Land to Light On opens onto the landscape of Canada. "Out here I am…not even safe as the sea," she writes. "If I am peaceful…is not peace,/is getting used to harm." Brand writes about a place where she is an outsider -- as any poet or painter must be -- and also about the many outsiders who have come here and settled over the years, uncomfortable with the land and its people, uncomfortable sometimes with themselves.
No one writes about this country like Brand, free of post-colonial cant yet selvedged with Black suffering in the Americas. Speaking of memory but without a longing for the past, these poems hover between story and song; between groundings of life, wherever your landfall, and the grace of love and light. They ring with a poet's hesitations, a woman's praise and prayer for her people and their place. "It always takes long to come to what you have to say, you have to/sweep this stretch of land up around your feet and point to the/signs, pleat whole histories with pins in your mouth and guess/at the fall of words."