See what happens to words when you string them together to try to make sense of the world? It was something much more vital (in the true sense of the word) that brought me back here to re-engage. An old friend, Bill Metcalfe, who used to live on the banks of the Bulkley River and near Driftwood Creek (downstream of one of the proposed pipeline crossings) told his Facebook friends about Say the Names. (Thanks Bill.) Bill's son was born within a km of the river and we've taken all three of his children down to fish and swim in a welcoming eddy further down river, a beautiful place where Twobridge (or Reiseter) Creek flows into the Bulkley and eddies back upstream to form a safe, warm pool behind a large rock outcrop.
We've taken our own boys there many times, and as they grew, they've taken friends and special girls down the same trail to listen to the sounds of water and stone speaking to each other. I'm hoping this summer, we just might be able to take our first grandchild to that same spot and introduce him or her to the water.
But before then, we'll be making our presentations to the joint review panel as wends its unriverlike way across the north. And Creekstone Press will have published a print version of The Enpipe Line: 70,000+ km of collaborative poetry written in resistance to Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway Pipelines. Click here.
Here's my contribution.
Some Rivers (291.6 km of poetry in a font one km tall)
courses? Scouring and scraping, cliffs collapsing
and bridges washed out? All these crashing chords
and tragic denouements sinking into stinking tidal flats.
Something in the key of huge.
A quiet seepage—
too quiet, really, to be called a spring—
can unlock the earth’s heat.
The ice exhales and opens
a pool for this dipper
bobbing on a rock.
It dives in and finds a current
that’s warmer than the winter air.
There’s spirit in there somewhere,
and bouncing back, the bird
it dipsy doodles
on the slippery dance floor
tapping out some bebop riff
we all wish that we could follow.
Something in the key of home.
If you've never seen a dipper, watch An American Dipper in Paris.
Please keep sending creektalk and river song.