Mary’s Song by Sylvia Plath #Wintersolstice #Shoah #Holocaust

image-4737610Mary’s Song

The Sunday lamb cracks in its fat.
The fat
Sacrifices its opacity. . . .A window, holy gold.
The fire makes it precious,
The same fireMelting the tallow heretics,
Ousting the Jews.
Their thick palls floatOver the cicatrix of Poland, burnt-out
They do not die.Grey birds obsess my heart,
Mouth-ash, ash of eye.
They settle.  On the high

That emptied one man into space
The ovens glowed like heavens, incandescent.

It is a heart,
This holocaust I walk in,
O golden child the world will kill and eat.


Sylvia Plath
 Buy the Faber Book of 20th Century Women’s Poetry, ed. Fleur Adcock, from an indie bookseller here.





#wintersolstice Sheep in Fog by Sylvia Plath #iNeedFeminismBecause

Sheep In Fog

The hills step off into whiteness.
People or stars
Regard me sadly, I disappoint them.

The train leaves a line of breath.
O slow
Horse the colour of rust,

Hooves, dolorous bells –
All morning the
Morning has been blackening,

A flower left out.
My bones hold a stillness, the far
Fields melt my heart.

They threaten
To let me through to a heaven
Starless and fatherless, a dark water.

sylvia Plath


photos by:

Buy the Faber Book of 20th Century Women’s Poetry, ed. Fleur Adcock, from an indie bookseller here.

Natalie Diaz It Was The Animals


It Was the Animals


Today my brother brought over a piece of the ark
wrapped in a white plastic grocery bag.
He set the bag on my dining table, unknotted it,
peeled it away, revealing a foot-long fracture of wood.
He took a step back and gestured toward it
with his arms and open palms —
            It’s the ark, he said.
            You mean Noah’s ark? I asked.
            What other ark is there? he answered.
            Read the inscription, he told me,
            it tells what’s going to happen at the end.
            What end? I wanted to know.
            He laughed, What do you mean, “what end”?
            The end end.
Then he lifted it out. The plastic bag rattled.
His fingers were silkened by pipe blisters.
He held the jagged piece of wood so gently.
I had forgotten my brother could be gentle.
He set it on the table the way people on television
set things when they’re afraid those things might blow-up
or go-off — he set it right next to my empty coffee cup.
It was no ark —
it was the broken end of a picture frame
with a floral design carved into its surface.
He put his head in his hands —
            I shouldn’t show you this — 
            God, why did I show her this?
            It’s ancient — O, God,
            this is so old.
            Fine, I gave in, Where did you get it?
            The girl, he said. O, the girl.
            What girl? I asked.
            You’ll wish you never knew, he told me.
I watched him drag his wrecked fingers
over the chipped flower-work of the wood —
            You should read it. But, O, you can’t take it — 
            no matter how many books you’ve read.
He was wrong. I could take the ark.
I could even take his marvelously fucked fingers.
The way they almost glittered.
It was the animals — the animals I could not take —
they came up the walkway into my house,
cracked the doorframe with their hooves and hips,
marched past me, into my kitchen, into my brother,
tails snaking across my feet before disappearing
like retracting vacuum cords into the hollows
of my brother’s clavicles, tusks scraping the walls,
reaching out for him — wildebeests, pigs,
the oryxes with their black matching horns,
javelinas, jaguars, pumas, raptors. The ocelots
with their mathematical faces. So many kinds of goat.
So many kinds of creature.
I wanted to follow them, to get to the bottom of it,
but my brother stopped me —
            This is serious, he said.
            You have to understand.
            It can save you.
So I sat down, with my brother wrecked open like that,
and two-by-two the fantastical beasts
parading him. I sat, as the water fell against my ankles,
built itself up around me, filled my coffee cup
before floating it away from the table.
My brother — teeming with shadows —
a hull of bones, lit only by tooth and tusk,
lifting his ark high in the air.

Source: Poetry (March 2014).

