Grown (day 2276)

I’ve grown accustomed to pains in my soles
Boots tied tight and laces frayed at the ends.
I keep stepping over large trees
Under foliage so green
And I see old men walking in each bough
Sharing legends with my awake eyes
That keep my mind wandering
Through swamps and glades of spruce
Like a lost soul with a purpose;
A message written on sacred parchment
Enroute to all ends receivable
– Some unaccountable, some trustworthy,
Some in a jam and just looking for a way out –
I like marching and I’m good at it
And I’ve got my home about my back.

Spruce Story (day 2247)

The old spruce and I sat silently
We shared secrets unspoken
We shared ground softly packed
I looked up and counted to one hundred
Each branch I gave a name
Each name remembered its origin
In the world of seven valleys
I heard ravens nesting
Squirrels chasing
And I felt each limb slowly shake
Watching each needle slowly fall
Tumbling to the palm of my hand
Which rebirthed my blessings
In each moment of doubt
Until I stood where the spruce had stood
And I inhaled deeply as the spruce had inhaled
And I listened as the spruce had listened
And I swayed as the spruce had swayed
Until the seven valleys became my valleys
And my story remained so.

Riverbed (day 2229)

My heartbeat thunders through riverbed rocks
Smoothly echoing off canyon walls
Sounds of power, strength,
And my hand-to-chest roars
With each moment, each thought, each translucent vision
That scrolls out before me
Just as ancient oaks and black spruce and a needle strewn path
Leads me into an unending future
I sit gazing as fog enters
As the torrential river carries my thoughts
And a loon calls to me from the distance.

From this Ledge (day 1000)

From this ledge I looked out beyond,
I surveyed the stillness.
Waiting,
Expecting,
Un-avoiding brief glimpses
Of society’s marks;
Transport trucks rumbling
In and out of earshot.

From this ledge I held onto a hand,
I held on so tight to remind me
That in spite surmountable distances,
In spite out-of-control conveniences
I wasn’t alone here;
Alone in my thoughts.
This wasn’t my diary,
This was my acceptance refusal.

From this ledge I plotted.
I took every hemlock and spruce
Inside my heart and nurtured their spirit
To grow with me as I carved my initials
Into their supple skin, raw so real;
Nature entwined my soul and became me
And I became it.
And I lept from this ledge with eyes wide open.

StawamusChief-2011-06-04 (149 of 310)

One Houndred Days (day 302)

We paddled and paddled
For one houndred days straight
Neither rest nor sleep
Was our friend all the while
We came about falls
We came about rapids
We came about bears
Finding winters warmth flapping
We passed by the furs
Of the coastal regions
We passed by the spruce
Of the swampier interiors
We passed by the pines
When the river twined
And we never complained
For our destination inclined
Not a single soul to speak
Not a diverting path to take
No energy was lost
In the battle we fought
We all had our children
Our warm wives back at home
But our socks they were warm when
Our backs they lay cold
Our knit caps, they
So red and so bold
We paddled until
Our paddles they broke
Then paddled some more
With the spares that we towed
And then, in the distance
As we pushed through the night
First one, then another
Then tens of houndreds they did burn
The fires of our friends
The fires of our family
The first of the First Nations
As they sat along the bank
Celebrating their season in the sun
The drums we had felt
Many days before
A pace threatening saunter
A force for our driving
As we came to the landing
We were swarmed by the tribe
We had always come here
We would always return
We were family here
We were friends here
This was our home
The land of the free
And after we shared
With the children all around
We welcomed the tribes men
We embraced our dear wives
We brought out our treasures
We had bargained for at the market
One houndred days paddling
One houndred days to the east
They sang songs for us
They sang songs with us
We brought out our fiddles
And we sang songs for them
We danced through the night
And we danced all the day
We hunted with the men
And we slept with the women
But then, when we saw
The leaves turning colours
We packed up our furs
And loaded our pelts
Carved out our paddles
And sorted our gear
Sad and long faces
As the morning progressed
We paddled on silently
Into one houndred days to the East