Storyteller’s Dreams

I knew a storyteller once

His stories were medicine
The kind that made you think for a while
He’d say, I think-
Maybe i’m just lost in my head
Or maybe my stories are better off dead

A dreamer of some sorts
Making and unmaking all kinds of sense
Some of it thin and some of it dense

Going on and on and on and on
Telling stories about life and death
Death to the past
Death to the future
Death to the world
Death to evil-
This he wished
-Life to what was already dead
Forgetting to really live along the way
Or in between dreaming
And this is why he’d say
Maybe I’m just lost in my head

He was killing his thoughts
Murderous he would consider
And this was the price he paid for deliberation

Spending days longing for nights to come
So he could sleep
Some nights battling to get there
This is how he gathered his medicine
In dreams where he’d unconsciously think

Meeting people something like halfway
Some of them he knew
Some of whom he’d never met
Saying goodbye to their smiles
Long before they ever had a chance
to pray together
He’d wake to an ache in his spine
A pinch in his mind without any concept of time

A dreamer of some sorts
Chasing dreams and stories to tell or create
He would wonder
If dreams are to be chased then
Should that dream not become a life of pursuit?
He’d tell himself to go back to sleep
To pick up where he left off
See how it ends

Sometimes this entity
It refused to let him journey back there
Dreams are wicked he’d think
They have their own spirit
Their own life
Some can be killed
Others die on their own time
Even the forgotten ones come back to haunt you
It’s best to chase them he would dissolve
Ohh these dreams are wicked

The day isn’t ready for a new dream to escape outer space
Where those stories are written by who knows who
The question remains then
Lingering his perception
Go back to sleep he’d tell himself
But those questions were dreams’ children
His head was their house
And sometimes they were just loud
Running the hallways
Knocking on doors and yelling out

Where is the inception of truth?
In what time or space are we truly awake?
If dreams are reality
An elaborate range of deceptions
This life

In only one of those places
Does guilt ever creep in for its own medicine fix
Those dreams of some sorts

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Remembering the Future

She created me in her womb

Indigenous mothering

saving some food on her plate for the hungrier

Innately nourishing a tribal reality

The things that surviving hasn’t forgotten

 

I see her standing in the way of progress

Meeting the front lines of ecocide

Using her body as a blockade

Carrying on the resistance

Fighting with Tears and Feathers

 

She moves unequivocally forward

From the past into the present

Playing with fire and ice

dancing to rhythms on the wind

that only Butterflies can match

Like a mythical Indian lady

 

I saw Kateri Tekakwitha the Saint

working in a shelter

in Kahnawake tending to the wounded

Defending the warriors on the Palisades

In a glass of water replacing a bottle

Writing a story about Ancestors

that the future will tell their children

 

Then I saw her kiss John Smith

On 45th and main by the train

As she heads off to the city

She did everything she could

Before she went and did what she would

 

I tell myself it’s not her fault

I should be man enough to

take the blame for her reasons

When the Grandfathers ask her

What there aren’t enough Indian men?

 

What did I expect

I forgot the meaning of respect

Trying to be a warrior

Creating wars where there were none

You finally had enough of these lies

No more chasing the times

 

I guess they say love is blind

That we are born with it

And that other thing called hate

That’s just a part of being erased

Evolutionary indifference

What works is all in Creators time and space

 

 

Memorandum

Snow covered trees illuminate

Under the winter sky

Standing like skeletons

In a moonlight sonata

 

Stars falling into the night

A lone wolf unabashedly hungers

Walking through mysterious shadows

Cast upon this beaten path

 

Time tells no tales

And dreams are rash

Memory only a tool to live

Death too wants to survive

 

Questions elude the courier

As the prey seek no answers

Dancing to rhythms on the wind

To understand their modify

 

Diligent searches awaken life

What works requires the mind

Innovation erases the memory

Leaving a trail of ghostly pain

 

The wolf remembers the prey

The prey remembers the wolf

Together in sync they think

Sacrificing for the essence of the Circle 

Dreaming in Indian

 

 We met halfway in a dream

Dreamt in Indian

Meshing our movements

Like a canoe pulling into the beach

Like an Albatross traveling the sea

 

We grew old together

Like leaves on a tree

Fell back to the earth

Where the grass catches us

Storyboards written on the land

 

Reminiscing in Creators plan

Remembering the memories

Or just forsaking the Clans

Like sand falling through fingers on open hands

Today isn’t what it seems

 

I see you there in my dreams

In that longhouse

In that place called journey

Words are the second tongue

And songs tell our story

 

Storyteller tell me a new one

Only you can do that

Wake up with me there again

We can remember how to say

‘I love you’ in Indian

Sunrises, a new day

I crave the crispness of cold winter mornings

on unburdened lands in the southwest 
or under mountains on coastal shores
where my grandfathers were born
 
No, not the places where blood has bled
or settlers have settled
but the ones where tiny trees grow
and brush flourishes amongst the community of there
 
Sunrises over the horizon to say good morning
and my breath takes form 
crystallizing in the air
 
There could never be a more appropriate time
to give thanks for what we still have
and in that exact moment 
there is nothing to long for
 
Not even coffee could make it better than when  
i’m raising a handful of water to give thanks 
and that feeling that your hand makes when it shakes
and shivers absorbing life
 
Here I sit on a city sidewalk
waiting for the train to take me wherever i’m going
and even animals no longer fear their tracks 
so who’s to say they aren’t gone as much as me
even pigeons ancestors were born on concrete 
chasing stories to tell instead of remembering them
 
But what’s been done before is different now
and the difference is 
its time to redo the same but different

So i guess what i’m really trying to say is
i’m looking for a way to differentiate 
the pain from the understandings we gain
and the things we lost in the fray

 
So today i’ll dream of those cold wintery days 
on the open plains 
and coastal shores where I can still hear 
my thoughts soar circling the truth

…..Inspired by, and to one of my closest friends, Tazbah Rose