Pat Grantt

This poem is based on a hiking experience related to me by my next door neighbour. April/96

There's a misty shrouded Island crowned by trees of awesome height.

We once hiked throughout its splendor, stumbling on a curious sight.

On a hillside quite foreboding, far from water's pounding surf

There we found a shell worth noting lying on the dampened earth.

In years past a massive cedar grew here high above the beach.

Haida eyes beheld a war boat standing there within their reach.

Ancient hands had felled it downward to the spot it's resting now.

By our feet there was a longboat with a large and curving bow.

They expended time and effort carving out a seemly craft.

Then abandoned it to nature incomplete from bow to aft.

One must wonder at the history that intruded on their plans.

Was a flaw in this great giant brought to light by carving hands?

Were they called to ancient warring leaving them with too few men?

Did a pestilence come calling thinning out their ranks again?

Did the spirits in the carvings turn against them in the end?

As we utter all these questions answering voices now are mute.

Written history was not something that they held in good repute.

We must draw our own conclusions basing them on what we see.

There lies something left unanswered in the moss that crowds that tree.