Native American Poetry
Land of the Free
Built on Ground
Taken from Me
Considered what I' m not
Tried to rob me of who I am
My allegiance is to the Creator
NOT Uncle Sam
The Earth is my mother
Her I respect
They rape and deface her
With no regrets
Try to hide my traditions
Want my languages to die
Remaining who I am
I keep my head held high
Our communities lied to
Considered things trade
Standing for what's ours
Tall and brave
When they sing America America
Land of the free
I cherish the home land
The Creator set for me.
My Great Grandmother made fry bread
Cured colds with chicken poop tea
Got rid of scars with herbs
Cut grass on hands and knees
Braided my hair
Sang the element song
Smudged us with sage
When we didn't get along
My grandmother fixed bee stings
With tobacco or bay
Made baskets of vines
Bowls out of red clay
My dad hunts for meat
No matter how small
We were always fed
Enough for all
The garden is tended
Plenty from the ground
Us kids gathering eggs
We all enjoy the sunshine
Fires by night
Drums that cause
My soul to take flight
My childhood was wonderful
Don't know what everyone got to see
I'm absolutely proud
To be Cherokee
Earth Teach Me to Remember
Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.
Earth teach me suffering as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth Teach me caring as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness as dry fields weep in the rain
Ute, North American By~ John Yellow Lark
Will Ye Walk With Me, Willow John?
Will ye walk with me, Willow John? Not far;
A year or two, at ending of your time.
We'll not talk. Nor tell the bitter of the years.
Maybe laugh, occasional; or find a cause for tears;
Or something lost, could be, we both might find.
Will ye set a spell with me, Willow John? Not long;
A minute, measured by your length on earth.
We'll pass a look or two; we both will know
And understand the feelings; so when we go
We'll take comfort that we kin the other's worth.
Will ye at our leaving, Willow John? Just for me.
Lingering reassures and comforts us who part.
Memories of it help to slow the quickened tears.
With recalling of you, in the later years;
And soften, some, the haunting of the heart.
From: The Education of Little Tree, By Forrest Carter