Poet Commentaries


the indigenous of me
the verge explodes
beside plowed field


The poem below was for a contest where one had to write in 12 lines about the country one lived in. (the haiku at the start was written two years ago)  I jumped in and, for this contest, became the spokesman for Canada.  Wow was that a mistake. Twelve lines is not enough and one voice sounds arrogant.  

I will tell you a story.  Once when I was much younger the subject of our Native people came up.  I remember talking about how ridiculous and how unjust the situation was.  Oh how I went on.  The rant sprang out of the trouble I had being a small business owner in Canada.  It went on for sometime.  When I paused one of the woman looked at me and said “I am an Indian”.  She was smiling at my discomfort.

Desparately I reviewed my arguments to see if I had offended her.  I had not.  I did not once fault the Indians and take to name calling or derogatory language.  Frankly, I do not do this and certainly have nothing bad to say about them.  Her and I were able to talk for sometime about the impossibility of perfect solutions because neither of us blamed the other.  It was still a tough conversation.

There was no actual sweet grass burned but if I imagine the ceremony our talk would fit perfectly.

For this write I chose two non native elements to Canada.  Teosinte is said to be the ancestor to corn and it comes out of Peru.  Einkorn is the wild parent of today’s domesticated wheat.  It is odd but one thing the modern relatives of these plants have in common is that they can no longer survive without man.  They are domesticated.  Sometimes I wish I was not the same, that I could go back to an undomesticated form of me.  I wonder what that would look like. 


Teosinte to corn, Einkorn to wheat.
From Peru and Turkey they came
in the pockets and holds of peoples.
Seeds bounced and jiggled in portages
carried over raw rough trails to home.


The pull of every paddle leaves dimples
each planted seed takes away indigenous.
Each step to each other leaves scars.
We blush each fall with this beautiful lady
and seek the power of her sweet grass.

Follow Fragrance of Sage on
%d bloggers like this: