Song of Praise (resung)

In Nass Valley, one
shaft of sun lights two
red and white toadstools
in damp moss, luminous
deeper in cathedral, wingéd
ugly fungi, colours
i wouldn’t admit

there, i
and all that i am, no less
than the stinkhorn
and oozing mud
sing

the brown and wrinkled, slick
and loathsome, what i would not dare
to touch, Your hand has laid in place
with love, there is no way not to sing.

To you, Mom.

Another piece from Fifth World Drum (Frontenac House 2009), slightly revised. My late (May ’17) mother loved mushroom picking, as did my late (Feb ’18) mentor, Elke. Mom took me with her in 2002, the year after her eldest daughter died. Up in Nisga’a territory, along the Nass river, we spent some time in the forest. 

(here’s the book version)
in Nass Valley
one shaft of sun
lights two red and white toadstools
in damp luminous moss

deeper in the cathedral
are wingéd ugly fungi
in colours i wouldn’t admit thinking of

and there, i and all that i am
no less than the stinkhorn
and the oozing mud
sing

the brown and wrinkled
red and loathsome
what i would not dare to touch
Your hand has laid in place with love
there is no way not to sing.

To you, Mom.

 

 

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