Little Bear, Hannah Tuck, 2013

I am little bear.

I can see my parents,

Even smell them and touch them,

But they are not here.

I can stare into their eyes and talk to them,

But our opposing realities collide.

I am an orphan,

Though not a boy.

 

I could not live with my clan,

It was not safe.

The workers they came

But they couldn’t quite tell

What had happened before

All hell broke loose.

 

They said I was safe off in the woods

But I was still trapped.

Can healing take place in a year’s time?

After 15 years of dream crushing,

Personality smashing, body taking,

Forcing rhythms of false family?

 

Sure I was a little bear.

But I was raging.

I was hungry for a fight.

Unable to go home

Because I am a warrior, resilient

I will breathe, stand tall, and sing.

 

And another 15 years has passed.

I remain in the woods

Unable to be close to those I was born to.

I don’t know whether healing is coming

Because wisdom from the elders

Has yet to be sought.

 

I am little bear

But I never went home

Because they are unwilling or unable

To keep their hands off my throat.

I am free and can breathe here.

I live here where I can sing.

In Time, J.K. Walker, 2013

As I climb

The air it thins

I’m trudging up this mountainside

 

Weakened knees

Holding me up

On this walk without a guide

 

Heart beating strong

This trail I’m on

No place that I can hide

 

Bearing down

My feet to ground

No view of oceans tide

 

Breathing deep

This mountain peak

This sorrow in which I wallow

 

Alone in mind

With only time

To help me through this hallow

 

Fear in mind

That it’s my time

To head back down to base

 

Turn upon

The trail I’m on

To someday find my place

 

It’s getting dark

Beneath the trees

That hides me from the storm

 

Night air gusts

The coat I’m lacking

Nothing to keep me warm

 

Raindrops fall

This bitter cold

Quickly taking over me

 

I hold no light

On my descending

This path I cannot see

 

Near the base

Of this mountainside

In which I tried to climb

 

A moment’s peace

I’ll someday find

But it can only come in time

Prophecy, Elizabeth LaPensée, 2012

There will come a time when white-skinned men touch the land and give it their name.

These will not be as the white-skinned men who have come by north waters and stayed. These will not be as the white-skinned men who have become one with The People.

A Windigo that crosses waters will bring a great many people. These people will come, leave, and return as many. They will grow and their hunger will grow. They will consume the animals, the plants, the water, the land, The People.

They are hurt and their hurt will spread to The People.

Their tongues are poisoned. Sickness pours from their mouths. Their words are damaged. Sharing means stealing, loving means controlling, believing means fearing. They lick themselves raw.

Their eyes are pricked. They will not see how to use deadwood; they will know only to take trees by the roots. They will not see the difference between the young fish that must stay in the waters and the older that can be eaten with thanks.

Their ears are filled with their own voices. They will not hear the aching of the rocks, the groaning of the dirt that they tear.

Their hands are twisted. They will use them to take The People. Many will run to lands they do not know. Many will die in the waters. Many will be made to belong to another man.

Their hearts are cold. They think of animals as beneath their feet and we too will be animals.

They will teach guilt for it is all they know. They will teach shame for they seek to leave their bodies. They will teach with pain.

They will eat our tongues, our eyes, our ears, our hands, our hearts, and then, still unsatisfied, they will eat us whole.

Until the day comes when the black they bring forth from the land’s hurt spoils the waters that run through all of Turtle Island.

When that day comes, Warriors will walk among all people. They will be a many people. They will carry many weapons.

They will be awakened from within by their own love. They will love themselves. They will love all people. They will love all.

Their tongues are sharp. They will be the voices of the ways. They will learn the language of the animals, the plants, the water, and the land that they stand among. They will share this language by living this language.

Their eyes are open. They will see the vibrant colors of all around them. They will see how all is the Great Spirit.

Their ears are as open as their eyes. They will listen to the animals, the plants, the water, the land. They will hear love.

Their hands are open. They will breathe life into what they touch. They will hold all children as though they would hold their own spirit.

Their hearts are warm. They will gift all people with the presence of this warmth. They will express this gift with their song, their words, their visions, their beauty.

They will teach all people how to glow as the stars in the sky. They will teach with an open circle. They will teach among the animals, the plants, the water, and the land.

They will show all how to walk. They will show us the path that leads us all places and back. They will return us to ourselves.

Then all will be The People. We will lift ourselves up and the stars will open to welcome us back within ourselves.

And we will see how the Great Spirit flows through all. We will heal the animals, the plants, the water, the land, and The People as one.

And we will be genuine Warriors.

***

“… when it happened that some Indian stole something or other, if you discover that some among them steal: you must punish them by cutting off nose and ears, for those are the parts of the body which cannot be concealed.” – Christopher Columbus, April 9, 1494