Native American Poems





What is Life?

It is the flash of a firefly in the night.

 It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.

It is the little shadow which runs across the grass

And loses itself in the sunset.


                       Crowfoot, a Native American Indian.



This we know.

The earth does not belong to man;

Man belongs to the earth.

This we know.

All things are connected,

 Like the blood which unites one family

All things are connected.

Whatever befalls the earth,

Befalls the sons of the earth.

Man did not weave the web of life;

He is merely a strand in it.

Whatever he does to the web,

He does to himself.


                                 Chief Seattle, a Native American Indian.





Dear Friends,


“When the Earth has been ravaged and the animals are dying, a tribe of people from all races, creeds and colours will put their faith in deeds, not words, to make the land green again. They will be called “Warriors of the Rainbow”, protectors of the environment.”


Greenpeace was inspired by this Native American prophecy to call its flagship “Rainbow Warrior.”




  Only after the last tree has been cut down,

Only after the last river has been poisoned,

Only after the last fish has been caught,

Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.


                                         A Cree Indian Prophecy                            





 An ancient Chippewa tradition

The dream net has been made

For many generations

Where spirit dreams have played.


Hung above the cradle board,

Or in the lodge up high,

The dream net catches bad dreams,

While good dreams slip on by.


Bad dreams become entangled

Among the sinew thread.

Good dreams slip through the center hole

While you dream upon your bed.


This is an ancient legend,

Since dreams will never cease,

Hang this dream net above your bed,

Dream on, and be at peace.







Come on the trail of song,

Leaving no footprints there,

Over the rainbow bridge

Down the mountain stair.


Come on the trail of song,

Gods of the Navajo,

Out of the sky-land

And the five worlds below.






For some more poems and words of wisdom please see


 The Wind Is My Mother by Bear Heart and Molly Larkin 

Keep Going, The Art of Perseverance by Joseph M. Marshall





 THE STONE SPEAKS    (A Hopi Prayer)/span> 


 I am a stone

I have seen life and death

I have known happiness

 Sorrow and pain.


I live the life of the rocks

I am a part of our mother earth

I felt her heart beat next to mine

I felt her pain

I felt her joy

I live the life of the rock

I am part of our Father

Of the great secret

I felt his sadness

I felt his wisdom.


I have seen his creatures

My siblings the beasts and birds

The speaking waters and winds

The trees and everything on earth

And everything in the universe

I am related to the stars

I can speak if you speak to me

I listen when you speak

I can help if you need help


But do not hurt me

For I can feel like you do

I have the power to heal

But you must seek it within me


Perhaps you think I’m a mere stone

That lies in the stillness of the damp soil


But I am more

I am a part of life

I live

I serve those who respect me


 A WINTER VISIT TO HOPILAND by Ramona Puhuyesva Wilgus


 The docile winds blow

Across the land and mesas

Of the Hopiland.

Bring in wood for fire and warmth

Listen to stories

Of nature told by So’oh.

Learn of Father Sky

And be touched by Mother Earth.

The stories will ring out

To leave us with Hopi pride.

Slowly clouds gather

Bringing gray skies and cool days

Now the snow arrives.

Flakes of white moisture

Painting the Hopi desert

A cold visitor,

Yet we’re thankful for its’ given gift.

Makes land and people happy

The elements are together

Here in Hopiland,

Center of the Universe.



                    ANOTHER VISIT TO HOPILAND by Ramona Puhuyesva Wilgus


  The winds still blow

As we edge along the narrow trail,

The cliff dropping sheer just inches away.

We bring the ashes of the loved one

Back to her home, as she wished.


The firewood, the stories told by So’ok,

Father Sky and Mother Earth

Are with us, as always.


Cold visitors, we find the right place

And join the ashes with corn meal,

Piki bread and water

To sustain her on her trip.


Then she rejoins the Hopiland

And we turn to retrace our steps.


Goodbye, old friend.


                      In memory of Ramona Puhuyesva Wilgus. west.  


 GO MY SON by Ramona Puhuyesva Wilgus



 Long ago

an Indian war chief

counselled his people.

He wisely told them

Education is a ladder

to help us reach happiness.

Go climb that ladder.


Go my son - - go and climb the ladder.


Go my son - - go and earn your feather.


Go my son - - make your people proud of you.


Go my son - - get an education.


Work my son - - get a new vocation.


And climb my son - - go and

take a lofty view.


Upon the ladder of an education

you can see to help your Indian Nations.


And reach my son - - lift your people

up with you.





 HOPI COUNTRY by Ramona Puhuyesva Wilgus


 My people live in a plateau of

 mesas and desert praries.

There are no rivers - - or

grand wells of water to quench

the thirst for these Hopi dwellers.

Yet we know water is what

makes life continue. (Why do we stay?)


Special springs bring drinking

water to the people - - but for the

plants - - fields of corn, squash,

beans, peppers - - special songs

and prayers are sent out to the

spirits of sky and clouds – to bring the

rain and moisture to sustain life

here in this dry place.  



HOPI CORN by Ramona Puhuyesva Wilgus

 Blue, yellow, white, red (purple)

Sweet corn, as well, all precious.

Precious like the earth,

The rain and sun bringing life,

Nurturing balance

Spiritual life to Hopi.

Prayers of rain for growth

Corn prevalent at harvest

Dawn the gifts of faith.

Corn to make sumiviki,

Piki, pik’ami.

Corn for Hopis to enjoy

Prolonging spirituality for all.


(Neal Wilgus holds the 1st serial rights for all the poems by Ramona Puhuyesva Wilgus).  


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