College Poetry


Chapbook 2 – 
FROM UNDER THE STONE

Walking to CNN
Arizona Highway
Storm
Cold Steel
Ten PM Train
Snow and Wind
Gray Ghost
From Under the Stone
Lost Brother's Mirage
Grandpa
An offering
Walking the Plank
Gray Daze
Fire Barrel
Peace in Full Circles
Waste
Sun on Future Sands
Lost in Flaming Thunder

Eyes Out in the Jungle
Searching for Tribal Spirits
Last Request 

Walking to CNN 

As I walked down Third Avenue
This man came up to me
Face beaten by cement
Eyes still glowing cheap cherry wine 
And he said 
Anybody got a quarter
Gotta get me a cup of coffee
My sleeping bag's getting ragged
Didn't get no sleep last night 
What's a matter, no one talk to me 

As I reached into my pocket
I gazed at the buttercups in the boulevard
Atop the bed lay a man sleeping
Around the corner, tight to the wall, lay another 
Here sir, I called him sir 
I flipped him a quarter
Then hurried up the street

Suddenly across the way
From a parking lot echoed 
Hey you, hold it right there 
Tight to the cold metal of a Cadillac
I quivered, peeping over the ornament
I watched two men wrestle another
.357 pointed to the sky 
Another man watched from a van 
Looking to my front and rear
I moved out, making sure not to run
Didn't want them to think I was involved

Off to CNN, its flags and windows 
I walked past the theater and small shops 
Then sat on a bench next to an exotic
Island tree where I watched what I thought
Was routine, suit coats enjoying ice cream
Their ties teasing up to the chocolate 

Back to Top  

Arizona Highway 

Eyes dry, gaze
Upon yellow blooms amidst
The trail, in a trance 

An image catches me
Off guard, I veer sharply
Gravel spitting, red-tailed hawk
Swooshing, Kangaroo rat
Dives 

Into hole, vast desert land
Alive, solitude creatures
Capture your miles 

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Storm 

A green man with horn
Hat slaps hands with worlds greatest
Grandmother as knick knacks tap
Dance a bad weather ritual 

From under sill, sharp edge of
Glass lips whistle, nearby
Umbrellas drum against tin
Cylinder, echo the cat's meow 

Old lady rushes into room
Door swinging, finger pointing
I heard you in here, quit playing
Games with my mind 

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Cold Steel 

Rain pours on
Naked rails trailing
Irritated train shivers
Shrugs off dew, bitter
For leaving depot 

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Ten PM Train 

Two story window, where I watch
Edge of town, elbows on sill, chin in palms
Pair of bronze snakes slither past gray stone
Factory into country grasses 

A solemn sky steals another summer
Sunset, silence
Suddenly
Sparks mark a shadowed path 

Cyclops breaks free from the steamy darkness
With an armored coat of steel, he leads
An army of countless giants who stagger
Behind, heading back east from the war  
With western civilization, battered
Not beaten

And after they pass, the backs of the bronze
Snakes are stiff, sore 

Tense is the air till finally a gray beard appears
Lies next to, caresses their aching backs
With blackberry breath, calming them
Till once again the night becomes quiet 

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Snow and Wind 

My eyes march nude
In the storm, bravely facing
Wind, crystal and leather whips
Beat upon me until blood
Mixes with salty tears 

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Gray Ghost 

A twig snapped, my head
Twisted to see a lone gray form
Like dead of winter, step cautiously 

From evergreen cover, its damp charcoal nose
Rose parallel with poplar, feeling the upwind
Breeze burn deep into its senses

Snow-tipped ears cupped, as obsidian
Eyes pierced every mossy pine stump
Rocky ledge and falling snowflake 

The white blanket grew, packing leather
Against frosty feet and blurring the glass
Eyes that brought me closer 

I blinked to melt the ice
From my eyelids, only to see the gray
Ghost of winter had disappeared 

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From Under the Stone 

Sulking clouds cry
A weighty mist, dampen the coal
Colored cloak covering loose, delicate
Skin over bone 

Fall, falling
Into the grave
One half a union
Has fallen under the stone
 
Lone woman weeps quietly
Wipes away the covering leaves
Watches her fingers rub
At the etched name that remains 

The wind whips at her strands
And streaks of brown and gray
Twisting them wildly, but then
Whispers softly to her withered ears 

