“Windblown Group of Seven” by Jessica Outram

Poetry Pause is the League of Canadian Poets’ daily poetry dispatch. This June, Poetry Pause celebrates Indigenous and LGBTQI2S+ poets for Indigenous History Month and Pride Month! Read “Windblown Group of Seven” by Jessica Outram. Due to its formatting, this poem is only available as an image.

Windblown Group of Seven

By Jessica Outram

             Needled arms  
   warrior     pose and breathe
             tilted trunk                          expands by generations
   rivers of time carved in your bark
   branches stretch                 and freeze and wait           not waving this time
             sculpted by wind yet now motionless in wind
                      still                              grow among lichen on granite islands
             resilience                                                even in death           she can only dream
                      tall silver-tongued lofty posts with arms as they pass on water
             upright cavaliers at watch on Georgian Bay
 spruces strike devotion 
             change              gusts and form   yield                energy
                               my stoic ancestors
             roots gracefully
                      endure and instruct
             in all seasons
                      they first
                      in their

Copyright © Jessica Outram

In May 2024, the Georgian Bay Concert Choir performed the World Premier of ‘Windblown Group of Seven.’ Composed by Dorothy de Val and lyrics by Jessica Outram.

Previously published in The Thing With Feathers (Piquant Press 2022)

At two weeks old, Jessica Outram visited family on Georgian Bay and she has spent as much time there as possible ever since. Jessica is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. Her mother is a Lamondin, with roots in the Georgian Bay Métis Community from the verified Métis family lines of Solomon and Berger/Beaudoin. Her father’s family were settlers to the Britt area in the early 1900s. An educator for over 20 years, Jessica is Principal of Program in Indigenous Education, supporting all schools K-12 in the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. She is the author of the poetry collection The Thing with Feathers. Jessica was Cobourg, Ontario’s 4th Poet Laureate. She now lives in Peterborough, Ontario.

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