Thursday, September 10, 2009

MY LIFE ACCORDING TO SIMON ORTIZ


MY LIFE ACCORDING TO SIMON ORTIZ
    —from poem lines & titles by Simon Ortiz

Warriors could have passed this way
on a bright and vivid, feathered wind.
They never saw the mountains chained
by fences, roads and super highways.
The river, a silt-ladened snake, curled 
around the wagons rolling across parched plains.
Weather, they reasoned, was barricade enough.
But dreams themselves could have been roads
and it seemed the thunder surged on forever.
The Native mind was stunned by guns, cannons.

Once my mind was a cove of light,
memory, a lost trail of tears.
A dying root, the last buffalo on the cliff.
I know no such sorrow, other than. Than.
I watched the house of dawn breathe
and the words jumped off a bridge.
Amerind, tamarind, the wind. The wind.

The dead woman's road is naming your life
your death seeks gravity. The moon, the moon.
We are frightened by what we do not own.

Wind pushed our dreams into morning.
The land was like an angry oven
dry grasses, rattlesnake wind hissing, 
singing of rain, singing. Singing.

The surrender of the sea, surcease—
shivering in anticipation.
I am the power of missing clouds
amid the names of stars.
I am the last buffalo of the heart.



9/2009 La Casa de Maria, Santa Barbara
rev. 7/2013

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