Re-Wilding Under Those Conditions

Re-Wilding Under Those Conditions

Stick this time – as in, half-formed century – with a pin
                       into the butterfly thorax, into embolism:
        there is not a word in every language for
                   extinction event
     but sometimes there are           a few words for burning
                  neiamgla'tijig,          they appear burning
nu'gwa'l'g,              I set it
                          on fire
                   gaqoqtegl,                  they are
                                 burned through
a cathedral into skeleton
      irritation into sensation
               ozone into nothing
       and it’s not just forests – nipugtl – that burn, that fall
and it’s not just the prisoners whose hands
                         hold this water
                                  hold this     this water they hold
                                                for no money, for nothing –
Mu' nugu' pugweltnug       nipugt esgwiaq ula gm'tginug.
There isn't much forest left    here in our territory
           but there are          ashes, remnants,
                     golf courses    smoking in cinders
                    more beautiful                  than barbed wire
                             on any clear-skied day, by far –
                                  what is more beautiful than
                                      every       golf course burning
                                        and re-wilding with the
                                            things that grow
                                                 under those conditions
                                                     (wildflowers probably?
                                         mushrooms and moss and all of it –               
blooming      like seizing)
              after the fire was gone             after hands
                                    held water           and mansions
                                             became lanterns     
                     a snake        
                                    was found           jaws open and
                          hissing              having bitten
                                         the fire
                                                      as it burned
Painting by Tracey Metallic showing two Indigenous women kneeing in front of a small plant.

Offerings by Tracey Metallic

About Tiffany Morris

Tiffany Morris is a Mi’kmaw sci-fi/horror/experimental poet. She is the author of the chapbook Havoc in Silence (Molten Molecular Minutiae, 2019) and It Came From Seca Lake! Horror Poems from Sweet Valley High (Ghost City Press, 2019). Her work has been featured in Room Magazine, Prairie Fire, and Eye to the Telescope, among others. Find her online at or on twitter @tiffmorris.

About Tracey Metallic

A Mi’gmaq artist born and raised on the shores of the Restigouche River, Tracey Metallic’s talent found expression as a founding member of Pugwalesg, a Mi’gmaq women’s hand drum group. Tracey’s career in painting was launched as a therapeutic outlet, painting cartoon characters for her grandchildren. Upon sharing her work on social media Tracey began receiving requests for abstract paintings. These initial pieces evolved with confidence into her own designs. When her brush touched the canvas a bright spark was lit. She connected immediately and has been creating ever since. Tracey’s artwork reflects much of her own journey in life and she believes that everyone is on their own journey looking to better their lives and to put everything they have experienced into retrospect. Residing in her home community of Listuguj, in the territory of Gespe’gewagi, Tracey holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work from St. Thomas University and a Masters of Social Work from Wilfred Laurier University. Facebook: traceymetallic

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