Wednesday, November 26, 2008

TFC Holiday


Wake up so early
the cold is too grim
Pull down the covers
from under your chin

Wait for the newspaper
to dry from the rain
Hunt for the ice scraper
in the trunk by the chains

Pull out the wool coats
from the back of the closets
You've cleaned out the gutters
and wrapped all the faucets

Peer through the wet steam
the windows will frame
One day and the next
how often the same

Delicate crackers
packed next to the cheese
Drive the dark roads
sliding with ease

Not always so joyful
the world is askew
All are not angels
there is hope for a few

We dream of the future
good will to all hearts
Each of us has purpose
we work from the start

Life is a round-a-bout
an uncertain carousel
But on Saturday we party

Susan Gilmour

TFC is the Tacoma Film Club
CSL is the Center for Spiritual Learning

Tuesday, November 25, 2008



in the beginning of the world
all men had knowledge cheerfully
all had leisure
all thoughts were pleasant

at that time all creatures were friends

wide waters rushing
wide to the hills
everywhere spreading
waters devouring
men and all creatures on the flood of the waters

when the darkness of spirit came to help
all then joined together
all saying
Come help

in other years all traveled
over the waters of the hard stony sea

all were powerful long ago

large and long was the east land
rich and good

shall we be free and happy then
at the new land?

we want rest and peace and wisdom.

Delware Song of Creation

The God-Wagon

The God-Wagon

The sacred flat pipe
is the wagon of god
the motion of God
the passing by of God

looking upon it one's shadow
if transported
to the tranquility of home;
looking upon it one's shadow
is at home.

It rests upon four stalks
the sacred flat pipe
as when
it appeared
upon the dark waters
at the birth of the world.

Glowing with beauty'
afloat on the waters
in the tranquility of home.

It gave to the people
its pity,
it called the turtle to heap up land
for the earth people,
the Arapaho,
it gave the land to
the earth people, the Arapaho.

It gave them the tranquil land of home.

Whenever it rests on its four-legged alter
it is at home with the shadows,
at home in the tranquil shadows
with the devout people,
the Arapaho.

Northern Arapaho
Flat Pipe Ceremony

Songs of Darkness

Image borrowed from Destination 360

Songs of Darkness

The Death Song of White Antelope

Nothing lives long
Nothing lives long
Nothing lives long
Except the earth
and the mountains.



I considered myself a wolf
but the owls are hooting
and now
I fear the night.


The Rock

The Rock

from time without
you rest
there in the middle of the paths
in the midst of the winds
you rest
covered with the droppings of birds
grass growing from your feet
your head decked with the down of birds
you rest
in the midst of the winds
you wait
Aged one.

Omaha Ritual Song

Buffalo Calf

Buffalo Calf

In this way came the buffalo tracks
the buffalo tracks that we see
that everywhere we see

the tracks of those feet were made by life
in this way
life that came
in this way

Life to the unborn
first in the belly of the mother
life to the unborn nose
to the unborn face,
to the unborn eyes,
life to the unborn horns
life to the living being.

Now the little calf is born
filled with life and motion,
born the newborn yellow calf
standing on its feet and walks

leaving tracks
leaving footprints
buffalo buffalo
leaving tracks.

Omaha Song

Buffalo Father

Buffalo Father


the song of the aged father

The song
of the aged beloved

Our father
the buffalo heavy with age

Heavy with age
endlessly walking

Too heavy
to rise again if he should fall

Walking forever
walking forever

Humped high with age
head bent with age

Heavy with age,
aged buffalo,
my aged father.

Pawnee Song


Oh grandfather come to us,
come down to us;
Oh grandfather give us a suitable
symbol for peace

and the red god had with him his red plume
the red of dawn and peace
which he swiftly took from its sacred cover
and shot it into the mouth of the angry bull
where it lodged
to the left of his tongue,
to the left of his tongue

and then no longer
the buffalo
pawed the earth in anger

no longer thunder rolled
from the ridge pole overhead

no longer
grandfather the buffalo
threw dust with his foot in anger

but he, the buffalo,
lowered his tail,
which he had lifted in anger
and stood subdued
by the magic of peace.

