by M.L.Holton - Canadian Poet

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Spoken words of potent poetry by Canadian artist, M.L.Holton, parallels the narrative nuances of her personalized music.
    A unique SOUND CELEBRATION of Canadiana.
    Slimcase CD with 4 colour panel insert.

    Includes unlimited streaming of CANADADA: TAKE TWO via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Spoken Word & Garageband Antics by M.L.Holton
    A 35 Sound Track Sound Celebration for Canada's 150th!

      $10 CAD  or more




2017 is Canada's 150th Birthday since Confederation. Those who live within the boundaries of Canada call themselves Canadians. To be sure, it's a political thing, but it is also a myth-making, national-identity and personal-defining thing.

Long ago I disengaged myself from the mainstream political identity and started to explore a more accurate personal planet relationship to this land with its ancient rock and its young 'Canadian' history.

Privately, I renamed my country-of-origin (from coast to coast to coast to border) as 'CANADADA' with myself as the sole 'canajun' citizen. ... (It works for me.) This renewed sense of Self allows a genuine sense of belonging here, in this Time, in this Space. As a wide-eyed earthling, I enjoy a comfortable habitation within the fixed boundaries of this known breath-taking natural habitat.

Altogether, my new 'natural' identity, (grafted onto the swirling facts and fictions of old), allows tremendous freedom to create, explore & imagine what CAN be ... I really do love this country: this land, these calm freshwater lakes and those far-flung pounding seas. It gives everything for a good, decent and happy human Life.

For this particular project, I wanted to create a hybrid album that fused some of my older spoken words of poetry with my most recent musical explorations. With 35 tracks in all, I hope you will enjoy this unique sound celebration: CANADADA: TAKE TWO.

Please feel free to share with others, and thanks very much for listening. p.s. Interested in becoming an honorary 'canajun' of CANADADA too? - Consider a VIP membership (see tab at top). Your annual membership helps, a great deal, to produce new items for you. Thank you. - mlh


released March 15, 2017

Spoken Word & Garageband Antics by Canadian poet, M.L.Holton
ISWC / SOCAN registration: A1831092
ISBN: 9780992127251
Cover & Site Artwork: M.L.Holton



all rights reserved


canadada Ontario

Self-taught, mid-career, award-winning artist, author & filmmaker from the Golden Horseshoe Region of Southern Ontario, Canadada.... In sum, a devoted advocate of 'Serious Fun'.

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Track Name: mlholton - Take Two Prelude
hello ...
Track Name: MLH Intro - SPOKEN WORD
Well here we are. Canada's 150th year, since confederation.

I was born in 1955, over 60 years ago, just over one-third of the time that this young nation-state carved out its place on this amazing planet.

It's impossible to imagine where Canada, as a nation, as an IDEA, will be in another 150 years. Will we all become totally American-ized? Or China-fied? Or Russian-dummed? Or integrated into some kind of global Gaia?

Impossible to know, harder still to imagine what the overall state of the world will be - altogether - by then.

In the meantime, it is my desire during this 150th celebration to offer - to those of you in the present - and to those of you in the future - a little 'here & now' time capsule.

As a bit of background, you might be interested to know that I have been an active wide-ranging visual artist for most of my 60 odd years: painting, photographing, furniture-making, filming, etc.

Beneath it all has been the flow of sound. First, of WORDS - those odd man-made nuggets of structured noise that carry meaning. And, second, MUSIC, that glorious finite spectrum of high-low tones that tickle our ears through a multitude of instruments - traditional, modern, synthezied and 'found'. I've been messing around with both, ever since I can remember.

Today, on this album, I am sharing a selection of my older poetry with my more recent music. It is my hope that my spoken word will appeal to the left and right spheres of your brain, and that my music will envelop - and delight - you.

