Monday, November 18, 2013


artist : kari percival

from Far North Beast Ghosts the Clearing

The truth is
I have mud on my hands
from digging roots

The truth is
I brought them to you

It is the truth
I worked to get them
and complained
while digging them up

The truth is
once I got back here
and saw your face
it didn't matter,

that work

Little snail
curled up

leaving a snail shape
in the blanket

when I lift you

If I popped out of the snow
with ten crows
tied to the top
of my head

you still would not wake

deepest sleeping one
I've ever seen

I'm no owl
don't you believe it

Just because my big
feather face
is so round
when you wake,
don't believe
I'll fly away
in the morning?

There's things I do
There's things I do

in happiness
of your arrival

Today I was out
stooping my shoulders
in the lily-pad water
with moose


so happy
it was all I could think
to do

sit down
shut up

can't you see
who's sleeping?

It's her
just born and not ready
to hear your crow noises yet

Sit down
shut up

I can't travel
away from you

rolling pine cone

Each time I go to leave
my shoes hide
in your dreams

All the warm nights
sleep in moonlight

keep letting it
go into you

do this
all your life

do this
you will shine outward
in old age

the moon will think
you are
the moon

Wild turkeys
on a mound of earth

and the moles
under them
"We know the earth
is loud
with turkeys again"

But you,
when I tap my fingers
on the mound over you

do you know who dances?

Old turtle
walked this far
to see


I'll pick you up
to see

here she is

wrinkled as you are


The Wishing Bone Cycle
gathered & translated by Howard Norman
Narrative Poems from the Swampy Cree Indians
Ross-Erikson 1976

One time
all the noises met.
All the noises in the world
met in one place
and I was there
because they met in my house.
My wife said, "Who sent them?"
I said, "Fox or Rabbit,
yes one of those two.
They're both out for tricking me back today.
Both of them
are mad at me.
Rabbit is mad because I pulled
his brother's ear
and held him up that way.
Then I ate him.
And Fox is mad because he wanted
to do those things first."

"Yes, then it had to be one of them,"
my wife said.

So, all the noises
were there.
These things happen.
Falling-tree noises were there.
Falling-rock noise was there.
Otter-mud- sliding noises was there.
All those noises, and more,
in my house.

"How long do you expect to stay?"
my wife asked them. "We need some sleep!"

They all answered at once!

That's why now my wife and I
sometimes can't hear well.
I should have wished them all away
first thing.