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Poem: Ode to Hakai

Last year I spent 3 self-defining weeks at the Hakai Beach Institute on Calvert Island in the "remote" (but once densely populated) central coast of British Columbia. I've since found a poem I wrote about my time there that I'd shared with some of my fellow travellers. Háw'aa, as Gwaliga would say (in Haida, although I really should be using the local language of the Heiltsuk).

Squinty tufts of abalone A magenta An iridescence: Bumpy, curvy, lonely Squinty olive eyes shielding a salty gaze A nook, a rock is carved From old glacier men far away Telephone posts Are barren trees Water rolled The water pulled them to shore Bush wakin' on Tricket Crab dances and limpets Calming scents From thimbleberry thickets Squinty little butter clams Burrowing in Heiltsuk gardens Burrowing farther in Seeds have been planted since Harmonizing tides and warblers Nature’s chaotic order Jagged and smooth seaweeds, The false Lilly’s look real to me High tide brings stacks of pride, Peaceful minds and warming signs Tide low the rocks begin to show Urchin remains leave their purple steins Hakai pass calls me closer Just a tourist, an interloper I've shed my salty skin And will come back once again

Ecology & Archaeology comrades scouting the tide on Calvert Island, British Columbia May 2014.

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