Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Elder Brother Speaks

Ta'Kaiya Blaney of the Sliammon Band
singer/activist/environmentalist
Caring for Mother Earth artist Betty Popp, USA


Step into the old growth rainforest, 
Younger Brother,
and experience heeshook-ish tswalk*:
everything is interconnected,
everything is one.

Trees, deer, bear, salmon,
humans, living waters -
all are dependent on sustainability
of life and community.

See the wisdom-trees, 
experience the diverse life forms
thriving in this place,
but go beyond the senses.
Enter into the sacred,
where physical and metaphysical 
energies connect: the belief of 
Creator and Creation as One.**

We have managed our lives, Younger Brother,
successfully for millennia,
yet in 40 years, half of earth's creatures have died
because of your lust for More.

It is time for Hupee-ee-aulth - cooperating
with the original design of the Creator***.

Take with reverence
and, for everything you take, give back.
For every action,
calculate its effect
unto the seventh generation.
Our grandchildren's grandchildren
will need to live, too.
We have been saying this
since you first set foot on these lands,
but you have been slow to listen.

We are coming full circle,
to the beliefs of the ancestors:
everything is connected,
everything is one.
What happens to one,
happens to us all.
As we watch wild creatures dying,
watch the living waters grow ill,
watch the ice floes melting,
the animals grow hungry,
just remember, Younger Brother, and reflect:
what happens to one,
happens to us all.

sources: Nuu chah nulth First Nations of Clayoquot Sound - myth, legend, oral tradition.

*, ** and *** attributed to Richard Atleo, UMEEK of Ahousat - his legends were gathered in the oral tradition in the  Nuu chah nulth language, from his grandmother, Margaret Atleo, in 1972. As read in the paper Coming Full Circle.

(Margaret Atleo, sitting beside me on the boat going home from work one afternoon, pointed to the Clayoquot Sandspit, where Tofino originally was settled, saying "they traded us that land for a barrel of molasses.")

posted for Abhra's prompt at dVerse: mythology as applied to today

18 comments:

  1. Take with reverence
    and, for everything you take, give back.

    if we could live like that...life would be sustainable...liked the new words i learned as well...i can see the influence of the article you wrote earlier as well...

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  2. Sherry,

    Everything is connected and when a thread is broken we all feel the pain. This was a marvelous
    write and I am so glad I had the chance to read it.

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  3. Very groovy piece- loved the inclusion of oral tradition!

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  4. For every action,
    calculate its effect
    unto the seventh generation.... what a wise thought...and if we all would do this, the world would look different

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  5. Your poem reminds me of the quote (and please pardon me if I don't get it quite right), "We did not inherit this land from our parents, but we are borrowing it from our children."
    Thanks for a powerful poem!

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  6. The wisdom of knowing the effect of our actions should be calculated and we would act differently.

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  7. Such an insightful piece ...

    For every action,
    calculate its effect
    unto the seventh generation.
    Our grandchildren's grandchildren
    will need to live, too.

    Full of wisdom and it make me feel warm with hope. Well written, and thanks for joining my prompt.

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  8. Well - I'm losing the forest behind my house. A lose of inspiration for my forest poems.

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  9. Well - I'm losing the forest behind my house. A loss of inspiration for my forest poems.

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  10. Yes, Sherry, I think we are indeed coming full circle to the beliefs of our ancestors. It has taken a while, hasn't it? What happens to one happens to all. We all need to pay attention before it is too late.

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  11. love how you took us outdoors and taught us something... plant one if you take one down

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  12. Love this insightful poem of interconnection Sherry. ..."What happens to one, / happens to us all."..sooner we realize this the better...

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  13. I like how you set the advice to be from elder brother to younger. Now, for only the world to listen.

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  14. How sad to think that various myths warned us against abusing our planet and that yet we took no heed and preferred to lead selfish lives. I particularly like 'Take with reverence
    and, for everything you take, give back.'

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  15. Like the insight we receive when we realize that New Age metaphysics is not new; it is the oldest of the truths, resurfacing out of necessity for the 21st Century, as we pay no attention to the elephant of global warming in the room, as embark on, or continue our new 100 Years War, the New Millennium Crusades--still being ignorant enough to tolerate racism, sexism, & lobbyists; love your sweet but sorrowful take on the prompt, how you seem so very connected to the wisdom of the Nations.

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  16. Sweet, plaintive, filled with wisdom and respect...

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  17. A beautiful song of truth and of course i expected some American Indian wisdom here TRUTH!

    SO sad to be disconnected.. so REAL TO BE TRUTH...:)ONE.

    HAVE A great day!2..with smiles3:):):)!2;)

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  18. I watched " Dances With Wolves " on TV last night, so the movie fits with the mood of your poem.The lost culture of the indigenous people is tragic.Enjoyed this one.

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I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!