Tasting the Stars

Pray with your Salt

collage of a pregnant person surrounded by Indigenous imagery
Collage by Morgan Brown.

Audio recording: voice & music by Jody Okabe (she/they), Tsimshian/Japanese/French Indigiqueer Vocal Visual Artist, Facilitator & Cultural Wellness Manager at Kilala Lelum.

Poem for a Recipe:

She cooked with healing laughter tears and prayers
Songs and dances lived in her food 
She kept a bent wood box in her heart
filled with spices that never ran out

My Grandmother still finds joy in feeding the world
through my hands her Love
whispering secrets to me through the bubbling soup
kissing my forehead with that steam
when I lean in to smell
xs’waanx, bilhaa, samii wun, smk’awtsi,
herring eggs, abalone, deer meat, oolichan grease
ada heelda maay
and so many berries
ada hoon, heelda hoon
and salmon, lots of salmon
The promises made
reverence even her cutting board knew
respecting the spirit of all who touched her blade
lost ones came searching
claiming to be the fathers of the found
banning our feasts
fearing the strength of Love
may turn to sand the dams in their hearts
dying salmon say it is true
Finding my way home
following her wooden spoon to the scent of cedar upriver
spawning salmon in the heart of my child
Way of life
binding us together
where the debt of gratitude is the gift of medicine
A pinch for your pocket
the spice she used most was timeless Love
inviting our tongues to reach all the way to the stars
a drop of water holds more drops of water within, and a tiny seed with a face in the center
Illustration by Morgan Brown.

Recipe in a Poem:

Pray with your salt
know the foods and medicines of your people
always thank them and care for them
let the different flavors of your tears
the rolling bubbles of your laughter
the healing medicine of your ancestors
be tasted by another
illustration of a salmon decorated with indigenous motifs. the center is red, and fades to a golden yellow on the head and tail
Illustration by Morgan Brown.
Portrait of Morgan

Morgan Brown (she/they)

I am a Queer Indigenous Tsimshian Ukrainian Mother. I work as the Protect Mother Earth Coordinator for the Swinomish Tribe. My inspiration and knowledge fall in the realms of Traditional Plant Medicine, First Foods, Indigenous Language Revitalization, Poetry, Healing Justice, Indigenous Childbirth Education, Motherhood, Healing Trauma through Indigenous Wisdom and partnering with Plants, Animals and Ancestors. I believe in Indigenous Women Leadership for the ReMatriation of Mother Earth.