Peace Country


Peace River baptism,

that slow,


brown water mother

gives life,

protects and defines

this high place.

Sometimes it seems

we look down on the mountains.

Then others,

seem like a mountains heart.

The windswept cold

of these high, sub-arctic plains

mimic the world.

Hot as Texas in summer,

cold as Siberia in winter.

Autumn comes

with the colors of new England,

and Spring makes

all her waters brown.


at the bottom of some ancient ocean,

the rich soil

yields black dirt crops

to feed us.

Green fields,

lay a patchwork  across the land

during the brief growing season.

So close to those forested foothills

and mountain peaks

that the lumber trucks

rumble on the roads.

The oil and gas guys

work out in the fields,

wrangling energy

for an adolescent race.

Peace Country.

Still trying to make sense

of its past.


and despondent at a glance,

as those who were here before

struggle with a system

that has no use

for native things

it cannot use for power.

Out here,

on what’s left of the frontier,

maybe we’re

far enough away

from those old power brokers

to make it right,

right here?

Peace River knows.

That old mother

has protected this land

since long before there were people here.

She knows,

the sad past,

the restless present

and the future.

Under the endless sky,

that seems to touch

both edges of our planet,

wide as we can see.

And at night,

all the stars of Heaven

shine like a map

of endless possibilities.

Maybe we find a way

to live here,

like the elk,

and the moose,

and the bear.

Peace Country.

Peace River.

Old mother knows

what wisdom flows

in this land.

Maybe we’ll learn,

if we’re quiet

and we listen

to the wind speak,

and the Aurora dance

in the big sky

above Peace Country.



HG – 2022

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