“How the World Began!”: the Story of Crow. Indigenous creation story as told by Angela Sidney! #NativeLivesMatter

The Story of Crow.

(This poem starts with a daughter so precious that her parents did not want to lose her, ao they protected her and even though many men wanted her hand in marriage, they said she was too good for them. They all waited, I imagine, for the right man. She is referred to as ‘that girl.’)

Crow wanted to be born— he wants to make the world!

So he made himself into a pine needle.
A slave always brings water to that girl and one time he gets water
.   with a pine needle in it.
She turns it down— make him get freshwater.
Again he brings it. Again a pine needle is there.
Four times he brings water and each time it’s there.
Finally she just give up— She spit that pine needle out and drink the
.   water.
But it blew into her mouth and she swallowed it.
Soon the girl is pregnant.

Her mother and daddy are mad.
Her mother asks, “Who’s that father?”

“No, I never knew a man,” she told her mother.

That baby starts to grow fast.
That girl’s father had the sun, moon, stars, daylight hanging in his
.   house.
He’s the only one that has them.
The world was all dark, all the time.
The child begged for them to play with.

Finally, the father gives his grandchild the sun to play with.
He rolls it around, plays with it, laughs, has lots of fun.
Then he rolls it to the door and out it goes!
“Oh!” he cries. He just pretends.
He cries because that sun is lost.

“Give me the moon to play with.”

They say no at first— like now, if a baby asks for the sun or moon you
.   say,
“That’s your grandfather’s fire.”

Finally, they gave it to him.

One by one they gave him the sun, moon, stars, daylight—
He loses them all.

“Where does she get the child from? He loses everything!”
That’s what her father says.

Then Crow disappears.
He has to things with him in the box.
He walks around— comes to a river.
Lots of animals there— fox, wolf, wolverine, mink, rabbit.
Everybody’s fishing…
That time animals all talk like people talk now—
The world is dark.

“Give me fish,” Crow says.
No one pay any attention.
“Give me fish or I’ll bring daylight!”
They laugh at him.

He’s holding a box… starts to open it and lets one ray out.
Then they pay attention!
He opens that books a bit more—they are scared!
Finally he opens that daylight box and threw it out.
Those animals scatter!
They hide in the bush and turn into animals like now.
Then the sun, moon, stars, and daylight come out.

“Go to the skies,” Crow says.
“Now no man owns it— it will be for everybody.”

He’s right, what he says that Crow.

After Crow made the world, he saw that sea lion owned the only island
. in the world.
The rest was water— he’s the only one with land.
The whole place was ocean!
Crawl rests on a piece of log— he’s tired.
He sees see lion with that little island just for himself.
He wants some land to so he stole that sea lion’s kid.

“Give me back that kid!” said sea lion.

“Give me beach, some sand,” says Crow.

So sea lion gave him sand.
Crow threw that sand around the world.
“Be World,” he told it. And it became the world.

After that, he walks around, flies around all alone.
He’s tired— he’s lonely— he needs people.
He took poplar tree bark. You know how it’s thick?
He carved it and then he breathed into i.

“Live!” he said, and he made a person.
He made Crow and Wolf to too.
At first they can’t talk to each other—
Crow man and woman are shy with each other— look away.
Wolf the same way too.

“This is no good,” he said. So we change that.
He made Crow man sit with Wolf woman.
And he made Wolf Man sit with Crow woman.
So Crow must marry Wolf and Wolf must marry Crow.

That’s how the world began.

“You tell what you know.
The way I tell stories is what I know.”

Angela Sidney.



As told by Angela Sidney in “Life Lived Like a Story: Life Stories of Three Yukon Native Elders.” By Julie Cruikshank, p. 42.

Library in Toronto:

Order online:
– NEW: or at

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Start of story:
“One time there was a girl whose daddy is a very high man.
They kept her in her bedroom all the time—
Men try to marry her all the time, but they say no, she’s too good.”

Creation: God and the animals look after the people. Indigenous poem and story! OUT of print, indigenous poets.

