Friday, January 10, 2014

We are Shane Koyczan

I live in a province of Canada that is very conflicted.
You are either Quebecois - or You are  Canadian.
I love my Country - AND my province

Something that causes controversy at the best of times.

I also love " slam " poetry - LOVE it - it grabs me from somewhere deep inside - the emotion with which it's delivered gets me - every. single. time.
Fellow Canadians - you'll love this - promise.
My American friends - listen - it'll tell you a little about your Northern neighbors - and it's a must if you love slam poetry as much as I do :)

Just so you know - it isn't angry Slam - it's gentle ( like Canadians LMHO )
I get a lump in my throat every time I hear it
Way to go Shane -

YOU are more !!!
“We Are More” by Shane Koyczan
When defining Canada
you might list some statistics
you might mention our tallest building
or biggest lake 
you might shake a tree in the fall
and call a red leaf Canada
you might rattle off some celebrities
might mention Buffy Sainte-Marie
might even mention the fact that we’ve got a few
Barenaked Ladies
or that we made these crazy things
like zippers
electric cars
and washing machines
when defining Canada
it seems the world’s anthem has been
” been there done that”
and maybe that’s where we used to be at
it’s true
we’ve done and we’ve been
we’ve seen
all the great themes get swallowed up by the machine
and turned into theme parks
but when defining Canada
don’t forget to mention that we have set sparks
we are not just fishing stories
about the one that got away
we do more than sit around and say “eh?”
and yes
we are the home of the Rocket and the Great One
who inspired little number nines
and little number ninety-nines
but we’re more than just hockey and fishing lines
off of the rocky coast of the Maritimes
and some say what defines us
is something as simple as please and thank you
and as for you’re welcome
well we say that too
but we are more
than genteel or civilized
we are an idea in the process
of being realized
we are young
we are cultures strung together
then woven into a tapestry
and the design
is what makes us more
than the sum total of our history
we are an experiment going right for a change
with influences that range from a to zed
and yes we say zed instead of zee
we are the colours of Chinatown and the coffee of Little Italy
we dream so big that there are those
who would call our ambition an industry
because we are more than sticky maple syrup and clean snow
we do more than grow wheat and brew beer
we are vineyards of good year after good year
we reforest what we clear
because we believe in generations beyond our own
knowing now that so many of us
have grown past what used to be
we can stand here today
filled with all the hope people have
when they say things like “someday”
someday we’ll be great
someday we’ll be this
or that
someday we’ll be at a point
when someday was yesterday
and all of our aspirations will pay the way
for those who on that day
look towards tomorrow
and still they say someday
we will reach the goals we set
and we will get interest on our inspiration
because we are more than a nation of whale watchers and lumberjacks
more than backpacks and hiking trails
we are hammers and nails building bridges
towards those who are willing to walk across
we are the lost-and-found for all those who might find themselves at a loss
we are not the see-through gloss or glamour
of those who clamour for the failings of others
we are fathers brothers sisters and mothers
uncles and nephews aunts and nieces
we are cousins
we are found missing puzzle pieces
we are families with room at the table for newcomers
we are more than summers and winters
more than on and off seasons
we are the reasons people have for wanting to stay
because we are more than what we say or do
we live to get past what we go through
and learn who we are
we are students
students who study the studiousness of studying
so we know what as well as why
we don’t have all the answers
but we try
and the effort is what makes us more
we don’t all know what it is in life we’re looking for
so keep exploring
go far and wide
or go inside but go deep
go deep
as if James Cameron was filming a sequel to The Abyss
and suddenly there was this location scout
trying to figure some way out
to get inside you
because you’ve been through hell and high water
and you went deep
keep exploring
because we are more
than a laundry list of things to do and places to see
we are more than hills to ski
or countryside ponds to skate
we are the abandoned hesitation of all those who can’t wait
we are first-rate greasy-spoon diners and healthy-living cafes
a country that is all the ways you choose to live
a land that can give you variety
because we are choices
we are millions upon millions of voices shouting
” keep exploring… we are more”
we are the surprise the world has in store for you
it’s true
Canada is the “what” in “what’s new?”
so don’t say “been there done that”
unless you’ve sat on the sidewalk
while chalk artists draw still lifes
on the concrete of a kid in the street
beatboxing to Neil Young for fun
don’t say you’ve been there done that
unless you’ve been here doing it
let this country be your first-aid kit
for all the times you get sick of the same old same old
let us be the story told to your friends
and when that story ends
leave chapters for the next time you’ll come back
next time pack for all the things
you didn’t pack for the first time
but don’t let your luggage define your travels
each life unravels differently
and experiences are what make up
the colours of our tapestry
we are the true north
strong and free
and what’s more
is that we didn’t just say it
we made it be.


