My O Canada

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Confederation

September 16, 2017 | | Arts

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

  • Story Continues Below Advertisements

  • 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
    unfazed 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 travelled 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

    About the Author More by Harry Posner

    Author of four books and two audio poetry CDs, Harry is a freelance editor, proofreader and podcaster.

    Related Stories

    Meet Harry Posner

    Sep 16, 2017 | Liz Beatty | Arts

    Dufferin County’s first poet laureate waxes eloquent on reclaiming the power of words and uniting our local arts community.

    Words to Celebrate Canada

    Jun 21, 2017 | In The Hills | Community

    An impromptu 150-word celebratory narrative along with a mosaic of snapshots that says “Canada”!

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    By posting a comment you agree that IN THE HILLS magazine has the legal right to publish, edit or delete all comments for use both online or in print. You also agree that you bear sole legal responsibility for your comments, and that you will hold IN THE HILLS harmless from the legal consequences of your comment, including libel, copyright infringement and any other legal claims. Any comments posted on this site are NOT the opinion of IN THE HILLS magazine. Personal attacks, offensive language and unsubstantiated allegations are not allowed. Please report inappropriate comments to