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…

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…

2002: 400 Mile Song

what am i now, then? this is no time for plays, for stages, for masks. i pray for a new path, to be used for some fine enough purpose that my own grief will not swamp me.   a job comes, that brings me to work with many groups seeking funds to do small projects….

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…

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…

1989: Image and Reality

it’s 1989 i’ve become accustomed to the song of cicadas in the patio the nightly drop of avocados morning’s race to get my share before pirate rats taste them all; accustomed to flipping fruit to find toothmarks in the hide and never a glimpse of fur or tail.   i’ve grown used to the softness…

May 2: What if I Go Singing?

I live in an elm cathedral, where i live there is room for birds. Lady bees bustle rummage sale in the shrubberies all May long. Here, too, the song. I know what i must do, every day lift up the song, the old song, let it be heard here in these streets, let this cathedral…

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 26: Blessing Song

when i first came to the city, my fear rode on my back cities don’t love indians.  but i didn’t know better than to walk everywhere, because i could. and i began to admit there was life all around me, from the first crack of dandelion leaves up in march, through the stubborn winter song…

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 19:Steady

it’s something you draw down from the stars so that you, too, become a cord tying earth into heaven.