#Indigenous #poem #Native #Thanksgiving We thank the Great Spirit

Canadian Thanksgiving is today. Monday October 10, 2016.

I chose the sentences of this prayer that remind me of why we protest, protect and why we give thanks.
So many lovely turns of phrases: “trees that grow shadows”; “the light which we call our oldest brother” and “the kind being of the darkness that gives us light.” They all turn around how we think of things in our world. In western art and science shadows exist when something stands in the light and another part of it does not, we centre the light and the relation instead of the tree. The moon here is someone who belongs with us instead of an object that serves us, that revolves around us, that creates ebb and flow. The moon a kind being of the darkness, where darkness is not immediately frightening, does not first and foremost hold danger; blackness as kindness.

Giving thanks for the workers who took care of and brought in the harvest. Thanking the singers. Thanking those who hold ceremonies. Thanking all the women who do all this cooking -still.  
Enjoy your family and if you don’t have any, go out and walk in the sun, be outside, roll yourself to a park.

The Thanksgivings
Harriet Maxwell Converse

Translated from a traditional Iroquois prayer

[…] We thank the Great Spirit for the water that comes out of the earth and runs
for our lands.
[…]
We thank the Great Spirit for the branches of the trees that grow shadows
for our shelter.
We thank the Great Spirit for … the thunder
and lightning that water the earth.

We thank the Great Spirit for the light which we call our oldest brother, the sun
that works for our good.
We thank the Great Spirit for all the fruits that grow on the trees and vines.
We thank the Great Spirit for the goodness in making the forests,

and thank
all its trees.
We thank the Great Spirit for the darkness that gives us rest, and for the kind Being
of the darkness that gives us light, the moon.
We thank the Great Spirit for the bright spots in the skies that give us signs,
the stars.
We give the Great Spirit thanks for our workers, who had charge of our harvests.
We give thanks that the voice of the Great Spirit can still be heard
through the words of Ga-ne-o-di-o.
[…]
We thank the Great Spirit for all the persons who perform the ceremonies
on this occasion.

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The sea is for us all, O mar é para todos nós, Isabel Aguiar, One never returns to the same place.

The sea is for us all

The sea is for us all
The sea has mystical fish
The sea is the Firmament
The sea is the Firmament
The sea is the Firmament
Only the mystical fish can jump into the nets
Only the mystical fish can jump into the nets
Only the mystical fish can jump into the nets
Only the mystical fish can jump into the nets
The nets Are the Entire Firmament Sparkling.

O mar é para todos nós

O mar é para todos nós
O mar tem peixes místicos
O mar é o Firmamento
O mar é o Firmamento
O mar é o Firmamento
Só os peixes místicos sabem saltar para as redes
Só os peixes místicos sabem saltar para as redes
Só os peixe místicos sabem saltar para as redes
Só os peixes místicos sabem saltar para as redes
As redes São Todo o Firmamento a Luzir.


ONE NEVER RETURNS TO THE SAME PLACE

therefore, when the child left the marigold field behind
he looked back several times

NUNCA SE REGRESSA AO MESMO LUGAR
por isso, quando a criança partiu do campo dos malmequeres
olhou muitas vezes para trás

in Nunca se Regressa ao Mesmo Lugar, 2003


the child counted twenty three lambs

the child counted twenty three lambs, covered in soft wool, in order
to be less cold as she remembered her mother knitting
baby-pink booties.

a criança contou vinte e três carneirinhos

a criança contou vinte e três carneirinhos, cobertos de lã macia, para
sentir menos frio a lembrar-se da mãe a tricotar umas botas de dormir
cor de rosa bebé.
in Nunca se Regressa ao Mesmo Lugar, 2003

© Translated by Ana Hudson, 2012

Satchell Paige #BlackLiberationMonth #poem #BlackExcellence Baseball Gd!

Satchell Paige was one of the best pitchers in baseball. Black.

Sometimes I feel like I will *never* stop
Just go on forever
Til one fine mornin’
I’m gonna reach up and grab me a handful stars
Swing out my long lean leg
And whip three hot strikes burnin’ down the heavens
And look over at God and say
How about that!

by Samuel Allen
Black History Month.

