Reflection: St. Eugene, 2019

“We’re selling an opportunity to understand our history, to know our people and to share our vision of turning a 60-year nightmare around. We’re creating new memories for our children.” – Ktunaxa Chief Sophie Pierre St. Eugene is a former Indian Residential School, which has been made over into a resort, complete with casino and…

Listening to Snatam Kaur

and if you could not sing for me i would seek the song of strangers rather than live silenced   and if you desired to sing for me but your words were taken i would learn the songs of strangers and sing you new words   and if you would sing with me these songs,…

St. Eugene: Not a Poetry Video (yet)

Here are the gates. Beside them, an image from an older time, another purpose. Here is the gorgeous architecture. And beside it, tribute to the children brought here. Building and children face East, where the sun rises steadfast over blue mountains. Here is the message, the new mission. And here, the window of the room…

Being Here, Now, Part Two

So, I was saying I  met Ram Dass? That is to say, in the library of the good people who invited me to live in their house (and made it seem I was doing them a favour by house-sitting), among the books was this dark purple one, called ‘Be Here Now.’ I’d never seen anything…

Being Here Now, Part One

Long ago, in Mexico, I lived by myself for the first time in my life. All alone, in a traditional Mexican house, which closes firmly to the street, but opens into a courtyard, which ends at a rough stone wall, shared by several neighbourhood houses. I’d lived in that town for about half a year,…

Seokguram Temple (revisited)

watch the spell these  mountains clarify our breath, that is the sea over there in this grotto, guardians of broken stone can’t stop tourists, nor the thief who pried loose the jewel once in Buddha’s brow at sunrise, they say you could stand just inside doors opened wide toward sea, and the first ray of…

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…

Blue Seed Pattern, 1987

for Trish Sewell and MM What if we stayed up all night? This was long years before Seoul Tokyo, beloved Kyoto singing Daijobu! with the genki boys down on Kawaramachi-dori down by the hot coffee machines.   What if we walked the city? This, after years walking the long browed hills of the north only the…

2014: Nomads

it’s 2014, high june i tour to toronto i am not a rock star i will not become a rock star but i am paid to make poems.   i meet up with zooey we started out together as lesser-thans in our creative writing class like mice or bees, the way we moved made our…

2003:Dance

it’s 2003 and i’m on board with the city arts council we are invited to send a delegation to korea and i know i must go   spend the morning calm walking alone in seoul return in time for breakfast when we move on to wonju there, too, the dawn is where i belong in…

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….

1999:Lights

the theatre company to my astonishment is making things.   less surprising shaking apart tanya breaks up with chris, who leaves a shadow of his positivity and goes to work in fort mac, what men must do.   she finds us a new hire who, within four weeks has convinced tanya that i am cheating…