Monday, October 17, 2011

Rainbow Oceans

You painted the world for me
In solid coloured provinces
Of unseen foreign lands,
And rainbow oceans.

I wanted to paint the world for you
In country outlines,
Capital cities,
Geographic regions.

I pointed to us
And your eyes grew blank.
My heart ached for tears unshed,
Longing for your world of rainbow oceans.


You show me this book
And tell me it's history,
But if his story is so full of little white lies,
Things fallen through the cracks,
Details conveniently forgot,
I want to see less history.

Tell me herstory.
It will be round and full
Like a woman of nine moons,
And through her story
Words will be woven in loving kindness,
Strung together
In community,
Held in our hearts for generations,
Gathered on the hearth for recollection.
Soft or saucy words,
Wild, twinkling eyes
And merry laughs,
Vibrant and beautiful,
This is her story.
Never dry like history;
Never frail.
No pages missing,
No words left unwritten.

But if you must
Place them side by side;
Undo the bindings.
Take herstory and history,
Re-stitch them as one volume.
Call it theirstory,
Leave empty pages
For ourstory.
A volume never done...

Colonial Frames

Through these dark eyes
We watched the turns of time
Men pale as ghosts
Searching the wilderness
Hoping to find themselves
They came at first
In boats strung up with clouds
Stepped on these shores
Barely land-born before
Ice and snow brought death
We nursed them in longhouses
But they breathed death on us
And soon we too fell
Villages became bone-yards
And as their numbers grew
They climbed mountains
Navigated waterways
Crossed plains
In search of furs
Greed lead them
Like wild dogs
And when the animals hid
They sought to take the earth
Our villages were reordered
To make Rupert's Land
And as greed grew
Rupert's Land shrank
Replaced by settlements
And paths of double steel
They drew invisible lines
Gave names
To what they never owned
Cities grew out of stone and steel and soot
Rupert's Land disappeared
Our eyes grew fewer
Viewed the world
Through lenses of suffering
Northwest Territories
And then Nunavut
To mark a new age
Proclaiming it time
Traditions fade away
You try to tell me
Our eyes are all the same
Glance for once
On the stains of history
Speak those words again


We came, long years ago
Built homes like gnomes
Sod hills
Rustic abodes

For vessels
Sought trees for timber
Soon licked by brine
Sea caked with salt

We made no friends
With men of bronze
Watching ghost towns
With frightened eyes
Long before
Gallic Tongues
Spoke L'Anse aux Meadows

And by our hands
Broke earth
Sowed seeds for generations
But in vain
Neither Christ nor Thor
Would give us rain

Our broken company
Fled to the whale road
Dropped scythes for oars
Swept water
Rode tides home

Failed Exploration

Dredged up for the depths
1000 leagues
And muffled descent
Shadowy and still
Steel chains groan
The pressure is too great
Bend and snap
Dragged free-fall
To the bottom of the sea
Rock gently in this cradle
Where no light shines
Slip into an eternal darkness
Rest softly
In your coffin of metal and glass

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Feeling winter's bite
Icy grips
Chilling to the bone
Looking northwards
Eyes set on barren tundra
Water, rock, and ice
Do these mukluks dare
Follow footsteps faded
Clothed in blizzard's fate
History in shallow graves
Frost-burnt withered skin
Iced up to the bone
Arctic mummies
Chilling gleaming teeth
Glassy eyes
Seeing the beyond
Stomach full of lead
Death wraps
Tighter than scarves
Choking frosty breath

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This Blanket

You argue in circles
Try to paint a picture that interweaves past and present.

You want to change the pattern here and now
Add a new colour
And vitalize the future.

But I am not sure if this pattern is as strong
This new thread
Must be thick
It will hold the whole piece together.

I want this blanket to last 7 Generations.

It will match the old blanket,
Now faded.
It sits in an old chest
And gathers dust.

There are moth holes
And edges frayed from wear.

This new blanket will be draped around the shoulders
Of a young country
To show coming of age.
To recognize maturity
And ability to contribute.

