Big Medicine Comes to Erie is a poetic exploration of modern day Southwestern Ontario from the viewpoint of a Lenni Lenape speaker. Lockhart takes the reader on a journey through time in the first section of his collection. Touching on major events throughout history, the lyric poetry paints a picture of the Delaware peoples’ migration to the region that is today known as southwestern Ontario. Building on this foundation, the poems act as critical touchstones to the past and bring the reader to a more contemporary light in the second section.
Lockhart’s poetry mixes the personal with the profound as he presents lyric meditations of moments in the modern world. Using themes like place, the power of naming, and relationships, Lockhart’s thought-provoking collection explores where we came from and how it’s influenced who we are today.
From: Enta Linkwehëlate: White Path Vision
And in the sliver of her light, she speaks. Says, understand that our world comes into exis- tence through vision. Not one, but many. Because creation rests its body atop the gossamer webs that run through all things. Its essence in the manner that things come connected to each other. Without crow, there is no fire, only snow and ice piled past the tops of tallest ce- dars. Without stonefish, there is not dry land on this turtle’s back, nor place for roots to sink into. Without thunderbird there can be no rain to wash spring into being. She insists this through vision. We are portioned out pieces of the collective whole that is creation.