to speak of her, in this time
salts my eyes, with pride
sea to mountain, her
nature, her strength
her diverse peoples too

yet we must face vile truths
darkness of humanity
those who first walked
this magnificent land
First People’s tormented by:
John A Macdonald’s “extinguishing”
stripping their sacred land
their languages outlawed
sent to brutal, residential schools

my eyes salted more to see
finally, finally, finally
reconciliation, not yet perfect
bringing people’s together to
say this, all of our Canada
our home, on native land

photos and poem © DC Lessoway

ClehsmqWEAAHL7K.jpg-largeborn in her ninety-seventh year
how I’ve seen her strive, fail, grow
leaders great, lesser, petty
tried their stamp, impress their will
yet she shined though it all
her people, from the spirit of
aboriginal humanity to the
immigrant seeking, hungering
a better, sheltered, certain life
her multi-coloured communities
match her noble, audacious bearing
my heart bursts with love in how
she stands a symbol for a better way
a greater world

photo-3

 

look, there, out there
a nation under threatening pall
aged one hundred and forty-seven
at which
at just past ninety-seven, this lad
came wailing onto grasslands
foothills of the distant Rockies
during a brief inferno
in a town, named by a priest
who said, in French,
“such a grand prairie”
there resided, under “Pop’s” gaze
winters, long, brutal, spent in town
summers, dry, blustery, suffused in lake water
nearly twenty season cycles, then
led me to this costal metropolis

to find, define myself

now thirty cycles later
ache of age clutches, scratches
at the exit
my pen, ever sharper
gives conjecture to my
looking backward
at, thus far, a country
my country, I love her bounty
my country, I love her grace
though distaste, at times, hostility
finds my heart, pointedly towards
the regime
I still find, nature resplendent
no less inspiring today
than in my first steps
people, it’s people
boundless, sublime multicultural sweep
what lessons I’ve acquired
from those multitude of voices
repeating this:
“I Love Canada”

Words and picture © 2014 by DC Lessoway

my dear Canada, our home on native land
how true our hearts are to this beautiful north
we in the west, look to the east in worry
as we graded, stand, for what is gloriously free
a toe dipped in Cape Spear, or Tofino
from tundra’d glory of Cape Columbia
to southern bijou of Middle Island

then…

on my sleeve I bleed, my eyes weep
to hear fingers pointed, anger expressed
at each other, no matter recent
or forever denizen
or silly down-putting of those
successful in all points of the earth

prefer I do, the once peacekeeper’d stance
how it made me proud
of my country, my Canada

no matter, love you, I do

© 2013 by DC Lessoway

From West to East a voyage to witness
invigorating breezes in spirited rain forests
unsullied waters raging through canyons of grace
standing watch, the mountains of rocky nobility
breathe in, see the azure over sprawling prairie wheat baskets
paddling streams, rivers, lakes of teeming wildlife
quieted, forever stretching tundra of polar bears, arctic foxes
on to the bedrock of an ageless, abounding shield
to walk the red earth, to the stony Atlantic costal yield

From West to East a voyage to witness
Drumming, song, food, heritage of First Nations
sounds, smells, diversity of languages on the south-west coast
stetsoned hospitality galloping through waves of the foothills
fresh food, around the prairie family farm table
jump to the locks of the lakes some wine, some fish, conversation
to dive into the rich french culture, food and ballads
friendly food, pubs and laughter of east coast peoples
up to the north, the Inuit strong, with kind faces

come away to witness a strong country
come away grateful for my birthright
rich in people, in resources, in diversity
this my country
this my Canada
my home, on native land

© 2012 by DC Lessoway