To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
.......................................again
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Friday, May 22, 2009

From A Seneca Journal: Midwinter (Part Two)


THE FACES (1)

blew ashes
into my hair

THE FACES (2)

whose big mask
cools it down

THE FACES (3)

with hanging little
balls of medicine

THE FACES (4)

had gambled for
the earth

FALSE FACES

& phony smiles

THE INSTRUMENTS (1)

pounders for corn
paddles for soup

THE INSTRUMENTS (2)

water
drums

horn
rattles

FIRE EVENTS

put out an old fire

.

kindle a new fire

.

do a war dance in the name of peace


(interlude)

speaking to Ham
was flicking my ashes into
Leslie Bowen’s
soup pail


POUNDING THE WOOODEN FLOOR WITH
BROOMSTICKS THE WOMEN
SANG SIX SONGS


going walking

.

in the middle of the room

.

a garden

.

I was alone

.

we all came back

.


& sat here


MIDWINTER MEMORY

Green Corn


SONG

*****************************
*I*love*my************world*
*****************************
*****************************
*I*love*my*************time*
*****************************
*****************************
*I*love*my*growing**children*
*****************************
*****************************
*I*love*my********old*people*
*****************************
*****************************
*I*love*my*******ceremonies*
*****************************

PRAYER EVENT

dancing


OBSOLETE QUESTIONS

who’s got an old dream?
.

who’s got a new dream?
.

who’s got a white dog?


DREAM EVENT (1)

See something in a dream & tell it in a riddle.
Let someone guess the riddle, let him give the object as a gift.

DREAM EVENT (2)

Act out a dream.
Let everybody’s brains turn upside down.

[obsolete]

THE PUMPKIN

has a lake
inside it

THE BEADS

seen in my eyes –
with many colors

[dream-guessing riddles]

MIDWINTER

when I cough

THE ANCESTORS

Handsome
Lake

.

Happy
Hoolihan


CONCLUSION

It was all I could do

.

It was all I had learned

.

It was all that there was

[The preceding is the second part of a series of Midwinter poems written during several years of participation in ceremonies, both social & religious, at the Seneca Indian Coldspring Longhouse in western New York state. The first part of the series appeared in a posting on May 1, with some additional explanation as to their origin & intention. All poems were originally published in the author’s A Seneca Journal (New Directions, 1978).]

2 comments:

Cy said...

Thanks for this, Jerome. I've long admired your work, both as a poet and anthologist - "Technicians of the Sacred" in particular belong in every writer's bookcase.

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing...
___________________
Julie
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