Tuesday, December 9, 2008

CHENOA ON THE RESERVATION


CHENOA ON THE RESERVATION


with her breath she
drew
an eagle with a
fish
in its talons
soaring
in the quiet
ether


above the powder
river
over the bighorn
mountains
into the dreams of her
youth
where elk sheep deer
bison


and the real people
lived
in peace and respect
quietly
in love with mother
earth
and with one
another

17 comments:

Sarah Hina said...

For me, this is a kind of prayer, or meditation. It made me feel totally serene...and whole.

I can tell you love paintings, K. Because your poems draw landscapes, and people, so vividly, and so beautifully. The line, where elk sheep deer bison just perfectly clicked for me.

I will return to this one when I need that soaring feeling. :)

Julie said...

In her breath she drew an eagle with a fish, and with that line, you took my breath away. Sarah Hina is so right in her comment above. This is a beautiful, beautiful portrait of a person. I love the title, too. How many times can I say the word beautiful? Not enough to describe this poem!

Rick said...

Hello K. I have a friend with cancer and a very stressful job who just wanted to get away once to just such aas place you portrayed. He was lucky enough to do that and came back a strong man, ready to face his fate. In the city, he told me, he was not strong enough to battle the disease. After going to where people of the land draw eagles and fish with their breath, he was able to stand and fight again.

With your heart, K, you have drawn a world where people can draw strength.

Catvibe said...

Simply beautiful K, it makes me want to go to that place and sit with those people and be still enough to see and hear the visions. If I'm still just long enough, I can hear the distant beating of the drum.

Minister of the Masochistic Truth said...

Here where I teach we have a very large aboriginal student population. I'm going to read this in my English class next period.

Check out Northern Cree on Youtube if you'd like to accompany this with a wee bit of drumming.

There's some much to be gained through reflection upon traditional ways (very organic), and even sadder to see how culture is being hijacked for political gained or oppressed out of fear.

jason evans said...

Loved the powerful words.

Their energy alone carried the piece forward.

trooping with crows said...

I think you must be an old soul. You have a true kindred to so many present and past lives. This poem is SO filled with sounds, smells, and sensations...cold, thin mountain air, a rushing river, a chant, and the kind of quiet that you can only experience when you are at peace with yourself. I hear it and feel it all. This one is beautiful beyond words.

(This poem is so appropriate for me right now because there is a bald eagle who has taken up residency at a large pond by my house, and I am thrilled!)

Vesper said...

There are a wholeness, a quiet peace, a sorrow in this poem that fill my heart with a sad beauty, an almost breathtaking nostalgia...
The photo accompanies it perfectly.

Karen said...

This poem, begun with a breath, leaves me breathless. I love the movement and the momentum that carries to her home and her peace. What a beautiful portrait, and what an artist you are!

joaquin carvel said...

this is one of those pieces where you can hardly beleive so few words can paint so complete a picture.

it makes me want to sleep under stars tonight...

Aine said...

I want to live with them too! Sigh....

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Sarah - Prayer and Meditation are good words for this poem, as the Native Americans are so spiritual. I do love art, so very much. I wish I could paint. But, I AM happy in my effort to paint with words, using the blank page as my canvas.

Thank you, my friend. Your words mean so much to me.



Julie - I have always been drawn to the Native American spirit and way of life. I made a trip out west several years back to try and get in touch with their life force. All you have to do is stand still on those plains and listen - all their stories come rushing to you on the wind.

Many thanks to you for your wonderful remarks!



Rick - There is such a strength in the Native American essence. I know how he must have felt. Just standing on ground where their moccasins surely trod - gives one a sense of courage and will. I hope your friend is faring well. Thanks, Rick, for your unwavering support of my work.



Catvibe - Yes, I would imagine that you are tuned into that Native American spirit. I hope that you can find some time to go to "that place" - the inner self - in search of a vision.
Blessings -K



Minister - I feel very proud that you deem my little poem important enough to read to your class. I appreciate your unwavering endorsement. And as for their culture being hijacked - truer words were never spoken!
Thanks so much for the good remarks!


Jason - If I was able to capture any essence of the spirit of our Native peoples - then, yes, I do believe my words are powerful in this poem. But, I appreciate your validity of those words, in your love for them. Thank you.



Trooping with Crows - It takes an old soul to know one! You have recognized in me, what you have in yourself, dear one.

You are so very lucky to have a Bald Eagle as your neighbor. ;) Of course, you know that the eagle is highly revered by many Native American Indian cultures which have special eagle dances, ceremonies and societies. Their feathers are considered sacred. I hope you find one or two.



Vesper - Thank you. A quiet peace and sorrow... Yes, a girl who once ran free on the plains, now an old woman held prisoner on a reservation. I bought my husband a shirt that has a picture of four Indian Warriors - and the caption reads:
"FIGHTING TERROISM SINCE 1492". Thanks for the comments! ;)



Karen - Wouldn't it be sad to lose your whole way of life, and be made to conform to the customs of others. The young Indian girls who were made to go to the "White Schools" were punished if they were caught speaking their own language. They had to dress in "white" style dresses and their hair was fixed or cut like their white counterparts. So sad....
Many thanks for your very insightful remarks - and wonderful compliment, my friend.



Oh Joaquin, I hope you do sleep under those stars tonight, if only figuratively. As always, I appreciate your beautiful words, dear poet.



Aine - I know what you mean... I have long had that wish! ;) Thank you for your comment. -K

Hans Ford said...

K the moment I started reading this my mind began to wander back to a song by Pink Floyd entitled "Learning to Fly" the power and the abilities of native Americans was incredible and instead of learning from them we destroyed them. What a sad commentary on American history. Thank you for taking me back, your wording is always so mesmerizing.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hello Hans - yes, and we are just earth-bound misfits. But, together, maybe our flight will be unthreatened by the the morning light - and blow our souls right through the roof of the night!

As always - thanks for your great comment! I look forward to seeing you here.

gel said...

Serene, grounded, reflective, spiritual
You've awakened many feelings with these calm strong images and statements - I feel like this when painting the mountains and sky or when I'm so small (in comparison to the majesty of earth's bounties) as I gaze across the vista, yet there is always the pull to feel the earth (or sand) soft and moist

George said...

This gets me thinking of my native heritage, nice peaceful words of the spiritual earth.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Gel - your comment was more beautiful than the poem - ;)
I appreciate your stopping in and taking time to comment. I have to get around to your beautiful site, too. I have been swamped - I haven't been "traveling" as much as I would like to - but I will! Merry Christmas to you Gel.



George - Welcome to Old Mossy Moon! I am happy to have you here. Yes, our earth is so spiritual - it is the people who mess it up. Please visit often. ;)