It’s not every day that I discover a collaborator like Niki Sombrowski. I first met Niki as a high school senior, working hard on his education, playing Junior B hockey for the Fernie Ghostriders. Once his season was over, he was looking forward to playing elsewhere. Like many of us, as the global pandemic spiraled out of control, our lives were put on hold. Niki came home to Fernie only to write his S.A.T.s that he hoped would land him at an American university and lend a hand to the various businesses his family owns and operates. When we connected about writing together, he was running the cash at I.G.S. He and I made some plans but as he got the call to play in Cranbrook for the BCHL pod season, we had to make other plans. Eventually we got together on my veranda in the heat of summer to write Italian sonnets (his suggestion, I might add). I have known a great deal writers and hockey players in my 38 years but never have I met one person that does them both with such joy and attention to detail. Perhaps he’s a renaissance man, or simply a young man who is as unique as the land he comes from.
by Sadie Rosgen
Overwhelmed in every sense,
the information highway is a vast and submissive playground.
Often confused, internet trolls lurking in the background,
teaming with impressive graphics and distraction, fascinating and dense.
But behold, my cautionary tale for herein lies the observation of control;
before you click, ingest, and are told,
be aware that your mind can be bought and sold.
Designed to radicalize, never meant to console.
So massive and unrelenting,
still, I am free to think.
Therefore, do not police the contents of my mind,
I vow to keep inventing.
I compose the moments that push my imagination to the brink.
For when I bargain for the time, peace and pleasure are what I find.
by Nikolas Sombrowski
Blinded by the absence of abundant noise,
loneliness has stability, and the quiet has peace.
Being alone is rational, never failing to cease.
The unknown is terrible and almost certainly destroys.
Like a wolf, abandoned by his pack,
and although he is capable alone; unconsciously spitted.
For is there ever a realization of being farsighted?
If never lead directly along a track,
though what purpose serves adventure if set by oneself?
We find strength in a greater number,
and tranquility when invited.
So when others free you from yourself,
you will never have to encumber.
For experience is absolute, if it is never recited.