Tag Archives: Aboriginal

ALAS POOR…

ALAS POOR…

And we in this new old land turning up
with our plow
hammer heads, and arrowheads, and sometimes
a bone or two
and if one would be an uncrushed skull it would
be no Yorick that we knew

This noun, once verb, would mock us
in its grinning
all those with whom we might converse
are laid neath Hamlet’s soil

His redder kin scattered
like his bones

SACRED DANCE

SACRED DANCE

The Bushmen of the Kalahari
dance all night in a circle
dance a calf-deep trench in the sand

In a circle around the circle
sit those in need of a healing

And because it is a sacred dance
any dancer at any time may step
out of the dance and do the healing
and then return to the dance again

Knowing without knowing
that everyone is a healer sometimes
everyone needs a healing sometimes

You just keep dancing

DREAM CATCHER

DREAM CATCHER
(for Maia)

Boogie man boogie man get out of my dream
Boogie man boogie man can’t make me scream

Cause I’ve got a dream catcher over my bed
I’ve got a dream catcher right over my head

Now only sweet dreams can make it through
and boogie man boogie man that ain’t you

Boogie man boogie man get out of my dream
Boogie man boogie man can’t make me scream

You were feeding on my fears all night long
that’s what was making you big and strong

Now dream catcher and me have got you beat
so you have to eat at Susie’s down the street

Boogie man boogie man get out of my dream
Boogie man boogie man can’t make me scream

A KINDER GENTLER GOD

A KINDER GENTLER GOD

As we look around the world today we see
with God as our father in trouble all are we

Fathers as you know, often have a tendency
towards discipline, judgement and wrath
while grandparents almost always
take a wiser, gentler path

There may be much to learn
as we choose, or create our deity
from the Blackfoot, Sioux and Cree
who still gather at Grandfather’s knee

STONE HAMMERS

STONE HAMMERS

In my house
two stone hammers
picked from the ancient land
where Cree and Blackfoot fought and died

Beside the deep ruts of the Red River carts
showing yet through a hundred years of grass

Mounted police on the Fort Walsh trail
to stop the whisky and move the rail

Stony silent bookends now
with many more stories to tell
than the pages they hold between them

KENDRA

KENDRA

When the natives of this land
suffered a death such as this
they knew how to grieve

They felt it to the depths of their being
and cut deep into their arms and legs
that they might reach deeper

Today my great friends
I reach and bleed with you

Written for my cousin Kenny and his wife Betty on the tragic loss of their eighteen year old daughter

BLACK HILLS OF DAKOTA

BLACK HILLS OF DAKOTA

The red man mines his life for irony
while the white man tears the earth for iron

But treaties protect the sacred stones
as long as rivers flow and grass grow
Paper covers rock
in the Black Hills of Dakota

Gold in the Black Hills, end of treaty
Scissors cut paper
in the Black Hills of Dakota

But sacred stones outlive them all
Rock breaks scissors
in the Black Hills of Dakota