Tuesday, June 1, 2021

A Room of My Own: For the Kids Tanka

This Brave New World, VII

written in response to Al Jazeera's June 1 report, Canada: ‘This one unmarked grave is what genocide looks like: Advocates demand real government action to honour 215 Indigenous children whose remains found at residential school

bulky reports
on indigenous peoples
gather dust ...
we just lower flags for the kids
in an unmarked mass grave

FYI: The first report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, which was issued in November 1996. is five-volume, 4,000-page long, and the latest one, "The Final Report of the National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,"which was released in 2019, is 1071-page long.

Added: Two Hundred and Sixteenth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary

one day less
and one day older
at first light
this winter stillness
of my quarantine life

Added: Two Hundred and Seventeenth Entry

this smile
not the one I expected ...
an expanse
of blue in the eyes
of a masked cashier


  1. The following is my haibun based on a real-life tragic event:

    "An Indigenous Mother of Seven"

    Tied to a gurney, she pleads for someone to get her out. Her cellphone video is live-streamed on Facebook as dusk gathers outside the hospital. Nurses dismiss her worries that the medication she's receiving could aggravate her heart condition.

    “You’re dumb as hell,” one nurse yells at her, then mutters, “you’re better off dead.Better to f*ck than for anything else.” Another nurse scolds her for making poor choices and getting sick, adding, "and we’re the ones paying for it.”

    She dies alone that same night. Silence shrouds the room until an orderly finds her the next morning. She was 37.

    candlelight vigil ...
    another hardcover report
    on racism

    Cattails, April, 2021

  2. There is nothing surprising or shocking in the discovery of the remains of 215 children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, as the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation report demonstrated. The Canadian government removed Indigenous children from their families and placed them in dangerous, deadly institutions across the country for more than 100 years, only closing the last school in 1996. The commission reported that children were buried in unmarked graves in lost cemeteries, for various reasons. Below, an excerpt from the commission’s report... excerpted from "Neglected in Life, Dishonoured in Death:
    The discovery of children’s remains at a Kamloops residential school should shock no one, as the TRC report shows," The Tyee, June 1, 2021, accessed at https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/06/01/Neglected-Life-Dishonoured-Death-TRC-Excerpt/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=010621

    1. "The Story of a National Crime:" A century ago, Dr. Peter Bryce demonstrated that residential schools were designed to kill. Canada’s government ignored him... Andrew Nikiforuk, TheTyee, June 2, accessed at https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2021/06/02/National-Crime-Residential-Schools/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=020621