True North

from by Stalwart Sons



True North

If you could set your legs to run, my dear
past barbed wire or waving scarves
If it is you who has seen the wind
the whole horizon spreads forth

The way you bend your tongue
or make a shovel with your hands
to dig for fire in the dry, dry ground
as if to err or provide

As if to dwell on solitudes
or believe in garrisons
no heroes borne out of schoolbooks' want
our mere survival entails

and so to teach the children
to bask in world's ovation
every single steadfast pilgrim
so frightened by the dark

Recite the words of a rumourous band
or a national anthem

Have you ever set your gaze such heights?
The constant northern star?
Witness the wind bend low the trees
and so the country bows...

Recite the words to the rumourous land
or a national anthem
we true north, strong and-
true north and strong one candle to another
on the back of my hand
I drew a map of Canada
O Canada!

And so I wouldn't forget
on the back of my hand
I drew a map of Canada
O Canada!

If I could set my legs to run
past drilled fire or waving flags
as long as I could feel the wind (on my face)
I would still be running;

In studying this country, either through its history or literature, it seems we define ourselves as a nation either in the negative from our looming neighbour (as what we are not), or as defined by our “greatest” minds in the most reductivist terms (survivalist, garrison, solitudes). Or perhaps know the land itself purely in the ways in which we steal from it, or in rote recitations of songs in which we never consciously focus on the pertinence of the lyrics. In so many ways, how we are defined has been decided for us, in so many ways reduced to little box exactly how we see our country. I wish to see new definitions, active growth and vibrancy, find that True North, find it myself.


from Stay Cold, released September 20, 2012



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Stalwart Sons Calgary, Alberta

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