The Pope! The Apology?

A life-altering fact about my life is that the enormous cruelty of a person of my long ago past left me emotionally and spiritually wounded. I have often spoken about the darkness which entered my life because of the effects this person’s actions had on my formative years. One day as we talked on the subject of forgiveness, a friend asked if it was possible for me to find it in my heart to forgive the person who brought such profound dysfunction, through their cruelty, into my life. My answer was, “No, I cannot forgive this person.” Why? It is simply because the person I speak of (now deceased) never came to my door and asked forgiveness of me. If the guilty person would have come to my home and spoken words of regret and remorse for their long ago cruelty, I would have invited the person into the warmth of my humble abode where a circle would be formed. The sacred items of our spiritual beliefs (theirs and mine) would be placed in the centre of the circle and a conversation would then occur. I, as the person who suffered at the hands of the guilty party would expect to hear, in detail, why the person did what they did to alter so severely, my human right to emotional and spiritual wellness. If I felt, because of the words spoken in the circle that the sorrow of the person was real and truly in line with what I define as a genuine ‘act of contrition’, I have little doubt I would forgive the person whose cruelty contributed to my life going out of control in my younger years. To be clear, if the person whose cruelty caused so much emotional turmoil in my life had never sought me out for forgiveness (they did not), then no, forgiveness from me would never have had a chance of occurring. I would be at peace with leaving it in the domain of Creator where I am confident justice would come to pass. No one escapes justice! Not me, not you, not the Pope or any other human being, ‘gets away’ with doing wrong nor will any house of worship (including the Catholic church) guilty of crimes against humanity escape justice after Creator’s historical review takes place.

The Indigenous Peoples of Canada who suffered so greatly at Residential Schools have not waited for the Pope to come to their door. Instead, they have gone to his house  asking to receive an apology for the wrongs of the past. To me, it’s a very strange way of going about it. If the Pope is interested in forgiveness, then it should have been on him to request a time where he could with lowered shoulders, be given an opportunity to plead for forgiveness. The Pope should forever be mindful that the dead children of the Residential Schools have a say in it! Will there be a healing circle where the Pope and Indigenous Peoples can heal together? What will the church do to make amends? I have written 2 poems connected to this very topic. They are found in my book ‘Sitting by the Rapids’. I offer them in this space now and am hopeful that you will spiritually and emotionally connect with them.

Because of You
The Words of the Victim
Albert Dumont©

You pushed me into raging waters
And I wonder
If I will ever be the same

Because of you
I have forgotten the reasons
For the blossoms
And the purpose of the rain

Because of you
Instead of smiling into the dawn
I hide
And shed tear after tear

Because of you
I feel as the rust
That descends onto the beauty
Of the autumn’s maple leaves

Because of you
Peace eludes me
And I know only heartache
Everywhere I turn

It is good that you tell me
That you are sorry
But tell me also
What you will do that will
Restore who and what I was
Before your cruelty
Pushed me into raging waters

Because of Me
The Words of the Perpetrator
Albert Dumont©

I pushed you into raging waters
And now I wonder
If you will ever be the same

Because of me
You have forgotten the reasons
For the blossoms
And the purpose of the rain

Because of me
Instead of smiling into the dawn
You hide
And shed tear after tear

Because of me
You feel as the rust
That descends onto the beauty
Of the autumn’s maple leaves

Because of me
Peace eludes you
And you know only heartache
Everywhere you turn

I regret that I have caused you
Such great suffering
And I am sorry
What would you have me do
That would help you
Restore who and what you were
Before my cruelty
Pushed you into raging waters

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Protecting Greenspace within the City’s Perimeters – It’s your Duty as a Human Being

Have you ever wondered if a tree feels the weight of a bird singing on even its smallest branch? The tree does not object in any way to the presence of a bird who enters its circle of spiritual energy nor does it cringe at the song it sings there. Let us always be mindful that the tree is as a pew of countless others in a grand cathedral (the world over) into which spirit is ever present. The tree delights in the presence of the bird, so much so that it sends forth its own voice to rise and sing in harmony with that of one filled with similar purity and innocence as its own. The tree welcomes all birds and critters who come to rest or nest on its limbs. Trees spiritually recognize that it is part of Creator’s instructions for them to be accommodating and gracious when ‘All their Relations’ come to them in a good way.

