Non-confidence Vote

there’s Writing On Stone
semes shift
shield deliverance
water curved horse back
single count of a stave
the wind is
eyes rocks
low carve
of elk antler and
palms out distance
every year
begins to rhyme

but the flight data to goldenrod and wild caragana is scattered even jaded margins found on islands
so history
teaches us that villages
get taken over families
wiped out and
the few fortunate enough to move on
take a few cooking skills with them
o black water keep on rolling
life contained is
the slow uprooted
carrot lets go her stake
while severed day points down
o black water keep on rolling

~ Weyman Chan

Weyman Chan’s first book, Before a Blue Sky Moon, won the 2002 Writers Guild of Alberta Stephansson Poetry Award; his second book, Noise From the Laundry, was a finalist for the 2008 Governor General’s Award for Poetry. The poems included here are from his third book, Hypoderm, which will be published by Talonbooks in Spring, 2010.

“‘Home’ to me means any kind of real or imagined construct of familiarity, comfort or solace that I come to associate as part of who I am… so I then form emotional attachments to it: all of us need to build a sense of personal history, and finding a place to call home satisfies this deep, underlying need.”

Read more of Weyman Chan’s poetry:
Near Milk River, looking for the Sweetgrass Hills

Editor’s note: This poem is from Home and Away – a sequel to the bestselling Writing the Land (2007). Look for one poet to be featured each day as Alberta poets ponder the question “what is home?” and explore our complex relationship with working on, living with, exploiting and protecting our land and our home. For more information about the project, click here.

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