Milton Acorn: “Live with me on Earth under the invisible daylight moon” and “On Speaking Ojibway”

Hillsborough River near Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island_photo by Terry Danks

Hillsborough River near Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island_photo by Terry Danks

Milton Acorn

(1923-1986, Prince Edward Island, Canada)

“Live with me on Earth under the invisible daylight moon”

.

Live with me on Earth among red berries and the bluebirds

And leafy young twigs whispering

Within such little spaces, between such floors of green, such

figures in the clouds

That two of us could fill our lives with delicate wanting:

*

Where stars past the spruce copse mingle with fireflies

Or the dayscape flings a thousand tonnes of light back at the

Sun —

Be any one of the colours of an Earth lover;

Walk with me and sometimes cover your shadow with mine.

Dugspr Home for Good_PEI photo (1)

On Speaking Ojibway

.

In speaking Ojibway you’ve got to watch the clouds

turning, twisting, raising their heads

to look at each other and you.

You’ve got to have their thoughts for them

and thoughts there’ll be which would never

exist had there been no clouds.

*

Best speak in the woods beside a lake

getting in time with the watersounds.

Let vibrations of waves sing right through you

and always be alert for the next word

which will be yours but also the water’s.

*

No beast or bird gives a call

Which can’t be translated into Ojibway.

Therefore be sure Ojibway lives.

There’s no bending or breaking in the wind,

no egg hatching, no seed spring

that isn’t part of Ojibway.

Therefore be sure Ojibway lives.

*

The stars at night, their winking signals;

the dawn long coming;  the first

thin cut of the sun at the horizon.

Words always steeped in memory

and a hope that makes sure

by action that it’s more than hope,

That’s Ojibway – which you can speak in any language.

.     .     .     .     .


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