Osage Myth

War Honors

War Honors

I speak of a certain place;
I killed an eagle
I consecrated the eagle;
that same year I killed an enemy
and consecrated the scalp
to the gods in the heavens
and the gods received
my smoke.

I speak of a certain place
I killed a wildcat
and consecrated it
and that same year
I went on the warpath
and captured ponies ;
when I returned to the village
I took one pony and gave it to the priest.

I speak of a certain place
I killed a raccoon
I consecrated it to the gods
in the heavens;
that same year I went on the warpath
and captured many ponies;
upon my return to the village
I gave four horse to different men.

The gods in the heavens have heard me.
They will make the path straight for you
to do likewise.

Pawnee Song

Peyote Prayer

Peyote Prayer

The Peyote Man prays
to an unknown mystery
he has no name for it
but life.

The Peyote Man prays
to a great light,
to the great light
to understand the light
within himself.

In the morning at dawn
when the Water Bird fan is used
when the Water Song is sung
the priest's face disappears

in its place is the Water Bird
perched upon the staff,
the peyote gourd beneath.

Kiowa Thoughts & Visions

Wind Chant

Wind Chant

The patient was twice bathed; sacredly.

Then his body was painted
with the sun on his breast
and the wind above
arrows on his arms
snakes on his legs
and on each shoulder a white cross.

A prayer plume they tied to his head
and they painted his face,
white on the forehead
red across the eyes
yellow across the chin.

They mixed herbs
and the Blue Jay came
and the Whirling Winds.

The singer stroked the patient's body
and pressed his body to his;

"Have you learned?" they asked him,
and he answered, "Yes."

They sang all night
and the patient learned
and was well.

Then he was told to be sure
and remember all that he had been taught;
for everything forgotten
went back to the gods.

Navajo Ceremonial Song

War God's Horse

War God's Horse

I am Turquoise Woman's son
on top of Belted Mountain
beautiful horses slim like weasels.

My horse has a hoof like a striped agate,
his fetlock is like fine eagle plume,
his legs are like quick lightning

My horse's body is like an eagle-feathered arrow,
with a tail like a trailing black cloud.

I put flexible goods on my horse's back.
The Holy Wind blows through his mane
which is made of rainbows.

My horse's ears are made of round corn,
his eyes are made of stars,
his head is made of mixed waters;
from the holy waters so
that he never knows thirst.

My horse's teeth are made of white shell;
the long rainbow is in his mouth
for a bridle; with it I guide him.

When my horse neighs,
different colored horses follow,
and different colored sheep follow.

I am wealthy from my horse.

Before me peaceful
Behind me peaceful
Under me peaceful
Over me peaceful
Around me peaceful;

Peaceful voice when he neighs,
I am everlasting and peaceful;
I stand for my horse.

Navajo Song

The Beauty Way

The Beauty Way

Down below I am sitting,
earth, sky, Tortoise,
short rainbow--
growing things, falling rain;
beads swinging,
perfect shell disk
down below I am sitting.

Mount Taylor
Mountain Lion;
long rainbow,
falling rain, growing things,
swinging beads, perfect shell disk,
call of Cornbeetle
down below I sit.

Badger tail;
lightning struck close by,
growing things, falling rain,
heads swinging, perfect shell disk,
down below I am sitting.

Rain is close
rain passed by
swinging beads
shell disk
falling rain
growing things.

Navajo Song

Mescalero Dawn

Mescalero Dawn

The black turkey in the east
spreads its tail,
the tips of its beautiful tail
are the white dawn.

Boys are sent running to us
from the dawn;
they wear yellow shoes of sunbeams.

