Just Stuff on my Mind

The Anishinabe Algonquin Nation

The People of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation have never been conquered! (Show me the Terms of Surrender.) No military force ever chased us off our traditional lands. We never gave up our lands in treaty nor did we trade it away to any representatives of the settler people. We never surrendered our lands to any other First Nation nor to the Inuit nor to the Métis! We never gave control of our lands to any organization (Algonquins of Ontario = AOO) or to any real estate company (AOO).

We never agreed to allow lumber companies the right to cut even one tree in our territory. We never agreed to allow Hydro companies the right to dam the Kichi Zibi (Great River) nor any other river of its watershed. We never agreed to allow any mining companies the right to plunder the minerals, gold, silver, copper etc. contained under the soil of our lands! We never surrendered the wealth of real estate value of our lands to any province nor municipality!

Is there something about the words “never surrendered” we don’t understand? It’s time for the Algonquins to start making demands. No more Mr. Nice Guy! We need to stop living our lives as if we have been conquered! We offend our beautiful ancestors when we do so.

Donald Trump

At first glance of Trump’s mugshot I thought, “Ugh, how the mighty have fallen.” 

In the photo, he looks grotesque! He looks deranged! He looks pathetic, like a spoiled brat in the midst of a tantrum! How did such a person ever become the president of a country like the USA? How could so many (millions upon millions) apparently sensible, level-minded people ever be fooled into believing that Trump actually cares anything at all for them. Isn’t he nothing more than a selfish, self-centred egomaniac? It’s so obvious!

The face on the mugshot!

To me it is representative of the look, the horror, the rage of an extremely racist white man as he bears witness to the moment a black man walked into the White House as the president of the USA. “America is no longer great,” he tells himself over and over again, “not until a white man is again the leader of this country.”

It’s the face of the most vicious slave owner of a bygone time, watching as the people he once used and abused walk away from the plantations as “free” men and women. It’s a face no one with kindness in their hearts for their fellow man expects to see someday by the side of Creator.


I wrote an authentic account about how the vile and oppressive Indian Act impacted my family lineage. I compiled the facts of my lineage into segments and with the advice and guidance of Phil Jenkins (a seasoned playwright) created Bloodline, a play. It’s a true account, no fact stretched for the sake of empowering the message, no lies told. Bloodline is a statement revealing the despair, agony and the hope in the heart of a boy coming of age. It journeys into dark crevices, where the seeds of dysfunction and alcoholism are found. It travels on the wing of a hawk to salvation and healing.

I have performed (yes, I’m the actor, it’s a one man play) four times thus far. It seems that all who have seen it had only good comments to say about it to me. The fact that I bring in my abilities as a storyteller and poet to help strengthen the play, I believe, helped greatly in making it a success.

Somebody, I’m not sure who (I have my suspicions), sent a poison-pen letter to a church group where Bloodline was performed. The coward (she/he didn’t sign it) wrote the nastiest things about me.

“His mother is white,” they wrote. Not true, my mom had much more Algonquin blood in her veins than she did that of her European ancestors.

“He misappropriates prayerful openings with his political views.” What does this person mean by these words? I have never gone up to any podium and hollered to those gathered, “In the next election, vote NDP!”

I swear on the honour I have for my eagle feather that I have never hated anyone in my life. Hate is destructive! There is no pay off to hate! I refuse to hate.

The poison-pen writer wrote, “He is full of hate”, “He teaches his grandchildren to hate.” Wow! Those sentences just about ripped my heart out! I guess I’m fair game to the people who dislike me, but for Creator’s sake, keep my family out of it!

I am well aware that there are those who hate me. I accept that fact and do not lose any sleep over it. I’m an activist. I believe I am a good one. Having hate and negative feelings directed at me as such comes with the territory. Bring it on! Give me your best shot! I won’t back up. I never have and I never will.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Tribute to Carter Jay Dumont

Carter Jay Dumont
born May 29, 2023 at 10:57 am (Wàbigon Kìzis – Flower Moon)
passed away July 9, 2023 at 2:15 am (Odeyimin Kìzis – Heartberry Moon)

The Dumont family holds him up today as we would a great chief at the time of his passing: Carter Jay Dumont, son of Kyrstin Dumont and Cameron Shaver.

