Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Untitled/ Ocean Falls

Running north from Port Vancouver
Plenty of gas to keep me far from home.
I'm not going back till I'm good and ready
No reason to stay and lots of cause to roam.

That old city did me good in its time
But she's not what I need any more
South-Easter blowing and a following tide
And something better to do all along the northern shore.

Guess I'll ramble round till they know I'm missing
And I can't say that they'll ever know I'm gone.
I was just about invisible in the last days
I wasn't sure I knew what was going down.

Ocean Falls

At one point they threatened to close the town.
The ancient pulp mill, everybody knows,
Grows obsolete, uneconomic, but now
That the government owns it, embarrassing
To let it ruin. Besides, in the long, lonely
Scarcely settled coastline, fat with fish
And rich with timber, where precious few
Have learned to farm, they need all the towns
The can get, simply to be civilized. From
Campbell River to Prince Rupert, except
For the smelter city of Kitimat, it's one, long,
Sparse string of villages. The fierce
Confinement of the fiords has something
To do with this primitive approach to civilization,
But that excuse won't quite wash clean
With men from Switzerland and Trondheim.
So, they say, technology bar the door against
The grizzly bear, and keep those logs competing
With the killer whale, and justify the raven's
Acclimatization to human garbage of a vaster
Sort than Indians could ever have imagined.
But I, as my photo album shows
Have personal reasons to see the old place stay:
Not only, as a poet, to forestall any more
"Deserted Villages", but because we lived there,
I and she - and love makes three -
While I learned to teach and was taught to pray,
And dwelt, while I studied history
With devotion, among a little corner
That was forever Europe.

No comments: