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,…

Creation

they say, star woman fell down here because she was curious they say, the star sisters still watch us they say, when star woman fell it was a humble one who gave all he had to reach enough earth for her landing they say, the humble ones still watch us they say, the turtle carries…

Turtle Island Easter Prayer

O Lord, renew me this body, this heart, this mind this soul O you Good Spirits you Saints who intercede budge aside, if you don’t mind just enough to let me speak to Manitowak i do not know whose names and specialities were not passed down Holy Mother, some of your children are standing in…

Kyrie Eleison: Good Friday, Anno Domini 2017

Today, I am baking bread with young women of my community. We commit the same act of prayer and connection, exploration and discovery that women, and men, have wrought through long generations. This is living veneration, asking the grain to submit, to transform, to rise renewed as the staff of life. Kyrie Eleison there are…

Seeking Names

This grows in my garden: As you can see, the stalks grow 8 feet tall, and taller, with multiple little heads that clearly show this plant belongs to the sunflower family. This is what we eat from this plant: You might know this plant as Jerusalem Artichoke, or Sunroot, or Sunchoke. You might, if you’re…

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…