Saturday, 31 March 2012

All The Ones That They Call Lowly

David Campbell is a deeply gifted poet & songwriter. Of his many albums, the one that I have listened to one hundred thousand times, because it appealed to my young children and most equally, it appealed to me, is called, "Through the Eyes of a Child."

Here is a gifted teacher, sharing what he knows, not only with the children of the world, but with the aged children now grown, parenting, struggling with the past and the present and sometimes the future, too. (This is harkening back to my first two decades of parenting.)

These are basic lessons in values and compassion, useful for all: not only all of the challenges that young people can be expected to navigate, but for all of the adult situations, too, where we are invited to turn against the people of the world, to abandon them, to agree to or to tolerate their mistreatment.

David Campbell, Songmaker

"Song making is a "calling" for me, and that has powered me to writing hundreds of songs. I am also a performing artist, singing and accompanying myself on guitar, and a recording artist with 29 cd's, the first 4 with record companies."

"Born in Guyana, South America, Arawak Indian and Portuguese ancestry, toured, and appeared on radioand television in several countries. 300 videos and counting, on YouTube, mainly of original songs. Currently writing a book. Resident of Vancouver,
Canada, and is a Canadian citizen."


"This channel celebrates the creativity and abundance I've been blessed with... containing some of the original songs I've created exercising my first creative love song making. It has been known in the past as the "Marakakore" channel. Two of my 29 cd's are now available online: "My Kind Of Song" with "Thanksgiving Song". at: My CD "Pretty Brown" at: Thanks to all who have sent in encouraging messages to this channel. Peace. David Campbell a.k.a marakakore."

More about David Campbell: A keeper of the fire on The Land of Six Peoples website,
David Campbell is the living embodiment of the power of the muses that come from a special place in the geography of Guyana's music. He is an expert wordsmith and clearly one of Guyana's most important lyricists. His ability to draw upon multiple landscapes makes him an inclusive and integrating spirit.

David has been an important ambassador and is a cultural hero. For his inspirational work, he was awarded a Wordsworth McAndrew Award by the Guyana Folk Festival Committee in 2003.
~ Dr Vibert C Cambridge

David Campbell, Songmaker, facebook
Songs for Children of all ages, youtube
Welcome to Guyana: Land of Six Peoples website, article published 2005 

Also see

David's blog, life experiences & findings
Through Arawak Eyes: the Life & Art of David Campbell

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Vancouver events: Red Jam Slam

    • Friday at 7:00pm until Sunday at 12:00pm
    • opening by musqeuam/stol:lo elder rose point

  • gallery gachet 88cordova; Rizome cafe 317 e broadway:brandiz 122 east hastings:sacred circle 33 cordova Shandon Gallery in Tinseltown aka International Village 88 West Pender

  • Opening night: by Rose Point (a Sto:lo and Musqueam elder)
    and Hank Bee

    March 30th Gallery Gachet 88 cordova STAND UP FOR
    MENTAL HEALTH 7p.m -9p.m
    ... Jay Peachy;Patricia Bene Hoolo;Clifford Daniel Moses; Jari Wilkman.

    Opening by Cease Wysse
    march 30th
    Shandon Gallery in Tinseltown aka International Village
    88 West Pender Street 5PM to 9PM
    Opening by Cease Wysse
    with 15 minute prayer circle lead by fn anglican minister viviane seegers
    Friday March 30th 5-9

    March 31st DENESULINE SOVEREIGNTY Fundraiser at the Rhizome Cafe 7pm-10p.m
    Opening by Cease Wysse
    Alexander Reyes, Chronic Vibe, JB the first
    Lady, Ostwelve, Niska Napoleon, Blues Puppy, comedy by Jay Peachy,and frog song by Super Dan
    proceeds will be going to the Denesuline Nation for the Gathering in May 2012

    March 31st venue 3 FUNDRAISER FOR BURNS LAKE VICTIMS at Bradiz 122 Hastings 8:30p.m -1a.m
    Wayne Lavallee, Hummingbird SIngers,;Rez Warriors; with slam poetry by Theo campbell , the host of late night with savages

    Shandon Gallery in Tinseltown aka International Village
    88 West Pender Street NOON to 9PM
    Friday March 3oth;,Saturday march 31st, 12-9; Sunday April fools day
    M girls, Hummingbird singers,Artist Gerry Whitehead, and Rory Dawson !!!