Both are delivered with love - and, at times, a touch of humor ...
Track Name: Barn Dance - SPOKEN
Barn Dance

the night is still young in this ancient oak hall as
children and shaggy dogs scamper from bale to bale
a tiny light shines above in the hallowed hay loft
a small jack o’ lantern ricochets off broad beams and barn board
in this cavernous old place so magical and mysterious

soon manly young men practice their quickening steps
humming happily on once hip-hidden harmonicas while
their soon-to-be honeys press and preen their skirts, their hair
and awkward middle-aged marrieds clumsily moon about
like slow courting snails: the dance begins soon

when the old fiddler finally plucks his first frisky note
the eldest pair stand and slow begin a fine waltzing float
children (and dogs) gaze on with wide-eyed delight
as the fiddler’s fingers slow gain faster in flight

soon all is raw, ruddy and radiant with reels, country gals
and coarse gents high step and high stomp to honey sweet spiels quadrilles and crescents, low whoops and high hollers
familiar faces flash meet, and young couples, hands clasped
dart swift out of doors past grand-dads who doze, until the fiddler
loud roars - ‘Last Call! Only One More!’

hollering hoarse he demands cold dripping ales
while happy tired children turn a soft moonlight pale
quietly they climb to the loft up above, curling up dreaming
as their married elders labour love, below waltzing royal
a renewed welcome reward for their long daily toil

the barn beams sturdy protect all within so that
when that tin roof clatters from another passing rain
that old fiddler cheerfully begins, yes, yet again
his last, yes, his last, roof raising refrain
Track Name: Old Campfire News - SPOKEN
Old Campfire News

high above the roaring flames
was once an ancient sacrificial altar
where innocent children were duly slaughtered
in the name of Peace
sometimes it worked, this artful ruse
senseless warring ceased

here and now, we gaze into these flames of old
and wonder about those secret stories never told
delicate children - merry, tender and o’ so bright
never dreamed or schemed as well they may have might
for Brutal Men and Fickle Women hugged
imagined gods and slaughtered children

‘Times have changed’ we cheerfully say
as we gaze off into those stardust spirals of the Milky Way -
(but, isn’t the ‘slaughter of innocents’ still the Rule of the Day?
Rwanda, Botswana, the Congo, and Iraq.
Peace is not The End. No. ‘Black Oil! Yellow Gold!
Defend! Attack, Attack, Attack!’)

here and now, we gaze into these flames of old
and add another lumpy log onto that fiery furnace bold
our children, tiny tots and tender, with marshmallow twigs
sing ‘Kumbaya’ while we remember
Track Name: Trading Post - SPOKEN
Trading Post
long knives
short sighs
hours spent
and money lent

trade for skins
and trade for tin
dirty hands
begin again

push and pull for all your worth
long before you touch the earth
children cry for grain to eat
mothers lie to rest their feet

when spring brings on the thaw
off again to cut the paw
rabbits, rodents, bear and elk
muskrat, moose and beaver pelt

slaughtered now beyond our need
slaughtered now in name of greed
‘til the trading post stands no more
‘til all that’s left is Nature’s floor
Track Name: Susanna Moodie at Rest - SPOKEN
Susanna Moody at Rest

sitting beside this burning brick fire
I try to remember
my long long day
and all I can remember are
those noxious cars on that infernal highway and
that long messy smudge line of smog

I listen to Sibelius to regain Health & Balance

soon that musical genius of hot and cold love
whips up white caps of excitement that
slap me - wide awake
my, that man can ride those wild colts of emotion
like a rampaging red-blooded Roman
or a prancing patrician Olympian

(Did I suggest greco-roman? how politically outdated of me … )

I mean, of course, my old fire friend, he rides
those full bodied notes like a long-limbed prairie cowboy
free, fearless and far-ranging …
(But, to be sure, he ain’t no hacky lacky, no,
not this controlling Master
with a firm four-in-hand … galloping … )

Revived, I wonder, Is Meritocracy just Imperial Democracy?

I see history in these burning flames
sitting by this hot brick hearth

O’Canada, my old home and crumbling native land
where potent pines and aging oaks once graced this fine fair place
when meadow music-making was once as natural as breathing
when perfect split rail fences and symmetrical log cabins
were once born from our graceful hard-working slow body rhythms
What will become of thee?

I wonder
Track Name: canadada - SPOKEN

finger tip to finger tip
time tick
Track Name: igloo - SPOKEN

aya ya
burble burble spit

the image I have of you

chewing, quietly

I cannot touch the Silence you contain
You have so much more than Wisdom

you sit quietly
your almond eyes dreaming

I shiver in the cold
and wonder why
you and your people never came South

maybe it is the Light
maybe it is the Space
maybe it is this


You turn to me
and smile into my hunger
you do not talk
into my language
you just chew

and slowly, slowly, I begin to See
the great, great
that you are giving me
Track Name: The Inuit in me Speaks to the White - SPOKEN
The Inuit in me Speaks to the White

Why do you always insist that I become like you?
I’m not interested.

