Something that has been delayed in issuing here for too long: my latest Other Press article, from last month’s issue, about multiculturalism in this country. Hope you like it.
The following poem was first performed at the Book Launch & Open Mic event at Renaissance Bookstore, New Westminster, 2 Dec 2012:
Beyond Snow and Maple Leaves
There before me
The snow country stood.
Lifeless, thin branches supported by
Equally thin, hollow trunks.
The leaves of maple lying on the ground.
What to think, what to feel?
What to see beyond all these?
Is there more to this land than snow and maple leaves?
Are we all guys and gals who
Skim before the rink like swans with metal feet
Bearing long downward pikes
Prepared to hit the rubber cookie back and forth
Like some preordained play
Armoured we are with padding and helmet?
Are we brothers
Donning toques and thick jackets
Sitting in a log cabin
Atop some sofa
Talking to a camera
On how buffoons and self-deprecators we are, eh?
Laughing at ourselves and not taking us too seriously
To the point where self-respect disappears gravely?
Are we more than just moose, beavers, geese?
Are we more than the mountains, wheat fields
And lakes that surround us?
Are we more than a certain brand of beer,
Are we just those polite guys up the border
The ones the union of the south tends to forget frequently?
Can we be more than stereotypes?
Can we be more than just multiculturalism
Can we be more than acommodating
And towards cooperating?
Towards cooperation and the common good?
Towards the welfare of all and the history of all?
To a land that does not forget the past
But cherishes it and learns from it?
A place where it’s not just your culture
But the culture of this land.
This place where we just find ourselves to be.
In awe of it than taming it?
I rest, before the snow.
The leaves strewn beside me and above me.
The blank-gray sky stares before me
Asking me what I to do
What I believe in.
What kind of dominion or puissance I believe in.
I said, yes I believe in.
Believe in what is the good of all and the past of all.
On what values we cherish,
More than just Parliament and Charter.
A land of nature, place and time
A land where the good of all is the good of you.