Trees are truly the most forgiving of all Creator’s beings. Human beings have felled trees, too often needlessly, and yet they return, growing again (if not paved over) to provide oxygen, shade, teachings, beauty, even into the lives of living entities, such as politicians and developers who have no respect for them.

The trees of Anishinabe Algonquin territory have suffered greatly in the past. Lumber barons acquired vast fortunes. A city was built! With industry and colonization, the ‘right’ for a tree to live with purpose and then to die a natural death was infringed upon. The notion of reconciling with trees for the abuse they have endured for many generations should be considered by the people of faith today. Why not? Where would Ottawa be without the sacrifice of trees?

Imagine you, a citizen of Ottawa, writing in your life’s journal about the actions you took to assure that a tree within perimeters of a city would be allowed to live and die a natural death. To tell of this to your future generations would be, I believe, one of the finest spiritual highlights in one’s life. Creator bestowed blessings and rights onto all things touched by a spiritual vision originating at a time long before human beings ever took their first steps upon the earth. Among all the things blessed by Creator, it’s the trees who stand out as beings who provide the most, bringing health and wellness so people could live and thrive on sacred Mother Earth. They are wise! They are forgiving! They are pure and oh, so very gracious! The moon and stars honour them. All things of the earth benefit from their presence.

Human beings today take the most important things of Creator’s touch for granted. Not many of us sing praises for the waters of our country. The sun shines and produces energy and wellbeing for all life of the earth but not many of us acknowledge it. Not enough of us honour the trees for their great contribution to the beauty, to the teachings, to their cleansing abilities. Trees need to be present. If they disappear, we will perish.

The spiritual world calls upon the faith leaders to step forward and at long last defend the rights Creator gave the trees to live long and with purpose. If a faith leader has any doubt on the position they should take regarding protecting trees, let them search their holy book for guidance. Faith leaders should never be regarded by their followers as being in league with the insanity of corrupt politicians and devious developers. Should such a day ever come to pass, we will be that much closer to being regarded by Creator more as robots, than as human beings.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Prayer Walk Ceremony

Though the February day was bitterly cold, I was feeling as if nothing could possibly remove the warmth my spiritual beliefs bring into my life each day of each season.

I found myself contemplating at length, all things connected to spirit, the forest had absorbed since the early days of its origins. The stunning wonders Creator had placed within the embrace of the forest: The songs of colourful birds, large and small, the snorting of the deer, the chatter of the leaves on a breezy summer day. I thought of all the trees who had lived long, given oxygen, provided nesting grounds for birds and critters, shelter, fragrance and medicine for us, the lowly human beings. I wondered about the mystery and the sacredness of the forest. I saw tall wild blackberry and raspberry stems sticking out of the snow, reminding me of the delicious pies they had brought to the feasting circle.

I thought of the strong women I have encountered in my life: my grandmother, my mom, my daughters, my grandchildren. I threw tobacco into the breeze for them. I thought about the waters, in the snow, the ice, the gum of the spruce, the sap in the maple. I gave thanks for the waters alive in my blood, my skin, my heart and organs and even in the coldness of the winter day.

“It’s a good day to be alive,” I said over and over again as I walked slowly out of the forest.

The ceremony I describe is one I do now and then. I call it my ‘prayer walk’. With Creator’s blessing I will continue to do so more and more and more for many years to come.

The Smile

I offer the smile
Of a human being
To you, o Creator
As an acknowledgement
Of my love for all
You bless me with, each day


The freshness and purity
Of a mountain wind
The perfection of the song
Sung by orange-breasted little birds

The energy and innocence
Of a happy child
The waters of a mighty river
Washing over ancient rocks
These things, bring forth
The smile
Of a humble human being

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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What I’ve learned from the Truckers’ Protest

If you connect the word ‘Freedom’ to your cause regardless of how committed you are to abusing the human rights of your fellow Canadian, you will get a free pass and get away with all manner of lawlessness in Canada’s capital city. The police won’t bother you! Hell, the coppers will give you high-fives and allow you to use their cruisers as photo booths. Conservative politicians will pose with you for selfies and bring you Tim Horton’s coffee and donuts. Pierre Poilievre who is making a political run to become the leader of Canada’s Conservatives called the protesters ‘the salt of the earth’. Many of the protesters on Parliament Hill are anything but! They are not even the salt on the frozen Highway 105 on a minus 30º day. The only comparison with salt they have going for them is the skin colour (Poilievre) of supremacist organizations leaders, who are funding the actions the rebels are perpetrating in Ottawa at this very moment.

