the poetry that matters

Kemeny Babineau

Kemeny Babineau lives outside Brantford Ontario with his wife and two children. He is editor of the occasional literary magazine The New Chief Tongue and also operates the distinguished small press Laurel Reed Books. His most recent collection of poetry is “After the 6ix O’clock News” published by BookThug, 2009. Fortunately both fame and fortune have passed Mr. Babineau by but there is optimism that wisdom could be on its way by transference from the family dog.

Discover Canada, Burp

   Let us get back to the beginning of history; a Viking ship
with sweeping lines  to withstand fury
flies over the waves to the land of flat stones and thick forests.

   They came to an island, there was dew upon the grass; and having got some of the dew upon their hands and put it to their mouths they thought that they had never tasted anything so sweet. Then they ran to a place where a river comes out of a lake. They carried their beds out of the ship and set up tents.

Other voyages are said to have followed

to form a colony
under banner and ensignes
with five ships of proper Christians
Armed with powers John Cabot sailed

It is not known
                        there is the variation of the compass in 1497
where John Cabot landed

Cabot saw Ray race the king

Cabot sailed across Baffin Island

Cabot seems to have mistaken these waters

Cabot failed Japan

Cabot named all the coasts

Cabot did not exist

Cabot extended his feet for many years

This brings us to 1534

Cartier had two little ships
he followed the north shore
He saw a man who ran after long-boats and began to row towards him
but he started to run and flee

So ended the first voyage

Cartier returned to satisfy himself

Lawrence reached the mouth and Cartier arrived

On them, says Cartier, the lord of Canada came in twelve canoes
he came along our ship, he
began moving his body and his limb

Having Cartier up Lawrence Nine days brought him to leaving her

This memorable incident may be Cartier’s own words

On reaching Hochelaga more than a thousand persons danced in one ring
they brought quantities of fish and bread made of Indian corn throwing so much of it into our boats that it seemed to rain
And the women brought babies in arms to have the Captain and companions
                                                                                                  touch them

Cartier cultivated and cultivated Indians

Cartier built a settlement

It is evident his narrative intended to ascend the Ottawa but it did not do so and added nothing to nothing further back.

Champlain is Canada


The Lachine made trips short

The voyage emphasized narrative
The Annapolis Basin then sailed to the Bay of Fundy

Martha tempted
Champlain laid Quebec

History repeated itself
The Indians found an enemy

Champlain ascended
Champlain entered Henry Hudsons mouth

1613   1615   1616

information came from a lake
eighty men escaped to the shore
the English devoured Indian corn and other necessaries of life

Champlain took young Vignau past the rapids to imperishable glory
Vignau was impudent
Champlain content

Etienne Brule traveled to Susquehanna to attack the Onondaga
this was a failure

Brule was illiterate
Champlain’s map assumed the journey

Lake Ontario dug up evidence of St. Mary
Michilimackinac discovered Michigan

Wisconson leads Mississippi

Brule and Nicolet were ignorant wood-runners

La Salle was the history of North America
a man of vision not a visionary wintered on the banks in the Griffon

he sailed to Michigan and the Sault
he heard Illinois flowing south

he was chosen by Arkansas
but returned to Green Bay

French and English historical students made several journeys for many years to his romantic relations. However, this was neither understood
nor appreciated.

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