Friday, August 11, 2017

The Ancestors Are Smiling

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his children
attended the opening ceremonies of
Tla o qui aht Days in Tofino.

The lead dancer holds up a feather
in each hand.
Behind her, the children follow,
one step, step-step-step, one step,
dipping and weaving
to the sound of the drum.

In a circle, the warriors sing
and pound their drums in a steady beat,
songs handed down
from grandfather to father to son,
songs of heritage,
songs of healing,
songs of pride in culture,
songs of coming home.

"The ancestors are smiling today,"
says the chief.
I can almost see them,
on the edge of the circle,
behind the veil between
this life and the sky world,
holding up their hands
in support of the dancers,
swaying to the beat of the drums.

for Isy's prompt at Real Toads: Writing Unseen, to write about something you can't see fully. The other day I attended  Tla o qui aht Days, a celebration of the rich culture of the Nuu chah nulth people, in whose territory we are privileged to live.

Prime Minister Trudeau was here in town on a family vacation. First Nations invited him to attend and he accepted.


  1. It must be wonderful to have true leadership

    1. Indeed it is. Intelligent, humble, respectful........

  2. I love the thought of that seeing on "the edge of the circle,
    behind the veil between
    this life and the sky world"... wonderful picture

  3. I can hear the drums and the singing through your beautiful poem Sherry! I have always believed that our family before us watch over us in a way, as a guide and protector. I hope all is well with you these days. I am sorry I don't make it by much, and have not been very present at PU and others...I have been busier at work and had a hard time having time, but sometimes like yesterday and today I get some extra time to stop by. So glad I did today. :-)

  4. Wonderful Sherry. I love these celebrations that the First Nations and our Native Americans have. They put me into touch with the earth and my ancestors. I feel privileged to dance with them as I have just enough Cherokee blood in me to allow me to dance with them. I am honored every time. This is simply a wonderful and beautiful poem - I love the repeat of the drums and esp. I love:
    "the edge of the circle,
    behind the veil between
    this life and the sky world"

  5. What a wonderful idea - to write about the ancestors. Very bold and done so well! Thanks for posting to the out of standard.

  6. This is great writing. Much more alive if one has some experience with "The People".

  7. How this took me back to my teen years and I had just watched "Broken Arrow" at the movies and fell in love with Debra Paget as the Indian maiden. OK she wasn't really indian but appreciation of the North American first nation culture began then. Loved it!

  8. This is wonderful, Sherry. Both in writing and, I'm thinking, the last verse of the unseen, your supposition. We have attended our Nebraska American Indian's Winnebago Tribe powows. Not understanding their language, but I am sure that their ceremony was of similar vein.
    Again, beautiful, wonderful.

  9. It would be wonderful to have this connection the unseen ones who are so much a part of us, even though they have gone where we have not as yet followed. Enjoyed the scene you painted here very much, Sherry.

  10. I see them, too. And through your poem, I hear their life... still growing behind the veil.

  11. The spiritual energy in your writing has captured my heart ....

  12. Your Trudeau has a lot to teach world leaders of today. Respect for other nations is just one thing.

  13. One reason I like Disney's Mulan - the ancestors. how fun to BE there in the crowd.


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