The protesters say they care about freedom, but instead of a dove they bring with them, loud-mouthed bullies to intimidate law-abiding citizens on the city’s streets. Some of the convoy’s supporters will say, “Don’t paint us all with the same brush.” Sorry my friend, but when you are standing shoulder to shoulder with a bully, a statement is made about you. It tells the world that you are good with what your fellow freedom fighter (ugh!) is doing. If you were not, you would exit the stage! I know I would!

“F..k Trudeau” you say. Come on guys! Such statements prove you to be a bit on the childish side. If you don’t want Trudeau as your Prime Minister, I suggest you put your apparently excessive energies towards defeating him in the next federal election. Taking your hate for Trudeau out on kind-hearted people in Algonquin territory is a hard-to-forgive mistake on your part.

Have you (the salt-of-the-earth protestor) ever for a moment thought about what would have happened in the last two years if all Canadians saw the world as some of you do? A world where absolutely no one saw it fitting because of trust issues to get vaccinated! My goodness, what would the death toll have been in Canada, by allowing COVID to run rampant to crush Canada’s hapless healthcare system like a bulldozer on a bushel of apples?

I support a human being’s right to choose. I chose to get vaccinated only because that’s what made sense to me. Good and precious friends of mine chose not to get vaccinated. That’s what made sense to them. I am good with their decision. Some of the mandates make sense and some don’t. How about we vote for the politicians who made the most sense come election day? Until then let’s not scare the hell out of the innocent. They had nothing to do with your rights being infringed upon.

To the rebels I say this: The lives of your elderly family members, your friends, your neighbours, your fellow citizens don’t mean much to you, do they! The only thing that matters in your life is how you and you alone define what freedom is. When you don’t get your way, you throw a tantrum. By all means do so! Scream and jump to your heart’s content! But do not abuse the rights of the innocent when you do so. The people of Canada have a right to rest, to be at peace, to feel safe and secure. No one has a right to interfere or interrupt it. Tread softly on my rights dear ‘Freedom Fighter’. You can only push people like me so far.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Freedom Convoy: Go Home!

Winter, according to Algonquin tradition, is a time of peace and appreciation of spirit – yours, mine and that of all our relations. We are instructed by Creator to be as quiet as we possibly can whilst pass the cold moons of winter. We do so to allow sacred Mother Earth time for rest so she can rejuvenate her energies properly. The so-called Freedom Convoy is disturbing the peace, not only of the sleeping land but also of many decent, kind-hearted, law-abiding people living in Algonquin territory. The supporters of the convoy don’t seem to give a damn about that fact.

I wonder just what kind of ‘freedom’ they want to defend. Whose freedom? Theirs only? How can an individual claiming to stand up for freedom feel righteous in interfering and obstructing the freedom of innocent people so callously and so cruelly as some of the convoy supporters have done? The leaders tell us the convoy is a peaceful one. Explain then, who among them is going out into the streets and businesses of the city, terrorizing innocent citizens?

The supporters of the convoy don’t seem to give a damn about the fact that some among them are violent and mean-spirited. They have forgotten that in a democracy, it’s the majority that rules, NOT the minority! A protest supporter declared on CBC Radio that Parliament Hill was the hill she was prepared to “die on”. The horns of gigantic trucks pierced the sky in the background, the peace flame shivered meters away, a freedom fighter had spoken and the tone of the protest was set!

There are convoy supporters on the Hill at this moment who believe that Macdonald’s plan to ‘kill the Indian in the child’ was a good one. Some of them believe that Donald Trump is a saviour sent to earth by God to make America great again. Some deny that the Holocaust ever occurred! Hundreds of the protesters have hate in their hearts for black folks, for government, for peace and for democracy. But still, Ottawans brought coffee and food to pay homage to the protesters. “These people are the salt of the earth,” they declared in defending their actions.

