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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 3: Wind/Breath/Flow

Susan Deer Cloud

Crones Against Drones
In this winter people call old-fashioned
our hair grows long with blue icicles …
snow glints through nights as though
sky were Lady Day, snowflakes
gardenias falling from her hair.
Back in these Catskills
we crones hunker down in,
one can almost return to a past
in which Earth dreamed deep
beneath snow-beguiled days,
children flashing by
on sleighs and skating so fast
they turned into little birds.
In those moons lit to fire opals
across the drifts, the children
could trust they were safe
and spring green in time.
Not like this 21st century where
we old women notice how few
girls and boys go outside
to play away from video games
and TVs droning behind locked
doors. And we wonder
if the games teach children
to accept politicians’ droning
lies, and radio-controlled drones
sent to kill and spy in the name
of saving American lives.
“Bug splats” they call the drone
dead, including the collateral
damage of exploded children
once like our sweet mountain kids
before they retreated inside.
We crones of creation
are regarded the same
as this old-fashioned winter,
our hair like the snowy twigs,
our hearts like ice jams,
making others uneasy
because we don’t drone
but speak fierce as nor’easters.
We who remember how to hibernate
with bears and be as bird children
awaiting winter crocuses,
song through snow.

About Place Journal Volume III Issue I Enlightened Visions June 2014
Icicle Cave Near Big Indian, Catskill Mountains

Susan Deer Cloud is a mixed lineage Catskill Mountain Indian (mainly Mohawk & Blackfoot) who recently returned to what she calls her “heart country.” An alumna of Binghamton University (B.A. & M.A.) and Goddard College (MFA), she is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, two New York State Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellowships, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant and a Chenango County Council for the Arts Individual Artist Grant. Published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, her most recent books are Hunger Moon, Fox Mountain, Braiding Starlight, Car Stealer and The Last Ceremony. As part of her dedication to getting First Nations voices heard, Deer Cloud serves as editor of ongoing Native anthology I Was Indian (Before Being Indian Was Cool) and the Re-Matriation Chapbook Series of Indigenous Poetry (FootHills Publishing). To learn more, you can visit her website here.

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