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My O Canada (on the occasion of its 150th birthday)


O Canada! Our home and native land!

O Kanata! Our home and taken land

land that carried Huron-Iroquois on its back

land they cared for as one would a child

listened to as one would an elder

full of wonder at the bounty that she brings

land that calmed their hunger

pulled them into her skirts when they were sad

gave them pigments to render their lives

on stone and bark and tools for the hunt

the soil cycling life through the seasons

as the peoples of this land

cycled through generations seven upon seven

for thousands of years


and we who came after who yes stole who kidnapped

cannot forget those whose bodies made fertile the earth

whose spirit washed over rivers, lakes, forests and valleys

cannot forget in our youthfulness

to honour these nations and hold ourselves accountable

even as we celebrate even as we sing


O Canada! O Kanata! Our home and cherished land!

True patriot love in all thy sons command

true patriot love that sends those sons to war

their courage fertilizing Mother Earth

seeding a future unfettered by fascism

so that we may speak truth hold beauty

as the highest of the high

and never forget the gravest crime

of the sons and daughters who fell before their time


O Canada! O Kanata! Our home and fertile land!

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,

and in the rising hold our values dear

that every man woman gender colour and race

can make a home here

free to make a life to make art to make science

free to live lightly upon the land

and to respect the animals who share our timely fate

who walk with us as friends

or become as food upon our plates

we must learn from them how not to hate


O Canada! O Kanata! Our home and epic land

Ton histoire est une épopée

une grande histoire captivant

qui parle de bonne grace

ou de mauvaise grace

but in the end we stay close

divided by language but not by humanity

we live as sometimes squabbling siblings

pulled together by what we care about

and as the young would have it

at least for now c'est bon it's all good

and make no mistake

it is they who will show us the way


O Canada! O Kanata! Our home and endless land!

The True North strong and free!

at our best we stand for peace with strength

and unabashed intent

unbent by warmongers who'd bomb

because there are just too many to dismantle


for we the North declare with aplomb

that bullets can only wound and kill

and that it's only words among equals shared

in the longhouse of our compassion

that will heal the scars

crisscrossed across the face of nations


O Canada! O Kanata! Our home and wondrous land!

From far and wide we've all come here

flush with dreams and hopes

those who come fleeing war

those who come for love and family

refugees, optimists, hipsters

we are all of us brothers and sisters

and the mystery of who we are an open secret

for all to see


O Canada! O Kanata! Our home and giving land!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee

like goalies guarding nets

undaunted in the face of global chaos

unphased by tyrants near and far

who'd fire slapshots at our souls

firm is how we are

firm in the knowledge

that the good, the true, and the beautiful

is what our souls strive for

culture, humanity, inclusivity,

diversity, understanding and compassion

yändia'wich iwayitiohhou'tenh

O Canada, this is who we are

where we are and when


O Canada! O Kanata! Our home and sacred land!

God keep our land glorious and free!

a divine smorgasbord of deities

crowd our temples, churches and mosques

and we trust that they are all

looking out for us as we are for them

and the gloria in glorious

is the sound of voices singing

allelujah, alhamd lillah, allelujah, alhamd lillah

and the freedom to sing godliness as we choose


O Canada! O Kanata! we stand on guard for thee

day by day hope by wish

we've traveled across the broad shoulders of this land

generations seven times seven and more

holding fast to the vision we've built together

so that the lore of childhood may mature

in a place where the land once carried on its back

and still does the proud indigenous nations


and all who came after all who've come from away

love this land that sustains us and our dreams

this land that we call home that we call Canada

from farm to rez to city from sea to shining sea

O Canada! O Kanata! we stand on guard for thee



Harry Posner

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Check out my very full interview with Phil Taylor of Erin Radio (

In Defense of Poetry in the Digital Age. A talk given to the Probus Club of Orangeville, Feb 8, 2018.

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Check out this cool interview on Ciut-Fm's 'Howl' program, with Valentino Assenza

Day of the Poets, May 5th, 2018

Orangeville, Ontario, Canada

A video highlighting this first ever poetry festival for the town of Orangeville, organized by yours truly.

DAY OF THE POETS 2. April 13, 2019. Highlights!

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