Let’s consider a possible outcome to this protest. Let’s imagine (though it’s not possible) that in the end the protesters win and all mandates connected to COVID are scrapped. The convoy participants go home happy as larks only to discover that a new convoy, much larger than theirs ever was rolls into Ottawa, spearheaded by truckers who believe certain healthcare mandates are keeping Canadians safe. The new protesters state, “We are not going anywhere until sensible mandates are restored.” What would the supporters of the Freedom Convoy do then? Keep in mind the fact that a vast majority of truckers in Canada support most of the mandates the governments have put in place.

The war on COVID is a war not yet won. The vile virus plaguing Canada’s provinces has found an ally in the people of the Freedom Convoy.

To them I say this:
Stop behaving as if YOU are the centre of the universe. You are not! You are no more and no less special than I am, nor are you more special than any other human being anywhere on this planet. Your ‘rights’ do not override mine! The protestors’ definition of ‘freedom’ has a repulsive stench around it. It reaches my home and sickens me, though I live 135 km from the city. Theirs is the kind of freedom I don’t want anything to do with.

It’s winter! The season calls on you to go home (and stay there). You’ve made your point. Live with the results!

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

Freedom
Albert Dumont©

The “Freedom Convoy” 10,000 strong
Rolled into Canada’s capital
Like the army of 1945
Entering the City of Berlin

The Freedom Convoy, 10,000 strong
Bombing the City of Ottawa
With the screaming horns of gigantic trucks
Protesters, claiming that Parliament Hill
Is the hill they’ll “die on”

The Freedom Convoy, 10,000 strong
Bringing to the City, their gift
“The sound of freedom”
Bringing their logic
“My body, my choice”

The Freedom Convoy, 10,000 strong
Canada, a land of 38,000,000 souls
“Freedom”
Who defines it
Is it as defined by thousands
Or is it as defined by millions
Like the army of 1945
Who entered the City of Berlin

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A Good Brother (poem)

Dedicated to and inspired by Justin Ranger
For his siblings, nieces and nephews
© South Wind (Albert Dumont)

He was a good brother
Loving, supportive, gracious, funny
To you, he was the wings
Of your human heart
He was the bear, the wolf, the turtle
And the smoke, arising
From a thick braid of smouldering sweetgrass
To you, he was all of those things
And so much more
And now you mourn his passing

But do not despair too much, for
He is still there, a good brother
Bringing forth his kindness and his generosity
His gentleness and the great respect
He had for the women and girls
Of all the First Nations Peoples


Those ways, uniquely of his spirit
Are present near you
On the branches of every pine tree
And in every breath you take
Bring them once more into your heart
Those powerful, energy filled wings of his
Do not despair
Celebrate instead that he was your brother

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Tribute to a “Good Friend”

Justin Ranger often looked at the wrongs of his past perpetrated by him at a time in his life when a reckless lifestyle was the only one made available to him by society. He had the wisdom though to keep the negatives from long ago close by, to act as constant reminders of what to steer clear of in his future decisions and deeds. He had no desire whatsoever to going back to a life of nonsense. Justin understood the meaning of honour. Very few among us could live up to the standards Justin held as sacred ingredients defining what it is to be an ‘honourable man’. He was much loved because of it! Most everyone who knew him regarded him as a generous, empathetic and hardworking hero, who in recent months, seemed to carefully place his spiritual beliefs in the forefront of all his worldly decisions. Yes, he was all of these things and more, yet Justin Ranger, at age 37, is now deceased. Dead from an apparent drug overdose. It is difficult to process.

I first met Justin at Millhaven Institution (M.I. maximum security). At the time of our first meeting, Justin was in segregation, having been sent there by prison officials for his part in a fist fight. Justin and I connected! Although he wasn’t the leader of the ‘Indian Brotherhood’ at that time (he did become the leader about a year later), he still pulled a lot of weight with the inmates, not just the ones of Indigenous bloodlines but also others regardless of colour or cultural background. It was Justin I turned to the most to stand with me in establishing rehabilitation goals for the Indigenous inmates on the range. In my view, there are two kinds of people in this world: you are either a leader or you are a follower. Justin Ranger was a leader, a brave one, willing to listen and respect the ‘common sense’ in the words of those in an opposing camp. He was at the right place at the right time. If not for Justin’s leadership at M.I., I truly believe that blood of guards and I’m sure of many inmates, would have been spilled if not for him working with me in calming things down after a young Indigenous inmate was shot dead during a violent outbreak which took place in the prison gymnasium shortly after I began working at M.I.

