Coming to Canada: A Gardener’s Meditation, Part 1

A garden is a long work. Yes, you can turn soil, plant seeds, harvest in that same fall. In that sense, to grow a garden is a simple task, unskilled labour; weed a little, watch the water, wait on the season, and done. Gardening, though, is more than this. It is the communion of human…

Practice

This is not the garden yet, but a beginning, seventeen years worth work submitted to wills and whims of climate. Mid-April and the ground only now in view, shawls of snow lying about like dirty underwear after a particularly long night. The mud, the mud, it’s all mud. Who knows what survives? One thing for…

On the Topic of Fishing*

Miss Manners is strangely quiet on the topic of fishing; she sits in meditation on the point where necessity goes to the highest bidder. All Life is sacred, her granny taught; so the fish is sacred as is the worm, as is her own belly, engine house of her soul. How to honour all this?…

Day 11: Future

inner child, sit down listen to the elder we want to become: a body made strong movement by movement through years of conscious worship of this miracle temple loaned to our soul a mind ever bolder movement by movement freer to fly as compelled by songs who want to be born humming at the door…

Eyes

heart sinks as wisdom wells up memories stretch, time grows short if, in middle years, we grow another head to watch our back trail, let those new eyes see clearly, the thread that transforms mistake, instinctive thrash, one true brave choice, all of it, into a dance that holds steady; so the forward eyes, even…

The Ballad of Banaabekwe and Her Gulls

What diplomacy today can bring to the rescue mice fit to chew through plastic nooses carelessly left to wind around the bleeding necks and throats of sea elephants? You don’t hear that fable, now, do you? – Don Perkins 1. Banaabekwe, at her loom of seagrass slowly, in dappled morning sun, weaves stories for her…

As If We Believe in the Light

April is ugly in April in Edmonton but swans ripple high overhead and we lift up our eyes to their arrows as if we believe in warm wind it is grit brown and slouched but the crouching sun gains day by day and we track it home over the river as if we believe in…

Secrets

clam nestled in sand will not yield, there is no revolving beyond   sun sparks cloud edge low, between mountain and sea running silvered under early blue seething, top to bottom storied beyond our reading   slaves, liars, murders, cheats underpin glass towers glinting now, at anchor lights winking back from their smug harbour  …

Pacific Rim

Spring, training our eyes on the blues of Coal Harbour, rife with wind we rest, cupped in a moment.   How the Salish Sea has changed and still beneath wave and pavement thrums a heart connected to trade seasoned by years of muscling voyage anchored in exuberance – this cloth, this metal, this animal wealth…

Wood With Rabbit

married at the scar, two salve trees lean against each other, how we all learn to walk, watching feet trusting heads to sky silver leaves tip up for rain and beneath them, small boy rabbit frozen in prayer, down among fireweed, wild rose and stalks of tiger lily, velvet footed indian paintbrushes is that where…

In the Garden, Retilled

you can’t hurry dirt garbage to rich brown, seasons and the efforts of millions, obedient to life, composing, compost, calm pose, compelled to completion so small against it all, tidal wave, tectonic thrust, breath ocean exploding, green threads back toward the sun. does any given microbe know daylily blooms?   And here’s the 2009 edit,…

Yevshan, a song goes on singing

now take the sage — yevshan — now breathe it in yevshan yevshan you call from it a story of your own people far away an eastern light, far grasslands yevshan yevshan yevshan your silver leaves bend shining slight arms embrace the wind your sharp breath breaks the bonds of winter roots endure and flourish…