Dindiisah, Making In-Roads, and Never Say Goodbye: Published in Kimiwan zine, Issue #2, Spring 2013.


Are they Starlings or Swallows?  I don’t know.  We’ll just call them by their
Nishnaabe name, Dindiisah.  –Din-Dee-Saawh–
Their wings shaped like A fighter jet’s,
All collar bone, protruding shoulders, elbows,
feather-tips slicing through the air two inches above the water.
They never crash and burn, thrashing mangled into the water
with one misplaced wing.
One wing-tip dipped into the water like a rudder,
it curves sharply to the right like a swimmer pushing off a wall for traction,
bouncing off the back-boards slam-dunk basketball-player . . . Stop-on-a-dime.
And change direction –Mid-flight–
No turning, just a.  Full.  Stop.  –Hovering–
and then flowing back the way they came.  –Time traveling–
Dipping diving dancing.
Zipping zagging swerving.
Up-and-down like a roller-coaster, dippy road, adventure seeker.
Almost crashing into each other head-on, but still managing to
turn at the last possible moment.  Exhilarating speed.  Danger.
Singing their chirping song.
Another bird in the distance, like a see-saw,
See-saw goes the sound
Like a squeaky swing set,
Rusty without oil
Like playful children
Reveling in the day.
They know how,
to enjoy their moments.


(Making In-roads, Acrylic, LCBO brown-bag paper, cigarette foil, reflective plastic & match-sticks on Canvas)



Never Say Goodbye

“I won’t say good-bye,” my grandmother says,

“I’ll say: ‘See you later.’”

because in Ojibway, there is no word for good-bye

good-bye is an un-lucky word, too deadly, too final

instead you say, “See you later,” not “good-bye.”

see you later





About nathanadlerblog

I am a writer and an artist. I write stories, poetry, and articles. I draw, paint, make films and videos, and have done some installations. I work as a glass artist.
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