Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Red Road


[The Red Path copyright 1991 by Keith Powell, Grand Coulee, Washington]


for Poets United's Thursday Think Tank prompt: the color Red

Note: In this one, I seem to have tapped into my deep connection with First Nations people,
among whom I was privileged to work and serve for eight and a half years in Tofino,
and whose culture resonated within me so strongly I know I must have lived that life before.



Great Spirit,
may all Two-Leggeds
learn to walk the Red Road,
as do those of us
who have always lived
close to the land,
whose choices
are made with respect
unto the seventh generation,
who take only what we need
and preserve the rest,
so that others may also eat.


Great Spirit,
blow the winds of change
across the land,
sweep clean our hearts,
and let us approach the table
humbly,
not to take
but to partake,
to share
in our common brotherhood
and sisterhood,
so we may see
we are all
much more the same
than we are "different".


Bless the Old Ones
whose eyes have seen
a hundred years
of betrayal, injustice 
and wrong-doing.
Lead them gently
into their last night.


May their eyelids close
with peace and love
surrounding them,
and may they open again
on vistas like the days of old,
buffalo roaming richly
across the grassy steppes,
spotted ponies galloping
across the land, 
wigwams dotted along
rushing rivers
where fish are plentiful.
May they be young braves
and maidens again,
vibrant and joyous.

The Red Road
is the path
of nurturing life,
of sustaining
and restoring the earth.
May all Two-Leggeds
recognize that what befalls
the tiniest link
in the chain of life
befalls us all.


The Red Road
has power and mystery
and connection:
we feel it when smoke
from the sagebrush
rises slowly to the teepee's roof
and circles there,
prayers rising on the Old Ones' breath.


When it is my good day to die,
may I follow that Red Road
to its destination,
and open my eyes
on a land of plenty,
where brown-eyed children laugh,
no one is ever hungry
and there isn't even a word
for war or discord.


May I open my eyes
on the world I so wanted
to live in here.






13 comments:

  1. It is good to commune with Nature, to be as one with her even if only for awhile.

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  2. What a lovely wish, prayer, hope. There is no doubting that so many wrongs have been done by so many to so many, Native American tribes included.
    They had and still have so much ancient wisdom and expert knowledge about our Mother Earth and how to live in harmony with her.
    A lovely post Sherry

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  3. Amazing how in tune you are with the First Nstions people, Sherry. Are you familiar with Chief Dan Joseph? D had a book by him. She also had other books written and illustrated by Native North Americans. She also had the utmost respect for these people and loved to read their words.

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  4. Yes, Chief Dan George of North Vancouver. I have a couple of his books too. Those were great years, in Tofino. I worked at a treatment centre for families recovering from substance abuse, and the children came too, so it was full circle work for me, having grown up in an alcoholic home. The centre was on an island, and I went to and from work by boat. Glorious! The families would arrive, heads down, discouraged, in pain, and over the weeks it was wonderful to see their heads slowly rise, their eyes light up, to hear the laughter bursting. A people who have known incredible pain, yet laugh so easily. One night the families arrived right after a storm had caused a landslide that compromised the water system so only a trickle of mud was coming out of the tap. I was chatting with the clients, trying to make them feel at ease when I mentioned the water situation and in my usual clueless way, said "We just hope....no one's very thirsty". Everyone roared with laughter and belatedly I realized what I had said. Such glorious years. The job of my dreams in the place of my dreams. I was lucky.

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  5. I so wish to journey on this red road. I love this prayer for our world,I wish it could happen! Xo

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  6. almost liturgically solemn, like a hymn from the depths of earth.

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  7. Like a series of mantras...inspiring affirmations! A wonderful sense of universal spirit!

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  8. Tansi! This is a great poem. The Red Road is something I don't see many people write about, wonderful that you did this poem. So well done! Ekosi.

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  9. That's a great prayer. We should all be on the red road...unfortunately too many are following the yellow brick road instead :(

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  10. This is beautiful and I agree, almost like a prayer for blessings.

    Wouldn't it be great to see this Red Road so clearly and walk in the light of love and peace ~

    Blessings to you ~

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  11. sweet and wise.
    red road is a lovely imagery.

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!