Poem: People of Cedar and Sea


What wonders the world we live in

Such riches amidst the cedar trees

We gather together to harvest the snag

And paddle canoes to float across the seas.


The ocean is abundant with the mighty salmon

Whose fate is to return to spawn and die

With their bones and eyes devoured by beasts

While their seeds in the shallows lie.


Fishing for salmon at Cielo Falls

Image result for indian cedar canoe

Longhouses and huts cover us in the cold

From the weather that batters the coast stone cold

And families who harvest the treasures there in

That flourish in the water and on land grow so tall and old.


Cedar trees, what things we make:

Canoes, paddles, stern, keel, house planks, cordage, baskets and clothing.

Travel, housing, papoose, protection from the elements, fear and loathing.

Image result for cedar tree baskets

Food from the sea:

Salmon, shellfish, sturgeon, lamprey eel,

Dungeness crab,  and lots of marine mollusks to peel.

Image result for dungeness crab

Food from the land:

Snails, limpets, camas, tarweed seeds, roots, acorns, and berries.

Elk, deer, otter, seals, beaver, weasel, duck, duck, goose.