You all have a beautiful weekend.......................
I messed up in my decision of kitchen flooring - and I mean really messed up -
I laid that wood looking floor I showed this week -


So I'm changing it LOL

Much love,


  1. Good morning Suzan. Wow. that is an amazing piece! It makes me proud to be a Canadian for sure. Thanks for sharing it with us. So, you didn't like the wood floor? Oh dear. What are you going to do???

  2. I've seen this before, don't remember where or when... loved it then, love it now!

    You know, the thing I've never understood about the whole Quebec/Canada thing is why so many feel it has to be one or the other. Why can't it be both? I've been in almost every province of this country and love them all - diverse, beautiful, and interesting pieces of a great country.

    And what's wrong with your wood floor??

  3. Growing up in Tonawanda NY (between Buffalo and the Falls) I always loved crossing the bridge into Canada...Toronto is the coolest place to shop..
    I was so bugged when you (or was it us) that made it so I now need a passport???
    (I want to see the floor before you tear it up, lol)

  4. Are you going to continue to hunt for black and white self-stick vinyl tile? I laid a floor like that in my first house with two doggies and it performed beautifully. That wood -- too much grey maybe. If you have a friend in the states, maybe they could order the vinyl for you and ship it to you.

  5. Oh my! You're changing the floor??? Hasn't John had a heart attack? You didn't mention what French people should do with the video, so I decided to listen to it... I hope I didn't do anything wrong ;)

  6. Is this the poem that was performed at the Vancouver opening ceremonies? It moved me then and moved me now. Thanks for reminding us that we ARE more

  7. Great poem, Suzan. I love it-it makes me want to be Canadian, too! I am so so sorry about the floor. Are we gonna see "messed up" pictures? Any chance it will grow on you? xo Diana

  8. Love it Suzan and I can say that as a Québeker! I love it all, our province and our country. No reason we cannot have both.

  9. I am a proud Canadian too! There are never mistakes in renos...just learning curves. Oh how I know this!! Cheers Suzan.

  10. cant wait to see the new kitchen floor have a great weekend

  11. Well that was certainly amazing. Such talent some people have! Now...what' the deal with your floors girl?

  12. I used Shane's "Instructions for a Bad Day" in class this week! What a coincidence! (Love his stuff!)

  13. Great verse, its funny the people I meet that think all Canadians play hockey and that we all live in igloos and wear toques lol There is so much more to Canada, I have always wondered why we were taught American history and taught about other countries. But you meet people that were never taught anything about Canada in school and know nothing about our country. And Deb it was the United States that decided we all needed passport to enter the States, everything changed after 9/11.
    Suzan I can not believe you made a mistake on the floors the checkerboard sounded so right for the look you were going for. Can it be fixed without changing the whole floor?
    hugs Tobey

  14. Hi Suzan, Been away from the computer for a long while. I did go back to the last post I had read and read them all. I absolutely love your bedroom. It looks larger than you last bedroom, not sure if it is. Love the wall paper and and those lovely drapes. Yes, the tassel on the basket is a no no. We have all done that but isn't if funny how the photographs reveal what we missed with the naked eye.
    What about sanding the kitchen floors and painting them like the bedroom, then paint the black checks in? Just thinking.
    Are you putting a banister section on those four steps? I will be checking back in for we are both feeling better after a bout of flu. Not fun.
    Love to you, Ginger

  15. Now THAT was something! And yes, this American friend did learn what Canadians are "not just!" Loved the passion of it. Oh no, oh no, oh no about the floors!


Due to a large amount of spam ( that I'm tired of going back to posts and deleting ) I'll be using comment moderation from now on !!!
Can I beat these spammers at their own game? Probably not - but I'm going
to try my damnedest !!!