Girls are sent dancing to us
from the rainbow;
they wear shirts of yellow

They dance above us the dawn maidens

The sides of the mountains turn to green
The tops of the mountains turn to yellow

And now above us on the beautiful mountain
it is dawn.

Apache Gotal Ceremony



All the white-cloud eagles,
lift me with your wings,
take me to the entrance to the earth.

All you eagles,
lift up with your wings,
lift me high over the world;
let no one see where you are taking me,
far to the southwest
where our fathers and mothers have gone
before me.

Take me there with your wings
place me there gently
with your wings.

Santo Domingo Pueblo
Navajo Song



A long time ago a beautiful maiden lived
in the village of Oraibi,
in the northern part.

All the young men wanted to marry her
but she refused them all.

The young men would gather flowers,
some would go even long distances
to find rare flowers
and even these were offered to her,
but she refused them all.

Far away in the north Yellow Cloud chief heard of her.
He prepard a beautiful bridal outfit:
two robes, moccasins, a knotted belt, and a reed mat.

He brought it to the village and offered it
to the maiden,
but she refused.

The Blue Cloud chief of the west offered
a bridal outfit (blue)
Red Cloud chief of the south offered
a bridal outfit (red)
White Cloud chief of the east offered
a bridal outfit (white)
Black Cloud chief from above offered
a bridal outfit (black)
Gray Cloud chief from below offered
a bridal outfit (gray)

She refused them all.

Now very far away in the south,
the rain god, Pavayoykashi, heard of her.

He painted himself and dressed like the
flute players, brilliantly
like the Powamuy dancers
like certain Kachinas:
he painted a black line over his cheeks and nose,
he took a bow and he took arrows
in a qiver of panther skin.

He took these things to the maiden.

She liked him.
She accepted those things from him,
she liked him so much
she promised to speak to her parents.

Now at the same time Coyote Old Man lived
west of the village; they call that place
Coyote Gap today.

Secretly Coyote went to the house of Pavayoykashi
secretly he stole costumes and ornaments
secretly he dressed and painted like Pavayoykashi
and he went to the maiden's house.

She was deceived,
deceived by Coyote Old Man dressed and painted
like Pavayoykashi her lover;
willingly she went with him to his house.

Pavayoykashi, his costume and ornaments stolen,
looked for the tracks of the thief;
he followed the tracks to the house
of the maiden, and then to the house
of Coyote.

And all the young men of the village
joined in to kill Old Man Coyote, furious
that he had stolen the beautiful girl
who had refused them all.

But Coyote escaped, escaped them all,
escaped and ran to the western mesa
west of the village; safe out on the mesa
he shouted back in derision,
grasping his genitals, showing his genitals
with which he had enjoyed their beautiful maiden.

He escaped and disappeared
running away across the mesa.

Then Pavayoykashi brought a storm
a strong storm with wind
and rain and thunder,
and he hid himself in the thunder.

Far and wide he rode the storm
and when he found Old Man Coyote
he struck him dead,
he struck him dead from the storm,
struck him dead
with lightning.

Hopi Tale

Monday, November 24, 2008

Elegy Dream Song

Drawing by Katie Alfonsi

Elegy Dream Song

In the great night
my heart will go out,
darkness will come toward me
with a sound of rattling;
in the great night my heart will go out.

I am running toward a range of low mountains,
from those mountain tops
I will see the dawn as

I die and lie dead here

I die and lie dead here!

Papago Song

Harlot Wind

Harlot Wind

The yellow wren himself pulled out his feathers,
with them he made me a prostitute,
a whore running over the land
with feathers on my head
with my hands clasped.

Blue bird drifted at the edge of the land
lying on the blue wind

White wind ran in wind
blowing dust

Moons are shining in me here
you men will see

You women shall see
the far distant moon come to meet me
when I blow upon this blue reed.

