CHALLENGER international
CHALLENGER international

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Volume 25, Issue 1 (December 2015)

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Volume 28, Issue 1 (January 2018)

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Volume 28, Issue 3 (March 2018)

The Germans of Dortmund


First Edition: y press (Vancouver, BC), 1999.

Second and Third Editions: LukivPress (Quesnel, BC), 2003, 2014.

Revised Edition: LukivPress (Sardis, BC), 2015.

Various poems in this collection have appeared in one or more of The Speaker, Coffee Break, CHALLENGER international, The Little Gazette, The Cariboo Observer, The Brunswickan, Western People, The Journal of Secondary Alternate Education, The Journal of Poetry Therapy (USA), Poetic Realm (USA), Poetic Bridges (USA), Poets are Heroes, Too (USA), Moose Bound Tales and other Stories (USA), Improvijazzation Nation (USA), Omnific (USA), Up Dare? (USA), You Can't Take it with You (USA), Sidewalk Tales (USA), MOON Magazine (USA), Waterways: Poetry in the Mainstream (USA), Poetry of the People (USA), Pink Cadillac (USA), Fullosia Press (USA), Cyber Literature: A Bi-Annual Journal of English Studies (India), Artslink (South Africa), and The English Teachers' Online Network of South Africa.


An excerpt


The Germans From Dortmund


The infertile beast

Embarrasses the

Itcha Mountain-guide

Before two eye-rolling

Germans From Dortmund.


It lies on a strapped-on canvas bag of

Food and pots,

Glaring as only mules

Can glare.


“Gittum!” the bow-legged,

Horse-held guide

Demands of the one-eared collie

That then darts in,

Nipping a foreleg,


Nipping a buttock, then

The nose, barking more,

Always drawing back just in time,

Avoiding the twitching mule’s



Twelve years after

The Germans had returned to their

Homeland of dying

Black Forest,

And after the collie had lost some hair

And molars,

It forgot—

Forgot as it edged a switchback,

Passing the grey hind legs.


A hoof caught it broadside,

Knocked it spinning, howling,

Into a 100 foot deep gully—

The mule’s left ear twitched

When the thud came.


The mountain-locked old man had stopped.

The mule hadn’t.

The old man didn’t yell—

Oh, he nearly did:

That was his dog!—

But he remembered,

Like the grey mule,

He remembered that trip

With the Germans

Twelve years ago.