Poem: The Great Wall of Pembroke

Faces leap before our eyes,
profiles from our storied past
on the great wall of Pembroke
a rich historical repast.

The wall that unites generations
exposing much more than it hides
possessing a brighter outlook
than a wall that encloses or divides.

A sparkling jewel in the mural crown
exploding like a giant fireworks display
lighting the path to progress
from decades past to present day.

A timeless artistic treasure
as hardy as those who pioneered
an impenetrable barrier to pessimism
a tribute to all who persevered.

A collage of citizens from all walks of life
now marching together as one
into the millennium with hope and optimism
into the future with aplomb.

Let not this wall come tumbling down
nor the curtain fall on our dreams
let future generations stand and marvel
at the magnitude of our schemes.

Gary Howard
Pembroke ON

Poem: The Murals

Painted murals portrayed on brick
recall the essence of our lives
History captured on coloured walls
ensures our past and present thrives.

Muralists come from far and near
to rekindle history at dawn's first light
They toil under watchful eye on scaffolds high
labouring often into night.

Hockey legends stand tall and gaunt
imaged clear on giant-sized tigerish walls
Side by side with other regal landmarks
overlooking market stalls.

Uniformed members of our Forces
face a legion of admirers from the past
Colours blend in myriad splendour
a window on the best at last.

Swallows sketched on stationary walls
point towards a surplus of water white and clear
Settlers followed in the steps of Champlain
and farmed the land with hope and fear.

Curious pilgrims pause to view
the saintly lady adorned in grey
Immaculately conceived through skilful artistry
in stately holy church-like way.

Fond and hardy memories are recalled
of ice and bread delivered door-to-door
In rain and sleet and broiling sun
on streets first lighted then and now forevermore.

Citizens and visitors retrace history
on paved and narrow well-worn trail
Memories are harvested and cherished once again
lest the sands of time run out and fail.

Gary Howard
Pembroke ON

Poem: The Rafter's Ride

The hardy lumber men of yesteryear
who earned their pay with sweat and brawn
ventured into God's green forests
to begin their toil at the break of dawn

They bid adieu to friends and family
when the leaves dropped slowly to the ground
and headed to the logging camps
for a winter's work they were bound

They cut and hacked at nature's beauty
as the tall, tall pines came tumbling down
and ate their beans and bread in the shanty camps
no time to sit and fret or frown

Then came the glorious spring of man's awakening
when the logs were ready for the drive
stacked and squared for the rafter's ride
down the mighty river they dip and dive

The minstrels celebrate their life in song
and writers tell of their tall tales
on the timber rafts on the swollen river
for the big spring drive they set their sails

Our ancestral days are re-created
of brave men against the raging river
the drive is on, the drive is on
the Valley timber they must deliver.

Gary Howard
Pembroke ON