for my father, ex parte

When we walked that cottage road in the Eastern Townships,
shuffling through the litter of leaves, kicking aside a stray branch
who knew we were remaking the world as we moved away
from the gathering midnight of the deep blue lake, the still tree
sentinels on guard as we dragged the summer at our heels, a few
chipmunks leaping at the parade, the long blue heron our kite now

Tugging us away, away into the silences of the land unfolding across
Frontenac County, towards Bob’s Lake, White Lake, northward though
anchored in the Sharbot Basin, this the real and true civilization
before the neat borders of formed names, the ululations of vowels
no different from the utterances of animals in what is made, we recognize
the songs as an old disguise to hide the place of origin and birth

Of words heard more by listening, mere listening to what takes place
as the beings of moose, bear, otter, hawks and fishers are shaping
the destinies of hosts in one fluid grace beneath the hard roads to come,
the chatter of the many chipping away beneath the frost and sun,
the centuries being born against the clay and leaves we walk upon, to know
what’s sacred is chosen even where everything built stands on a native graveyard

©Dean Baker

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6 thoughts on “Civilizations

      1. Thank you! I shop at Borders. I appreciate that link and FYI. I am not concerned about the price. Books are worth the money… more so the authors and poets.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. agree with that to a great extent, at least the ones who really are as you state authors and poets not simply trying the costume on ….. don’t know as to what extent Borders has up-to-date editions…. truth being Amazonia likely has the more up-to-date editions, though it might be difficult to tell such by their descriptions of content etc.


      3. Well, I spent time buying from Amazon and dropped a lot of dough and it was easy enough to turn my back on it. I don’t care what I can’t get without it. If it’s gonna come down to that, I don’t want it. It does rope people into all those reviews. Nothing is private and then they want you to buy a membership like they will grant discounts. Meantime the workers are exhausted and mistreated.


  1. Out of principle, I mean after watching a Front Line documentary about Jeff Bezos, I gave up Amazon. Maybe that means I am not going to have the true American Experience? So be it.


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