You lie, you cheat, you deceive yourself,
you poison yours, you don’t know how to live -
or love your neighbour.

You tell me you will teach me to read and write –
Why do I need these things?
I know how to talk, I know how to be still.

You tell me you know this God, this spirit
who watches over all and calls us brothers –
What are you driving at?

Why do you think I should suspend my natural suspicion of you
just because you carry written words of this god’s Great Love?
What is wrong with your love?

I am kind, I am generous,
I also listen to you.
Because I do, you think I am stupid.

I am not. You are.

You think you can destroy me
as you force-feed me your words.
I know I am a prisoner of your curiosity.

You try your tricks on me, I am an experiment to you.
You use me, beat me with the strange rhythm of your tongues.
You think I will sing your songs one day.

I will not.

I dream with my own people.I drum with my own people.
I cannot command you to go away, it is not our way.
I know you will leave soon enough -

It is you who are the homeless.
Track Name: Terra Filma - SPOKEN
Terra Filma

In his twenties, he wrote a screenplay about war.
And the passions of men.
In her twenties, she wrote a screenplay about love.
And the passions of women.

He read hers.
She read his.

She considered him dangerous and cynical.
He considered her naïve and romantic. Innocent.

They watched each other carefully.

Under the Rules of War,
he considered her an easy conquest.
He felt he could easily deceive her
with the sweet talk of love.
She considered him a predictable fool.
She knew she could easily deceive him
with the sweet talk of love.

Under the Rules of Love, he considered he could protect her,
possibly own her, anyway, she would produce his children.
But, he knew, she would need the tough talk of men.
She considered he might be a useful ally, possibly a good investment,
and he would be more or less fiscally responsible for she and the children.
But, she knew, he would need the tough talk of women.

They both thought it over for a decade.
Then, each to themselves, they thought –
‘There’s got to be more to it than this.’

She started to read a biography of Nelson Mandela –
He turned on the T.V. and watched Oprah.

They both picked up the phone
and listened to the dial tone
for a very long time.
Track Name: Name Calling - SPOKEN
Name Calling

You call me woman
‘O man, that’s such an old argument’
You call me mother
‘Jesus pops, you know I ain’t the tops’
You call me your darling
‘Hot damn, no ain’t that somethin’

You call me wench
‘Listen I was milkin’ cows before youse was born’
You call me a symbol of your desire and longing
‘Hey babe, will you take out that little ol’ bag of rotten stuff?’
You call me all powerful
‘Darn tootin’, sharp shootin’

You wrestle with me in the hollow of your mind
You pin me down, you help me up, you kick, you bite
You use your force against me, your weight, your mind –
And you push me so far into my Self that in order to breathe
In order to save me, I must push back and roar.

Only then will you leave me alone.
For a time. Like a chair. Or a tree. Alone.

I like space too you know.

We should train the brain to fly
‘Cuz I always seem to get grounded again
in this earth of mud goodness.

Maybe this is the way it is meant to be
You here inside of me.
Track Name: I care 4 U caribou - SPOKEN
I care for you caribou

Northern lights zig-zag
like a zillion zinking bells

Festive fire flies
Feisty fairies – all

my peaceful lunar harmony
from a mystical blue green
to a raw orange umber

Touching warm mud grass
with my mush nose

I lift my head, arch my neck
and listen
for you

I nest in the North
I face the South
My left eye on the dawn
My right on the dusk

I blink sometimes. Not often
Just to keep off those damn flies

Blinking now –
I wait for you caribou
Track Name: Home - SPOKEN

we wander
wily nily
far and long
we wander
and yet we know not where we go

we wander
dawn to dusk
tired and worn
longing, hoping, wanting
Track Name: The Decorative Peasant - SPOKEN
The Decorative Peasant

From my vantage boudoir point
of West of Center
- or Left of Center
- or Right of Center –
depending if you politically gaze
on - or out - or in at

I watch the continual
movement surge
ebb and flow
of urban, suburban, rural humanity
course along the young blood
of this my Canadian civilization

My own beating heart heaves
alternating panic with patience
adjusting to nuances of
mechanic and organic

I peel
a plumb purple grape
plucked from the cluster bounty
of my small garden
and pop its full bodied ripeness
into my mouth, then after
crave that mysterious
envelope of skin

This shocking discovery
of succulent voluptuousness
disorients profoundly
my hap-hazard
analytical watchful