    APRIL FOOLS DAY JAM @ Brandiz 122 E Hastings

    April 1st Venue 4/Sacred CIrcle
    Opening by Butterflies in Spirit and Hank Bee 1a.m-6:30p.m
    artist Andre Williams on site, Woody Morrison, butterflies in spirit and melanie Rita Lecoy

    April 1st/Venue 3/Brandiz 122 East Hastings
    Opening by Butterflies In Spirit
    Bradiz by night 8:30-12;00a.m with slam poetry by theo campbell , the host of late night with savages
    RedSoulBlues Machine; Shed Nation;Rez Warriors

    media contact :gunargie o'sullivan

Monday, 26 March 2012

Women in Fish: Hours of Water

Women in Fish: Hours of Water

Rosemary Georgeson

"In the beginning there were stories and like all surviving stories this one begins with a storm. On September 7, 1962, the fishing packer The Loretta B keeled under a violent westerly blow submerging five men and one woman to the dark sea.

"The sinking of the Loretta B joins a long legacy of fishing tragedies that have ended in the drowning of men and women but in this one Eileen Lorenz, on the eve of her 18th birthday was a survivor. After being tied to fish crates by her husband and fellow crewmate, Eileen was set afloat, as one by one, four men including her husband and brother surrendered to the ocean, their bodies never to be found. After six hours in the eye of the dark storm, Eileen Lorenz was plucked from the water to bring in this new day one year older and eight months pregnant.

"Women in Fish weaves this tragedy together with the bigger tragedy of the worlds fishing industry. This story reveals women’s contributions to what was once a top industry. Little is known about the strong role women played in this industry, from waiting on shore to owning and operating their own vessels, as cannery workers and raising their children on the boats."

Working with urban ink's then-Artistic Director Marie Clements, Rosemary tracked down Eileen, who had moved away from Galiano and not spoken about the incident since it happened. Together, the three women developed the show collaboratively and interwove Eileen's survival story with those of other women from the fishing industry to tell the larger tragedy of the decline of the world's fishing industry.

read more: Untold Stories, Samantha Gough
Directed by Marie Clements (Governor General Nominee-Burning Vision) and Kathleen Flaherty (CBC Radio)
Dramaturgy by
Paula Danckert (Playwrights Workshop Montreal)
Featuring award winning designers including: Tim Matheson, Noah Drew, John Webber, Sandy Scofield, Jonathan Ryder, Richard Wilson, Rosemary Georgeson, Mia Perry, Julie Moore and David Kerr.
Written by Marie Clements with Rosemary Georegson, Eileen Lorenz and the WIF Participants.
View WIF Archival Website

Performed by Rosemary Georgeson
With Hours of Water Ensemble: Ben Cardinal, Patricia Collins, Steven Hill, Renae Morrisseau, Suzie Payne & WIF community voices

Live Performance Animated by Diane Roberts

"Women in Fish was produced by CBC as a radio documentary and a 4 part radio series and has been short listed for a prestigious Jack Webster Award for Best Documentary. Women In Fish: hours of water opened Think Vancouver in 2005 with a performance at The Vancouver Aquarium. The live version begins touring in the summer of 2010 and includes an installation as a memorial of the contributions of women to the industry, youth programming activities, public workshops and a live performance of the award winning story."


video + article posted on urban ink website, by Maziar Ghaderi on Sunday, October 25, 2009 (visit urban ink site for more images/info)
Senior Living Magazine,

 An introduction to Rosemary Georgeson, Eileen Lorenz and the use of oral storytelling in theatre

I am just enchanted by this video (top), by the adapted performance at the Shadbolt last year, and by the stories chosen to tell. The ease with which any can identify with the challenges life brings, and the generosity with which people in crises often do respond... touches the core of "we."

