Archive for the ‘Ojibwemowin’ Category

Oh Great Nanabozhu,

What lesson do you have for me today?



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Snug underneath Christmas Quilts
and warmed by memory foam,
I hearken back to a time when I could see my breath
while trying to sleep
in the attic of an old tar paper shack.

And even further back
when forebears snuggled under
robes of deer, bear, and beaver.

The rancher’s guns start going off at 11:55
sounding like thunder
when the clock hits 12 midnight.

I actually hear a war cry;
No doubt coming from a Missouri rebel.

Before I know it
I am sandwiched between my woman
and the dog who has crept up on the bed
to hide with us, from the storm.

At 12:05, all is quiet again.

We old folks roll over
and go back to sleep.

*Abita Biboon!


* Happy New Year!

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will you give me a rock,

or a present

for Christmas this year?

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Red Lake

Today, you are gelid winter

and I am drowsy Mŭkwă

in my cozy den.


Mukwa: Black Bear in English

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Winter Full Moon
Manidoo-giizisoon (Mă´nĭ·dū-Gē·zĭ·sūn´): Hmm. An attempt at a translation would be  “spirit- [yearling moon, or little moon, or new moon]” an interpretation might be “little spirit moon” but you can see how something gets lost in the translation because the object to which the adjective little refers, gets transferred to spirit, instead of moon; but maybe it was supposed to be that way all along, as, in its relation to January which is Gichi Manidoo Giizis or Great Spirit Moon or Manido Giizis (spirit moon).
Bibooni-giizis (in the Eastern Candian border lakes): It is my Winter moon
In either case an  (animate noun)
Ojibwemowin is a fantastic language for interpretation because of all of it’s subtleties!

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* Happy Thanksgiving Day!

It’s 2:45 a.m. here. My little hairy black standard poodle kid Belle nudges my hand. “Dad, I gotta go.” So I let her outside and know that she will be at least 20 minutes dawdling around until I give in and tell her I have a treat for her if she will come in. (She has me trained well.)

In 20 minutes I will be sleepy and ready to turn in, myself. I also know that this is a time when my little mind is most creative, (IMHO) so I thought I would write a “stream of consciousness” piece and see what happens, without having to worry about family nodding off at the dinner table because I pray to God on-and-on about all of the things for which we personally are full of thanks.

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the good ol’ USA. I choose to emphasize the positive about it. Here I sit in my nice warm house, a roof over my head, and  a place to sleep, looking forward to a day filled with food preparation and food eating. I have a wife and a dog whom I love, both of whom have chosen to continue to put up with me. We have grown-up kids living nearby whom we get to see regularly. My mom is still in decent health and I have a nuclear family of brothers and sisters, and an extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews and their children with whom I can stay in contact.

I have a great support system in my church, work in church which enables me to help other people and feel self-worth. I’m thankful for God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost and everything they do for me.

I’m thankful for my friends and acquaintances from church or college, or whatever walk in life, in many different states and countries with whom I have stayed in contact, some for forty years or more. I venerate all of my mentors, whether very young or older who have taught me so much and continue to do so.

I’m thankful for time. I have it to pursue my little hobbies; writing this blog, poetry, my journal. And I’m thankful for you dear reader, because you’ve allowed me into a small portion of your life by following me. Thank you.

Now I’m drawing a blank. Which makes me realize five things: that I don’t want to boor you, that I take so many things for granted, and that I have the luxury to do so, and that I have all that I could want, and that I am sleepy again.

So I will end here with the hope that you will have a happy thanksgiving too.

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Each evening I listen to her breathing.

It becomes deeper, regular

as she relaxes…

 Sleeping woman

When she is most herself

she turns,

and I hear the growl of Mĭ·shĭ·bĭ·shē

slowly rising in volume into a snarl

Cougar Family

as she warns me away from her kits.


The submerged part of her alerts

and her breathing stops

as she listens…


Deeper into the night she relaxes

and slowly turns

into Mŭ·kwă in her den.

Woman and Bear

And I hear her rumbling,

in hibernation.


The civilized part of her


and her breathing stops

as she listens…


Until deepest into the night

she relaxes–

until the mountain lion kicks me,

or the bear throws a heavy arm or leg over me.


She struggles with them throughout the night.

flailing about.


Until Day Woman awakens,



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