Blackbird Song by Randy Lundy,
University of Regina Press (Oskana Poetry & Poetics*), 2018, 96 pages
Randy Lundy is a member of the Barren Lands (Cree) First Nation. He is the author of Under the Night Sun and the Gift of the Hawk as well as of numerous poems in different anthologies. His poetry is a plaintive song to the land of his ancestors, where the author has experienced love, communion, wonderment and sorrow. How do you condense sentiments that have been distilled to their very essence? You don’t. You just listen.
Randy Lundy, faithful to his Cree tradition, starts out by praising the Creator:
“O grandmother, O mother, O lover, / O woman who birthed the elliptical of the universe.”
In a poem dedicated to Jan, he muses on life:
“The walk is a journey of the spirit carried by the body like a good friend, and sitting is an important part of the walking.”
He laments that memory is “an uncomfortable skin” but recognizes that it “lives inside, too, not just in your mind, but in each cell, in the marrow of your bones.”
In “DOXOLOGIES,” Lundy expresses bewilderment:
“You are here, understanding or not understanding, not quite sure if it is dawn or dusk in this spider-spun heft and weft of light.”
In INSOMNIA, Lundy voices his insights inspired by Eastern philosophy:
“While you puzzle, nothing — neither a greater, nor a lesser god — is somewhere else, doing whatever it is that nothing does.”
Randy Lundy likes to question, but he also simply accepts.
“Sunlight, blackbird singing, / What more could you ask, friend?”
Breathe in Lundy’s poetry and enter an ineffable universe.
* For more information on the University of Regina Press (“A voice for many peoples”) and its Oskana Poetry & Poetics series, go to: https://uofrpress.ca/ and https://uofrpress.ca/Series/O/Oskana-Poetry-Poetics