On the New Age: Ode to an Alien Nation

Feathers belong to birds. Any human, anywhere, who uses them in any way is using a gift that we appropriate, to which we assign human meanings. What do the birds have to say about it?  Lately, on social media, I’ve seen Indigenous thinkers and activists moving to take down a spate of New Age practitioners…

On Aboriginal Veterans’ Day

Today is Aboriginal Veterans’ Day in Canada. I suppose this is a necessary part of the process of Truth and Reconciliation for our nation, but I find it an ambivalent undertaking. It’s necessary, because so many Aboriginal men, and women, served in Canada’s Armed Forces despite their civilian status placing them in a position of…

Hallows: At the Thinning of the Veil

Read this while listening to Sting’s “Love is the 7th Wave” from 1985’s Dream of the Blue Turtles, which runs in my head as I write. (Megwetch, Mr. Sumner, for that&many more songs). at the edge of darkest season as the bright and ripe subside in rolling sober robes, november high above the city thermals…

Little Autumnal Verse (for RM)

Just for fun, here’s a verse that came to me this morning, inspired by a Twitter pal’s lament over the sadness of rain in October. It reminded me of my dad, passing on the Anishinabe view that Winter is simply when our Mother rests. This resonates with views I’ve learned from various Earth-based spiritual systems,…

2011: Uses of Poetry

it’s 2011 i’m the City’s Poet chosen to laud us to declaim us, to name us exhort us, inflame us   actually, people often ask me what does a laureate do?   it is not, i assure you a position designed to discover just how bitchy, back-stabbing and vain poets can really be, for how…

2010: Olympic

it’s 2010 i go to the olympic edition of talking stick festival in vancouver, i walk this is how to learn a city walk from dorothy’s up on coal harbour down to cambie to the roundhouse to the show   i will never be a headliner i will never be on the podium i am…

2006: Handout

it’s 2006 and this is garden time; when else to teach about the mighty work of bees? i don’t get out much and i don’t mind   i am asked to conduct a workshop for teachers about indigenous pedagogy specifically, the nature and uses of orality.   i tell stories and tell about stories what…

2005: world citizen

it’s 2005 and i am am home in the mom zone cannot understand anyone who does not marvel at the flight of little brown birds   a grey cat arrives draws circles round us charming past the neurotic guardian antics of black anwar and his ferocious sister; we think this little sh-cat tells them she…

2001: Honour Song

it’s may in montreal an indigenous arts gathering peers mentors innovators politics of identity the sick thrashing whale of cultural appropriation   i find i stand with those who say, we are remaking theatre in our images because we need to appropriating a tool   so it does not become us to play cultural purist…

2000: On the Line

2000, a new millennium. my savvy board mentor says where i’ve gone wrong is paying myself no more than anyone else. i sit with that uncomfortable thread running through my work is it that simple? i sit with that when i hire an actor who for all his masks, can’t hide that he chafes at…

1998:Release

it’s 1998 i have a theatre company now i wrote a grant, three years’ worth start up funding then had to hire people now have to train them it will be a wild ride it already is but the drama will increase off-stage outstrips onstage such is arts life. today, though, we are at the World’s…