Thursday, April 2, 2009

A month of (Native) poetry

I like to celebrate the written word as much as possible, and wierd to say I actually look forward to, and remember, that April is National Poetry Month. A ticker-tape parade it is not, but there IS a lot more poetry out there being highlighted in April, and that's a good thing. Native authors, for the most part, aren't well-known, and Native poets even less so.

I'm no poet (the meager bits I've plunked down are not going to see the light of day) but I still want to celebrate with all the other litera-nerds out there, so look forward to some samplings of beautiful Native poetry on the blog this month!

The first is a quite recent one from an Open Salon blogger, Noahvose:

I saw him, the last eagle.
Someone pointed, and for a moment
We were all still.
A breeze suddenly touched us,
And in that moment my heart sank,
For somehow I knew.
I think, despite hope, we all knew.
So we stood there, silently.
At last, together.

I was there in the crowd
When the dancers stopped dancing
And the singers forgot the words.
A group of children played tag,
While an old man sat outside the circle
In his blue, foldout chair
Trying hard to hide his tears.
I didn't realize until then
How much they had taken...
How much we had let them take.

I had to narrow it down to only one from Chief Dan George. But pick up any of his books for some truly beautiful - and often sad - thoughts:

The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.

The summit of the mountain,

the thunder of the sky,
the rhythm of the sea,
speaks to me.

The faintness of the stars,
the freshness of the morning,
the dew drop on the flower,
speaks to me.

The strength of fire,
the taste of salmon,
the trail of the sun,
and the life that never goes away,

They speak to me.

And my heart soars.


patience said...

Selah ...

Chrissy Johnson said...

I'm usually not a giant poetry lover, preferring prose...but these are so lovely and haunting. Thank you for posting them!

vthib said...

I beg to differ on your claim to not being a good poet. I happen to have a beautiful poem you wrote for your cousin.

The world is full of stars, busy and bright,
and sometimes we lose ourselves in them.
But once in a while a blazing comet, a shooting star,
will come along and we are blessed with it’s beauty.
And though it is with us for only a short time, we admire it’s twinkling strength
as it boldly moves across the sky, brightening the darkest of nights.
When this rare wonder passes us by, we can only count ourselves lucky
to have shared it’s short life and known how beautiful it truly was.
Christopher is our shooting star and his light has passed us on.
But we can keep him near with our memories, loving him still.
His kind of beauty can never be forgotten.

Love you forever, Your Auntie.

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