Though Carter was with us for only a short while, he left us with a great legacy. Because of him, we will, from this day forward, be more compassionate human beings. No elders, no matter how old they lived to be, no matter the amount of wisdom they acquired over a long life, could never, ever have in their teaching bundles, the knowledge Carter shared with us. Carter reminded us with each breath he took, of the message passed from one generation of Anishinabe Algonquin to the next: “never give up!”  He reminded us also that the “Encouragement Song”, sung many thousands of years ago, is needed today more now than at any other time in the past. Carter taught us through his mere presence, to keep well the purity and innocence alive in the human heart, to bring forth a helping hand when you see a young human being in a state of despair. Carter inspired and motivated! All who met him were instantly in awe and in wonder of him. He was so very brave! He was so very courageous! He was the physical presence of a Good Spirit! He had the most beautiful Algonquin eyes! The doctors were all amazed at his strength and willpower. His heart was small, but what a powerhouse!

I have a place in my mind’s eye (we all do) which allows me the gift of seeing spirit. Today I see a glowing Carter, he is in a cradleboard made of fine cedar, being proudly carried by my mother (deceased March 27, 2002). Thick dark coloured hair, adorns his handsome head. My mother came to me in a dream before Carter was born. “I will look after Kyrstin’s baby,” she told me. She keeps her promise now! Carter is safe with her in this sacred space where many long dead relatives spiritually stand, in a line stretching for miles, waiting to take Carter into their arms. A grand feast in his honour will surely take place.

The day Carter was born I went to the forest to perform ceremony with the placenta. His spirit name was revealed to me, “Asin” meaning “Rock”. A few days later I awoke from a deep sleep with a lullaby on my lips. I shared it with Kyrstin and sang it to Carter many times over the short days of his blessed life. I awoke at 3 o’clock one morning and wrote a poem about Carter (see below). I say this now to all, if I live 100 summers, my heart, with every vibration it sends forth, will carry in it the memory of Asin. Kizàgìhin (I love you) is a word I repeated many hundreds of times as I sat near Carter’s bedside. Carter will forever be in my heart as will all of my other grandchildren.

Carter, through my spiritual travels with him (something we did together while I sat close to him at CHEO) takes with him to his new home the songs of my favourite birds, the robin, the oriole, the blue jay! He knows so very well now, the softness and healing energy of the touch of his parents and grandparents. His mom and dad saw a shooting star one night outside of the Roger Neilson House. No doubt, I say, a sign of reassurance from loved ones in the great Spirit Land. Kyrstin and I gave Carter a cedar bath, together, to cleanse him of any negative energy lingering in a palliative care ward.

They say “it takes a community to raise a child.” If this is true, then I say it also takes a community to mourn a child as well. Babies should never be regarded as only “young” human beings. Babies are spirit! They are the wisest of the wise, the strongest of the strong! They are blessed by Creator! When they die, they should be properly grieved by the community, for a great loss has occurred. When we fail to recognize this, it means we have lost our way. Asin, Rock touched many hearts. Tears were shed and sadness entered the hearts of both family and friends. Now that this extraordinary little boy is gone from our midst, let us cast a mournful heart into a swift moving cloud passing over our sky and replace it with a heart filled with gratitude, for a beautiful baby who came among us, to make us better.

In the final hours of my great-grandson’s life, I sang him songs, I recited funny rhymes to him from old country songs, I shared memories, the good and the not so good. Carter laughed with me and he cried with me, of this I am certain! We should never take the life of a child for granted, nor should we take the death of one for granted either. A child dies. There are trails in the human heart that have never been journeyed upon. We must be careful on such a pathway, lest we allow despair and heartache to destroy us. May my beloved great-grandson rest in peace (I know he is being fussed over now by my mother). May his parents, Kyrstin and Cameron, heal in a good way. May Creator bless everyone who cared about us in the weeks of Carter’s short life.

Though physically only a small bundle of human flesh, blood and bone, Carter was a full universe of Creator’s purity and innocence. I spoke to him as such and also as a representative of my future bloodline of my past wrongs and my regrets for perpetrating them. I spoke to him also about my hopes and dreams and joys of life. We, their loved ones, can have such conversations with a dying baby only days old, for they are so in harmony with Creator’s grace and we trust fully that they will speak on our behalf to those of that great spiritual council in the Land of Souls who decide if we are deserving or not of an Honour Song, at the time of our passing. What on this earth is more spiritually powerful than a dying baby? Nothing!

Loved ones never left Carter’s bedside. He was never alone! His gigantic spirit will relate to all relatives, those from Kyrstin’s bloodline and those of Cameron’s, how the love of people in the room with him comforted him every  moment of his short life. Migwech Carter, for all you did in making us stronger and better than we were before you came into our lives.

