​                      Photo Courtesy Maureen Brucker

Blood Calls to Blood

first there was the change
of seasons
winter endured
spring melt 
and the rush of the river
in that melt
was a whisper
the sun rose 
with its heat
and it became 
a dry withering
of what was once
the growing season
the whisper became
a voice...and the cry
went out...to save first medicine
Mni Wiconi!...water is life!

and the voice became many
voices in song and prayer
death songs crept from the shadows
snake chasing
its black coils 
of venom
and the cry
became a shout!
blood flowed
flesh tried to cover
concussions of authority

and mo^-i^`-ka
our mother carried us unto
Paris...the scream became
promises made...accords 
were signed...the illusions
sealed in smoke

and the olde ones said
we have heard 
these lies before!
so in north dakota
friends allies blood relations
stepped to the front lines
of strength sorrow hardship
and the visions...of balance
and prayer

imprinted on our dna
were the signs
of OUR desired climate change
#nodapl!...keep it in the ground!
rezpect our water! 
blood calls to blood
river veins of our mother
ravaged veins of our flesh
all as one....blood calls to blood

sacred stones....camps
of faith....we are here!...
we will stay!....a victory won
men and women with the stains
of military conflict joined
the peoples so gathered to protect
first medicine...to protect
the river...it became a victory
access beneath the river...DENIED!
it is a victory...the war continues
blood calls to blood

the canon ball river
the old ones
the people
seven generations times
all connected....all still need us
all still ask for our vigilance
and so wolf like...we wait
for the next rounds
of relentless endurance
and the prejudice
that will brush up against us
we shall live...we shall stand!
relentless we shall guard
our sacred ground
the resting places of our dead
o^....yes into this new year
blood calls to blood

my take on 2016

                       ~ SoldierBlue

Options and Alternatives
My brother was born in a tipi meeting.
Traditions run deep in the family.
The intertwining of pipe and peyote.
Of sun dance and the tipi.
He is of Tatanka Iotanka and Hehaka Gleska,
Of Wasicu Tasunka and Tasunka Witko,
Of Sword and a Mexican man named Sierra,
Of Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance and John Weasel Bear.
My brother is of the reservation born and bred,
Yet he is of the coasts as well.
Of California where he brings ceremony,
And New York where he records his music.
This is a complicated man
Of complicated choices.
Of hard living
And declining health.
This is a complicated man,
Of strong traditions,
Of powerful faith,
And a well-earned peaceful heart.
Strength is something that ebbs and flows.
Medical treatments are much less than perfect.
Gone are the days of ‘Firstly do no harm’.
Sometimes, no matter what is said, harm is very great
          and good is very small.
In hospital, all techniques are invasive.
When one is ill, ‘informed consent’ can be difficult.
Are we treating the flu, cancer, heart disease, kidney failure?
Or are we trying to juggle all at once?
Procedures are exhausting.
They always seem to be painful.
One endures in order to get better.
But what if the result is serious damage?
There is nothing pleasant about the first stage of grief.
Anger rips through everyone.
He is too young, this is too soon.
The tension is everywhere.
The end is truly almost a month long struggle.
The suffering is obvious.
Late night text messages speak of unspeakable choices.
Ultimately the decision to go home is made.
Home to the rez.
Home to the land.
Home to sisters and brothers.
Home to prepare.
The journey comes in the morning.
The journey ends the struggle.
The journey home’
Brings a final peace.
Dedicated to Aloysius John Weasel Bear
June 6, 1966 to November 19, 2017
                           ~ Maureen Brucker

Dove wings, whisper soft
Crystals of rain cloud spirits
Angels to earth fall
On nature of leaves
Elders of discourse softly
Winters light obscured
                            ~ Sheri Watson

Walking With JT

I walked with his spirit today...
I didn't hear his physical voice,
But heard him in the whisper of the trees
I didn't see his physical being,
But I felt him with my spirit.
I sensed him as I walked the forest.
I felt the pain in the tears of the water.
His voice and being linger with his energy.
He spoke of coherence and connection.
His words were his weapon; His poetry, his activism.
Let his words move me,
Let his spirit guide me,
Let his lingering voice teach me.
I walked with his spirit today...

                                 ~ Debby Ball

Coyote Tribute: JT

coyote tracks
the tracks followed me
or did I follow them?
and then I thought:
coyote has found me
or did I find coyote?
Or did we find each other?
coyote tracks

                                  ~ Debby Ball