Justin Ranger wanted a better life for himself, one of sobriety and one providing a close spiritual relationship with the forest. I contributed to his spiritual betterment by introducing him to Algonquin friends who allowed him to visit with them in the deep woods of our territory. Justin loved the experience! Before setting out to the forest, Justin stayed a couple of nights at my home. I saw firsthand how ambitious he was and how much he wanted to mentor and present himself as a role model for young Indigenous men who had lost their way. I don’t know what went wrong in the final hours of his life. I wish he had reached out to me!

Somebody who loved Justin wrote on Facebook “I’d happily take his place if it meant bringing him back.” All of you who read those words please have no doubt in hearts of hearts that Justin Ranger would have become a great teacher and leader in his senior years if only he were still alive. We have lost a good man. Let us not allow him to have died in vain. Let us do honourable things in his memory. Let us honour him for the super friend that he was. There will never be another like him. 

Hunt well Justin, in that sacred place you find yourself in now, my friend. May your feasting plate be filled with game prepared for you by the Grandmother who welcomed you home. Be forever at peace and know that I will sit with you again in the circle at some point in the future. Keep the fire burning bright, Justin Ranger “Good Friend”, we will never forget you.

Note: There will be a memorial for Justin in the spring after the snow is gone. All who respected this remarkable young man are invited. Stay tuned for info.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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South Wind: The High School Graduate!

Be happy for me my friends, for at 71 years of age, I can at long last, declare with great pride and humility that I have graduated from high school. Some good people at Hillcrest High School (Ottawa, ON), honouring the true purpose of ‘Reconciliation’, took it upon themselves to make this extraordinary milestone occur in my life. Geordie Walker, Principal at Hillcrest and one of his teachers, Marilyn McMillan (her students Shom, Akaash, Hajara, Gracie, Dalaa also contributed), carefully reviewed highlights of my life, attached credits where necessary, until the 30 credits required to graduate high school were in order. And this is why I have been floating amongst cirrus clouds since being told the good news!

Examples from my past work Geordie and Marilyn looked at, are that by age 22, I could brick a house all the way around on my own. The math skills needed to do so are pretty intense! I have proven my management and organizing skills by bringing a program I called the ‘Harmony Circle’ to inmates at Millhaven Maximum Security Prison (where I worked for 3 years). The Harmony Circle was a life-saving success, tension decreased on the Range and lives were forever changed for the better because of it. I have done mediation work, not by way of the ‘book’ but by the old ‘common sense’ way of the grassroots First Peoples as it was done before colonization of our territories occurred. I have created logos for committees which stand to prove a natural talent I have in the arts. I have facilitated many Restorative Practices Circles and delivered many workshops related to this critical area of the justice system. I have stood by many a death bed, reassuring and inspiring a dying human being with a troubled mind. None of the people I counselled left this world in fear of the afterlife! I am a special advisor to Bishop Shane Parker of the Anglican Church and for Beth Bretzlaff, the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral. I am at this time, the English Poet Laureate for the City of Ottawa. Because of these facts my friends at Hillcrest High School and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board saw that I qualified to receive the 30 credits needed to graduate high school.

I have up until today, stated many times that I did not complete the 8th Grade. School days ended for me a long time ago when I and four white students were caught smoking an Export A cigarette on the school grounds at the beginning of the school year. All of us were guilty, but only I was kicked out of school for it. “Dumont you’re out, the rest of you go back to your classrooms,” declared the male teacher who caught us. It wasn’t fair and I protested! Push came to shove and I was told to ‘never come back’ to St. Mary’s in Quyon, Québec. I wanted to finish high school. It was a goal I set for myself in my early childhood. The thought of not doing so, frightened me!

A Catholic nun was the principal at the school at the time. I went to the convent that evening and ‘with hat in hand’ as the old saying goes, to speak with the nun, a towering woman. I pleaded with her, I literally begged her to allow me to return to school. I recall very vividly now as I recount the memory, the cruelty in her eyes and the satisfaction in her voice when she said, “You were told to never come back to St. Mary’s and you never will.” I was crushed!

I never did return to the school but yet I stand before you today a proud high school graduate. It feels so good! Kichi migwech Geordie and Marilyn. Kichi migwech to the Ottawa-Carleton School Board, I hope you are aware what this milestone means to me. I am also so very pleased to say that my siblings, my daughters and grandchildren were all present for this life-altering event in my life. I am a man in the winter of my time. It seems so strange to me that in my winter of life I feel I am more at peace now than I have ever been before. A high school diploma? It works wonders!