- for a brief instant
the Center shifts –

as Lifeness ripples rapidly
to the scarlet tips of
my budding toes

I gaze outward again
to regain my bearings
and yes, all is as it was before
(All was is as it is was before)

I furtively pull out another grape
from the clipped cluster
and methodically peel back
the hardened weather-exposed
encasement of purple epidermis
and once more pop
that fleshy perfect orb inward
to taste again
that sweet n-wow-ness
Track Name: Hill Behind the House - SPOKEN
Hill behind the House

There stands a hill behind the house
On top of which there lives a mouse
A fun-filled furry mouse is he
With simple joys and full of glee

I see him skip from time to time
When on the hill I go to climb
He sees me quick and smiles a song
As he skips and skips along

If I go along too slow
He cracks a joke and acts the toad
If I go along too fast
He smirks and slithers through the grass

If I climb too far to see
He wags his ears atop a tree
And if I stay away too long
I hear him mourn from far beyond

I must go back again you see
My friend, the mouse, he misses me
Track Name: Pond Life - SPOKEN
Pond Life

while handsome bulrushes finally spear up
as drooping willows listfully weep
and a miniature tree frog chorus bellows
at a throaty red-winged black bird swaying
while big mud turtles freeze-frame
as daring dragonflies whiz by
and feverish minnows cheerfully charge
at long-limbed water spiders skating
while wood ducks snort green algae
as black-eyed snakes weave wide ribbons
and Queen Anne ruffles fine lace
at a common thistle braying
while merry buttercups pucker up
as delicate bluebells dingle dangle
and a great blue heron solemnly stares
at a prickly porcupine playing
while broad leaf burdock broods
as Virginia creeper steals wild grapes
and Canadian geese back paddle
at a coyotes wet shadow fleeting
while a young buck antlers tilt
as several barn swallows swoop
and mysterious brown bats dervish
at mosquitoes buzzing flourish
…this pond lives on

It had it all
As I recall.
Track Name: imagine if - SPOKEN
imagine if

Imagine Gauguin, Klee, Rubens, Kandinsky
Titian, Picasso, Kirchener, Van Dyke
Rembrandt, Goya, Turner, Sargeant, Pollock
El Greco, Miro, Constable, Hundertwasser and Arp:
Imagine! What a room full! A real friggin’ mouth-full!
Testosterone chunks of manly hormones
Precisely pissed across taut virgin canvas

Then think of Georgia, Emily, Frida, and Doris
Does their squatting emit the same kind of chorus?
Surely, if we paused for a sec we would see
Their intimate moments quietly praise ‘All that SUPPORTS us’

Imagine how this world can or could be
If men had wide wombs and women had wee willies:
Would Picasso have been such a miserable prick
Would Georgia have stayed so isolated in that vast desert oasis
Would Pollock have drunkkkk ‘til he dropped stone-cold senseless
Would Frida have settled for just surface appearances
Would Rubens not have adored such voluptuous princesses?

I ask only.

The next time you plan to ‘maka some art’
Try to remember we are but playing a part
Maybe minor, maybe major. Just think
We are but ‘ardent engagers’. Adding to
The oldest libidinal tongue of our species
With fumbling fingers, mega-thumbs, boogey eyes
And philosophical feces

Is it ART? Who gives a fart?
We’re still only ‘potty training’
To the Cosmic Creator
Track Name: Shareware - SPOKEN

a gentle gamelan orchestra
of empty tin cans rattles down the dirt road
while at the pond at the back
new moon tree frogs bleat and bull frogs burp
a rhyming boo-who pulsing chorus
as sweet-water crickets
lap dance on breeze rustled reeds
mining heavenly harmonies
they slither their zithers and play like micro fiddlers
all care o’ lulling that vast musk of sky

fires trail-blaze high on skipping hill tops
beneath those Bedouin stars that promise
pure perfection
nearer, paper thin flutes flutter below longing lips
raining rhythms that speed even the slowest of hearts

memory and imagination fuse

but it seems, these days
these ancient-time future-promises now murmur mute
trapped, as they are
in billions of bloodless cold corpse computers & boxes

velvet moon voices once hummed and moaned magic
now sausage fat noon-day fingers
fake and forge
sunset horizons of begone becomings
with the ‘click of a mouse’: ugh

can you hear this
whistling a ding sing song
my sweetest sweet pea?
because I will
didgeridoo you
didgeridoo you
until you
do do