Article | 10 Sep, 2021

"More;" A poem by shalan joudry

Excerpt from the special issue of the CEESP publication Policy Matters, focusing on the stories and voices of environmental defenders; a poem by shalan joudry**

A thought-provoking poem entitled “More”, by Shalan Joudry, helps us re-situate and reflect on how “there is always more that needs tending, more calls to act”. Joudry encourages us to “speak our truth [even] when it would be easier to stay silent”. The poem anchors us in the present moment, allowing us to feel both expansive and focused, determined and concerned. Joudry's poetry touches on the resiliency of Mi’kmaw culture, power of nature.

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Photo: Dan Froese Photography - Annapolis Royal, NS

How many times must we awaken each other? 
how long must we stand?
how absolute must we love?

we speak our truth
when it would be easier
to stay silent

yet. there is always more 
that needs tending
more calls to act


Special issue of Policy Matters: the stories and voices of environmental defenders across the globePhoto: Dan Froese Photography - Annapolis Royal, NS
* This poem is part of Waking Ground (Gaspereau Press, 2020).

shalan joudry’s diverse collection of poetry, Waking Ground was nominated for one award after another since quietly being released into the world last fall.

“Sometimes when I am thinking about a certain question, sometimes I turn to creating a poem as a response,” she said from her home in the community of L’sɨtkuk (Bear River First Nation). Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), joudry, in her role as a storyteller, ecologist and educator, has been speaking to more and more people about residential schools, loss of language, two-eyed seeing, what the treaties mean to her.

With stories that touch on the resilience of Mi’kmaw culture and the collective work of healing and reconciliation that lies ahead, joudry sees some of the poetry in her collection as teaching, some as medicine, and some as a way to honour the people who are dedicated to preserving Mi’kmaw language, attacking systemic racism, and bringing about positive change.

** Shalan Joudry email

Excerpt from the CEESP publication Policy Matters 22 - Special Issue on Environmental Defenders