shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare


Michael Fay is a writer and playwright. He studied creative writing with W. O. Mitchell and Alice Munro at the Banff Centre in Canada and with Richard Ford at the Bread Loaf Conference in the United States. He has been nominated for Canadian National Magazine Awards and was twice elected President of the Periodical Writers Association of Canada. As well, he was founding co-chair of Canada's copyright collective.

Michael's short stories have been published in Canadian literary magazines and recently three of his long form stories have been digitally published by IslandShorts. He has written five plays, including the award winning Never Such Innocence Again. "In the Trenches" is excerpted from that World War 1 play.

Michael Fay


In the Trenches

It's the noise, the smells!
They told us about blood on the battlefield,
Broken limbs, bullet wounds,
But nothing about the noise.
Brutal blasts in the trenches,
Horrendous hammering, day and night!
And the smells. My God, the smells.
The smell of my own skin sickens me.
My body stench mixes with that of my men,
And the smell of shit
After a barrage of guns.
My food smells of wet wool.
My water smells of lye.
But there was no smell of gas that night.
As my lungs stung with the bites of a billion bees.
They didn't they tell us. They didn't care.