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SAY THE NAMES -- say the names say the names

and listen to yourself

an echo in the mountains

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Tulameen Tulameen

say them like your soul

was listening and overhearing

and you dreamed you dreamed

you were a river

and you were a river

Tulameen Tulameen

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-- not the flat borrowed imitations

of foreign names

not Brighton Windsor Trenton

but names that ride the wind

Spillamacheen and Nahanni

Kleena Kleene and Horsefly

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Illecillewaet and Whachamacallit

Lillooet and Kluane

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

and the whole sky falling

when the buffalo went down

Similkameen and Nahanni

say them say them remember

if ever you wander elsewhere

"the North as a deed and forever"

Kleena Kleene Nahanni

Osoyoos and Similkameen

say the names

as if they were your soul

lost among the mountains

a soul you mislaid

and found again rejoicing

Tulameen Tulameen

till the heart stops beating

say the names

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