When you hear the flutes
Mix with one beating drum
And the sun is cast behind the moon
The old man will be waiting, for the Earth
Has set you free 

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Lost Brother's Mirage 

A young boy slings mud
At the mirror, his face 
Another boy stands silent
On the other side, protected 

Running through wet fields
Of corn, the world stands taller
Than I, but I have left my mark 
The other boy's shoes are dry
White, untouched
Don't leave a print 

In the end
I will enter the mirror
Hold his hand and walk 
Together, we will not reflect
On the years we have walked alone 

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Grandpa 

Your eyes
Speak to me of plows
In the fields, wild horses
Looking West to the prairie
Grab us a bottle and we'll sit
Behind the stable, weaving
In lost memories
Remember who you are
Bony wheelchair legs
That once walked thirty acres
Twice a day, to prune the crops
And hands that grandma fold
sIn your lap, where the sick calf
Once lay while you nursed it
I wish I'd been there the day
To ready your saddle
When you had wanted to say
Goodbye 

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an offering 

tell me
i must conform
to human morality

hang my feet high
sliced throat bleeds
completely 

take back your ideas
from my rotting mind
a gift from you 

eyes stare at my corpse
its decay, its return
to Earth, peace unending 

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Walking the plank 

Cautious steps, I thought, ironically
For one who's walking
To the end of his plank, like slippery serpents
Entangling my feet, tell me now, not to look
Down, I don't care, I'm stepping
Free, ocean waters, drowning
My thoughts, I knelt to feel the coarse
Grim reality of the board, then stood
Pointing towards the waters, I exclaimed
Look at all the people swimming
Up to meet me, then I stepped graciously
Off the end 

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Gray Daze 

Brisk winds broaden my pace
Upon brittle leaves, breaking
To tiny pieces, as I hurry home
From work 

Of nothing I wonder, blind
To my surroundings, deaf
To the world, and to most
I might as well be dead 

Home is gray, enclosed
Quiet and lonesome, why
Should I be in such a rush
To climb into my casket 

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Fire barrel 

Hey young man
Toss my body in the river
When the cracklen fire
Dies, weary, lonesome life 

Spit in my bed
Suit men, make yourselves
At home, cardboard box
I sleep away the day 

The barrel brings warm
Friendships together, suffering
From the cold, society
Notices, but 

The coffee won't steam
Again tomorrow, I just rest
And pray tonight's fire may be
My last 

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Peace in Full Circles 

Humbly ask Great Spirit
To balance Earth
Creatures, don't follow Wasichus'
Ecosystem, destroyed
By insane priorities 

Look East our broken circle
Raise what pipe
Be left to mend
The nest, and save
Our children, one 

Raven pair to watch
Over them 

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Waste 

Weary eye watches
Last fires burn 
Acidic and polluted rains
Wash away emaciated soil 
System vomit gurgles
Into waste pools of death 

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Sun on Future Sands 

Sky darkens its cherry base
Veins rise, expand
Bottled bodies boil, burst
Lines of blood shoot
Run 

Away from rivers
Tasting putrid, fish toss
Onto shores, trees
Bearing swords slice
Air thin to feed few
 
Faces, facing up
Burning, sands erode
Their identity, to disappear
With the wind traveling
Tumble weed 

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Lost in Flaming Thunder 

Cold blooded carbon dioxide scattering
Spark ignites flaming blue circle of lips 

Speaking of hell, tongues lash out
At far places, things they think
They know, bodies hump packs of pain
Stumble towards the end, eyes stair 

At distant skies where the red glow lasts
All day, from heaping volcanic pits, kindled 

With shelves of witch hunt wisdom, pushed
By graters (clans of isms) across countries
All tumbling perilously into the fires, faces
Burn, identities lost to the flaming blue thunder 

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Eyes Out in the Jungle 

Blow jungle dust
Upon beaten barren land
Into its face, into its eyes
Envision the cries

Gather hope
Watch the greens speak
For themselves, a great return
The new medicine will make them dance 

And in our end, a call will echo
Sacred shaft of clear rivers
Will stir the thunder
And shake free the dead 

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Searching for Tribal Spirits 

The chant of Autumn's shadow calls
To the persistent and nomadic Winter
Son, wrapped in buffalo hide, ceremonial
Feathers twist, lie down amidst
Towering red pine and tips of snow
Birch, like a gray fog covering the forest 