Sunday, 25 March 2012


The weight of cumulative grief that is crushing the Missing Women Inquiry, the need for some to be exonerated leading to cascades of official cruelty to bring the original callous and inhumane treatment outward to every door in the province, and the country, is painful to behold.

Poor Wally Oppal, sitting alone with his two dozen tax-payer supported lawyers,* every one of them there to defend the dirty fingers of the state, with all two of the new lawyers appointed to represent every other person and group, living and dead.**

Christy Clark has a lot to answer for. Come on, Vander Zalm, where's your populist fervour now? I got my shovel, where's yours?  When have we had a more important issue to put to the voters of BC: what do we want to pay for, collectively, with our tax payer dollars? Who do we want to hear from, officially, with all this time we have on our hands?

Watch Tina House report on APTN National News:


Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
like a breath of fresh air: 
yes, this is absolutely a national issue,
let us do that instead.

Okay, officially, the new lawyers are there to represent "the interests of Aboriginal people," as general, specific, and diverse, as that may be. The horror of the frank racism of the state's cumulative decisions in this matter has got to be affecting a huge swathe of people, though, who are not indigenous, and also made voiceless, by the twin sins of not being invested in burying the sins of the state, and not being detached enough from the emotion of what is going on to effectively expose and attack the mechanics of what is going on.

How deeply delving is a commission led by the culpable expected to be? There are limits to humanity, and it is a rare saint indeed who can see clearly past his own contributing education, conditioning, perspectives and decisions to be able to spot everyone else playing "not my fault."

My vague impression of Mr. Oppal as a man of character was severely over-stretched when he failed to effectively protest Christy Clark's flagrant settlerism, her soccer mom approach to killing off the opposing team, then dancing across the field calling woot woot! Now there is a lady who definitely enjoys her purse strings.

Why is it that women can be so utterly callous toward women's interests?

How is it that the twin cloaks of privilege and power make people believe they are both invisible and not accountable?

I know it is the weight of grief that is doing us in, because for myself, i tend to flinch away from the whole thing. I tune in periodically, but most of the time i spend with my mop, dealing with being a woman among the walking wounded who has a number of sisters who are the walking wounded, who live within a family of the walking wounded, within a cluster of families of the walking wounded, within communities of the walking wounded, and, all of the reverberations and the cascading effects of the same. These are the facts as i see them, and spending decades in therapy has not made me more white nor more middle class, and has not improved my economic status one iota. (The glass ceiling in my neighbourhood has been set astonishingly low. I have been thoroughly educated in all the wrong things, it seems.)

If only I could say that I was the only woman in my family who survived a near-fatal attack, then I could be the designated wounded one and everybody else could pitch in and help. But that's not how social oppression works, is it?  It is whole swathes of people marked  OKAY TO ATTACK, and whole swathes of people taught, THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO TO RELIEVE TENSION. It is clearly marked categories of humans who must be correctly identified, and unrelenting systemic attack on all of these and all of their allies.

If only I could say that I was the only woman in my family who, as a teen, fled a hostile sexist-racist milieu in one province, only to find an even more dreadful open season of options in another (province or territory or state). We have been run ragged seeking out our safe space, and have settled across two countries and three provinces, just waiting for the white ball to come rolling this way again, and relocate the all of us, scatter me more.

To say that all of my siblings survived to adulthood, is that really what counts for Canadian-style "bragging rights"?

Okay, i've found something positive to say. Perhaps i can truthfully say this: I was probably the only one in my family who, within months of escaping the dangers that beset me in one province, spent an entire day in a court room listening to two witnesses in a gang rape, murder, and dismemberment trial, the victim a young woman of undisclosed race.*** The witnesses were an 18 year old male participant and the coroner. The day went on and on forever, and it still goes on, each one endlessly telling and retelling the same deeply painful, deeply shameful tale, each in his own words.