Let me say this to all students (especially Indigenous students) who struggle to put in a day in the classroom: Take it from me, you will regret it later in life if you don’t do all in your power to complete your schooling. Pay attention to the teacher! Study hard! Do homework! Read poetry! Write poetry! Build a trust with someone of authority at the school. I will pray for your success!

I want to express my gratitude also to my granddaughter Kyrstin who delivered an amazingly powerful speech in my honour. Kyrstin is for sure making her mark as an activist and advocate. I am so proud of her.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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‘I AM A HUMAN BEING’ Contest Winners

Well, the poetry contest I promoted (I am a Human Being) is over now and the winners have been selected. Deanna Young, who was the Poet Laureate for the City of Ottawa before my tenure as Laureate began, acted as judge. The poems submitted were amazing and so very much appreciated. The words of the poems were eloquently crafted and carefully put together. Powerful statements, strong perspectives of what it is to be a human being were produced. It made me very proud!

What I will ask of all the poets who took time out of their lives to write a poem about their human emotions, that they allow me to place their poems into a book which will be published at some point in the new year. I will personally edit the poems compiled from the book and will only proceed with publishing the poems after receiving full consent of the poet. A book will be produced and sold with 100% of the proceeds going towards promoting poetry as medicine and as a healer.

The winners are: 
1st Place: Mark Frutkin
2nd Place: Seané D’Argencourt Printup
3rd Places (5):
Danielle Printup
Cara Goodwin
Andrea Vasile
Chris Olson
Quiver Poucachiche-Racine

Please find below, the winning poems:

Mark Fruitkin:

I Am a Human Being
Everything is falling exactly
as it should this morning –
the shadow on the windowsill,
the sunlight on the same,
the present moment
falling precisely
between past and future,
the mountain
bringing together
heaven and earth,
each of us exactly
at the centre of the circle
of the horizon,
the love,
the need for love.

Seané D’Argencourt Printup:

Oh, Creator!
My good heart, it lives in the eyes of each child
Where we hug and squeeze and somewhere (not too far)
A sweetgrass breeze eases a weary spirit.

I pour the flour (smiling), tuniit on these hands, 
The oil fills the frying pan, bannock in the home
And in feeding family my good heart bursts.

When I go home, place this vessel beside my father,
And our good hearts to dust will become the soil for sage
And your granddaughter might pluck it, burn it, we hope.

Creator, qujannamiik for our breath,
Meegwetch for berry-stained smiles, filled to ripe with water
That carries this spirit home, to you. 

Danielle Printup:

i remember my dad telling me about the thunder-beings 
stories that connected me to the sky
he stands by the kitchen window, smoking and watching the storm 
i remember feeling so small existing within the vastness of those sounds
he says to me
there is nothing to be afraid of my girl
opening my heart to the unseen

my dad’s stories were filled with depth and beings that my young mind tried to imagine 
his words created worlds that made my little body feel so big and full 
i asked so many questions, not able to tangibly hold their truths 
there are things beyond our knowing, my girl
reminding me again and again
his stories gave me comfort through mystery
a ‘nish form of love that was shown to him

as my dad’s spirit makes its way home
i hold him and say
there is nothing to be afraid of

Cara Goodwin:

Beans 

When my brother was three or so he was always getting in trouble
for having emotions in public places, like grocery aisles

With fat tears rolling down his cheeks he’d say something like:
“I’m a human bean! A human bean, Dad!”

Dad, always recently returned from military service 
and never up-to-date on all the words we were learning 
would move us along

irritated, uncertain, cold 

no clue about little human beans 

What my brother meant was, I made a mistake
or I didn’t understand or I’m just small and the world is so big

Are you mad at me?

