Being the Worst

by Lyle Riley of La Ronge

For business, the goal had been to be the Best

One upmanship was the key to success

A rental car company proudly claimed to be second best

But with the hope of one being Number One

By listening to their loyal customers and giving quality service

The main problem with trying to be Ultra Perfect was the cost

Like the ‘no questions asked’ returns policy

Or ‘our coffee, if not sold, is dumped every half hour’

Good products always had beaten not so good merchandise

But was it possible that WORST could have competed with BEST

The Hans Brinker Hotel was founded on this concept

Their slogan has been:

“It can’t get any worse. But we will do our best.”

“If you want a fancy room, go to the ‘ Ruby Emma’ and pay a ruby.”

“No bath towel, use the window curtain, for no cost drying.”

“We have bed bugs, no worry, this will build your immunity.”

“Want a room with a view, look through the mirror.”

“We scour the city looking for dog poop, this where we plant our small banners:

“More of this at the Hans Brinker Hotel!”

To survive in this very competitive World, one needs a flexible mind

Why spend tons of money in advertising stating you’re the BEST

When customers will find small flaw and with some flammable gossip

Your establishment gets pushed farther down the ladder of ‘greatness’?

Good starting point: “To hell with competition!”

We will start with: “We are the worst hotel and proud of it.”

Any complaints: “There are a lot of shiny castles down the street, good day.”

These entrepreneurs will jump at all of your demands and take you for a ride.

We lay our cards on the table for our weary clientele.

This is what we offer, “Deal or no deal”?

Waiting for Forgiveness

It’s a horror of ever widening scope.
Realize, we can’t deny total responsibility.
Children died all over this land, at our hands,
fulfilled the foolish rules by the head of state.
To blame, we are branded the killers,
at this date, our fate claimed.

Torn from loving family ties by grand lies,
education was a prize to be sought.
In cruel schools, they were caught, stranded,
scorned, often raped insane, again and again.
So many tried to escape the pain, the hate
Many more cried day and night, forlorn.

I apologize for my race, my colour white
a damn disgrace, presently not right.
It’s forever a shame, we face, never erased.
I mourn genocide, at a cost I can’t ignore,
entire generations lost to planned evil,
wishing they had never been born.

Sworn to secrecy, it’s a case of fatal fraud
in the name of God above and sanctified.
This is my outcry and my reconciliation.
I can’t cope with the guilt I’ve built inside.
I pray for forgiveness, hope to save me.
Nothing will ever be the same.

Still more unmarked graves are traced.
I will adorn them, wise, embrace their culture.
We will rise on the wings of snow white doves,
pure, brave and free to fly with true pride.

-Ayami Greenwood


I’m not going to sleep tonight
because of the fright.
If these nightmares continue to scare me,
I won’t be able to stay sane.

It’s an inane world out there.
Never before have I felt
such anguish, such pain.
We have been dealt a vicious blow.

Ruin and havoc reign, our plight unfair.
All this misery says beware to me.
I’m not able to fight for what’s right.
Life is strife, unstable.

I’m going to stay up all night long
and keep on guard, be strong.
It is too hard for me to know why
so many die.

I’m going to pray with deep devotion
On my knees to please the Holy One,
I can’t go wrong, astray,
following my inner light.

-Ayami Greenwood

A Battle of Wills

He was not wearing a top hat
or a long black cape, draped alluringly
He did not speak with a silver tongue,
charming me with his language skills.

He simply offered me wild thrills
that I, a scapegoat, could not refuse
After that, I could not stop popping pills,
killing time, committing crimes!

He gloated, swearing it was my fault.
Then, he raped me, ravaged me savagely,
scaring me to no end, tearing me apart,
wreaking havoc, alarm in my life.

I cannot pretend no harm was done.
He attacked, abused me and thought it was fun.
Shame hung over my head, blame as well.
I wished that I were dead, dead and in hell.

Surely, the devil is his name.
Rape is just one of his games.
Instead of strife, now I need a life
of calm, of common good, meek and mild.

From the start, I should have said halt
when, he offered me wild thrills.
Still, when he came to me, I was weak.
Now, I’m strong of will, pure of heart.

-Ayami Greenwood


by Joseph Naytowhow

I was raised on comic book heroes-napihkaso-iyinowak
Cowboys and Indians
In the years of hippies and war
Martin Luther King
JFK and Indian Treaties

I grew up on comic book heroes
Looking for my light
We all need some kind of hero
That’s only the start

I grew up on Captain America
Daredevil and spider man
We all need a super hero
That’s what it’s all about

I grew up on comic book heroes
Looking for a way to fight
The demons in my life
That was only the beginning

Sometimes in life it don’t seem fair
What cards will be dealt to you
The name of the game
Is not to get hung up
Dancing with the demon
Find your hero

Growing up without my heroes
At six years of age
My heroes I left behind

In their place

Captain America
Spider man
Billy the kid
Two gun kid
Scarlett horseman
Audie Murphy
Wonder Woman

Yup, a child needs someone
To look up to
I grew up with the best

I grew up on comic book heroes
Looking for my light
Looking for my long lost
Indigenous heroes

I needed heroes
At six years old
Mine suddenly invisible
Maybe vanished forever

Napihkaso-iyinowak- heroes
Maybe you were there all along

My Valentine

by Alana B. Anderson

I have a little Valentine
His name is Cutie Pie
And whenever he sees me
He always winks his eye.

Sometimes we go to movies
Or maybe to the park
But no matter where we go
He creates in me a spark.

I love our candlelight suppers
And walks along the beach
I pray that nothing ever
Will take him out of my reach.