Native American Poems
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.
“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 by Eda Lon Walton
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
SOME VERY NICE NATIVE AMERICAN BOOKS
The Wind Is My Mother by Bear Heart and Molly Larkin
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 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
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,
Spiritual life to Hopi.
Prayers of rain for growth
Corn prevalent at harvest
Dawn the gifts of faith.
Corn to make sumiviki,
Corn for Hopis to enjoy
Prolonging spirituality for all.
(Neal Wilgus holds the 1st serial rights for all the poems by Ramona Puhuyesva Wilgus).