To me
He is a fearless warrior
He is my Little Big Man

He is my Rock
Now and forever

He will inspire and motivate me
I will draw strength from him
All the days
That remain in my life
He is Asin, my Rock
He is Asin, my son

Though I have yet to hold him
Close to my bosom
He is fully aware
Of the love contained
In the drumming of my heart

He has been loved
For many thousands of years
I know it is so
For I have loved him
Long before his first breath of life
Was taken

We are a People
Who love our future generations
My ancestors, his ancestors
Love him as they love me
I too
Love all my future generations
It is the way of our People

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Carter, my Great-Grandson, Love Never Ends

Yesterday, June 14, 2023, I held for the first time my great-grandson, who is at this time, in bad physical shape at CHEO. In the hours that I held him, Carter and I travelled together to the wondrous places and experiences I keep in my heart and spirit. The account of where we went together is described herein!

South Wind

Carter, my Great-Grandson, Love Never Ends
by Albert Dumont ©

A sleeping innocent child
My blood, warming the vessels
Of his heart
His blood, flowing freely
In mine
I take him through the power
Of my spirit
To the rushing waters
Of my healing place
Where Creator touches him
With knowledge and wisdom
I speak to him
Of the Odeyimin (heartberries)
We see now, on the riverbank
Of Anishinabe Algonquin sacred land
And talk of the Odeyimin legend
And the purpose of a vow
I take him into the scientific miracle
Of the birchbark canoe
We float together in the wonder
Of its creation
On ancestral waters
Calm, pure, peaceful, joyful

Together, we listen
To the songs of leaf-bearing trees
To the whistles and chirps
Of birds, great and small
We hear the bark of Laddie
The loyal, Dumont family dog
Who brought such tremendous joy
To my childhood

We walk together barefoot
My great-grandson and I
On a tamarack needle-covered forest trail
We dance in the pouring rain
Our faces pointed
Towards the sky
To receive sacred waters
Into our opened eyes
We taste side by side
Hand in hand
The magic
Of all four seasons
The energy and inspiration
Of spring season
The beauty and abundance
Of summer season
The wisdom and colour
Of fall season
The peace and spirituality
Of winter season

We sing with happy hearts
Ancient healing songs
We feel the warmth of fire
That of the sun
And of a fire, burning
Where we sit, in its sacred circle
After the sun has gone to sleep
Carter’s face illuminated
The light, the one
Glowing spiritually in him
Builds ever greater
Because of the medicines
Of the stories I tell him
In the presence
Of cedar wood, I kindle
I speak to him
Of the love, honour and respect
I, as his great-grandfather
Have for his mother
I tell him, “celebrate little man
That your parents love you
More than all else
Of this world”
I speak to him of his bloodline
While far, far in the distance
We hear chanting and drumming
I whisper
Carter, Asin, Rock
They all love you
A sleeping innocent child
My blood, warming his heart

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Carter, my first Great-Grandchild

At 10:57 am on Monday, May 29th of 2023, my granddaughter Kyrstin Dumont gave birth to a baby boy. Kyrstin and Cameron (the baby’s dad) named their son Carter. My first great-grandchild took his first breaths of life in an Ottawa hospital. The doctors had given notice that health issues were possible for Carter. To what degree would Carter’s health be impacted? Of that the doctors were uncertain. It turned out that the worst of their predictions came to bear! Carter was born with two thirds of his skull missing. Needless to say, my family was heartbroken!

Carter is a fighter! Within his first 24 hours of life he endured a long, complicated surgery. The doctors couldn’t say if he would survive it or not. He did! Carter will however spend at least the next 3 or 4 months living at CHEO. He is so handsome, so perfect! He brings much joy into our hearts! Carter’s parents want to spend as much time by his side as they possibly can. Cameron, who is a hardworking young man, has no insurance or leave-with-pay privilege at his workplace. The young couple were worried about paying bills. A friend, Annika Conboy, organized a gofundme page. The amount Kyrstin and Cameron needed was raised after only three days of being posted!

I write this blog to say ‘MIGWECH’ to all the kind-hearted people who gave so generously of their hard-earned money to help Carter, Kyrstin and Cameron out. You not only parted with money but more importantly, you prayed! You stood in ceremony! You gave from that sacred place in your heart so that a helpless, innocent, tiny human being would have with him, a chance to completely heal and have a good life.