The wolf pelt protects red and yellow beads
Woven into long, black braids, its wild eyes
And trail instincts lead the reigns
Down sloping valleys as nostrils flare
And streams of moisture spew, reflecting
Off the white ripples of the frozen river 

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Last Request 

Rock, high upon mountain
I sit, breathe
In last signs of freedom 

Eyes still, I blow out
Smoke, swirling in wide bronze valleys
Then slowly tasting the skies, it is delivered
 
Strength from Great Spirit, I humbly ask
For the eternal hunt, unspoiled lands, Spring
In my blood, and peace – for my children 


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Chapbook 1 – 
STRANGE THIS PATH
I FOLLOW 

Strange This Path I Follow
Aisles of History
Box of My Mind
Old Man to his Grandson
Bear Image
Afternoon in the Park
Day to Play Inside

Fish Suntan

Boys in the Kitchen
Storm of Cows

Strange This Path I Follow 

The sun sank, suffocating-ly
Towards Earth
The untouched path
Turned quickly cold
 
Until dusk I am alert
To jagged edges of moss
Covered rocks, to a white water
Stream, to a fallen tree I use
To cross over its current 

Once dark, I stand
Hesitant, yet urged, forced
Forward on this untraveled path
Obscured in blacks and grays 

I stumble into dark
Forest fingers, spindly, prickly
Wicked, pull and stretch my brain
Twisting my dreams
 

I run, trip, fall and tear
Ruts in pale hide, then craw
Rose red droplets fling
Upon dry, golden yellow leaves 

I progress not quickly enough
I hide, not well enough
A heavy dark hand shoves my face
Under water, breathing on pause 

Distortion, disfigured images
Wide-mouthed shadows
Eye of solid doom, filled
Fiery red with evil 

Standing over myself, observing
I rise from the waters
Angelic forms grasp
My arms, pull me 

To my feet, I sense
The end, but its prophecy
Has weakened, held
Back by greater spirits

I stumble on till morning
When I stir awake, only
To walk the path again
Tomorrow 

Back to Top
 

Aisles of History 

Watch history pass by
In these aisles of relic
Old musty pleasures breathe
Life into forgotten
Memories, a black cast 

Iron pot cooks a steamy
Beef and carrot stew, an oak
Table still stands strong
Like the one I ate upon
As a child, our mother left 

To pick berries for pie
She carried a wooden pail
Like this, I remember
The saw blades, the mill
And dad, he killed himself 

Trying to make the town
People happy, when we left
I remember how that old wagon
Wheel, just like this one
Turned and carried us away 

Back to Top
 

Box of my Mind 

Deep inside the dark depths

Of an old wooden box
Lies the wrinkled yellowish form
Of a letter from my brother
I read it again
Suddenly, the dryness of the old
Wooden box sucked a drop of moisture
From a somewhat dampened eye
 
I hear a bouncy jingle
And out jumps a puppy
Sized collar chain that
Fit the black neck of my
Water and road loving
Labrador, it danced about
My fingers a bit, then
I put it down 

A shimmer of light caught
My eye from deep inside
The box, on the bottom lie
A mirror, I looked into It reflected a wrinkle
On an old man's face
That slowly smoothed Itself out 

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Old Man to his Grandson 

See these people pushing their noses
Around velvet cushioned offices
Piling bricks atop heads
Till their hair turns a silvery white
Their faces wrinkled, withered 
It's embarrassing, it's disgusting
The old man said
It's bad enough to start life
In a place like that, but
To end it there, too 
The faded wood rocking chair
Creaked along with his voice
I should have got out, before
I even stepped in, that my Grandson
Was my first and biggest mistake 

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Bear Image 

Soft fur and big brown eyes
I could be adorable and fun
To play with if I were a toy
But don't be deceived
I can grow tall on back paws
And stop the sun
From shining on you
One mass of meat and claw
Could rip your body
To shreds, but I probably wouldn't do that
Unless you got between me
And my cub, or my dinner
Or if you hurt me
So do not scare
Only beware, my wild
Won't mix with your civilized
Nature 

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Afternoon in the Park 
       Mommy, look at me    
I see you sunshine
       Look how high I am getting    
I see, I see
 

This breeze that blows

Upon me, cooling me
From this steamy sauna
Rising from the sand
Pits below, I am lulled 

       Mommy, what are we going
       To go on next 

From this park bench
I sit and rock

With little effort, my eyelids close
To fend off the sun 

       Mommy, I am going
       To the
Merry-go-round 
You go, Honey
I'll be
Right there . . .
 

