Working out on Gavin's woodpile safe within the harmony of kin visions begin to crowd my eyes like a meteor shower in the autumn skies and the soil beneath me seems to moan with a sound like the wind through a hollow bone and my mind fills with figures like Lappish runes of power... And log slams on rough-hewn log and a voice from somewhere scolds a barking dog.
I remember a bleak-eyed prisoner in the Stoney Mountain life-suspension home you drink and fight and damage someone and they throw you away for some years of boredom one year done and five more to go -- no job waiting so no parole and over and over they tell you that you're nothing... And I toss another log on Gavin's woodpile and wonder at the lamp-warm window's welcome smile.
I remember crackling embers coloured windows shining through the rain like the coloured slicks on the English River death in the marrow and death in the liver and some government gambler with his mouth full of steak saying "if you can't eat the fish, fish in some other lake. To watch a people die -- it is no new thing. " and the stack of wood grows higher and higher and a helpless rage seems to set my brain on fire.
And everywhere the free space fills like a punctured diving suit and I'm paralyzed in the face of it all cursed with the curse of these modern times
Distant mountains, blue and liquid, luminous like a thickening of sky flash in my mind like a stairway to life -- a train whistle cuts through the scene like a knife three hawks wheel in a dazzling sky -- a slow motion jet makes them look like a lie and I'm left to conclude there's no human answer near... But there's a narrow path to a life to come that explodes into sight with the power of the sun.
A mist rises as the sun goes down and the light that's left forms a kind of crown the earth is bread, the sun is wine it's a sign of a hope that's ours for all time.
(Burritt's Rapids 17/11/75)
(* "Lappish runes" -- Lapp Shamans covered their drums with striking magical symbols, which were then used to divine, contact spirits, etc.) (* "English River" -- river system in north-western Ontario, polluted with mercury for the next hundred years by the Reid paper company. Nobody is doing much about the fact that the native people who live along its course have lost both food and liveliho