Dad this is the human condition

Dad, Dad, Dad

I hurt

Andrea Vasile:

I Am a Human Being

The light reflects
off a single strand of wampum string

The most exquisite blue
like the river that
brought you to me

Strong vivid clear water
shimmers, glints, and flows

Reaching, stretching outward
leading to another bigger

wave of brilliance
Giving back to its source
the light usurps the energy

takes you from me
Slowly fading
but never gone

Reflecting on the single wampum string
the brightness returns
along the river

And brings new light
to shine again

Inspired by “Dark String” by Gregg Staats on display at The National Gallery of Canada 

Chris Olson:

I’m a Human Being

up early, 
pre-dawn dog walk past the Mission
fellow pushing a cart stops me:
“I’m a human being…
and a teacher you know.”
He looked up into the sky, 
then back to me.
“Got a word for you… your homework:
find joy.”
I handed him some money – 
he pushed it back with both hands.
“Give that to the next saint you meet,
there’s one just up the street.”

He gave his cart a big inertia breaking push
turned the corner singing.

Quiver Poucachiche-Racine:

Anishinaabe is not just a name for my people, 
it represents who I am. 
The one who carries the arrows in his pouch. 
The one who picks medicine for his family.
The one who goes out at night to hunt for food in the wild.
We are Anishinaabe.
The people who walked on this land before time. 
We help each other when needed. 
We drum to the Creator to ask for guidance. 
Creator gave us the Red Road,
which most of us still follow.

Let us celebrate the winners and also express hearty expressions of thanksgiving to all the talented poets who presented their poems to the contest. I salute you for your skill with words and your big human heart.

I look forward to further collaborations with all of you.

All the best,


Albert Dumont

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La poésie de South Wind; maintenant en français

Souvent, la vie nous émerveille – telles que les surprises offertes par les collines du territoire Anishinabeg en cette saison automnale. 

Chacune des feuilles offre leur bénédiction de beauté et de grandeur à chaque être qui le constate. 

Nous observons un véritable festin, ces montagnes offrant leur coloris automnal, symbolisant le renouvellement spirituel ainsi que la guérison – qui permet de passer outre et d’oublier cette détresse qui nous afflige de temps à autre. Les couleurs de la terre sont un cadeau offert par Mère nature qui s’étire et s’endort tranquillement.

A vrai dire, comme êtres humains nous devrions toujours nous préparer à confronter et traiter les afflictions qui nous tombent dessus comme une pluie torrentielle. Nos être chers qui nous quittent. Les scènes de dépendances dont nous sommes témoins – l’intimidation, l’envie, la vengeance, la cruauté, sans les nommer toutes. Parfois, souvent, la paix d’esprit nous semble tellement éloignée qu’on pourrait la croire irréelle, comme un fil qui nous tient en vie, comme un rêve qui existe sur une autre planète. 

Il y a plusieurs années, j’ai écrit un livre intitulé ‘With the Wind and Men of Dust’. Les poèmes qui s’y trouvent ont été créés avec des messages qui touchent particulièrement certaines, voir plusieurs personnes. Rapidement, toutes les copies se sont envolées. 

Un éditeur français à Maniwaki, QC, La Note verte, a trouver bon de publier l’ouvrage en français. ‘Avec le vent et les hommes de poussière’ a été présenté vendredi, le 1er octobre, au Chateau Logue à Maniwaki, près de Kitigan Zibi. J’en suis très reconnaissant à Madeleine Lefebvre, l’éditrice, ainsi qu’à Geneviève Calvé qui a fait un travail remarquable et excellent en traduisant ma poésie. 

Dans ce recueil de poésie je m’exprime sur la dépendance, l’amour, la culture, l’amitié, et j’en passe. Je suis très fier de voir mon ouvrage traduit en français. Vous pouvez vous le procurer sur mon site Web au http://albertdumont.com/books/avec-le-vent-et-les-hommes- de-poussiere/ ou directement chez l’éditeur au https://lanoteverte.ca/produit/avec-le-vent-et-les-hommes-de-poussiere/.

J’adore cette vieille expression : “Écrivez vos tristesses sur le sable, inscrivez vos bénédictions dans la pierre”. Même si je vis avec une douleur chronique insupportable, je ne la condamne pas. Par la grâce de mes ancêtres je n’ai pas été tué ou plus grièvement blessé le 25 avril 1991. Si aujourd’hui je me trouvais en chaise roulante, paralysé des jambes ou pire, j’aurais raison de me plaindre. Lorsque j’ai eu mon accident, j’ai été béni de la protection de mes aînés spirituels. J’espère que vous parcourez la version française de mon livre.

En vous souhait tout ce qui est de meilleur, 

South Wind (Albert Dumont) 

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