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Day to Play Inside 

Vast fields of green
Wheat in the morning
Wet the blond hair
Of a little boy tumbling
We await the sun
He yells with a hand
To his ear, but no echo
Reports from the rolling
Hills, the air too thick
With mist, the clouds hanging
Low with rain
The boy stairs dismayingly
Towards his house
At the bottom of the hill
Smoke rises idly
Out its red brick chimney
The boy is aware
That on days like today
Wide open green fields left
Behind for Carpeted cages 

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Fish Suntan 

A fish sat sunning
On the edge of a hole
In the ice, it watched
As a human wrestled frantically
With its pants in a haste
To relieve itself
It also saw one flip
Like a fish, little
Did it know about ice
Strange these cold days
And these square boxes
That sit like me on the ice
And every so often, a noise
Bursts into our depths
Our homes, soon after
Little stubby worms stretch
Out in the cold waters, stay
Away from them
What's left is tiny holes
An escape, it seems
Only sane that a fish rise
Up the hole to sit upon
The ice and sun itself 

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Boys in the Kitchen 

Hey dear Mama
Whatch-ya cook'n on that stove 

It's
refried beans from yesterday
And boiled potatoes I dug from their graves
It seems your sis ain't set the table
Think you boys could bring in the save 

Pa'll
be coming home
And he gonna be hungry
 
Don't forget the bacon fat
And don't forget the butter
Forks go on the left side
And don't smart off to your mother 

Danc'n
round the table
We set them one by one
Just because we're able
We have to get it done 

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Storm of Cows 

Sloppy snouts nuzzle
Insides of fence
Snot slithers down board
And aged fence poles 

Settle now, settle down

Man with pitchfork commands
 

Crack! . . . Crack! Lightning flash
Splashes off backs of black
Basket cases, hooves smash
Into muddy ground, frantic 

Whoa, easy now
The manure man demands 

Nasal humphing bodies ignore

Continue to bash the old
Splintered wood that surrounds
Weakening it with each blow
 

Man with made up mind
Makes for cover
Control over beast as ridiculous
As control over storm 

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Chapbook 3 – 
FROM INSIDE THE CAGE 

Crudely Boarded Windows
Upon the Back of a Little Bird
Shortcut Thru the Bayou
Sweet Mammy's Blues
Lonely Windmill Moans
Campfire
From Inside the Cage
Footprints on Earth
In the Beginning
Head'n Home
Dream of Yesterday

I will return
Dakotah Conflict
Small Circles
Brother Eagle
Native American Woman Breathes
Young Warrior Remembered
Daddy Knew Johnny Cash
End of the Burning Fire 

Crudely Boarded Up Window 

We who live slight, barely
Visible moon in murky fog
Ludicrous lives, broken
Window, years of pigeon droppings
Creaking necks, missing

Arm, wake up
Mass of wings whip
Disturb painted hair, red
Like blood, brown, black
Blond, aged newspaper
November 1926, 36 or 96, read
By naked manikin with pelican
Feather in hat, lost the thought
When railway car rattled through
Graffiti on cement

City, did it matter, third story
Apartment door open, one large
Room, empty except dirt
On the floor, light from one
Crudely boarded up window 

Back to Top 

Upon the Back of a Little Bird 

Love can be spoken
In many ways
It can sometimes be noted
As a character of passion
It can sometimes be seen
As a picture of caring
The feeling is known to swell
And at other times, it may bleed
From the heart
It is also known to get lost
We must cherish its presence
As if it were
A star to swim to
Where peace and happiness rest
In harmony
Never shall we ruin
Love that may come in small tides
Love that may
Mix with the sunset
And become a dream
For reality in its fulfilled state
Will appear with the dawn

And leave again with the dusk

Clambering away awkwardly
Though in silence
Filling its vast doom
But we will not see it
As that, or shall we
We do, but the words are whispered
I love you
And they will remain in the mind forever
You will not lose something
That will never leave you
The body whole being insignificant
Its pleasures in the haze of our memory
Remember not the blue
Heart, but see the blue skies
And mountains that you will be carried
Further into bliss, into eternity
When the little bird
Has finally flew, taking you with
It is how life moves
With every step
Brings death, or life anew 

