blood series – a work in progress

blood                                                                                    preface

winter 1979

we trudge through snow up to our bums dragging
stiff frozen rabbits with red eyes watching our back
our tied tobaggan trails behind the smoky snowmobile
the gas whirls around our bundled bodies
the fumes are glorious
that keeps us coming back for more, if only
during the checking of snares

in the basement at grandma’s house
the white fur drips and thaws
a knife slices around fur
white bone glistens with blood
as tendons snap

a wire is tied around the rabbit’s ankles
it hangs, swaying in the air as blood drips
heart-shaped sprinkles on cracked concrete
confetti from our idea of a pinata

fingers, hands grip around the fur with one quick rip
the entire skin comes completely off
then thrown in a pail on top
of many more bloody skins

sitting on the top step the smell hits me, knocking me
backwards as the metal taste flows to the back of my mouth,
blocking my breath
for a fresh breath
any breath other than this

the smell sticks with me like my own skin
as i uncover the patent for time travel


blood                                                                                                                         part one


sinks down into the earth
through mud, dirt, and snow
it stains a watered down red
spreading tye dye effects
how can something look so pretty, yet
be so alarming

the earth remembers
too many


blood                                                                                                                         part two


spurts as a fist strikes the face
and a sword enters side of the body
gun fires rapid shots knocking the innocence
down dead and the blood drips
drops down cheeks, arms, legs, between toes
soaking the earth in a blood bath
shed in
and resistance


blood                                                                                                                         part three


the earth shakes loose
trying to get the blood off
in every effort to forget
it scatters
and falls
down the long grasses
down into the dirt
down into the roots

the earth



blood                                                                                                                         part four


in the middle of a blueberry field
the waters break
spilling to the ground
dropping baskets
bouncing blueberries
roll across the canadian shield
leaning against a jackpine tree with low branches,
squatting and pushing instincts kicking in with every contraction
she is becoming a new mother
shkinikwe gashi
she rides ancient waves
she connects
she is ready
the ebb and flow guiding her body
pulling on her skirt
agony escapes into the air
echoes into the forest sending crows in flight,
the murder of caws are alarming

women step out from the forest with baskets in hand, rushing to their sisters side. blood rolls down her flexed legs. it drips, drops into the ground as she pushes her feet further into the mossy earth, whipping her head back, screams echo.

robins, chickadees, and blue jays take flight
wings flapping in rapid succession,
a forced murmuration

wrapping arms around the base of the tree, anchors herself as she squats, holding her breath, pushing, exhaling, pushing further into the earth, water gushes like spring run-off
blood cascades down her legs as the baby’s head protrudes,
she growls,
and digs her heels in,
she hods her breath,
blood memory guiding the way
she lets out quick exhales while following the deepest instinct to push
and push and push and push until baby’s body
slides into the world and takes in that first breath of life, nasewin
one final push and the placenta falls
the sacred chord between mother to baby is cut

the berries
the women
the placea
the blood
remembers this connection to the earth
and will always bring this baby home


blood                                                                                                                         part five

this just in:
it appears that we all originated from africa
it’s been proven by the human genome project which collected
human blood from all geographic cultural groups across gaia,
mother earth, the third planet from the sun

it turns out that we do have things in common
at the root of our creation
in our dna are
one woman
and one man
from africa

so this means two things
one:             we are tribal
two:             we are all related

it also means:
we are travellers
every single one of us

are we to forget
our humanity
and fall into darkness?

the human genome project reminds us:
that our blood tells a story of shared ancestry
this long forgotten past is buried within each of us,
carried along blood traplines

let’s come together with like minds
that’s connected to our hearts

this is where debwewin (truth) is found

being a human from this planet means:
tribal identity is in your blood

being a human from this planet means:
there’s an inherent human connection to this earth

mskwe                        the blood

aki                          the earth

minwaa                      and

nibi                         the water





8 thoughts on “blood series – a work in progress

  1. Hi Vera – I came across your name on the Ottawa International Writers Festival website. Happy I did! This is an amazing piece of work! Mother earth and Africa forged us as one, then we went our separate ways, and have forgotten that we are all connected, as we look to our surface differences of colour, race, ethnicity and so on. Hope to meet you in person at the Ottawa event!


    • miigwech. it’s still on-going. there’s so many poems that can be written about blood. i suspect it could turn into a full book. wish me luck! hope you’re well and enjoying the summer 🙂


      • Yes! I love the many ways you express blood in words. I look forward to seeing the next generations…The future blood of your poems. I’m well, and wish you well. Miigwetch


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