#Indigenous #poem #Native #Thanksgiving We thank the Great Spirit

Canadian Thanksgiving is today. Monday October 10, 2016.

I chose the sentences of this prayer that remind me of why we protest, protect and why we give thanks.
So many lovely turns of phrases: “trees that grow shadows”; “the light which we call our oldest brother” and “the kind being of the darkness that gives us light.” They all turn around how we think of things in our world. In western art and science shadows exist when something stands in the light and another part of it does not, we centre the light and the relation instead of the tree. The moon here is someone who belongs with us instead of an object that serves us, that revolves around us, that creates ebb and flow. The moon a kind being of the darkness, where darkness is not immediately frightening, does not first and foremost hold danger; blackness as kindness.

Giving thanks for the workers who took care of and brought in the harvest. Thanking the singers. Thanking those who hold ceremonies. Thanking all the women who do all this cooking -still.  
Enjoy your family and if you don’t have any, go out and walk in the sun, be outside, roll yourself to a park.

The Thanksgivings
Harriet Maxwell Converse

Translated from a traditional Iroquois prayer

[…] We thank the Great Spirit for the water that comes out of the earth and runs
for our lands.
[…]
We thank the Great Spirit for the branches of the trees that grow shadows
for our shelter.
We thank the Great Spirit for … the thunder
and lightning that water the earth.

We thank the Great Spirit for the light which we call our oldest brother, the sun
that works for our good.
We thank the Great Spirit for all the fruits that grow on the trees and vines.
We thank the Great Spirit for the goodness in making the forests,

and thank
all its trees.
We thank the Great Spirit for the darkness that gives us rest, and for the kind Being
of the darkness that gives us light, the moon.
We thank the Great Spirit for the bright spots in the skies that give us signs,
the stars.
We give the Great Spirit thanks for our workers, who had charge of our harvests.
We give thanks that the voice of the Great Spirit can still be heard
through the words of Ga-ne-o-di-o.
[…]
We thank the Great Spirit for all the persons who perform the ceremonies
on this occasion.

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Beatriz Hierro Lopes-It’s almost dark #sexwork is decent

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B/W 1951 Caucasian boy + Black girl walking on rural train tracks / Louisiana / documentary shot credit: Archival Films? No known artist.

It’s almost dark.
Women of different ages await the arrival of someone […] While waiting, they talk to the stones with eyes that bear the widowhood of days. I’ve seen them all my life. Away from the stones, close to the sea. In the days when striped beach huts were hired, picnic lunches and folding chairs were taken to the sand and the children were learning to swim in the sea, well away, golden little dots appearing in the tides. I can see their whole lives. They used to arrive in the morning and leave when the afternoon came to an end, shaking the sand off their feet. Their faces broken by the sun reach out today to the stones’ muteness. I see them and I walk on: this street is a route far too far away from the sea.
It’s dark. The traffic lights illuminate the clearings. The city is a forest where each man is a model for the meagreness of the vineyards. Slow, they walk along the avenue, vine bodies burnt by the January moonlight. The wind triggers no movement at all, not a single gesture: only twigs lie along the dark overcoat of these cold days. These are no women to be talking to stones. […]  I see them coming up the avenue, their shadows going down it, piercing them like a section of a past to which returning is not denied. Each one separate, divided, two marching selves, walking the streets in opposite directions and none truly knows up to which point they’re allowed to go back.
[…]

Beatriz Hierro Lopes

Translated by Ana Hudson, 2015

http://www.poemsfromtheportuguese.org/Beatriz_Hierro_Lopes

“Beatriz Hierro Lopes was born in Porto. She has a degree in History.
Poetry books since 2000: É quase noite (2013), Espartilho (2015)”

