Banff Fluff

This poem is dedicated to Roy Reif.

Greetings from beef & ski
Where well-heeled hunters
strut shoulder to flake
with monocled snowmen
who own sham aboriginal kitsch boutiques
where leather and fox fur lay limp over whale bone
& the polished elk antlers of excess Canadiana
come through the bright lights & cruelly crocheted crags
& you may see a bear destroyed
whose prints and scat can be tracked back
along the tar-pit pipe, buried through Jasper
till it reaches the orifice of Dawson’s Creek & bleeds
he once danced in rhythm by the spukani & saka’am*
in Salish land, through the Okanagan,
into the accommodating Rockies
where dirt deities offered berries every summer –
buffalo, huckle, salal –
lately the land lays coerced
the tourist reduced to grease
both the grizzly and glacier
& the berry became gummy
glucose-fructose maple syrup
seeping into waffled continental breakfast
all included in the price of a room

-Banff, 2008

*Salish words for sun and moon.

Piotr Pawlowski

Piotr Pawlowski is currently enjoying himself thoroughly. Unemployed and uneducated in any conventional sense he digs dumpster diving, gardening and bicycles. His work has been published in various anthologies and obscure electronic literary journals including The Saving Bannister Vol.23, Four and Twenty Poetry, The Writer’s Block etc…You can find more of his work on his site. He now resides in St. Catherine’s, ON.

“Banff Fluff was a reaction to the isolation that found a breeding ground in my soul during the two months that I spent in that transient city. I worked the 6 a.m. shift at the High Country Inn which only aided the dark mood that manifested in this verse as I became more and more disillusioned with the contradiction of having a resort town nestled inside a national park, more and more of which (national and provincial parks that is) are playing the part of golden geese for their exploiters.”

Read more of Piotr Pawlowski’s poetry:
Sunset w/Hunter and his Hell’s Angels

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.

One Response to “Banff Fluff”

  1. I agree whole heart with the sentiments of this poem.

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