Quite the education for a girl about to turn 16.

Too bad that Christy Clark hasn't seen half the shit I've seen.  

Just for the record: financial abuse by the state registers the same, in the body politic, as the physical attack of any individual human being within that collective. Policy abuse shines through window dressing and spin, all day, every day.

As for the prospects for a national inquiry, well, at least all of us who have felt pursued by the violence against poor + brown + isolated + female + small enough to pick up and walk off with, or demonstrably and officially deemed timid enough not to "effectively protest" when out numbered and out gunned, all who have been deemed prostitutes by virtue of class, race, geography, all of the actual prostitutes, all of the allies of all of the above, of whatever class, origin, or location: we will all be able to begin to weave a fuller cloth of the in-your-face truth of Canadian social history, that the official versions of "us" have been working overtime in keeping apart. Why keep the pig farmers separate from the barbers, to whose advantage is that?****

If we want clarity, we have to take a step inward, opening hearts and minds, as well as a step outward, encompassing the full picture. 

Let's call that the Two-step Solution, and dance.

The three or five people who most applaud Christy Clark will not be speaking out for her come election time, she is just another misled patsy, and not a Patsy Cline.

Likewise, the UN stirrings of interest, we have faith in it and expect nothing to come of it, all at the same time. That is what must be done to survive.

Let's talk about sexism just a little more. Why should we expect these new lawyers, with no structural changes to the commission, to fare any better than the lady officers back in the day, talking to the empty heads and the empty hearts of their bosses?  Who will nourish these two lawyers to the degree that they can bring about, in conjunction with Mr. Oppal and that flock of well-paid other lawyers, any thing much at all?

Good luck, ladies, wherever you are.

* + **
I am not clear whether these general figures include the lawyers for the families of the identified victims, and certainly i mean no harm and no disrespect to any of the friends and allies and families, or to any who do hold some hope for the inquiry.

no doubt the coroner + press disclosed it at the time

i have no grudge against farmers, this is a reference to serial killing & official neglect

Neal Hall, March 7 in the Vancouver Sun:

Tina House, Josh Grummet, March 23, APTN National News:

First Nations Summit, Open Letter

Also see Sarah Hunt, March 6, mediaindigena:

For a wider view and context, read Larry Nicholson's very moving essay here,

Saturday, 24 March 2012

a distinguished poet

When i was a girl, one of my uncles had a big house in Winnipeg, and rented out rooms. One fellow who rented a room for a time, between work sessions in the North, moved away, and left a packet of photos behind, in an old broken down suitcase. Somehow, these photographs of sled dogs and oil spills came into my possession, and one I favoured above all others depicted: the narwhal. In grand proto-poet style, i wrote across the back in my best hand, "this photograph is an example of the near distinct narwhal."

Today I was among the poets, authors, and organizers recognized by a new organization, Writers International Network (Canada), for our contributions to our communities and to the world of letters. I wore my sash and shared a song and a poem, and received my medallion. 

Medallion recipients included:

+ Arno Komalika (Tagore Dance)

The variety of performers, the twined loves of literary traditions and social justice shared by all, made this a nourishing day. My thanks to Ashok Bhargava, Alan Hill, Roberta Price for her beautiful welcome, and all of the organizers, volunteers, and performers.

Once home, I looked into the envelope I had received, and found two letters, one from the visionary/organizer, Ashok, and another from The Honourable Yonah Martin. Coming from a community that is all about "making do," and perforce accomodated to our lives on the sidelines, I was surprisingly affected by the simple notes of recognition and affirmation. 

I am feeling like a "near distinct narwhal" today, or better, as are all of the other honourees.

Many blessings on those who gathered today, and my prayers for the longevity of the Writers International Network (Canada).

