August 2009 Archives

Freckle Face, Arapahoe woman.

Freckle Face, Arapahoe woman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traffic roars down Arapahoe Avenue

Past Conoco, Whole Foods, Mustard's Last Stand,

And my thoughts turn to you, Inunai-ee.

Have you given us just a name

Whose meaning most forget?

You left no monuments,

Only arrowheads,

Raised your dead on a scaffold tree.

The gold in these hills meant nothing to you,

You counted your wealth in ponies,

Abundance in buffalo.

You took no plough to the soil,

Though you fired the prairie,

So fresh grass would grow.

You built no roads or bridges,

Constructed no fences or walls,

Made your way without map or compass,

For you knew this land

Like your mother's face.

Settler's Park was your winter camp,

Sheltered from blizzards and gales,

On Haystack peak you watched for bison,

Raced your mustangs

Where now golf carts cruise.

Living lightly in the place of prairie dog and beaver,

You marked it only with your spirit.

Wisdom of fox and coyote,

Of jumping mouse, eagle and buffalo,

Unfolded in your stories and your songs.

On the forked sun dance tree

You pierced and hung,

Blessing this land,

With your selfless sacrifice.

Long and bitter was your road

From Sand Creek Massacre to Oklahoma,

Yet the Flatirons and the mesa do not forget you.

Firstborn among the nations--

For so do your myths call you--

May we, your younger siblings, learn from you

That a land cannot be bought with gold

Or won with cannon.

It belongs to those who know its ways,

Who heed its spirits,

Who walk on it with softly moccasined feet

And dance into its heart,




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Spirit of Arodene, I call to you!

Attic whose walls I painted sunshine yellow,

Study where I sat at oak desk reading Cicero,

Cozy corner where I sipped early tea with Nanny

 Bay window splendid with tinselled Christmas tree

Parent’s room where we knelt round the bed for morning prayers—

Arodene, your gracious rooms, your comfortable spaces

Taught me ways of hospitality and ease.

May your walls ever ring with children’s laughter!


Spirit of the hearth, I call to you!

Fireplace Dad designed with Suffolk White brick,

Place where Yule log burned, where crumpets were toasted

And forty five New Years welcomed.

Hearth where we sat sharing memories of Dad

May your warmth remain in my heart!


Spirit of the garden, I call to you!

Fragrant arch covered in rambling rose,

Peace roses lifting dewy heads to greet the day

Lawn where I sunbathed, getting freckles instead of tan,

Terrace where sheltie Magnus barked at imaginary sheep,

Pampas grass where Marmaduke lurked,

 Orange body ready for tiger pounce,

You taught me to create beauty wherever I go.


Spirit of the horse chestnut tree, I call to you!

Your glorious candles lit our springtime

We gathered your tough brown conkers for childhood games.

May you be protected!


Spirit of Christchurch oaks, I call to you,

Home of woodpecker and tawny owl!

Your winter shapes stark against twilit sky

Your tender budbreak and your sheltering shade,

 My girlhood friends who never fell out with me,

Your gnarled forms taught me of strength and steadfastness.


Spirit of Orwell estuary, I call to you!

I rowed and sailed your channels,

Walked your shores.

When the train pulled in sight of you

Heart leapt, for I was home.

By your sunset dappled waters

I heard the call to heal.

May you ever flow within me!


Spirit of the saltmarsh, I call to you,

Where samphire and sea aster grow!

Mud glistening in sun at low tide

By the Orwell, the Stour, the Deben,

Skylark hovering as he sings

Cry of gulls and pipe of meadow pipit

Oystercatchers feeding along tideline.

Your tang lingers in my nose,

Your wide skies taught me the way of spacious heart.


Rooms we filled with laughter, tears and song,

Places I touched with feet, with hands, with oars,

Where I listened, dreamed and meditated,

Where I walked with those I love,

 Blooming in your care like the peace rose and the sea aster,

You have shaped me and I have shaped you.

Stay with me, spirits of place,

 Let us walk together still!












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    About this Archive

    This page is an archive of entries from August 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

    July 2009 is the previous archive.

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