Sister’s Giveaway

You could have worn the black stripe Pendleton yourself if you’d come down to Oklahoma to get named in the Quaker church in Hominy.   All of us cousins on trust land with our Morrell relatives near Pettit Street named for our family. Uncle Preston slumped on the cracked leather sofa, the eagle wing fan clacking when he lifted his…

With Reservation

I am from recycled goods, bus passes, and borrowed books, walking in the canyons, biking in the woods, reading about places I want to visit, hearing about people I want to meet, riding the bus alone. I am from homes with no electricity and hauled water in containers, brilliant night skies, ambrosial petrichor, cutting wood for winter, baking bread for…

2016 AIHEC Student Poetry Slam

At the 2016 AIHEC student conference in Minneapolis, tribal college students from around the country made their voices heard by competing in the annual slam poetry competition.

Similarity

A quiet room knows how many steps you’ve taken in a dream, considering you’ve been turning to the semblance of an unknown person. The sound of a river silking is hair singed, laminating darkened landscape. I still remember the darkened room and it’s radiance of light penetrating skin. All my possessions used to fit in a box. Dated. Organized A…

O-Eyes

I never got used to the helicopters Yesterday I watched them all afternoon from the roof, in lines— no clouds but helicopters, in lines droning north & south & birds singing echo songs to the neighbor building’s canyon I started to hate them when they followed us, & realized they were for us, when we began to march, in the…

A Prayer for Piestewa

We fought for our land We fought for our survival   Today they told us that We, were the warriors modern day heroes armed with education every group of people need some education in order to succeed, but one thing they forgot to mention was that some would still pick up a gun in the name of freedom. This poem…

Somewhere in the Fog

I was lost and trying to get home There was a heavy cool thickness clouding visibility Silhouettes walked out of the dark greyness into the light that surrounded my every step and move People, and faces peering out through the windblown thickness of the fog Each looking at me as if I knew what to do Their faces pleading, “take…

Journey to the Canyon Floor

Deep down into the canyon where the spires live, breathing in the dust of histories, our feet move slowly through the long trail, blistered and tender they move on. Passing foot and handholds along the rock edge, we run our fingers along their crests, absorbing the ancient oils of our ancestors as we make our decent. Reddened walls interrupted only…

Texier’s Travels

The Parisian spends an afternoon in a magnolia grove glowing with ivory blooms. His hunting shirt is purple, embroidered with orange flowers and the morning star. He wants an Osage girl for a few piasters, a buffalo hunt, an Indian’s skull. In lemon-scented shade, he dreams the New World, a rattler at his feet. Ruby Hansen Murray (“They don’t know…

Primitive Childhood

Sit and listen, young one to All your relatives, For they come from all walks and directions. My Brothers and sisters They tell me we are all connected, ONE. When I run with the wind, I can feel Deep within bones long buried, I have Lived among my siblings, In all their organic forms Taking flight in an endless sky…