Melt


You don't have to melt
until you are ready.
Every pain in your flesh,
every numb stiff resistance,
every emotion of anger, envy
or shame, each staunch
opinion or belief
is just a part of you
that is afraid to melt,
afraid to lose I-dentity.
You don't have to melt
until you are ready.
But know this, friend:
when every particle dissolves
you are not gone.
You are God,
watching your glorious body
twirl.

First Snow

First snowfall, my cat
Stops to marvel at footprints
That follow her home.

True Words


It is time to heal the earth, to return to the seeds.
What are the seeds? The seeds are True Words.
True Words cannot be taken back, erased, or forgotten.
True Words are not ink on paper.
True words cannot be found in the Fort Laramie Treaty,
or the signatures on 500 other broken treaties
with protectors of sacred land and water.
True Words are holy things that breathe like rocks and trees,
twisting like larvae in sod, cracking mussels
like otters at play in a wave.
True Words are the sinews of warriors who kiss the cottonwood
to the sun in their excruciating dance of love.
True words are the names of the ancestors signed in the liver
of the buffalo with thanksgiving hands, in the womb
of the mother with sons.
True words are woven into a Sacred Hoop
bending from the earth to the stars, entwining the names
of unborn daughters learned from the wind.
We build houses with True Words and live in them.
We heal the earth with True Words and flowers dance.
When we speak True Words, all the tribes understand us;
four-leggeds and winged ones understand us.
When we speak True Words, star people hear us and return
like vast blossoms falling from the Spring sky.
With True Words, we call to the soil, water, air, and moon
in sacred friendship.
True Words may be silent, because every inhalation
is the Great Spirit.
True Words are prayers that become breaths
that become actions that become wisdom
in our bodies.
With True Words we pledge to all our ancestors:
no longer will we bend on Wounded Knee.
We are Standing Rock.
Aho Mitakúye Oyásin!