2012: Wolf Work

it’s 2012 national arts council meets here to know the land they serve i am invited to a reception no poem commission, just to be face of our mayor’s personal commitment   laureate memo: always carry poems are easy to conceal mind you, the law of theatre applies here; if you see a poet it…

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…

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…

1996: Green Mountain Road

all that lies between misadventure and disaster is this winding road the girl is in shock right thigh tied shut chattering, with her mom holding her in the back seat i drive, my stickshift purring slalom through penticton indian reserve golden grass, piney hills houses tucked and slumbering beneath bright sun of july this is…

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…

Day 30: Because Blossoms

did i mention i came to the city suspicious? after all every indian of a certain age (yes, indian, to frame this) knows that cities eat indians. of course, there’s the trick. i am anishinabekwe, lnuskw also, and polish by matrilineage. i came looking for some fabled southland that sang to me in dreams all…

Day 27: Bee Count

to discern the flow, the way that land likes to be what grows where, what light brings joy, what soil what drainage. all this, and counting bees fills spring days. five kinds this morning: lady bumble with her pockets full, honeybee sweat bee, fly bee; we bend astonished closer to nonchalant antics of one small chestnut…

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 19:Steady

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

Day 20: Changing Into Thunderbird

before an enthralled crowd, one anishinabe man explains the art of another; this copper thunderbird this morrisseau, the price he paid for vision, this gift with which he won for all of us a way to see that this land is rightly the nesting ground of binasi thunderbird. i sit in the back and wonder, so…

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…