Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Indian Song: Survival

I think this is a beautiful poem written by Leslie Marmon Silko.

Indian Song: Survival

We went north

to escape winter

climbing pale cliffs

we paused to sleep at the river.

Cold water river cold from the north

I sink my body in the shallow

sink into sand and cold river water.

You sleep in the branches of

pale river willows above me.

I smell you in the silver leaves, mountain lion man

green willows aren’t sweet enough to hide you.

I have slept with the river and

he is warmer than any man.

At sunrise

I heard ice on the cattails.

Mountain lion, with dark yellow eyes

you nibble moonflowers

while we wait.

I don’t ask why do you come

on this desperate journey north.

I am hunted for my feathers

I hide in spider’s web

hanging in a thin gray tree

above the river.

In the night I hear music

song of branches dry leaves scraping the moon.

Green spotted frogs sing to the river

and I know he is waiting.

Mountain lion shows me the way

path of mountain wind

climbing higer


up to Cloudy Mountain

It is only a matter of time, Indian

you can’t sleep with the river forever.

Smell winter and know.

I swallow black mountain dirt

while you catch hummingbirds

trap them with wildflowers

pollen and petals

fallen from the Milky Way.

You lie beside me in the sunlight

warmth around us and

you ask me if I still smell winter.

Mountain forest wind travels east and I answer:

taste me,

I am the wind

touch me,

I am the lean gray deer

running on the edge of the rainbow.

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