settlers came to the frontier lands
holding guns in their seizing hands
the tribal people's tears and blood
fell on the earth in a torrential flood
they'd been dispossessed of terrain
so lasting was the anguishing pain
their ancient grounds ceded away
to the occupier's colonizing sway
the Indians of the vast Dakota plains
had a culture under great strains
the foot-print put down by forebears
was nearly lost like the brown bears
yet the spirit of the tribes still survive
in their ancestral territory it's alive
they've a heritage enduring of flow
which is seen in the sun's risen glow
Orcas hunting on
a North Dakota sky
swooping up bison
her name thru
in the doorway
on a ledge
in the Lodge
Orca calls sleek
Lakota sings her people
we all long
bison into violent
a haunting breathe
in the sand
bison drowning in
the great river
build for us
of light, orcas
of sagebrush flame
take us there
and call me
sometime on the
Today all carp are swimming high
in swirling waters. Autumn
calls them to flip sideways and glance skyward
Industrious people prepare homes
for the ravages of winter
cocooning foundations with bales of straw
Storm windows prop against scaffolds
like volumes balancing
between bookends on library shelves
Each evening doors close and shut tight
locking out lonely shadows
in search of a bed before sunrise
Skin dark from summer rays fade away
Evenings edge closer to night,
fish form schools in the lake’s warm bottom
Dakota is preparing for winter
if the universe flinched,
when God took you away.
Will I grace your thoughts when the moment comes?
Will your universe come to a complete standstill?
Will you choke back your tears...
Or by the buckets would they fill?
This pain in my heart
What is it?
I know now it's love
I know now I was bit...
I clutch my chest and begin to think...
Of the splintered shard I had failed to extract
I feel subdued and ultimately shattered
By the crushing bitter ripples of a broken pact
I'm hurting much
But strangely so...
I'm beginning to savour it
More than you know...
More lines written in my face than an old women.
More lyrical notes than an instrument of your choice,
I'm dancing inside to the sound of your voice .
Each word and phrase creatively counted,
Carefully picked up and placed,
Lights shining between each elegant phrase.
These words flowing from head to mouth,
Much harder than to paper.
Thoughts are lost in revisions and vapor.
I lose my heart and my voice,
With silly fears I've lost my choice.
Now I've come here with these words to say,
But all my metaphors got in the way.
So I'll say the words that will woo,
a small phrase that I can say,
I love you.
My father once told me my lungs were filled with the western winds,
swept from the plains of South Dakota
and when I spoke, I spoke in shades of the sky;
innocent and naive baby blues to raging, violent greys.
My heart beat to the sound of the hand drum, with a fire in my belly that could not be put out. I yearn for my feet to soak into the soil of the Black Hills, to run the hidden pine trails, seeking wisdom from the ancestors that rest among them.
My mind is as wandering as the Black Foot river and I cannot be stopped.