Native Creation Story. By Phil Lane as told by Richard Wagamese. I love these lines of encouragement and responsibility- a legal contract of sorts between God and the Animal People.

“You will need to be more than brothers and sisters, you will need to be his teachers.”

And the Creator thinks all their ideas are good and still wants to find another place. The smallest of the Animal People and not very powerful, the mole, has the best idea– this is a legal tradition whereby not only judges and politicians create the laws, but the least powerful are acknowledged, welcomed and show they have good ideas.


God and the Animal People look after a new creature.

IN THE TIME BEFORE there were human beings on Earth, the Creator called a great meeting of the Animal People.

During that period of the world’s history, the Animal People lived harmoniously with one another and could speak to the Creator with one mind. They were very curious about the reason for the gathering. When they had all assembled together, the Creator spoke.

“I am sending a strange new creature to live among you,” he told the Animal People. “He is to be called Man and he is to be your brother.

“But unlike you he will have no fur on his body, will walk on two legs and will not be able to speak with you. Because of this he will need your help in order to survive and become who I am creating him to be. You will need to be more than brothers and sisters, you will need to be his teachers.

“Man will not be like you. He will not come into the world like you. He will not be born knowing and understanding who and what he is. He will have to search for that. And it is in the search that he will find himself.

“He will also have a tremendous gift that you do not have. He will have the ability to dream. With this ability he will be able to invent great things and because of this he will move further and further away from you and will need your help even more when this happens.

“But to help him I am going to send him out into the world with one very special gift. I am going to give him the gift of the knowledge of Truth and Justice. But like his identity it must be a search, because if he finds this knowledge too easily he will take it for granted. So I am going to hide it and I need your help to find a good hiding-place. That is why I have called you here.”

A great murmur ran through the crowd of Animal People. They were excited at the prospect of welcoming a new creature into the world and they were honoured by the Creator’s request for their help. This was truly an important day.

One by one the Animal People came forward with suggestions of where the Creator should hide the gift of knowledge of Truth and Justice.

“Give it to me, my Creator,” said the Buffalo, “and I will carry it on my hump to the very centre of the plains and bury it there.”

“A good idea, my brother,” the Creator said, “but it is destined that Man should cover most of the world and he would find it there too easily and take it for granted.”

“Then give it to me,” said the Salmon, “and I will carry it in my mouth to the deepest part of the ocean and I will hide it there.”

“Another excellent idea,” said the Creator, “but it is destined that with his power to dream, Man will invent a device that will carry him there and he would find it too easily and take it for granted.”

“Then I will take it,” said the Eagle, “and carry it in my talons and fly to the very face of the Moon and hide it there.”

“No, my brother,” said the Creator, “even there he would find it too easily because Man will one day travel there as well.”

Animal after animal came forward with marvellous suggestions on where to hide this precious gift, and one by one the Creator turned down their ideas. Finally, just when discouragement was about to invade their circle, a tiny voice spoke from the back of the gathering. The Animal People were all surprised to find that the voice belonged to the Mole.

The Mole was a small creature who spent his life tunnelling through the earth and because of this had lost most of the use of his eyes. Yet because he was always in touch with Mother Earth, the Mole had developed true spiritual insight.

The Animal People listened respectfully when Mole began to speak.

“I know where to hide it, my Creator,” he said. “I know where to hide the gift of the knowledge of Truth and Justice.”

“Where then, my brother?” asked the Creator. “Where should I hide this gift?”

“Put it inside them,” said the Mole. “Put it inside them because then only the wisest and purest of heart will have the courage to look there.”

And that is where the Creator placed the gift of the knowledge of Truth and Justice.
Found in “Indigenous Legal Traditions,” Prof. John Borrows.

