Poem - Fortis et Liber

Oh, I love you Alberta
Big sky beautiful you, strong woman, ruff and soft soft-blue,
I’m sitting right in the middle of miles of you
High on my ponderosa pony
Saddle smooth and sexy beneath me,
I want to ride the range of your possibility
I’m Alberta bound baby; hear the silence of your immensity
I want to touch the horizon of your immeasurable light
Ride the westerly wind of your raven flight
Pow Wow
Let’s go

Golden trail. Light sinks, just west of highway 22
As me and mini gallop wild-west to the crest of you
Ah! Your light stops us in our horseshoe tracks in awe
Even your shadows fall gold – alchemist maw
In the background you’re a capella sky that impossible colour
It would seem, beyond,
Beneath me ponderosa pony ponders – amber dream
Find a feather
Find a feather

There’s something ancient about you,
     buried deep in your badland bones
Hoodoo voodoo queen,
     your heavenly body sings aurora high notes –
     flood lights,
     I ignite - this night - firefly rare
I am tongue tied, moonified,
     I am sanctified, satisfied as a studified mare
By your light – Oh Alberta, your light turns me on –
     Bar Bonbon
My big horse Mini, is of course,
     all a’ whinny, all a shimmy beneath me, over you
Oh yeah,
     I want to drink from your milky-way river
I want to bucking-bronc scream from your highest peak
Mount Columbia 13,000 feet
Hey lucky stars up there…thanks for birthing me here…
Certified Albertafied – Grade A Canadian girl

I fell for you as a kid
Stubbed my toes on your gopher holes
Shucked the pearl from your prairie oyster, witnessed first-time eyes of newborn foals, picked whole bouquets of full rushes for my mother, played hide-n-seek between jails and hails and bales of hay like none other, like every other, tumbling tumbleweed
Looked into the forbidden eyes of grizzly, bare
Alberta bound baby,
     stars fall in the mischief of your eyes as we drop off
Like late season flies,
     or crab-apples wind plucked from their branches
And when we rise, in the morning,
     ad manum from more
You Chinook arch above the foothill floor,
     merge and diverge, animal to the core
Through dawn’s early dew,
     we roll against the earth moving earth
Like a couple of crazy coyotes,
     howling with instinct
Half wrangling, half untangling –
     sliding across the slippery Prairie grass
Cacophonous, as one,
     in the path of your bright morn-light stream
Cream all buttermilk,
     pussy willows and crocuses as we stream-steam
Black gold. Light crude.
     You’ve got gas- it’s nasty
It’s natural.
     It’s rude
     It’s our earth
     Our drinking water.

Saddle up ponderosa pony
Pow Wow
Let’s go
I turn –
And O no, I smell winter in the air
Let’s get home before she snaps her snare
Gotta put the plastic on the windows
Suddenly it’s freezing; my skin is peeling off my face
My only prayer is thermal underwear
Get me out of this hideous place
Alberta, you’re a brutal hard uncompromising crone
And I hate you and I want to leave you,
     live somewhere else that’s warm, I moan
And just when I’m ready to throw in the bone,
     I smell my first lilac of spring breath –       
     buzzing bees swarm bring honeycomb
And that’s when I know, these Buffalo plains,
     they’re home
Big sky beautiful you
Strong woman in the ruff, oh yeah, of blue
Wild rose tough; you’re my heartland shaman guru
You’re Gods country, for God’s sake
Pow Wow
You’re a Goddess country, for Goddess’s sake

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