|The Kamloops Wawa was a Chinook language newspaper published for more than a decade by the Oblate missionaries. It was written in a short hand specifically designed for Chinook and interior Salishan languages|
I am posting the poem in chunks, Terry wrote it in seven pieces. Since I could not find a copy online I asked Terry if I could post it and he agreed. The original is in the book "A Voice Great within us: The Story of Chinook" by Charles Lillard and Terry Glavin published by Transmontanus/New Star Books
The "English" sections are not only a translation but an integral part of the whole poem. I like that the poem shows how the grammar works for Chinook and how it shows the way the language lingers in the little words in this part of the world.
IIIAhnkuttie, yaka mitlite nesika lelang,
Once, it was our language,
nawitka nesika oakut
our own way
to want, to love,
pe mamook skookum light.
and to make bright.
Alta, yukwa mitlite ketling,
Now, there is a kettle here,
keekweelie powitsh stick,
under the crabapple trees,
pil ilta kopa chickamin chako halo ikta.
rusting to nothing.
on the other side of the fence,
a broken plough
mitlite kow kopa klale ollallie.
is tangled in the blackberries.
Yaka mitlite kopa kopet tenas coulees kopa nesika illahie,
It is only the little places of our country,
in the rain,
pe ole shantie.
and in old songs
Konoway sun nika cly,
Always, I weep,
Siah Illahie nika mitlite alta;
Far away is my country now;
Konoway sun nika cly.
Always, I weep.
Siah illahie nika mitlite alta.
Far away is my country now.