Back to Top
 

Shortcut Through the Bayou 

Riding bike through the bayou
I followed the thin gravel road
Where I was told not to go 

Around the bend, stood a man
Dressed in black, his white sterile house
Filling the background 

I peddled, not passing fast enough
To miss his one raised finger
Curled lips, stern twitching eye 

He breathed out slowly, cursing
The path I followed, it ended
At the river 

I dumped my bike in the muddy
Side waters, and ran along the flats
Then I noticed people
 

They were hovering, I thought
Hiding underneath the river
Bank 

Startled, I crawled up the side
And found myself
Standing in a field of yellow roses 

In the distance, a church
I found myself lured
To its bedrock steps, open door 

I stepped in to see
People in pews, kissing
Swaying,
and singing 

We are to be free, oh spirits
Take us to our place. I frowned
And turned to the man next to me 

His face was pinched tight
I wondered what shortcut
He had taken to get here 

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Sweet Mammy's Blues 

Oh sweet Mammy blue
Pass the teardrops please
We're all hungry
To take some of that pain
Away from you 

Its early morning
We kids see Mammy is stuck
In that nightmare residue
When we gather round the table
To our say our daily prayer 

Lord make this day
A better one
And with your help
Take away the loneliness
Of sweet Mammy's blues
 

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Lonely Windmill Moans 

In valley low, old w
indmill
Moans lonely w
ords
Spinning them i
nto song 

Whispering prairie
Grasses weep, softly
Sing along

About a long, long trail
Leading West, of days
Past, of persistence


Hopes and dreams
For a new life, in death
It took its toll

To find h
ome
In a land so vast, sky

Touching the Earth

Breathe in a
ir, deeply
From top of hillside
And see, soil so pure 

Human hand, metal tools
Oxen, black topsoil
Sowed to cure 

Starvation of family
Living in beauty, era
Of exploration 

Years it took
Father overlooked evil
In simple realization 

Nature at her will, her fire
H
er heat, icy nights to meet
Grasshoppers to eat 

Beat down a
spirations
Every ounce o
f living, but
They never accepted defeat

Back to Top 

Campfire 

A distant light flickers, twists
Through darkness, like autumn leaves
Dancing, I see shadows
Silent at a distance 

It bravely fends off darkness
Until yip of coyote overpowers
Personal barriers, two bodies
Crowd closer to campfire 

Back to Top 

From Inside the Cage 

Tripped upon a distant land
While dreaming
Last night, a bright moon
Massaged the landscape
Around me, animals were free
So were trees and grasses
I breathed 

In a world that was simple

Yes, I had to fetch water
From a clear, cold creek
But it was clean, refreshing
Yes, I had to depend on instincts
To hunt, fish and gather
But it made my senses rich
Yes, I had to build a fire
To cook, to keep warm
But it was the root of living
And it was beautiful
 
It was a place where giving
Was as important as receiving
Where acceptance meant sharing
And denial was a form of sacrifice
 
Under the eye of one Great Spirit
Considered sacred
Not separated by individuality
By those offering purer grace
 
This dream, an unconscious upheaval
Of reality, today's society

Where all the living, l
ive and love
From inside t
he cage 

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Footprints on Earth 

Lone one, don't hold
Your words sanctuary
From listening ears 

Reach forth with aged oak
Mind, strength in shadows
Overcome fears of mist 

Let your fingers bleed
Truth, as they gather
Eyes to follow 

Create an Earth vision
Of peace on black hills

Sand porches, grassy
Footprints 

Where sky blue rains wash
Out barb wired fences, glass

Windows,
set free the buffalo
To roam
 

Prints of hooves on prairie
Floor, of deer in woods
And wolves to keep
The cycle healthy

Back to Top 

In the beginning 

Deep blue eyed forest
I seek secrets
Of barefoot on decay
Renewal, what dream
Bore a spiritual society
Encompassed in faith
On Earth
Where love bonded
Like roots to fertile soil
Where honesty was pure
Not to be taken
For granted, but worn
As a skin adorned, sacred 

Deep inside your eyes, you speak
A language my mind is not
Accustomed
It is of a beginning
Of a circle
Which is blind to I
A scarred victim
Of this latter style
Of life
 

