Thursday, January 21, 2010
Lines In Black & Red
Lines in black and red,
lines of nacre buttons moving
and the world was in them.
Tlingit Elders lined in dress across
hall of stone and straight timber
to their children's children's children.
Ravens are the thinkers, he says,
while Eagle Clan knows power,
and in line from the Ancients
coupled in balance of both
lines shape-shifting in dance.
Knowledge of land, spirit,
and All Our Relations
let's them hand it down the lines,
now a soaring eagle,
now the awkward head-bobbing
of a shoreline bird;
my hands felt the lines of beading
on the Medicine pouch I wear,
gift from a dying old grey wolf.
Grandmother grey and frail
straightened to the line,
cupped hands for the stars
to rain upon my head a blessing,
those hands that felt like papered
leaves veined with the journey itself.
Lines almost broken and ended,
languages left unspoken and yet,
still they come to give and dance
their lines in black and red.