Wind is a Cat! By Ethel Romig Fuller #Christmas

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Photo by WildSherkin islander.

Wind is a cat
That prowls at night,
Now in a valley,
Now on a height,

Pouncing on houses
Till folks in their beds
Draw all the covers
Over their heads.

It sings to the moon,
It scratches at doors;
It lashes its tail
Around chimneys and roars.

It claws at the clouds
Till it fringes their silk;
It laps up the dawn
Like a saucer of milk;

Then, chasing the stars
To the tops of the firs,
Curls down for a nap
And purrs and purrs.

by Ethel Romig Fuller

 

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#BlackHistoryMonth #poem Tired by Fenton Johnson

Don’t read this when you’re tired or sad or have given up hope. This is a poem by a writer who is tired of the world we are still building together: a racist society. Ta-Nehissi Coates (he/him) and El Jones (she/her) aren’t  the only ones who feel hopeless.

Tired
I am tired of work; I am tired of building up somebody else’s civilization.
Let us take a rest, M’lissy Jane.

I will go down to the Last Chance Saloon, drink a gallon or two of gin, shoot a
game or two of dice and sleep the rest of the night on one of Mike’s barrells.

You will let the old shanty go to rot, the white people’s clothes turn to dust, and
the Cavalry Baptist Church sink to the bottomless pit.

You will spend your days forgetting you married me and your nights hunting the
warm gin Mike serves the ladies in the rear of the Last Chance Saloon.

Throw the children in the river; civilization has given us too many. It is better to die
than it is to grow up and find out that you are colored.

Pluck the stars out of the heavens. The stars mark our destiny. The stars mark my destiny.

I am tired of civilization.

.

.

From: The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
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#Wintersolstice Brittle World by Lew Sarett #snow

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Photo by Matt Anderson

Brittle World

Brittel the snow on the gables,
The sleet-hung pines, the night
Sprinkled with stars that quiver
Over the waste of white.

Fragile the earth in the moonlight,
The glassy sheet of lake;
If I tapped it with a hammer,
The brittle world would break.

Lew Sarett in All the Silver Pennies, ed. Blanche Jenning Thompson

seventeenth-century-snow-witch-house.jpg

Photo by Daseger. “Witch House” or the Jonathan Corwin House in Salem.

Poetry foundation: “Poet, lecturer, and teacher Lew Sarett was born Lew Saretsky in Chicago to parents who immigrated from Poland and Lithuania.

He was educated at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Beloit College, Harvard Law School, and the University of Illinois Law School.

Sarett became interested in nature and American Indian culture and lore at an early age, and these interests are clearly reflected in his life and in his poetry.

[…] lived among the Chippewa Indians of the Lake Superior region, and was adopted by them and given the name Lone Caribou.”

Read more here at the Poetry Foundation!

Four Little Foxes
by Lew Sarett

Speak gently, Spring, and make no sudden sound
for in my windy valley yesterday I found
New born foxes squirming on the ground
Speak gently.

Walk softly, March, forbear the bitter blow,
Her feet within a trap, her blood upon the snow,
The four little foxes saw their mother go
Walk softly.

Go lightly, Spring, oh give them no alarm;
When I covered them with boughs to shelter them from harm
The thin blue foxes suckled at my arm
Go Lightly.

Step softly, March, with your rampant hurricane
Nuzzling one another and whimp’ring with pain,
The new little foxes are shiv’ring in the rain
Step softly.

#wintersolstice Sheep in Fog by Sylvia Plath #iNeedFeminismBecause

Sheep In Fog

The hills step off into whiteness.
People or stars
Regard me sadly, I disappoint them.

The train leaves a line of breath.
O slow
Horse the colour of rust,

Hooves, dolorous bells –
All morning the
Morning has been blackening,

A flower left out.
My bones hold a stillness, the far
Fields melt my heart.

They threaten
To let me through to a heaven
Starless and fatherless, a dark water.

sylvia Plath

image

photos by:

Buy the Faber Book of 20th Century Women’s Poetry, ed. Fleur Adcock, from an indie bookseller here.