SEE ALL TAGS & MOODS
I never thought Michiko would come back
after she died. But if she did, I knew
it would be as a lady in a long white dress.
It is strange that she has returned
as somebody's dalmatian. I meet
After the celebrations,
people, TV channels, telephones,
the year’s recently-corrected digit
finally falls asleep.
Between the final night and the first dawn
a jagged piece of sky
An eagle egg fell into a farmer’s chicken shed
and when it hatched the farmer gave it chicken feed
even though he was the king of birds. The farmer
clipped the eaglet’s princely beak and raised him
I like the lady horses best,
how they make it all look easy,
like running 40 miles per hour
is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
I like their lady horse swagger,
’Twas on a lofty vase’s side,
Where China’s gayest art had dyed
The azure flowers that blow;
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
I have so many now.
There’s one where we were giants, playing with our size by falling over
houses and trees, laughing.
There’s another where I was racing the old ones in a game, and we stopped
what a glory feeling it is to sit in the sun by the oceanside
as tulugait and naujait sing circling above
and scrape skins with centuries of arnait guiding my ulu
commencing to the place of beginning;
in 1959 the South Saskatchewan river was dammed;
forever altering the boundary of Treaty no. 6;
such that it technically no longer exists;
Tucked away in our tiny bedroom so near each other
the edge of my prayer rug covered the edge of his, my
brother and I prayed. We were 18 and 11 maybe, or 19
and 12. He was back from college where he built his own
Do you believe in the ghosts of aunties and uncles that drive old sin-
gle-bench pickup trucks spotted with bullet-hole rust, sweetgrass and
i wanted bitumen to be made of dead dinosaurs. why did i want these
ancient kin to be passively implicated in the fossil fuel industry? it
For thirty-one years, my mother tried not to miss her. Every week,
a little water or the trickle of a few ice cubes
in black earth. Years back, in the muck of Toronto, April,
When the horse picked Mama up by the hair
that time, was she scared?
There is a photograph of her with this horse
in the brown family album. She stands
beside him, thin in the chilly wind
my mother found herself one late summer
afternoon lying in grass under the wild
yellow plum tree jewelled with sunlight
she was forgotten there in spring picking
rhubarb for pie & the children home from
I am Charles Darwin. I eat owlflesh at Cambridge University.
I have discovered something, an entirely new species
with tropical fever in its reptile fingers. I am busy
with taxonomying its most peculiar and three-sided
The fish are drifting calmly in their tank
between the green reeds, lit by a white glow
that passes for the sun. Blindly, the blank
glass that holds them in displays their slow
can go to Bible study every Sunday
and swear she’s still not convinced,
but she likes to be around people who are.
We have the same conversation
every few years — I’ll ask her if she stops
That night, I opened your wardrobe and found
a trophy of vultures, their necks pierced
by hanger hooks. I saw at once
that you hunted everything I loved —
I’m a gecko on a wall
that simulates a cliff
with rainbow grips
I’ll touch any colour
that’ll have me
midway is high enough
wary of emotional
I don’t mean home-
a girl between two dialects
still a screen and still a searching, learns
the season of breakup
another word for spring
can come before or after
depending on where you grew up
online, back and forth
The meteorologists are pleading with us
to keep checking back through the storm,
ice pellets making a carpet two, three inches thick,
this pale beach we walk on, this wind that passed
The shaman at Broadway and Main
with a plastic shaker and some sage
says you’re my power animal. Says
we both have big brains, like to chatter.
I don’t know anything about dolphins, except
let the colonial borders be seen for the pretensions that they are
i hereby honour what the flow of water teaches us
the beauty of enough, the path of peace to be savoured
we are asking you to trust your hands. put them on your heart. trust
your heart. hear what we are saying. trust what you hear. we are
asking you to build a circle. always a circle. not almost a circle. face
i thought you were gone / stupid bird / darling worms shifting in the mud / this time i am not so certain / is it kinship or are you gloating? / have i grown bitter with the bees / how they bring the blooms reliably?
It’s the season of wine, meadows, and Rose
The court of spring is cleared of choughs and crows
Generous clouds now water Rey more freely than Khotan
One night, fire fell into a reed bed
It burned like love falling onto a soul
As fire’s head warmed to its work
every reed turned into a candle at its own grave
To Windrim or sycamore
rustle cicada or bark and to Wayne
to rustle and psoas and psoas to Belmont and Germantown hills
hills as to nearer Plateau as to Central and whisper wall Indian
Let Us Be Fireflies
All day we
practice morse code signals
upon contact / head first / baptismal
the rind of me / peels into ribbons
of foam / and pearls / i re-brown at the water’s
touch / its two-way mudmirror / hands me
its own name / earthliquid / bottomless
We’re driving and the radio says mass marine extinctions within a
generation. No silence, no sirens — an unflustered inflection, then
stock markets, cryptic as Latin mass. I force myself: the interval
Our national bird – for years – was – as A M Klein said –
the rocking chair
I don’t know what our national bird is now – but my totem bird is
Our mother gave us a sack of weed killer
the size of a toddler, and told us
to spread it on the front lawn.
My sister and I lugged it there.
A light cloud of white powder
drifted up to our nostrils
Men prefer an island
With its beginning ended:
Undertones of waves
Men prefer a road
Convex and fossiled
The trees I’ve glimpsed from the window
of a night train were
the saddest trees.
They seemed about to speak,
vanished like soldiers.
We Twitter, Tinder, Tumblr through eternity. Loquacious
text messages flit from fingertips, waves of data spill
through our skulls. Every cm2 of oxygen overflowing
My sister is crying and crying
her tears grow to salt stormy showers
to rain and to rapids and rivers
they run to the sea to the sea.
My sister sobs softly she knows
Weeds are flattened beneath last year’s tire tracks
others lay burden by the winter’s heavy snow.
The crocuses labor through this thick blanket.
I am sun drained from the bleakness
Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
Only the thickness of log
and triple-paned glass
between my children and
the open maw
of a bear.
I slip warm chocolate chip
cookies from the pan
to the cooling rack -
“I saw my land in the morning
and O but she was fair”
- M.G. Smith, “Jamaica” (1938)
Come see my land
There, the bolting black kale,
taller than it has any right to be
and not the twitter troll who asked
if you were on your period.
In the corner, a pile of dead
zucchini leaves, spotted with rot
You sit in the forgotten bone-dry hills
surrounded by sand and sagebrush
above Buffalo Pound Lake.
A day and a night, and then
three more days and nights.
It has to be loved the way a laundress loves her linens,
the way she moves her hands caressing the fine muslins
knowing their warp and woof,
like a lover coaxing, or a mother praising.
We had no paper
then, or we had
no pen, or no words. How
to say it. We had
no voice. No listeners.
Just deaf night
I saw a perfect tree today
From my cabin bed on a Via Rail train
Through the North of Ontario
It was tall and thin and scraggly and prim
Then I saw another just as perfect
The river is my sister—I am its daughter.
It is my hands when I drink from it,
my own eye when I am weeping,
and my desire when I ache like a yucca bell
I was walking up some stairs in a building
Inside parts of the building were new
but no one lived there anymore
I passed a lucky fox head on the stairs—