a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
Time travels the horizon
Each day a century, Each minute a year
Yesterday is tomorrow stretching back to just moments ago.
When I was a child I saw two-leggeds retreat from war singing songs of loss and sorry.
Nature gives and takes, a natural order to the universe.
Man-made barriers propagate a sea of sorrow.
Yesterday, or was it seven years ago?
Rain fell, water rushed through creek bed.
It has been so dry that even we who live on drops of water thirst.
PRICKLY PEAR CACTI
I move across the desert floor.
Seeking one drop of water
My throat rasps
Wind evaporates moisture
This dust that I become is your future
I am the blinding mirror image of near-sighted dreams.
I was born of the desert when no concrete wall stopped the sun or outshone the moon.
I am no boundaries.
Try stop me, I go where I want
I am the nightmare of short-sighted vision
Foretelling, no water, strip-mined mountains, scorching heat.
I am the sharp pain of over-heated global reality
Earthmaker, Gather up these souls, as puma’s speed and spirit are needed once again for the two-leggeds journey home.
In this graveyard of dreams dying is not a gentle passage and living is the greater challenge.
Rattlesnake poison bleaches bones, which speak of lost family
and forgotten prayers drop like rain
An alter forms from east to west, south to north
A constant day of dead
Puma, I offer tobacco to the spirits of this desert,
that you, Puma, Protector of the Universe,
That you be welcomed to the world that exists parallel to this.
Your muscle becomes the supple, subtle shifting of the desert floor.
No more suit of camouflage to hide on desert cliffs. You are the desert now.
Waiting. Waiting for redemption, your killing bite becomes the cacti thorns, your claws cholla’s revenge. Your grace becomes the sun sliding down the horizon, darkness bringing respite from the heat. All the powers of your nocturnal wanderings combine with centuries long energy in the making. Puma, protector of the universe, may your spirit be released to guide two-leggeds on their journey home.
Marcie Rendon, White Earth Anishinabe. Mother, grandmother, writer, playwright, poet, and sometimes performance artist.