Selected Works, Volume One On Sale
Jerry Prager, author of Legends of the Morgeti vol 1 &2 has published selections of poetry and prose from three of his previously published books, his blog The Well Versed Heart and unpublished works. On Sale at Macondo Books, the Bookshelf, in Guelph and the Eden Mills Writers Fest.
D'Etre Raisins

No sour grapes these,

rather the withered sweetness
of seasons lengthened
to aged fruition
chewed introspectively.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We came to this land as refugees...

We came to this land as refugees, in the days when territory was bought
from the Mississauga of Burlington Bay and the Grand - a river they called the Ouse:
a nation reduced by war, famine, and disease, a people
nearly lost to Yankee traders with booze.

We came as refugees of the Revolutionary War, came to a colony that was nothing more
than a British military encampment, filled with descendant Europeans, we came with
free Africans as well as fugitives and the enslaved;
we came with remnant First Nations,
allies-in-exile, loyal to covenants with the Crown, friendship chains
binding Turtle Island bloodlines to our common causes:
bloodlines from homelands seized by patriots,
dislocated from still-living loved-ones who stayed behind
on just established reserves, second-class citizens
in the newly created state of New York.

The Captain of the Confederate tribes, Joseph Brant, lost his home in the Mohawk Valley;
and when he found refuge, it was on land given to him on the north side of the mouth
of Burlington Bay, positioned there, by the military commander that governed from Niagara,
so that he and his local native, white and black allies, would defend the Dundas Road to
Fort York; the Governors Road to Brantford at the Grand.

We came to a Protectorate ruled by the marshal laws
of Lieutenants and Governors General, men who operated in the shadows of Magna Carta &
the Protestant Bill of Rights.

Descendant Europeans in the Canadas were, as well, survivors of religious wars,
men and women who indentured themselves to sail to a continent where some
were enslaved upon arrival.

We came as refugees to the just-establishing colony of Upper Canada
carved out of Quebec, which, before that, had been a single province held
since the defeat of the French on the Plains of Abraham: Canadien peasants
decimated during successive Franco-Indian-British wars.
Stranded together, we arrived as friends of those who had been tarred and feathered,
burnt down, and driven off for their allegiances to ancient oaths.
Black, white and red, as would have been said at the time,
found refuge here, grew old together in shell-shocked generations.

Having repulsed the invasion of 1812, Britain took refuge
from the madness of King George, his subjects suffering while the royal house
staggered into the regency of his degenerate heir: leaving colonial dreams tarnishing under
the greed and impolitic uses of power by those raised on localized privilege,
causing the grandchildren of former refugees to rebel in order to attain equalities
granted to their equals in Britain five years before.

The emerging Canadian nation
was subsequently enlarged by escapees of the Irish Famine; 
enlarged by continuous waves of peoples displaced by conflict and disease.

Diaspora's children,

we weave genetic strands into ancient pools of lost causes and survived flights,
valuing good neighbours and kind hosts.

We are bred to the bone of solution;
grow sinews of acceptance, and most of us, stand as one people,
willing to find something funny about whatever comes next.

Our community of remnants, armed with abundant goodwill, is prepared,
whenever refugee waves break on our shores,
whenever push comes to shove;
to comfort
those now grieving those left behind, those
now yearning for those still escaping.

We came to this sheltering land as refugees; and then,

we become the hope of those arriving after us.

Jerry Prager,

Elora November 29 2015

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