É quase noite.
Mulheres de diferentes idades esperam a chegada de quem as há-de levar. Enquanto esperam, falam às pedras com os olhos que carregam a viuvez dos dias. Vi-as toda a vida. Longe das pedras, junto ao mar. Quando se alugavam barracas listadas, se levava almoço e cadeiras desdobráveis para a areia, os miúdos aprendendo a nadar no mar, distantes delas, sendo só os seus pontinhos dourados, aparecendo entre marés. Vejo-lhes toda a vida. Chegavam de manhã e partiam ao fim da tarde, sacudindo dos pés a areia. Rostos quebrados de sol que hoje convergem até à mudez das pedras. Vejo-as e passo: esta rua é um caminho demasiado distante do mar.
Está escuro. As luzes dos semáforos alumiam as clareiras. A cidade é uma floresta em que cada homem serve de modelo à magreza das videiras. Marcham lentos ao longo da avenida, corpos de vinha queimada pelo luar de Janeiro. Nenhum movimento é despoletado pelo vento, nem um só gesto: só galhos estendidos ao longo do sobretudo negro destes dias frios. Não são mulheres que falem às pedras. São os homens para quem o haver ainda rosto é uma irregularidade que brevemente será suprimida. Uma individualidade que se esgota na divergência entre o andar recto e o andar por dentro. Vejo-os caminhando avenida acima, e as suas sombras caminhando avenida abaixo, atravessando-os como parte de um passado a que não negam regresso. Cada um separado, dividido, dois eus caminhantes, passeando pelas ruas em direcções opostas, sem que alguém saiba verdadeiramente até onde se pode regressar.
Voltar só é possível até um certo ponto. Regressa-se e regressa-se à possibilidade possível, e o que não é possível, o voltar à forma original, embrionária de colo materno, mantém-se na linha questionável deste horizonte que os braços podados das videiras já não podem alcançar. Resta-lhes isto, o corpo metafórico de uma ideia que apenas existe como forma de dizer: — já é noite há tanto tempo.

 

 

 

 

 

E.J. Scovell Geese on the Park Water #CanadaReads

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Photographer unknown.

The Geese on the Park Water

1
The Canada geese
Pose in the light and dark of ripples,
And in and out of narrow shadows
Pose, compose, improvising
Their endless eloquent line.

 

The Swan’s Feet

Who is this whose feet
Close on the water,
Like muscled leaves darker than ivy
Blown back and curved by unwearying wind?
They, that thrust back the water,
Softly crumple now and close, stream in his wake.

These dank weeds are also
Part and plumage of the magnolia-flowering swan.
He puts forth these too—
Leaves of ridged and bitter ivy
Sooted in towns, coal-bright with rain.
He is not moved by winds in air
Like the vain boats on the lake.

Lest you think him too a flower of parchment,
Scentless magnolia,
See his living feet under the water fanning.
In the leaves’ self blows the efficient wind
That opens and bends closed those leaves.

 

Edith Joy Scovell, called Joy, was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, in 1907 and she went up to Somerset College, the women’s college founded at Oxford University in 1879.

Scovell accompanied her husband, the distinguished Oxford ecologist and naturalist Charles Elton, to Central and South America and the West Indies as a recorder and field researcher.

Flame-Heart by Claude McKay; his tropical memories. Black History.

Flame-Heart by Claude McKay; his tropical memories.

SO much have I forgotten in ten years,
So much in ten brief years! I have forgot
What time the purple apples come to juice,
And what month brings the shy forget-me-not.
I have forgot the special, startling season
Of the pimento’s flowering and fruiting;
What time of year the ground doves brown the fields
And fill the noonday with their curious fluting.
I have forgotten much, but still remember
The poinsettia’s red, blood-red in warm December.

I still recall the honey-fever grass,
But cannot recollect the high days when
We rooted them out of the ping-wing path
To stop the mad bees in the rabbit pen.
I often try to think in what sweet month
The languid painted ladies used to dapple
The yellow by-road mazing from the main,
Sweet with the golden threads of the rose-apple.
I have forgotten–strange–but quite remember
The poinsettia’s red, blood-red in warm December.

What weeks, what months, what time of the mild year
We cheated school to have our fling at tops?
What days our wine-thrilled bodies pulsed with joy
Feasting upon blackberries in the copse?
Oh some I know! I have embalmed the days
Even the sacred moments when we played,
All innocent of passion, uncorrupt,
At noon and evening in the flame-heart’s shade.
We were so happy, happy, I remember,
Beneath the poinsettia’s red in warm December.