Pima Medicine Song

Gila Monster

Gila Monster

Harlot's Song

Pitiable prostitute though I am
my soul flowers with evening;
though I am whore,
my heart flowers

around those two stones standing there
came a black wind roaring
driving the birds
back and forth fluttering

On the top of that white place there
green frogs are singing
under blue clouds

so many singing.

Pima Medicine Song

Feast Song

Feast Song

I stand straight
singing my shining song
to the gods.

Harlots come running
holding blue flowers
talking in whispers.

Along the crooked road I'm going
Along the crooked road I'm going

going to the rainbows
westward to the rainbows
swinging my arms.

Pima Song

Peboan and Seegwum

Winter and Spring

Peboan and Seegwum

Long ago an old man sat alone in his lodge
beside a frozen stream. The fire was dying out,
and it was near the end of winter.

Outside the lodge, the cold wind swept
before it the drifting snow.

So the old man sat alone, day after day,
until at last a young warrior entered
his lodge. He was fresh and joyous
and youthful.

The old man welcomed him. He drew out his long pipe
and filled it with tobacco. He lighted it from the
dying embers of the fire. Then they smoked together.

The old man said,"I blow my breath and the streams
stand still. The water becomes stiff and hard
like the stones."
"I breathe," said the warrior,"and flowers spring
up over the plain."
"I shake my locks," said the old man,"and snow
covers the land. Leaves fall from the trees. The
birds fly away. The animals hide. The earth
becomes hard."
"I shake my locks," said the young man, "and the
warm rain falls. Plants blossom; the birds return;
the streams flow."

Then the sun came up over the edge of the Earth-
plain, and began to climb the trail through the
Sky-land. The old man slept.

Behold! The frozen stream nearby began to flow.
The fire in the lodge died out. Robins sat upon
the lodge poles and sang.

Then the warrior looked upon the sleeping old
man. Behold! It was Peboan, the Winter-maker.

Ojibway Tale of the Seasons

Friday, November 21, 2008




Yonder, yonder
see the fair rainbow,
see the rainbow
brightly decked and painted!

Now the swallow bringeth
glad news to your corn,
singing, "Hitherward, hitherward,
rain, hither come!
White cloud hither come!"

Now we hear the corn plants murmur,
"We are growing everywhere!"

Hi, yai, the world, how fair!


Corn is ripe.
The corn is ready to be gathered,
in piles we sort the colored corn;
blue corn, white corn, yellow corn, red corn--
food for the people.

Blue corn ground fine on the rubbing stone,
blue corn for ceremonies,
blue corn fo the thin bread
that cooks on the hot rock,
blue corn the sweetest,
for the thin bread rolled up into a stick.

Red corn wrapped in husks.
Red corn baked in ashes.
White corn baked in the ashes.

Food for the People.
So all is well.
So all is well.
So all is well.

(Navajo Songs)

The Lights

The Lights

The Sun
is a luminous shield
borne up the blue path
by a god;

The Moon is the torch
of an old man
who stumbles over stars.

Navajo Song

The Creation of Man

The Creation of Man

The gods and the spirits
of the Sacred Mountain
created man.

He was made of all rains, springs, rivers,
ponds, black clouds, and sky.

His feet are made of earth
and his legs of lightning.
White shells form his knees,
and his body is white and yellow corn;

his flesh is daybreak,
his hair darkness,
his eyes are of the sun.

White corn forms his teeth,
black corn his eyebrows
and red coral beads his nose.

His tears are of rain,
his tongue of straight lightning,
and his voice of thunder.

His heart is obsidian;
the little whirlwind keeps his nerves in motion,
and his movement is the air.

The name of this new kind of being was
"Created from Everything."

The Sower

I hold pollen of Dawn
in my hand,
with it I sow the night;
over the mountain
spring the first, pale blades
of the new day.

Navajo Songs

The Sky Loom

The Sky Loom

Oh, our Mother the Earth,
Oh, our Father the Sky,
your children are we,
and with tired backs
we bring you the gifts
that you love.