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

world poetry day 2012

Hi, Friend! Happy World Poetry Day.  May the poet in your soul get rowdy with joy, in whatever way that takes you.
Thanks to Edmonton's Poet Laureate, Anna Marie Sewell, for excellent wishes & timely reminder! Visit Anna's ten-chapter blog (and more to come), on Frontenac House website. Check out her beautiful book of poetry, Fifth World Drum.

In 2009, i became profoundly annoyed with my beau, and ended up writing a longish sideways rant called "World Poetry Day 2009," published in three parts on Schroedinger's Cat. In the interim there have been changes and corrections to the piece, but, overall I am happy to share it as is/as was,
One of my subsequent discoveries was a critical review of one of the papers whose reflections are imbued in the piece. This is a very interesting essay,

Re-Assessing the Supine Demoness: Royal Buddhist Geomancy in the Srong btsan sgam po Mythology

JIATS, no. 3 (December 2007), THL #T3108, 47 pp.

The critical response found later considered the possibility that the perception of Buddhism and the times was perhaps unduly coloured by a modern appreciation of the impact of Christianity in the New World, and across Europe, a retrojection that was probably completely inappropriate to the actual context (time and place) under review. (See Isabelle Crossley's thoughtful paper, here.) Keeping the mind open...

The map above, and the wall mural below, visually represent the fusion of divinity~landscape. The Supine Demoness: here's the short version introduction:

Jambay Lhakhang

I had the pleasure of spending a day at Stanley Park with a number of poets, at a World Poetry sponsored picnic in the spring of 2010, including Jamie Reid (Canada), Hadaa Sendoo (Mongolia), Ariadne Sawyer (Canada), Alejandro Mujica-Olea (Chile-Canada), 談 衛那/Venus Cheng (?Taiwan-Canada), Peter Lojewski (Germany-Canada), Diane Laloge (Canada), and more. Not everyone performed a poem or flashed a camera, but many did, and everyone shared food and conversation.
Alejandro, photo by Jamie Reid

Sendoo & Venus

Venus 谈卫那的诗

@@ Poet! You are the ladder @@

The following was translated by Willie Wang:
****** ******

Piles of writing papers are drafts of poems;
They cannot be considered to be food all over the table,
But they have spent all the precious years of my youth.

Poems, in spoken or written languages
Make you find the way upwards,
Absolutely not the tools for you to make a living.


Jamie, Joanne, Sendoo

Jamie read a lovely long poem that evoked the spirit of the place we were standing in, gazing from one promontory to another and spying a temple monastery across the way. Alejandro wowed us with extemporaneous poetry, a popular form in Chile that left me thinking again about all of the strengths of orality and oral literary traditions. Hadaa and Venus and several other poets performed, and the translators translated for us. It was a good day.

In May, World Poetry is hosting another International Festival in Richmond. Fingers crossed that all who need visas will get visas, and looking forward to seeing and hearing everyone!

Anna's greeting found in my mailbag

Supine demoness images, 
+ Ryan Griffith,

Martin Mills' essay, Read more:!jiats=/03/mills/b1/#ixzz1plxwUQpc

Photos sent by Jamie and Venus, links to Venus' work sent by Venus
Here's a brief clip of the day, also posted by Venus, one of several that she shared with us:

Monday, 19 March 2012

water, language, time

Three stories from Michigan's North Shore Community Radio, & one live from BC:

Moments in Time: Anishinaabe & Isle Royale

Tobin Trail
Tobin Trail

~to listen~   In its early days, before Isle Royale became a national park in 1940, the island was home to loggers, miners and fishermen. Most were Scandinavian immigrants. However, there are people whose ties to the island go much farther back, and their story is often overlooked. In this edition of Moments in Time, we look at the story of the Anishinaabe and their connection to the island. They have a different set of uses for the land, and a different name for it.

Music by Keith Secola and the XX.
Photo courtesy of MDuchek on Wikimedia.