It symbolizes peace and understanding
It recognizes an agreement
That this youth
Will act in a way
Beneficial to all.

These threads must be strong.
I want this blanket to last 7 generations.
Are you sure it is time,
For that old blanket to be replaced,
For us to welcome in the new?

This is so much responsibility
It seems so soon...
And yet the old blanket
Is falling apart
The threads were not strong enough
To withstand the tests of time.

We must weave this new blanket stronger
Interweave colours tightly
Look towards the future.


I feel like a castaway
Set adrift in a rowboat
And stranded,

But you are the ocean
Your tides
Set my course,
Gentle waves
Rock me to sleep.

I lay in my boat
Stare up at the harsh sun,

You whisper
Of far off lands
You sing to me
So I can never forget tomorrow.

Can you and I weather all the storms?

If I fall into that great blue
Surrender myself to your embrace,
What happens then?

If I am welcomed into
The heart of the ocean
Can our story
Go beyond time and tide?

Miles and Mountains

The miles between us
Are like mountains
And I can't see past them

But I will climb to the peaks
And run through the vallets
To get to you,

And if my steps falter
If I stop to catch my breath,
Will you meet me halfway?

Together we can make moutains
Look like molehills
And miles
Like grains of sand on the beach.

And soon we stand
Looking into
Each others eyes
And I forget
We ever
Were apart.


Time strides on.
I wonder
Am I making a mistake?
Every footfall
Carefully planned,
A game of chess.
Did I miss anything?
Will I find,
After a pause,
That this queen falls,
That even a castle
Won't prevent
Check Mate?
And if
Things don't work out
According to plan
Will I be a sore loser,
Or set up the board
And play again?

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Unspoken

Women are amazing,
Because there has never been a creature,
So strong and fragile
In the same breath,

You look at me as if incredulous
That I won't put out,
Because you want to live some wild fantasy
That you saw on one of those porn videos
I see listed in the search bar on your computer.
You watch them when I'm not there
And think I won't notice.

Then you slink off to the shower,
Try to let the water drown you out,
And wash away your frustration.
But you don't know frustration
Or confusion,

A woman
Is taught from childhood
That they should be ashamed of their own bodies,
Live in fear,
Never talk about
Or Pleasure,
And certainly not together.

You can wave your hand in dismissal
And say that
All of this is a thing of the past,
But it is a legacy
Passed from mother to daughter,
Through the generations,
In well-intended words,
Trying to pass on wisdom
But there's an echo
Of subjugation,
From a time
When women knew oppression,
When the chains were forged.

And now those chains live on
As ghosts of the scars of history,
Unwilling to fade

A woman can feel pleasure,
But expressing pleasure
Discussing sex in public,
Makes us
Skanks, whores, sluts.

Showing off our natural beauty
Makes us provocative,
Turns heads,
Makes our footsteps
Echo with whistles and catcalls.

To wear clothing as a form of freedom
And self-expression,
Means we are ASKING for men to rape us!
And it is drilled into us
That someone might get us pregnant.

So sometimes we hide behind invisible chains,
Lock the doors and windows after dark.
And sometimes we are submissive,
Sacrificing our pleasure for yours
Because we are afraid to be ourselves.
We still have this legacy
Of being property
And objects of desire.

We can looking in the mirror
And see no beauty,
Because we are not thin enough
Young enough, ________ enough.

When we hurt in love
We may turn it inwards and blame ourselves.
We were taught to hate ourselves.

So don't look at me
As if my body defines my worth.
Don't expect me to pleasure you
Just because you want me to.

Don't expect me to pleasure you
If you don't show me
Why I should trust you.
Why should I
Forget all this social conditioning,
Release my inhibitions?
And let this night take us somewhere
Beyond time and space.

Because if I wake up,
And you snuck out while I was sleeping
Looking for another one night stand,
Then soon enough it will be another man
Sitting right there
With the same look in his eyes,
And I will have one more shackle
Holding me back,
Keeping us apart.