Those recent days, when a gloomy sky hung over our heads, the Dumont family remained steadfast in our love of Creator and all around us allowing the people to live well. The songs of birds still delight us as does the sacred melody offered when winds stir the leaves of forest trees. The kindness of your hearts, those of you who helped out in one form or another, sing too. Your song will never be forgotten by us! Rest assured of that!

Community (kind-hearted) people have approached me since hearing of Carter’s health concerns. Some relayed stories of how not much hope was given to a newborn relative of theirs but somehow, the strength and purity of prayers and ceremony proved the predictions wrong. Their babies survived, sometimes fully regaining their health. And at other times, the child, though still being confronted with health issues, is alive and enjoys each day the unconditional love of their families. Some people have told me about how their precious child lived only a couple of weeks and then left this world to go and wait in that place of everlasting joy, for mother’s presence, to once again bring an ocean of peace and solitude into their spiritual domain!

I want all of you to know that the Dumont family flies by your side on the wings of a hawk, to let you be aware, we are in a circle all our own. A life experience bonds us! I thank Cameron’s mom Tara and his dad Darcy for the dedication and tremendous love they have for Kyrstin and for their grandson Carter. My daughter Jessica, who is responsible for making Kyrstin such a strong Anishinabe Kwe, I shout a long and heartfelt special ‘migwech’ to you. Let us never give up. Let us continue to pray and stand in ceremony for Carter. It is the way of our People.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Fundraiser for Kyrstin Dumont, Cameron and Baby Carter

Please share and donate if you can, my great-grandson will be in the CHEO NICU for a minimum of four months. This has been incredibly hard on my granddaughter and our entire family.


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Speech for Canadian Unitarian Council

Recently (May 20) I was asked by the Canadian Unitarian Council to give a keynote speech at their National Symposium. Let me say right off the mark that I was treated with great respect by the Unitarians in all my interactions with them. I feel secure in saying that I 100% believe the Canadian Unitarian Council members are true to their promise of doing all they can to making any and all initiatives put forward in the arena of reconciliation by Indigenous leaders successful. It was made clear to me that my talk be open, blunt and to the point. I believe I did exactly that.

Anyone interested in hearing what I had to say, should check it out:

All the best,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Benjamin Chee Chee Tribute

I visited Benjamin Chee Chee’s grave today, Sunday, April 23. Chee Chee and I were casually acquainted back in the 1970’s. I knew him only as an up-and-coming artist who was making a name for himself in Ottawa. He was never troublesome nor violent! He was generous and kind-hearted! From what I observed, Chee Chee was the type of guy who would give you the coat off his back on a freezing day. From what I know, he had one flaw, he was overly friendly, often sitting down at a table in a bar with strangers. He was just being friendly!

Benjamin Chee Chee had the misfortune of being placed at the Alfred Reform School as a young lad. He was severely mistreated there by the ‘Christian Brothers’ who ran the ‘school’. Long after Chee Chee’s death, a law suit against the school was filed by its former attendees. A monetary settlement was eventually reached. One of the school’s survivors told, in a newspaper interview, about how Chee Chee would be beaten near to unconsciousness by the Brothers. “They wanted him to cry,” said the survivor, “but Chee Chee never did. They kicked him and beat him with their fists but Benjamin never gave in.”

I ask that you ‘Google’ Benjamin Chee Chee. Look into his eyes. Imagine the great degree of suffering this great artist saw in his 33 years of life. Put tobacco down for him to smoke with his ancestors. Feast him for the trailblazer that he was. Look at his artworks! Ask yourself, what inspired him? What spirit stood by his side when his brush touched the canvas?

Benjamin Chee Chee was born in the springtime of the year. A spring baby! His birth season gave him his sweet disposition (maple sweet water, syrup). The northbound geese of spring gave him his love of geese, the respect he had for them (see his paintings). Spring, the season of water, gave him the flowing brushstrokes he rolled across a canvas to create those striking works of art.

Chee Chee left this world during the time of the Sugar Moon. His spirit no doubt swiftly ascended into the sky to fly with the geese of the season to his northern birth home, Temagami. The lake, the old pines, the gray jay, the trout – how grand was their welcoming of his spirit? We can only imagine!

Benjamin Chee Chee was a gentle soul. Men, artists such as he are not celebrated enough.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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The AOO: Who and what are they?

