WASHA-QUON-ASIN

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WASHA-QUON-ASIN*

Many who had hiked through Canadian wilderness

[ A cenutry ago ] Took notice of a bird in flight

 

A rare one the Ojibwa called

Washa-quon-asin--He who flies by night

 

At once: a hunter, a guide, a trapper

A living made from the furs in his sight

 

A rare one the Ojibwa called

Washa-quon-asin--He who flies by night

 

Into his forest lair, he gave shelter to a pair

Of beavers & a female pony

Beautiful, willful, contrite

 

A rare one the Ojibwa called

Washa-quon-asin--He who flies by night

 

He recorded every caper onto pages of paper

Turned articles & books

Thousands read his every insight

 

A rare one the Ojibwa called

Washa-quon-asin--He who flies by night

 

He took bold strides to speak for trees & wild lives

Nature's preservation from devastation became his plight

 

A rare one the Ojibwa called

Washa-quon-asin--He who flies by night

 

Then he travelled to an evening pow-wow,

Where he'd shown native chiefs how

He'd embraced their ways

Mastered their sacred dances by firelight

 

A rare one the Ojibwa called

Washa-quon-asin--He who flies by night

 

In Canada & England, news had spread:

One day at home, he was suddenly dead

 

His secret's out: the "Red Indian"

Was English & White

 

A rare one the Ojibwa called

Washa-quon-asin--He who flew by night

 

But never mind the buckskins, the feathered headdress, the moccasins

Or false tales about his past, every sleight

 

A rare one the Ojibwa called

Washa-quon-asin--He who flew by night

 

His other steps were true, after all,

Preventing ecology's steady fall

What mattered was the nature of his fight

 

A rare one the Ojibwa called

Washa-quon-asin--He who flew by night.

 

_________________________________

W: Canadian Aboriginal Day 2020

[ For Archibald Belaney a.k.a. Grey Owl--1888 - 1938. ]

 

*OJIBWÉ: "Grey Owl."

 

[ From the new book Elohi Unitsi: Poems [ 2013 - 2018 ],

  Conviction 2 Change Publishing, 2020. ]

 

 

 

 

Canadian historyEnglish historyGrey Owlprotecting the environment

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