“Professor and Chair in Aboriginal Justice and Governance, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria. The author would like to acknowledge the support of the Law Commission of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in the preparation of this Article.”
Footnote 152:
Based on a story by Phil Lane, Jr., Four Worlds Development, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, as retold by Richard Wagamese, in ROYAL COMMISSION ON ABORIGINAL PEOPLES, RESTRUCTURING THE RELATIONSHIP (1996)


The streets of London, UK. Smash the Windows by Maura Dooley!

By Maura Dooley. This is how I remember London and the summers I spent in Tufnell Park Road with family friends. Curry the favourite dish, sambal on a sandwich, dog in the park, someone paid to clean the park, pale day light and shortcuts that sometimes ended up in a different place that only looked alike.

Smash the Windows.

1. The Misted Pane
2. Egg on a Bap
3. Knock at the Door
4. A Draught of Air
5. Turd on the Step
6. Fox in a Wheelie Bin
7. Toke on the Swings
8. Parakeet in the Oak
9. The Short Way Home
10. Glass on the Pavement
Homesick for London. Especially Tufnell Park and Hyde Park, Kew Gardens, Nando’s Charing Cross Road, National Portrait Museum, Southwark Cathedral, Royal Festival Hall…The Docklands.
From: London a History in Verse, ed by Mark Ford.


“How the animals broke through the sky.” Indigenous Winter Solstice poem! As told by Angela Sidney.

moon solstice

Beautiful Indigenous Winter Solstice Poem!!!

“How the animals broke through the sky.”

Our Winter Solstice Bonfire on Cherry Beach is on Native grounds. 
This is a Winter Solstice story and poem as told by Angela Sidney.

How the animals broke through the sky.

One time the sky used to come right down to saltwater
Here the animals lived on the Winterside it was cold.
Squirrel always came amongst other animals crying all the time

One time they asked her,
“what are you crying for?”

“My kids all froze up again.”
Every now and then her children her babies all froze up.

So they went to a meeting, all the animals, they are going to try to poke a hole through the sky.
They are on the Winterside and they are going to poke a hole through the sky so they can have summertime too.
Summer is on the other side.


So they gathered together with all kinds of people —they are animals though —
Blood sucker is the one they picked to go through that hole.
He poked that hole and then different animals went through that hole.
Wolverine is the one who made that hole bigger —
he went through pulling a dry moose skin — made that hole bigger.
That’s how they all got through.

Now they are going to steal good weather.
they went to a high person — he’s got all the weather —the hot air,
cold air
He’s got flowers and leaves.
So they took all that — they stole it when people weren’t home.

But there was one old man there.
He went outside— took his blanket outside and waved it around his head

Get winter time over there and summer over here.
“Don’t go away for good,” he told them.
He kept them from taking summer completely away.

That’s how, when winter goes for good that’s the time we get summer.
Then when summer goes back to the south side, that’s the time we get winter.

He waved his blanket and said,
“Don’t go away for good,” he told the weather.
“Go back-and-forth.”

Those two worlds were side by side —winter on one side, summer on the other.
On one side were winter animals — on the other, summer animals.
They broke the sky down, and after, it went up

After they got it across, they bust it — the summer bag.
Pretty soon, snow melted —they got leaves.
They had all the leaves tied up in a balloon.
Then they bust the balloon and all the summer things came out.

As told by Angela Sidney in “Life Lived Like a Story: Life Stories of Three Yukon Native Elders.”
By Julie Cruikshank, p. 49.

Library in Toronto:

Order online:
– New: or at
– Used:

‪#‎IndigenousLivesMatter‬ ‪#‎WinterSolstice‬ ‪#‎WinterSolsticebonfire‬ ‪#‎AmINext‬

Michael Ondaatje: To Colombo.


Returning from Sigiriya hills
in their high green the grey
animal fortress rock claws of stone
rumors of wild boar


paddy terraces
bullocks brown men
who rise knee deep like the earth
out of the earth…”

Sunlight sunlight

stop for the cool kurumba
scoop the half formed white
into our mouths
tarpaulin walls of the jeep
to receive lowland air
                                    on a bench behind sunlight
                                    the woman the coconuts the knife