AOO endorsing nuclear waste

The Chief of Pikwàkanagàn (Wendy Jocko at the time) tells the Ottawa Citizen’s readers (March 20, 2023) that the AOO (Algonquins of Ontario) is “here to stay”. Thousands of ‘Algonquins’ removed from AOO membership roles in recent years, thought they were here to stay as well when the AOO first came into being not all that long ago. They’re gone now, never again to be recognized as Algonquins by the AOO nor by the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation, who never accepted them as such in the first place! Suspect members were thrown out like last week’s garbage by the AOO when they (outcast members) could not provide real proof of their claim to have Anishinabe Algonquin blood in their hearts. But how on God’s green earth did they ever get on AOO membership lists in the first place? I want to know!

Hundreds of the evicted members had voted to accept the ‘Agreement in Principle’ (AIP) put forward by governments (Ontario and Canada) negotiating with the AOO to settle the Algonquin Land Claim. I say this to the AOO members who believe that they have a right to sit at any table where Algonquin Land Claim negotiations are taking place: “Go ahead, pretend to be Algonquin to your heart’s content but know with all certainty that not even one square centimetre of Algonquin land is yours to sell, trade or to surrender in a treaty. The land belongs to the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation, not to you!” Hundreds more members will soon be thrown out of the AOO membership because of false/ridiculous claims to Algonquin bloodlines. I believe this fact alone renders the AIP null and void!

The AOO! They endorse nuclear waste initiatives at Chalk River, Ontario (bloody sickening).They clear-cut segments of their membership like they do a forest (without heart, without regret). They go about their business as if the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation didn’t exist. They feel that they are not required to answer to no one other than the Bay Street lawyers who control them like puppets. Strange conduct for people who identify as Algonquins!

Early in March the AOO clear-cut a forest adjacent to where the proposed Tewin Project will stand. (A project said to be an act of reconciliation with the Host Nation by former Mayor Jim Watson but is in reality the worst offence against the Anishinabe Algonquin committed in modern times.) They did the clear-cutting on the sly and under cover of darkness. What a slippery bunch! The AOO is stating now that they should have notified the City of Ottawa of their intention to cut thousands of trees before doing so. According to the former Chief (Wendy Jocko), they will do so in the future. Notifying the City of an intended massacre of trees is one thing but I wonder, why they didn’t feel it necessary to inform the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation leadership of their decision to clear-cut a forest. It would have been in accordance to the Nation’s protocol to do so. They didn’t because the AOO doesn’t give a damn about the authentic Algonquins. The wellness of the Algonquin Nation as a whole is something the AOO wants nothing to do with.

Most of the AOO members have ‘cards’ acknowledging a claim that they are Algonquins. The cards most of them carry are NOT ‘status’ cards but are in fact ‘membership’ cards (membership to the AOO). There is a world of difference.

How could it be that people who could cut down thousands of trees without conscience call themselves Algonquin? They did it under cover of darkness. Shame! They gave no thought to the animals hibernating in the forest. They call themselves Algonquins but their actions are more in line with that of greedy pirates. Did they conduct a ceremony honouring the life of ‘all our relations’ before the timberjacks fired up? I think not.

Since making the statement “we are here to stay”, Wendy Jocko has herself been voted out by Algonquins at Pikwàkanagàn. Chiefs will come and go! So will organizations like the AOO! What is truly here to stay is the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation. Make no mistake about it!

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Hate: Let us all Renounce it

Hate! If my wish were to come true, the hatred some human beings have for other human beings would be swallowed up by the September mist and be taken to a place where it could no longer hurt anymore. The human heart wants nothing to do with hate.

I review my life many times over the course of a year. I see that I have never, never hated anyone in all the years of my existence. Hate doesn’t make any sense! There is no pay-off to hate! It is destructive and will get you into trouble. It will bring depression into your life. It will reflect in the glare of your eye and good people will not want you in their circle of peace and love. I want nothing to do with it.

See below the poem ‘Like the Stars’ I wrote at the request of Alanna Trines (Indigenous Education Lead for the Ottawa Catholic School Board) in recognition of Standing Against Racism Week, March 20 to 24, 2023.

This poem is written as words I would say to individuals who hold hate in their hearts for other human beings because of skin colour and cultural differences, or hate people simply for being the original stewards of the land we live on as is the case with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.