Then weave for us
a garment of brightness;
may the warp be the white light of morning,
may the weft be the red light of evening,
may the fringes be the falling rain,
may the border be the standing rainbow.

Thus weave for us a garment of brightness
that we may walk fittingly
where birds sing,
that we may walk fittingly
where grass is green.

Oh, our Mother the Earth!
Oh, our Father the Sky!

(Tewa/Navajo Song)

Persimmon Wine

Persimmon Wine

Persimmons fall, and we shall make
persimmon wine.
We shall come
with jars of music into the corners
of our sorrow.

And winter shall pass. I have seen it fade
along the forsaken creeks of the
Osage, between Okesa and Nelagony,
Gray Horse and Pswhuska. I have seen
it fade through Burbank, Fairfax,
Wizzbang, and Hominy.
(Those are
the names of Indian towns.)

Do not be afraid. We shall drink
persimmon wine! Come when the hills
begin to shape with their green and
silent passion. Come when the hills

catch fire with April and the smoke of
the redbud tree lies across the prairie.
Come when the water's green, and
venturing, and first alive.

Pour from the crocks the miracle of wine.
Who is afraid of what we might have
been? Or what, so long ago, we
chanced to be? (But do not die before

the wine is done. Live for the wine
that we have made. Live for the
drinking of the wine
that is to come.)

Persimmon wine. And dancing upon the
waters: Bird Creek and Sand Creek
and the Caney River. And through the
sweeping valleys of the sumac and
the sandstone.

Persimmon wine. And dancing upon the
face of time. Longhorn cattle far from
home, the Brahman bulls, the push
and pull oil beneath the ground,

the Katy railcars weeping on the
wooden trestles, nameless outlaws
starving in the shadows of the caves.
Dancing! Like the driven horses,

scattering and laughing in the fields of
Bigheart, in the pasturelands of Hulah
and Wynona. (Those are the names
of Indian towns.)

We shall make persimmon wine. And
drink the wine. And then lie down.
We shall strip to the wet and loving
roots. Oaks. And cottonwood,

and sassafras. And sycamore.
The sky is blue with thunder.
Shall we not lie together,
the music on our lips?

Sundown over Little Chief. Sweet is
the sound of silence. There is a sudden
flight of mourning doves. The
sun-lashed rain is catching our hair.

We shall make persimmon wine.
You come!

And when the future finds us, let them
say, "They were a magic people in
this ordinary place."

Winston Weathers

A Chorale fo Lonely People in the Osage Hills

I Am Crying From Thirst

I Am Crying From Thirst

I am crying from thirst.
I am singing for rain.
I am dancing for rain.

The sky begins to weep,
for it sees me
singing and dancing
on the dry, cracked

Alonzo Lopez

Love Letter

Painting by Jim Strong

Indian Love Letter

Lady of the crescent moon,
tonight I look at the sky;
you are not there.
You are not mad at me, are you?

You are "angry at the people,"
yes, I know;
they are changing,
be not too hard, for

if you were taken
to the mission school,
and not because you wanted,
but someone thought it best for you,
you too would change.

They came out of nowhere
telling us how to eat our food
how to build our homes
how to plant our crops.

Need I say more of what they did?
All is new--the old ways are nothing.
They are changing,
be not too hard.

I talk to them,
they turn their heads.
Do not be hurt--you have me.
I live by the old ways
I will not change.

Tonight--my prayer plumes in hand
with the white shell things--
to the silent place I will go
(it is for you I go, please be there.)

Oh! Lady of the crescent moon
with the corn-silk hair--I love you;
they are changing--
be not too hard.

Soge Track

Red Eagle

Painting by Jim Strong

Red Eagle

Red Eagle,
cold, dead, noble, Red Eagle.
Tomorrow they will bury you in the Black Hills.
They think you have left me forever.

When I grow lonely for you
I will walk into the night
and listen to your brother, the wind.
He will tell me if you want me.

