That Old Alchemy

Happy World Poetry Day. For the occasion, a poem inspired by Confucius, and journeys in various communities. That Old Alchemy I know it well, that alchemy making virtue of necessity; less well do I know the point at which another change is due lest we mistake which ingredient is catalyst and key, pursue those things…

For the Light Returning: How Not to Freeze

Free Tibet! bang bang Free Tibet!  Their voices and their drums shimmered through the frosty air. They danced past the doors of the Strathcona Farmers’ Market, and i hustled in after my hubby, looking assiduously away from them. I’d recognised one of the dancing drummers, indigenous of mixed ancestry, and an artist -so, not unlike…

Day 29: Spiritual Dissonance

is this cognitive dissonance? listening to Elder recount the ancient agreements, while reading the bombing of another Medecins Sans Frontiers hospital. is this even possible? Elder, to gather our teachings to gather back to our clear and gentle roots to be curious, creative, kind, and stand against the tide of plain, cowardly evil. to live, and…

Day 24: River of Fire

In 1984, in the dark, on the backroad up from Emerson Trail, if you need to know exactly, we saw fire in the sky. my brother and i U2 hammering a yowl about A Sort of Homecoming i saw the coming time, when i would finally go around that big bend in the highway and fly out…

Day 21: Rain

i don’t cry for celebrities. they don’t know me. i don’t know them. i don’t want autographs. pay tribute by raising my own voice, however limited. but prince. rampant, pure fire. burn better and brighter grow deeper, higher, brighter if your work did its work. i didn’t know you. you didn’t know me. but there…

Day 15: Hey Margaret

  it is okay to say you were too busy writing oryx and crake to point at the indigenous connections there it is okay if you were too busy addressing feminism to consider how it is no accident that it arose here, where we have always had agency and where the initial arrivals from europe…

Looking for Us: Adventures in Reconciling Edmonton

This summer, i was invited to be part of a great project, with a great team of women. Reconciling Edmonton, proposed by Historian Laureate Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, brought together 2 Aboriginal women – myself and Miranda Jimmy – and 2 ‘Settler’ women – Danielle, and Artist-in-Residence for the Office of the City Clerk,  Jennie Vegt. Our mission:…

Skirt, The Issue: A Moment to Address the Headdress

Edmonton Folk Festival, in their 35th year, have once again shown themselves to be a world class organisation. The word came out today that they’ve banned “Indian Headdresses” from their festival grounds. A friend contacted me this morning, to ask would i  like to comment publicly. At first I thought, who cares? Me, I can…

Because We Are Human

The wind danced with us, the sky offered a stern and vigilant grey face. I walked downtown along 97th (Namao/LaMeiYu as it may yet be renamed), buckled tight into coat and boots, and braced for this grim event. Today, i joined the nationwide protests against the egregious acquittal of the man who murdered Cindy Gladue….

Tool Of God

  It has been a long, dark winter. Today marks four years since the tsunami that devastated Tohoku, with its continuing legacy of nuclear refugees, radiation leaking into the sea, untold ramifications to come to us all. I pray that those who are responsible to act directly upon Fukushima have been doing so with integrity,…

Martha Plus 100: thoughts on de-extinction

Well, September 1st was the 100th anniversary of the death of the last known Passenger Pigeon. I was in Toronto in June, recording live poetry videos with Jorge Antonio Vallejos, aka Black Coffee Poet. I’d learned that Mimico, a modern Toronto area placename, comes from Omiimiikaa, ‘Place of the Wild Dove’ in Ojibwemowin. Jorge mused…