Haida (Exhibit 14679 a,b,c)

‘The rainbow signifies Supernatural-One-Upon-Whom-It-Thunders

Chief of all the supernatural beings in the woods.’

 

 

She leans in

until her face

pushes glass.

 

This here is eagle’s beak, this

feathered brow.    Where he sits

is this world

 

balanced on back of a tortoise.

Such the world carved into being,

such the sun’s face and such the moon’s

 

such is fire of the totem’s mouth

sought from the gods.

 

In this way the wood will speak

but only if we

 

 

*

 

When the knife first bit

through timber

he saw his daughter’s eyes

reveal themselves

there within the grain.

No Apocrypha, mind—in this moment

she entered

 

from the land of the spirit,

only then coming into being

not until he saw her

spirit embed wood, not until

he saw her

crossing over

 

——

Victoria Museum of Natural History, Exhibit of First Nations.

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