I will follow the path through the forest
upon which your moccasins
have trod so many times.
I will hear the night sounds
you have told me about.

I will walk into the valley of Minnelosa,
the sweet grass.
In the white moonlight I will pray.
I will pray to the spirits

and they will speak to me,
as they have spoken to you before.
Then I will touch your tree
and you will softly whisper to me.

You will whisper to me,
Red Eagle,
Red Eagle,
upon the mountain.

Janet Campbell

The Folding Fan

Painting by Jim Strong

The Folding Fan

The wild beauty of an eagle,
once born to virgin sky,
now held in a sacred fan.

Beaded feathers
stiffen the grasp,
the fingers that curled
to ease the cold soul
but let the agony tear,
for the heart will weep
all the same.

Never again is life made vivid
or for who else the kind warmth?
Maybe this I know,
that it is for the dying,
whose ending breaths I hear not,
as the wisdom
will come no more;
only to grave,
olden with age.

Eternity flies now on the wings
of the gone soul,
never to be seen.

a drum I hear, distance, yet
it's from the folding fan.
The preying bird of death is waiting,

Grey Cohoe

The New Direction

Painting by Jim Strong

The New Direction

This vanishing old road,
through hail-like dust storm,
it stings and scratches,
stuffy, I cannot breathe.

Here once walked my ancestors,
I was told by the old ones;
one can dig at the very spot
and find forgotten implements.

Wasting no time I urged on,
where I stop I knew not;
startled, I listened to the wind--
it whistled, screamed, cried,
"You! Go back, not this path!"

Then I recalled this trail,
swept away by the north wind;
it wasn't for me to follow,
the trail of the Long Walk.

Deciding between two cultures,
I gave a second thought;
reluctantly, I took the new one,
the paved rainbow highway.
I had found a new direction.

Emerson Blackhorse Mitchell

The Living Spirit of the Indian

Painting by Jim Strong


The feathered and blanketed figure
of the American Indian
has come to symbolize the American continent.
He is the man, who through centuries,
has been moulded and sculpted
by the same hand that shaped the mountains,
forests, and plains,
and marked the course of its rivers.

The American Indian is of the soil,
whether it be the region of forests,
plains, pueblos, or mesas.
He fits into the landscape,
for the hand that fashioned the continent
also fashioned the man
for his surroundings.
He once grew as naturally
as the wild sunflowers;
he belongs just as the buffalo belonged.

With a physique that fitted,
the man developed fitting skills--
crafts which today are called American.
And the body had a soul,
also formed and moulded by
the same master hand of harmony.
Out of the Indian approach to existence
there came a great freedom--
an intense and absorbing love for nature;
a respect for life;
enriching faith in a Supreme Power;
and principles of truth, honesty,
generosity, equity, and brotherhood.

Becoming possesed of a fitting philosophy and art,
it was by them native man perpetuated
his identity; stamped it into history
and soul of this country--
made land and man one.

By living--struggling, losing, meditating,
imbibing, aspiring, achieving--
he wrote himself into the ineraseable evidence--
an evidence that can be, and often has been
ignored, but never totally

The white man does not understand the Indian
for reason that he does not understand America.
He is too far removed from its formative processes.
The roots of the tree of his life
have not yet grasped the rock and the soil.
The white man is still troubled
with primitive fears; he still has
in his consciousness the perils
of this frontier continent, some of its
fastnesses not yet being yielded
to his questing footsteps
and inquiring eyes.
The man from Europe is still an foreigner
and an alien.

But in the Indian
the spirit of the land is still
vested; it will be
until other men are able to divine
and meet its rhythms.

When the Indian has forgotten the music
of his forefathers, when the sound
of the tom-tom is no more,
when the memory of his horses
is no longer told in story--
he will be dead.

When from him has been taken
all that is his, all that he has
visioned in nature, all that has come to him
from infinite sources, he then,
truly, will be a dead Indian.