I seek a return
Of the cycle
Even if I carry the form
Of another of my mother's
Fruits, be it
A rock or a tree
Or the form of my brothers

Or sisters, the Eagle, the buffalo
The turtle or the wolf 

Touch me spirit of dark forest
With the vision to find
The great return, lead me
Out of eternal decay 

Back to Top 

Head'n
Home 

Eyes follow
Trail of blood, cedar scented
Path of sun, find white dusted coals
Of past fires, Great Spirit I ask of you
Reach deep into dark Earth
Where souls are sleeping
And set aside a place
For our eternity 

Back to Top 

Dream of Yesterday 

Where Balsam branches and cedars
Twist into a thick silence
I seek a peaceful place to sit
In pine needles 

Cushioned by swamp bog
I feel comfort in the open arms
Of our mother, Earth

My head is clear for the moment
 

My eyes close
As I quietly daydream
And await a vision
But then 

Waste, pillage, rape and murder
Enter my mind, devastation
Of peoples, growth of unnatural
Society, shaken violently
 

I wake to thunder
Rolling deep inside me 

It is not empty, my heart
For it still cares
And I grasp at it wildly, wishing
I could take it out, see it, believe 

But I don't want it to be real
I want to wake

It would be yesterday
By many years, my path
Would be simple and honest
 
I could leave the swamp
Enter into open skies
A healthy land, proudly 
But

Out there I know it is not well
Still
I I must go, leave
My protected womb, bravely
And deal with it
 

Back to Top
 

I Will Return 

I will return
To Earth, my flesh
Will burn
 

Spirit and sacred willow

Smoke rising
In its turn
 
To the sky, to land
Remembered, to live
What I did not learn
 

On a soil, spoiled
By pain, lack of civility, a life
One doesn't yearn
 

Back to Top 

Dakotah
Conflict 

In 1862, a disturbed wind
Blew, dark clouds cried

Names of 38 victims

Hung for crimes
America committed 

Brave chiefs, warriors counseled
Spoke of a people who take
The fat, who will overwhelm
The Earth, arriving from the East
Like a locust cloud, thick
As snow falling
In a storm
 
What broken treaty are we
To sign next, they asked
That forces us to give up
Our land, what lie or law
Shall be passed
That herds our people
Like cattle
 
Expectations of a phony life
Execution of tradition
A firing line, dying
In prison overpopulation
Disease 

We are to sit back
Watch starvation overcome
Truth in white promises 

We are to be peaceful
In the arms of a tomorrow
That we know will never arrive
 
We are to lie down and die
Submit to another extermination
Alongside the land, buffalo
 
War is no answer
Only a way out of this corner
You have backed us into
 
To the hills and the trees
By the word of the drum, and spirits
We go to regroup
Come out fighting 

Back to Top 

Small Circles 

High ridge, fading sun
Composes crimson symphony
On rock pages
Lone cedar listens to Eagle
Feather coming to rest
On jutting edge

To watch over prairie 
Fire illuminates small circle of Earth
Tone faces, weathered, but alive
As smoke from Sacred Pipe seeps
Upward, beyond snow capped heights
To speak of this brotherhood
In Nature's own true words 

Back to Top
 

Brother Eagle
 

High above shadows

Of clouds, Eagle, you soar closest
To our Grandfather, Creator
Great Spirit 

Like wisp of smoke
From sweet grass and red dogwood
Smoke from Sacred Pipe
You float upwards into blue skies
"Wakan," symbol of the winged
People 

I seek encouragement brother Eagle
With my thoughts, prayers
In my fast for vision
What path have I been given
By "Wakan-Tanka" 

I sit within the womb
Of Mother Earth, comforted
Only by thoughts
If creation bleeds
I bleed also
If the rock, buffalo or tree
Breathes
I breathe also 

We cannot bleed or breathe
As individuals

For we are as one
 

But, as I sit
I watch two seedlings grow
And wonder why there is individuality
 

Why does one begin to wilt
While the other flourishes
Should they not prosper equally

By the Creator's hand 
What is this shade
That overcomes one

Is it destiny
Shall one be weaker
And eventually die
To allow the other to become stronger
 
Shall I die in the face of the future

So my brothers and sisters
Old or new, may be stronger

If so, I believe I shall 
For if that is the path
I have been given
That is the red road
I will travel 

