On May 25-28, we were pleased to welcome Dr. Ranjana Harish, the Director of the Reaney Canadian Centre at Gujarat University in Ahmedabad, India. Dr. Harish was happy to see London, Ontario and visit the Reaney family home, and also see the farm where James Reaney grew up near Stratford, Ontario.
Before her visit to London, Dr. Harish attended the International Council for Canadian Studies Biennial Conference in Ottawa on May 22-24, where she presented her paper “Linguistic Crossings in the Chase of a Rainbow: Gujarati Immigrants in Canada.” The theme of the conference this year was Cultural Challenges of Migration in Canada. We wish Dr. Harish continued success in all her endeavours, and hope she’ll come back to explore Canada soon.
By special request — and in honour of mothers and grandmothers everywhere — here is a poem by Colleen Thibaudeau.
My Granddaughters Are Combing Out Their Long Hair
my granddaughters are combing out their long hair sitting at night
on the rocks in Venezuela they have watched their babes
falling like white birds from the last of the treetop cradles
they have buried them in their hearts where they will never forget
to keep on singing them the old songs
brought down to earth they use twigs, flint scrapers acadian
their laughter underground makes the thyme flower in darkness
my granddaughters are thin as fishbones & hornfooted but they are
always beautiful under the stars: like little asian paperthings
they seem to open outward into their own waterbowl
mornings they waken to Light’s chink ricocheting
off an old Black’s Harbour sardinecan.
Reduce them the last evangelines make them part of the stars.
my granddaughters are coming out by night combing their burr
coloured hair by the rocks and streamtrickle in Venezuela
they are burnt out as falling stars but they laugh
and keep on singing them the old songs.