Posts Tagged ‘Ojibwemowin’

Midnight in Red Lake.

The air is cool through the open bedroom window.

Dogs are barking.

Somewhere in the distance,

to the Northwest,

someone singin’ Indian.

Their song fades in and out.


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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.

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In Anishinabe it would be…Mino Noos Giizhigad

Mē·nō Nūs Gē·zhē·gŭd: Happy (My) Father’s Day!


Dear Dad,

You would have been 90, and still going strong today, if you hadn’t smoked.


your son.


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At 5 a.m., Nanabozhu woke up and found himself sleeping in the “Inn over Oak Creek”, in Sedona, Arizona.

“Oh, It’s still dark outside. I wonder where the sun is.  It should be getting light out by now.” He also noticed that he still felt a little tired.

“Hm.” He thought ” I think I’ll drop by that vortex at the Phoenix Airport for a little refreshment.” So he stepped outside, changed into a small Blue Heron, and winged his way over.

Twisted JuniperHe searched for the place on the hill where the Junipers grew twisted. That was one of the ways that you knew to find a vortex. Of which he heard Sedona had four. Looking at one of the Junipers, he could see how it grew.  It was as if the small tree had grown inside a cyclone and the wind perpetually twirling about had spiraled the tree as it grew so that not only  the bark of the trunk and branches were twisted but their grain deep into the heartwood as well.

He knew he had arrived because he felt that tingling on his neck and the hair standing on the back of his head as the healing energy of he vortex refreshed him, and he began to feel better already. Still no sun though.

“That’s because I thought I would give you the honor of singing the sun into view.” the Earth said.  “You see, the Sun always likes to hear the songs of The People of the Earth so I will slowly turn  so he can hear the song of the next person to sing. ”

“Well, what should I sing?” asked Nanabozhu with a twinkle in his eye.  ” How about, ‘Ah’m all shook up’, by Elvis Presley?” He could feel the earth give him a gentle swat on his arm.

“That would be good if Elvis sang it.” she said,  “But the Sun likes original songs that come from the singers themselves, the best.”

“I can do that.” replied Nanabozhu. He thought quietly for a few minutes and then raised both arms to the East where the sun would rise, and began his chant.

Oh my favorite Sun,
(even though you’re the only one.)
Enlighten the skies
to entice the eyes
of children and old folks to waken.
But not so much so,
to the Larks please don’t go,
they’d rather the day were forsaken.
Then dim the stars and the moon,
so The People will swoon
when that beauty is seen
come this e’en’.
And turn the violet sky rose
bring sweet dawn to the nose
to soften the hearts of The People.
Now Chiaroscuro the place
your appearance will grace
to make the artists of Sedona most happy;
But not so intense
that their feelings are flensed
to the point that it makes them get sappy.
Now color the earth
and put shadows therein
and the hearts of the people you’ll win.
And when you are ready,
shine your brilliance most steady,
warm the air with your breeze for your kin;
So to soothe stiff old bones
and to soften sore muscles
so we all say “Well Come!” when you show.
And when you have risen,
freed us all from night’s prison,
we are thankful,
just so you know.

Nanabozhu could feel the Earth looking at him askance; nevertheless, the Earth had turned, and the Sun had risen.

“Thank you.”  said the smiling Sun.  “That was…very Nanabozhu-esque.  That certainly adds to my day.”

“Now”, said Nanabozhu to the Earth, “if you will allow me to rearrange things a little bit, I have a gift for you.” And with that, he rearranged a mountain formation so that it looked like his face, waking up to the dawn and praying. Which you can see to this day from the viewing point next to the Sedona airport.


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Hey kid,

why did I have to let you out at 2:30 in the morning? I knew something was up when I called you back in and you didn’t show up right away. When you finally slunk in, it hit me! You had to go and play with “the-little-black-and-white-Kitty”.

You thought he was purring because you both had found a friend. But you got too close for comfort, and met the clueless office coworker when you entered into the orbit of his cologne.

It only takes five minutes to Google a remedy for Skunk spray: a quarter cup of  Baking Soda, a little dish soap and a quart of Hydrogen Peroxide from the store. But in that time you managed to trot all around the house looking for help and to jump into 3 beds.

After washing your head according to the prescription, and chopping your affected hair off–all the while my eyes were watering– we got you squared away. (Here is a link or two, to find out what to do. )

Now all I have to do is wash my sheets in a bleach solution, dump my stinky clothes, and sleep under different sheets and a few blankets with the windows open until the house airs out.

I know you feel bad, and could use some more comfort, but you are sleeping on the floor tonight.




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several maple trees tapped with buckets

In my zeal to tap Maple Sugar Trees

I did not look up high to see

this one was dead.

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March is a month of many transitions so it has a few Anishinabe names to describe these. There is:

Ăn·dĕ´gō·gē´zĭs, or Crow Moon. Not that Crows migrate, but they fly around the area more. Perhaps because the warmer weather during March days melts the snow and the crows search to eat the preserved bodies of various animals which the melting snow reveals. (Hence my Haiku yesterday 🙂 )

crow moon

Canadian Goose Moon

Nĭ·kĭ´gē´zĭs, or Canadian Goose Moon. This is the time of the year when the Canadian Geese start migrating back north if the weather is favorable.

There is also  Ō´nă·bă·nĭ·gē´zĭs or Hard Crusted Snow Moon. With warmer weather during the days, the snow melts and then freezes again at night, causing its surface to develop a hard crust. Sometimes, during the day, it is just warm enough for there to be sleet that freezes when it hits the frozen snow on the earth.


Bĕ·bū·kwĕ´daa·gĭ·mĕ-gē´zĭs, the Snowshoe Breaking Moon; Because of the hard crust, it is easier to break your snowshoes when walking on this type of snow.


Zēn·sĭ·baa·kwăd´ōkē´gē´zĭs, or, Maple Sugar Making Moon. Warm days and chilly nights are the best kind of weather for Maple Sugaring as the sap flows best in these circumstances.

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