what love means to me 

Riding around on one of my toys, a caring gesture from my boys, being silly & making noise… that’s what love means to me 

Talking with my family when the day is done, a hot summer day laying in the sun, at the beach having fun…  that’s what love means to me 

My two wonderful boys who make me so proud, a nice quiet spot after being somewhere loud, laying on a floatie looking up at a cloud…  that’s what love means to me 

Seeing each other at our worst, acknowledging each other’s needs and putting them first, being filled with so much joy that I want to burst… that’s what love means to me 

Planting a flower in the soil, bring me a treat home wrapped in foil, cleaning my truck and changing my oil…that’s what love means to me 

Being at camp no matter what the weather, watching my boys doing something together, for me it doesn’t get any better…  that’s what love means to me 

Kissing a child’s scraped up knees, sitting alone in the woods listening to the trees, when my honey makes me a warm grilled cheese… that’s what love means to me 

A card homemade on a piece of birch bark, holding hands walking through the park, watching the sunset as it gets dark… that’s what love means to me 

Dreaming of holding a baby goat, when it’s cold outside and he gives me his coat, Cruising the North Chanel on our boat… that’s what love means to me

Allowing me the freedom to be myself, framing a photo and putting it on the shelf, thinking of another before I think of myself… that’s what love means to me 

A random text from my mother, wrapped up together under the covers, having hard times and leaning on each other…  that’s what love means to me 

When my guy greets me with a kiss, feelings of happiness and of bliss, knowing forever will be like this… that’s what love means to me 

When people I love give me their time, I love you and will you be mine, heart shaped things and Valentines…that’s what love means to me

Jody Lee Kennedy

As I sit at home and dream

As I sit at home and dream
my mind goes astray ,
To some years past as I recall
our school party on Valentine’s Day.
We decorated a Valentine box
and planned little skits,
With scissors, paper , glue and paints
made Valentine cards bit by bit.
The cards that we were making
to give our friends in school,
were made carefully with pride:
that was the Teacher’s rule.
Our Moms were busy baking
heart cookies, cake and candy.
We knew with all the work,
our party would be dandy .
Valentine’s Day had come at last
Everything turned out just fine
What really meant the most to me
Was my homemade Valentines!

Pauline Martin, Tehkummah

Just When

Just when I think
there’s nothing more he can do
he goes and does something
or buys me something new.
Just when I’ve thought
that he is so nice
he goes and makes me tea
with my cinnamon spice!
When he buys me flowers
and says ‘I Love You’
I say it right back:
It’s the way I feel too!
I don’t need the flowers
or gifts and things.
I have all of his love
and the happiness it brings.
We share everything:
love, fun and laughter.
I’m proud that he’s mine
forever and everafter.

Melody Hore

A Masterpiece

Life is a picture
With so many colours:
They can be sad or happy,
The choice is ours;
We don’t need a magic wand
Or a painter’s brush.
Just take your time,
There is no need to rush
A lot of love here,
And a touch of true;
A little dab of sadness.
Let the colours shine through:
The heart is smiling,
The picture will show
The thoughts of a dreamer
Their aura aglow.
Paint with your hopes,
Paint with your dreams,
The world is beautiful
No matter what life seems.
There will be hard times,
There will be sad,
But if you focus
It’ll never be bad.
If you paint of kindness
Happiness and giving
The world can be a place
Of loving and living.
As your heart paints
Please remember this:
Nothing can paint more deeply
Then a hug and a kiss
For my aunt Doreen and uncle Alford who just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Lily Hore

Lollipops and Licorice Nibs,
Hearts that twist
Into Cinnamon Lips.
Sour Cherries,
Swedish Berries,
Taste buds that crave
The sweet of candy
To whoever,
Whenever we shall meet,
Happy Valentine’s Day
To my dearest treat!

Lisa LePage

Second Chances:

A Love Poem for John
I hitched my wagon to
a young man’s star for
twenty five years,
and then the universe shifted,
and the  man, and the wagon, and the star were gone.

It took time to adjust
to the loss,
to  the darkness,
to being in charge of my own life
for the very first time.
So at sea was I…
Then you came along…
Looking like a life raft to cling to,
Someone to fill
the empty spaces
In me.
But your life’s path had
already taught you,
what I needed to know.
The void I felt,
I had to fill myself.
the happiness I sought,
had to be in me already.
“Bring a whole, happy person to the table,
and we may have a chance,”
you said.
I heard,  was so ready to hear, and so,
here we are.
Like two otters, floating ,
hand in hand,
on top of
rough and calm waters,
and loving,
alone and together,
for twenty four years,
and counting…

Deborah Hawke
Honora Bay

Lil’ Buckaroo

He’s a flower pickin’
Rock chewin’
Grass pullin’
Boot wearin’
Song singin’

He’s a water splashin’
Stick swingin’
Mud stompin’
Tractor drivin’
Cat chasin’

He’s a bubble blowin’
Bike ridin’
Dog pettin’
Chair climbin’
Mess makin’

Catch him if you can,
He’s our lil’ man,
But you can call him Buckaroo!

love mom,
Lisa Pearson

My Core

Love always seemed to elude me
I couldn’t quite get it right
So I left it to friends and family
That fateful August night.
You had me at a disadvantage
For you had seen me before
I didn’t know what to expect
As I walked through that pub door.
Your kindness and pure heart
Caught me by surprise:
Your closeness to your family
Was different from other guys.
I took a giant leap of faith
And grabbed you by the hand
You’ve showed me unconditional love
And guided me across this land
Now seven wonderful years later
We are stronger than ever before:
You are my heart and my soul;
You are the essence of my core.

April McAllister

Another year around the sun

Another year around the sun,
It may be cliché,
But ain’t we had fun?

31 years are now in the past.
A surprise to some,
Who said “it won’t last!”
Given the choice I’d do it again.
With you by my side,
Tell me where, tell me when.

Happy Anniversary to my Valentine
Happy Valentine’s Day to my Husband  

Debbie Moore

For My Jennifer

From cuddles in a red canoe.
To kayaking
And a late night cruise.
Together, we do very well,
Our love will never say farewell.
I love to give you all my kisses,
‘Cause you, my dear,
Are my missus.

Dave Pulsifer, Little Current

A Wonderful Heartache

My stomach starts to flutter, my hands start to shake.
As his approach draws nearer, I take one last deep breath.
My heart beats faster, like many times before.
The butterflies are really tickling and teasing,
I can barely stand it.
I begin to tremble as he say “Hi”
I can feel the flushing of my face start to show.
By looking down I try to hide my fluster.
I reply to his greeting with an enthusiastic “Hi.”
With a face that I find so handsome,
He gives me a smile, a wink, and a hug.
As he turns to walk away, my heart starts to sink.
So thoughtful, sweet and so kind.
If only his heart were free to be loved.
I would take it and make him….my Valentine.
When I think about him I get a sudden rush.
Great wondrous chills are sent up and down my spine.
“Why oh why”….. I wonder, could he not be mine.
I wish he was……My Valentine!

Sandra Sampson