Standing Bear
Chief of the Oglala Sioux ( 1905-1939)



I go in the early morning
before the sun is up
to gather fever medicine,
white frost from a yucca cup.

I catch the bluebird singing
the last notes of his song
and pop him into your pollen
to make you strong.

I gather the four sweet waters
of hail and river and snow
mixed with the drop of the spring rock;
clean from then you go.

And in the lightning flashes
I pluck blue ears of corn;
with sacred gruel I shal feed you
that you may be reborn.

(Navajo Shaman Song)



At Sky-Reaching-Butte,
at House-Made-of-Darkness,
Black pollen with which he conceals his body,
Black-Horned Rattler, young chief,
your sacrifice
I have made,
your smoke I have prepared.
This day I have become your child.
This day your grandchild I have become.

Watch over me.
Hold your hand before me in protection.
Stand before me and arise as my protector.
Do my commands as I do your bidding.
Let no harm befall me from the air as I breathe,
from the rain as it falls,
from the Thunders as they strike,
from below the plants,
from the trees under which
water flows.

Dewdrops and pollen may I enjoy.
With these may it be beautiful before me.
With these may it be beautiful behind me.
All is beautiful again,
all is restored in beauty.

(A Navajo Prayer)



Son, my son!

I will go up to the mountain
and there I shall light a fire
to the feet of my son's spirit,
and there I will lament him;
Oh, my son,
What is my life to me,
now that you are departed?

Son, my son,
in the deep earth
we softly laid thee in a Chief's robe,
in a warrior's gear.

Surely there
in the spirit land
thy deeds attend thee!
the corn comes to the ear again!

But I, here,
I am the stalk that the seed-gatherers
descrying empty, afar, left standing.
Son, my son,
what is my life to me,
now that you are departed?

Lament of a Man for his Son

Hear My Voice

Hear My Voice

Hear my voice, Birds of War!
I prepare a feast for you to feed on;
I see you cross the enemy's lines;
Like you I shall go.

I wish the swiftness of your wings;
I wish the vengeance of your claws;
I muster my friends,
I follow your flight.
Ho, you young men warriors,
bear your angers to the place of fighting!

Sioux War Chant

Ojibway Lovers

Ojibway Lovers

The Brave to the Maiden

Awake! flower of the forest,
sky-treading bird of the prairie.
Awake! Awake!
wonderful fawn-eyed One.

When you look upon me I am satisfied,
as flowers that drink dew.
The breath of your mouth
is the fragerance of flowers in the morning,
your breath is their fragerance
at evening in the moon-of-fading-leaf.
Do not the red streams of my veins
run toward you as forest streams in the sun
in the moon of bright nights?

When you are beside me
my heart sings; a branch it is,
dancing, dancing before the Wind-spirit
in the moon of strawberries.
When you frown upon me, beloved,
my heart grows dark--a shining river
the shadows of clouds darken, then
with your smiles comes the sun
and makes to look like gold furrows
the cold wind drew in the water's face.
The waters smile--
even the sky-of-clouds smiles--
but I, I lose the way of smiling
when you are not near.

Awake! Awake! my beloved.

The Maiden to the Brave

My love is tall and graceful as the young pine
waving on the hill, and as swift
in his course as the noble, stately deer;
his hair is flowing,
and dark as the blackbird that floats
through the air, and his eyes,
like the eagle's, both piercing and bright;
his heart, it is fearless and great,
and his arm, it is strong in the fight,
as this bow made of ironwood
which he easily bends. His aim is as sure
in the fight and chase, as the hawk,
which never misses its prey.

Ah, aid me, ye spirits!
of water and earth, and of sky,
while I sing in his praise,
and my voice shall be heard,
it shall ring through the sky,
and echo, repeating the same,
shall cause it to swell
in the breadth of the wind;
and his fame shall be spread
throughout the land,
and his name shall be known
beyond the lakes.

