CORVI   
  
they 
line up 
in rows 
catching sunlight 
preening 
watching 
waiting 
 
it was the whisper 
a subtle caress 
the faintest touch 
lifting 
rising up 
into my thoughts 
 
awakening 
guiding 
without 
leading 
 
they watch 
the stones 
as they fall 
emergent 
patterns 
 
they sing 
stones 
and 
corvus 
collective 
muse 
 
stories 
lost to 
mortal 
memory 
 
songs 
of muted 
wonder 
dancing 
in the 
soul 
 
they 
line up 
in rows 
catching moon rays 
preening 
watching 
waiting 
for the 
night 
to 
call 
 
                               ~ Orannhawk
 

School Clothes
 
Weave a weft of strong souls in your blanket,
Strings of strength to keep out the storm,
Sing as you spin the songs of your people,
Promise that wherever they are is home.
 
Make moccasins thick with the gifts of the Mountains,
Lined with equal parts courage and pain,
Stitch beads on the tongue in circles at the center,
So they'll bring you back to your clan again.
 
The shirt, you see, needs a lining of patience.
Seams on the spirit will help you withstand
The beatings, oppression, the hunger for land.
 
While you are dressing, remember your soul,
Wreath it in memories of when we were whole,
Ask what it means to remain unconquered,
Learn nothing that might someday cost you your soul.
 
                                      ~ Dr. Dawn Karima
 
 
 
Golden Rule
 
Before there was Grace, there were doctrines of Eden,
Where deities met and decided your fate, 
By the weight of your heart,
By the taste of its deeds,
A bitter aftertaste closed the afterlife's doors.
 
A Choctaw veteran told me this on a train through the Ozarks, in fog and rain,
 
"That's why they work so hard to take,
To make,
A chaos that makes us hate."
We passed a road sign for Redman tobacco.
The irony was not lost on us both.
 
                                          ~ Dr. Dawn Karima


The Forgotten Ones

Tule elk once lived here
swimming across the strait
by the hundreds,

a strange sight
even then
to the settlers,

but long since gone to the hunters.

The sun sets,
the spring rains renew the ground
where they once roamed.

No one else seems to remember
the rough lands.

                                      ~ Sheri Watson

                        

This Sacred World


The Patwin
fought for us

but

this sacred world
full of egrets, and tule elk,
pintails, and cormorants,
red hawks and ospreys
barely clings on.

Only the shrew 
would have known
the truth
the annual animal
intimately acquainted 
with lost time.

The sacred tribe
didn’t know we
would tread
so deeply.