Like the Stars
by Albert Dumont ©

Like the stars
I am incapable of hate
No matter how the force
Of your actions against my spirit
Wound me
I, as a human being
Could never bring myself to wish
That your culture and identity
Would forever disappear

You hope, through cruelty
To crush the shell of the turtle
Who stands to protect
The medicine
Of my inner fire
Which burns solely
To keep kindness alive
In my human heart

Still, I search
Your soul, for goodness
I see dying embers
And again, I renew my vow
To keep strong my desire
To defend your right
To take your place
In the circle
Of emotional and spiritual wellness
Granted by Creator
Where human beings
Can better themselves

In meditation of your life
I sit, before the great trees
Of my homeland
My thoughts rise
To grip the branches
Of the tallest pines
Where I know the spirits
Of the eagle and the raven
Wait to guide me

I wonder, in the richness
Of pine tree wisdom
How your eyes
Look upon skin colour
And the clothing
Other human beings wear
I wonder how your ears
Absorb languages, not your own
Spoken by people, at the places
Where your children play
Deeply, I wonder
And a tear leaves my eye
An offering
For your bloodline

If only you allowed your heart
To truly know my heart
You would see
That I taste and smell love
As you do
You would see
That the birth waters
Of my mother
Are as sacred as those
Of your mother

You would understand at last
Why I feel
That the caress of the wind
Upon my spirit, is something
Forever impossible
For you to comprehend
As long as you carry hate
In your troubled heart
For other human beings

I feel as one with the spirit
Of the land
Do not despise me for it
Do not try, to empty my sky
Of the eagle’s wings
Give me your hand instead and know
That you and I
Can live as neighbours
Like the stars
Incapable of hate

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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I am a Human Being – Book Launch

Kwey to all my readers,

The ‘I AM A HUMAN BEING’ book of poetry is finally in my hands. Wayne Odjick and Sid Cooko of Anishinabe Printing at Kitigan Zibi delivered 39 boxes of books to my home on November 23.

I AM A HUMAN BEING is an anthology of poetic perspectives on the topics of love, death, support, honour and other emotions contained in the human heart. They are offered by established poets, by folks who dabble at poetic wordsmithing and by deep-thinking high school students from Ottawa schools. And may I proudly add, include 24 from the Kitigan Zibi School.

Readers will find that this book will bring forth a powerhouse of emotions, reaching to the depths of your soul. Your heart is in for a treat. I am so impressed!

There will be a book launch on Sunday, December 18 at 3 pm at Christ Church Cathedral, 414 Sparks St., Ottawa. If you can’t make it to the book launch, you can purchase the book through my website: http://albertdumont.com/books/i-am-a-human-being/

All proceeds generated from sales of this book will go towards promoting poetry as medicine, bringing healing to those finding themselves in emotional distress.

This initiative could not have happened without the support of Verse Ottawa. The   ‘I AM A HUMAN BEING’ book of poetry is/will be recognized I’m sure, as a major legacy of mine as English Poet Laureate for the City of Ottawa.

3 samples for your perusal are:

by Lionel Whiteduck

Floating to a new world
Gasping for air
Afraid – I cry
Needing care
Finally grown up
I seek to express my feelings
Thirsty for water
Thirsty for life
Yearning to procreate
Heart is floating
Love appears
Then growing old
Heart beats slowly
Thoughts become hazy
Gasping for air
My thoughts float away
My breathing stops
I travel to a new world
I am a human being

Scraped Knees
by Dawn Steiner

Air whooshes out of me
I try to breathe
Girls in boxed pleated tunics
Surround me
I begin to cry

I cry into multiplication tables
Into mid-afternoon story time
I cry when my pencil breaks
When a breeze gentles the papers
On Miss Sutherland’s desk 
When a chickadee lands on the windowsill
I cry for the gerbils caged
At the back of the classroom
For Tommy who stutters
For my dog
I cry for my aunt who is dying
For my cousin who hasn’t been told
I cry for all the sadness
In my mother’s eyes

I am a Human Being
by Papegabiisa

I am young
Watching my father slowly die
But the feeling you have
Watching a loved one die
Is like the world falling apart
A 20-pound weight on your chest
And breathing is like a chore

Having to prepare for despair
No one can prepare for that
Having to go about your day
Not knowing
Whether your father is alive or dead

Having to continue on your day
With a mask, pretending
That everything is fine when it is not
No one knowing what is going on
Going through it alone is enough to feel hopeless

Always wondering
When was the last time you hugged them
Or said I love you
Knowing you may never say
A proper goodbye

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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