(Ojibway Song)

Maiden's Song

Painting by Jim Strong

Maiden's Song

In the dawn,
the Running in the dawn,
she wears long loops of turquoise in her ears,
long loops of the sky-blue beads.
Around her neck beads of white shell.
On her arms braceletsd of silver,
bracelets with turquoise.
On her fingers rings of silver and turquoise.
On her feet moccasins of red buckskin
with silver buttons.
Her dress is velvet above, and blue;
her dress is full below, and brown.
She sewed her dress in her mother's hogan.
She made ready for the Running at dawn.
She washed her hair; she brushed her hair
and tied it with white yarn.
She has learned to make fine blankets;
good blankets, like her mother.
She owns many sheep and goats.
A brave man comes from the People.
There is a marriage ceremony
and he takes her to a new hogan,
with her sheep and her goats,
with her blanket sticks,
with her silver and sky-colored stones.
In the new hogan there is beauty.
There is beauty.
There is beauty.

(Navajo Song)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Neither Spirit Nor Bird

Neither Spirit Nor Bird

Neither spirit nor bird;
that was my flute you heard
last night by the river.
When you came with your wicker jar
where the river drags the willows;
that was my flute you heard,
Wacoba, Wacoba,
Calling, come to the willows!

Neither the wind nor a bird
rustled the lupine blooms,
that was my blood you heard
answer your garment's hem,
whispering through the grasses;
that was my blood you heard
by the wild rose under the willows.

That was no beast that stirred,
that was my heart you heard,
pacing to and fro,
in the ambush of my desire,
to the music my flute let fall.
Wacoba, Wacoba,
that was my heart you heard
leaping under the willows.

Shoshone Song

Papago Love Song

Papago Love Song

Early I rose
in the blue morning;
my love was up before me.
It came running to me
from the doorways of the Dawn.

On Papago Mountain'
the dying quarry
looked at me with my love's eyes.

Do you long, my Maiden
for bisaga blossoms
to fasten in your hair?

I will pick them for you.
What are bisaga spines to me
whom love is forever pricking in the side?



All night the gods were with us,
Now night is gone;
Silence the rattle,
Sing the daybreak song,
For in the dawn Bluebird calls,
With voice melodious, Bluebird calls,
And out from his blanket of tumbled gray
The Sun comes,
Combing his hair for the day.

Navajo Song

The Song of the Stars

The Song of the Stars

We are the stars which sing,
We sing with our light;
We are the birds of fire,
We fly over the sky.
Our light is our voice;
We make a road for spirits,
For the spirits to pass over.
Among us there are three hunters
Who chase a bear;
There never was a time
When they were not hunting.
We look down on the mountains.
This is the Song of the Stars.

Algonquin Song

Glenn Ford's Western Roles

Gwyllyn Samuel Newton "Glenn" Ford (May 1, 1916 – August 30, 2006) was a Canadian-born American actor from Hollywood's Golden Era with a career that spanned seven decades. Ford was a versatile actor best known for playing either cowboys or ordinary men in unusual circumstances.

In 1971, Ford signed with CBS to star in his first television series, a half hour comedy/drama titled The Glenn Ford Show. However, CBS head Fred Silverman noticed that many of the featured films being shown at a Glenn Ford film festival were westerns. He suggested doing a western series instead, which resulted in the "modern day western" series, Cade's County. Ford played southwestern Sheriff Cade for one season (1971-1972) in a mix of western drama and police mystery.

Ford was always very comfortable in Westerns, and he could ride like a stunt man, like Ben Johnson or Richard Farnsworth. Like many other actors, he had a favorite hat, a favorite horse, that old brown denim jacket, and other good luck props. He always felt that acting in a Western was "too easy". Under hypnosis, later in life, he recalled a past life of a Colorado cowboy named Charlie Bill. Ford was excellent in every film, but I responded best to his Westerns.