John Geddes


Again with nightfall stones fly here and there,
one lucky throw nailing a porch light, its
warm cone inhaled up into the nostril
where the struck glass shattered; the filament,
drenched in oxygen, drowns like a kitten. 
They’ll have issued rifles by now, by now 
clicked their opaque visors into place. 
Moonless, starless, reverberant dark, 
I hear a boy’s voice, familiar to me,
but straining for a man’s pitch, urging strength.
I hear a rasp, deadweight metal dragged 
across asphalt, leaving a chalky scar, 
a line for daring to step, which gives me
the idea to haul the old wardrobe 
we saved from my grandmother’s house across 
to block the bedroom window. The kids ask 
what are you doing what are you doing and I
say go to sleep go to sleep go to sleep.


Photo of John Geddes in front of a tree trunk. John is wearing a grey shirt and glasses. His hair is short and brown. John is looking at the camera with a smile.

John Geddes is an Ottawa writer who has tried his hand at lots of different kinds of writing. As a political journalist, he’s won National Magazine Awards and Harvard’s Nieman Fellowship. His novel The Sundog Season won the Ottawa Book Award. Last year, he picked up a Digital Publishing Award for a personal essay about the Nazi past of a Viennese painting in the National Gallery’s collection. Most recently, the Irish literary quarterly The Moth published one of John’s short stories. [provided for the 2022 Diana Brebner Prize]

Skip to content