Small Stones for January 19 to 21, 2016
Jan. 19 2016
“I know of no species of plant, bird or animal that were exterminated until the coming of the white man. The white man considered natural animal life upon this continent as “pests”. There is no word in the Lakota vocabulary with the English meaning of this word…” — Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux, 1868-1937 from 365 Days of Walking The Red Road, Terri Jean
Cry for the animals whose spirits no longer roam
our forests, the fish absent from our rivers, the birds
no longer soaring above us, nor raising young in nests
sequestered in our trees.
No thought was given when we cried instead for progress,
sent toxins and noxious fumes into the air. They are the spectres
that return to haunt us in the rising waters of the North,
the torn fabric of the ozone, the rusted red pillars of evergreens.
They bear witness to the legacy of industry, and to the truth
that we never foresee consequences, searching always
for solutions and forgiveness for our sins
of commission, of omission, always deadly.
Jan. 20 2016
“It is easy to live within the shadow of fear, procrastination and pessimism…” 365 Days of Walking the Red Road, Terri Jean
With this, I would argue that it is not an easy shadow, but bears down,
a heavy iron curtain blocking out the sun revealing itself in
rain shadows that live in winter, never shedding soft warm tears of a summer sky.
Jan. 21 2016
“This morning the light/Changes on the wall opposite”— from Venetian Light, Crow-Work, Eric Pankey
And I think about winter sunlight, crisp and white by noon, then
golden and slanting from the west by 3 o’clock.
In summer, the light in Vancouver, different from Eastern light
somehow more mellow, yet white, not yellow, till later at evening
as it sinks into the mirror of the Fraser River
The sun shines more brightly over Canada even in winter, while
the light in Budapest seems watery at best, somehow the sun
always telling time as 3 o’clock. Even English light in January, more like
candlelight than sun, not the bright star that reigns over Ottawa.