Project: Water, Language and Culture Intertwined

Anishinaabe couple harvesting wild rice on the Bad River / photo Marquette University Archives, graphic Lauryl Loberg
Anishinaabe couple harvesting wild rice on the Bad River / photo Marquette University Archives, graphic Lauryl Loberg

~to listen~     The history of the Anishinaabeg and Lake Superior is very long. Early French and English documents named the native people Ojibwe or Chippewa. But they call themselves Anishinaabe. They call Lake Superior, Gichigami. Wild Rice is manoomin, and waawaashkeshi is the deer. Names such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Manitou, Chequamegon, Keewenaw are from the Anishinaabe.

The Anishinaabe still speak their language. Wes Ballinger is one of several people making sure it will be heard for hundreds of years to come. Ballinger is working in the language, using it, teaching it, learning it, and preserving it. It’s his job, as head of the language department for the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Commission, at Bad River, WI.


Native American activist Sharon Day on the importance of fresh water

Lake Superior
Lake Superior

~to listen~    Bob spoke March 2 with Sharon Day, an enrolled member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, in Minnesota in the Marten Clan, who holds a 2nd degree designation as a M’dewiwin water keeper for her tribe. She discussed the role of women in protecting the precious resource of fresh water, and her role last year in the Mother Earth Water Walk.



The On Edge readings series presents:

World Water Night: Readings & Screening

7 pm, March 22, SB 301 (Lecture Theatre)

Emily Carr University, Vancouver BC

Readings by Lee Maracle & Michael Blackstock

Screening of Samaqan: Water Stories, with Director Jeff Bear

Free and open to the public


Lee Maracle, granddaughter of Chief Dan George, is one of the most prolific aboriginal authors in Canada. Her books include Daughters Are Forever (fiction, Raincoast, 2002), Will's Garden (Theytus, 2002), Bent Box (poetry, Theytus Books, 2000), Sojourners & Sundogs (fiction, Press Gang, 1999), Ravensong (Press Gang, 1993), I Am Woman (nonfiction, Press Gang, 1988) and Bobbi Lee, Indian Rebel (fiction, Women's Press, 1975). She has received the J.T. Stewart Voices of Change Award, and she contributed to First Fish, First People, which won the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award. Maracle has taught at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, Western Washington University, South Oregon University, and many more places.

Michael Blackstock is an independent scholar, poet, artist, and forester who has served as a member of the UNESCO-IHP Expert Advisory Group on Water and Cultural Diversity. He has published two books of poetry: Salmon Run: A Florilegium of Aboriginal Ecological Poetry and Oceaness. Of Gitxsan (Hazelton) and Euro-Canadian descent, Blackstock has a MA in First Nations Studies. His first book, Faces in the Forest (McGill-Queen's UP), examines tree art in conjunction with First Nations cosmology, citing carvings, paintings and writings on trees within Gitxsan, Nisga'a, Tlingit, Carrier and Dene traditional territories.

Jeff Bear (Maliseet) produces, writes and directs independent documentaries  with director Marianne Jones (Haida) at Urban Rez Productions  in Vancouver. Since 2000 Urban Rez has produced the 26-part series  Ravens and Eagles, for broadcast on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, as well as Storytellers in Motion, a 39 part documentary series about indigenous storytellers, and currently, Samaqan: Water Stories. The first documentary that Bear and Jones shot together, Burnt Church: Obstruction of Justice won the 2001 Telefilm/APTN award for Best English Language Production.

Bear has worked in video and television steadily for the last  24 years. He received the  2000 Leo Award for Best Information Series as the producer of  First Story, an aboriginal current affairs program broadcast in Canada on CTV. A past editor-in-chief of Kahtou magazine, he has written widely about indigenous political and cultural representation in Canada. Bear speaks the Maliseet language fluently and was raised in Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick.

To RSVP visit

The On Edge series gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council and Emily Carr University.


Thanks to Al Hunter (interviewed in "Moments in Time") and Rita Wong for the above links/information.