Time

pocketwatch

Funny thing about time isn’t it?  We enter time  from eternity and then return to the infinite when we are done here.  In time are all born, and we all die.  Also, here in Missouri the Indian people lived before the time when white men came and drove them out.  I knew I was Native American on one side of my family, but was surprised to find out, from a surprisingly detail genealogy, that I was native American on both sides. I am 1/16th to the tribes reckoning, and they think I  had a great grandmother who was “full blood” but they couldn’t prove that at the time. 

These poems are from the time in my life where I was searching the nooks and crannies of my Native American relations. Time for some poetry with a little Indian flair!

My Death Song

as I face death
I ask You 
the Great Mystery
grant me the kindness
of no fear
that the final moments
are not seized by terror
but grace and good will
with someone to hold my hand
that is not paid 
to be there
and that my relations 
come quickly 
to greet me as I
step out into
the next journey 

Going to Water

(based on the practices of Cherokee Medicine Man Rolling Thunder)

my favorite way
to go to water
is when it is raining lightly
just above a drizzle
then the water is more powerful
the medicine quicker
as the current foams white
upon the higher rocks
in the small creeks and streams
that are common here in Missouri
you wade shoeless into the water
and face downstream
then will pray to the Great Mystery
that the water will carry away
the debris 
I like to raise my hands as I begin
but that is optional
just watch the ripples and currents
carry your burdens away 
leeching the salt 
from you wounds
you will feel
the water pulling away
what you don't need

Two Poems: Sleep & After the Flood

riding-the-mule

What is reality?  In some ways sleep is just another form of reality, and consciousness and unconsciousness commingle.  It gets slippery and we loose our way. Trumpism is an example of what can indeed happen here. How surreal is it to see a Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office?

When reality shifts, after the flood, there is a rebuilding.   I am from the Show Me State, and we are as stubborn as mules. There will be another day, and in the meantime it is at least, well… interesting.

Here are the poems, and later next week some poems of protest as well as defiance:



Sleep

sometimes when I am awake
I sleep
sometimes when I sleep
I am awake

seems as if
I cannot
make up my mind

or perhaps

I have made this bed
and the decision
to lay in it

I am awake
sometimes when I sleep
I sleep
sometimes when I am awake

or perhaps
it is the other way
around

After the Flood

during the deluge
all you could do was
close the hatches
weather it out
wait for the sun
which would finally come

then one day
after the flood
the dove
did not come back
the waters withdrew
and the finger of G-d
wrote against the sky
using a prism of light
a sign for us
to start over
to begin anew

everything
that happens now
comes from then
so we are all
after the flood
children of survivors

The Last Poem

Among other things I will be previewing poems from my new chapbook  After the Flood. As the good book says “So the last shall be first, and the first last….”  So it is here.

The Last Poem

who will write
the last poem?

will anyone read it?

perhaps it will just remain
behind
abandoned as
an unread artifact
that will never be
recited
or, for that matter, rejected
by editors – a defacto still birth

for this last poem we should hope
it has the élan
to be composed
in pica or elite
typewritten
with mechanical keys
rhythmically striking
a staccato tatoo
a bell sounding
at the end of the line

or better yet
written with a freshly sharpened
yellow wooden pencil
with that schoolroom smell
scribbled on real paper peppered with shavings