Like a canted boat beached on dry land,
you sleep on the yellow stripes in the middle of the road.
You lie near skunk who is black, white…and red.
One Wing covers your head.
Does it shield your sensitive eyes from the sun?
Don’t you know that is a bad place to sleep?
On my next visit, someone has spirited you away.
Are you in a better place?
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Somewhere in the near darkness I hear the coyotes;
yipping, the sound of babies crying, and howling.
Like a blind man in unfamiliar territory
I grope my way to the front door
and open it to the cold night in the moon glow.
Awooooooo! I call.
Haughty silence greets me.
Posted in American Indian, Anishinabe, Chippewa, Indian Values, Native American, Nature, Ojibwemowin, Poem, Poems, Poetry | Tagged American Indian, Anishinabe, Chippewa, Native American, Ojibwe, Ojibwemowin, Poetry Poems, Prose | 4 Comments »
Cream of Chicken
and wild rice soup
Nothing better for breakfast.
The sound–like sleet upon a roof
draws me outside to see
a great flock of European Starlings
filling the surrounding fall trees.
In two weeks, I am going to present at a fortune 100 company as part of their diversity program. I have a half hour for my presentation and a four-by-eight table on which to place pictures or things. I get to talk about being “Indian”. (In my case, being a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, and having ancestors from the Red lake, Leech Lake and White Earth bands as well.) I suppose my audience will be people I’ve met from a relative’s department, and perhaps some of the big wigs from the company.
Having lived on and off the reservation and having degrees in American Indian Studies and psychology, it would be easy for me to come up with my perception of what being Indian means. However, as part of the presentation, I would like to know and present two things. 1) What you would like to know about a person/people from these cultures if you are not from there, and 2) what you would like other people to know if you are.
For fellow Anishinabeg, I’m aware that we come from many different reservations, reserves, places and experiences, and want to take this into account. But I need your input in order to do so. If you would like me to keep your replies confidential, I can do that, as this blog is set up so that I have to approve, and can edit, your reply before posting it. I would however like to use your reply and at least note where it comes from.
Migrate dying children.
Do you leave the parent of your birth,
or are you cast off?
Or is your separation by mutual agreement
while you still have some life left?
Fall to the Earth in ones and twos and multitudes,
until you finally expire.
Lie dessicate on the ground,
or rot in sopping wet,
Trod upon by uncaring feet.
Ground beneath the wheels of vehicles whose owners
have come to gawk at the casualties
of this yearly conflict.
Waste away as the cold and snow entomb you.
The irony is that most people will exclaim in wonder
at the color of the blood left behind at your death.
Or the golden glory as your spirit passes.
Posted in American Indian, Anishinabe, Chippewa, Native American, Nature, Poem, Poems, Poetry | Tagged American Indian, Anishinabe, Chippewa, Native American, Nature, Ojibwe, Poem, Poetry, Poetry Poems, Prose, Reflection | Leave a Comment »