Why is there so much question
In my heart and mind
If the answer has already been spoken

I should be proud for fulfilling
My purpose, and be happy
 
But I still don't see, blind
I am to my true path 

Shall I give of myself
Or should I continue to grow
In order to guide others
 
That is what I seek, brother Eagle
Can you hear words of Great Spirit
That I cannot 

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Native American Woman Breathes 

There she stands, alone
Breath of Great Spirit blowing
Her hair in a dance
Tribute to the beauty
Of a nation 

Dark features resemble the Sun
Upon Mother Earth, high
Cheek bones
mark advantages
Of high ridges where one may look
Upon
all Mother's children
Or look up, speak freely
To our Creator 

A lone Eagle feather
Braided in long black hair
Adds to the distinctively marked
Root stained d
oe skin robe, representing
The pride s
he holds in her heart
For a nation she honors
 
Voice, soft and tender, like wind
In the trees or waves
Helps calm children, shows sincerity
Speaks chosen words
Which make claim to survival
Of a nation
Equality b
etween humanity and Nature 

Moccasin footsteps, firm but gentle, yield
To the Earth, are placed in such a way
As to speak direction without verbal
Discussion 

This woman is brave, yet quiet
Strong, yet tender, womanly
Eager for dreams of peace
And always keeping the spiritual
Circle m
ended 

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Young Warrior Remembered 

Trail in prairie grass, blood
Red in the moonlight's reflection
Led my eyes to another time 

Dust devils whirled briefly

Near buffalo skeletal remains, empty

Eye sockets stared at rocky ridges
Inhabited by warrior spirits 

They remember a young brave
Coyote Ears, who led warriors into the valley
His pure white stallion sniffed
At strange air, alive as wind
Tensed up at a rustle of yellow sage 

Into land of neighboring enemy
Village, center fire roaring, beating
Drums echoing battle songs
Cries of honor, dance 

They did not hear the warriors

Until the hooves thundered through
Coyote Ears moved swiftly
Weaving, but while the rest passed
Through, he stopped 

He leaned far off the horse

Straining to free the braided reins
Of their shades of autumn-tinted horses
And just before he met his end
The young warrior whooped at them
Driving them into the darkness 
He drove them through the throat
Of the canyon, over seven hillsides
To change the sunrise, where the battle
Did not sneak up them 

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Daddy knew Johnny Cash 

When nine years old, I thought
My Daddy and Johnny Cash
Were best of friends 

Every so often, we'd head
To this town near the city
Where Johnny Cash lived 

As the front door to the house opened
I could hear the man in black singing
About his son, Sue, or trains
On the nearby track 

Dad would shake his hand
And off he and Johnny would go 
Mother and Johnny's wife would cheer
As Dad and Johnny would sing
About the Cadillac they built
With the 1953 transmission

We kids would head to the back yard

Where we'd walk the line of stumps
Bordering well, you guessed it
The ring of fire 

This kind of thing happened every visit
To Johnny's place, so I guess
I just connected the pieces 

Perhaps you can see why it's hard
To control that old wheel from spinning
Every time I hear Johnny's songs
I think back to my Dad and Johnny
And how good of friends they were 

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End of the Burning Fire 

An autumn eve, northern Minnesota

Brilliant flaming red maples, falling
Yellow aspen leaves, scent of lake
 
My father sat by a blazing fire
Circled close, elbow to elbow
Good friends laughed over memories
Old camps, good times to come
 
Mother was near, so was I
Close enough to be coaxed
Into getting Dad another beer
I was never happier

The fire blazed late
Laughs climaxed to yawns
The tired headed for tents, campers

Some more tired than others 
Some so tired that life seemed distant
Dreamlike, and strangely complete

So complete, that my father found
It hard to wake up
 
Yes, life was good in those years
I loved it. I loved him. And I remember him
Every day when the sun wakes me
And when the fire of the moon puts me to bed 

In memory of Howard Victorian, 3 September 1979
 

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.
This poetry was my way of expressing the mixed and maturing feelings and experiences I had in my life during my college years. As any young student of life, I grasped at anything I could to set the foundation of who I wanted to be in the future. The poetry was often themed, although rarely my intent. It was just what came to me at the moment. Sometimes in dreams. If you read something you take offense to, remember the maturity curve. We all went through it. That's how we grow.