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Lunar Days and the Tollan of the Heart

Mar. 6, 2011
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For Martin Espada

In the streets the people would stop to talk
Carrying the lightning blue maize
In their woven broadgrass baskets
Coming from the fields where thistle now
Grows        whirling in the sun
Where the legends of stone-throwers
Shaken the usurpers of spirit
For Pleiades which would only fall
Once out of a earth deep millennia
And the boys would dance out of holy abandon
For the blessing of Spider-Woman’s bones

Who is there now to say
That the old stories
Fall from the mountains of clouds
And the voices rise up
From the fields where big-dogs are dancing
Save during winter upon the longhouse
When it is but a ghost of itself
And the shadows of Water-spirits
Rear up out of the earth
To replenish the fragrant baskets
Carrying the rock-hard words
Gleaned from the fugitive dark skies

Jim Stevens is a poet of Seneca heritage living in northern Wisconsin. He is lead editor for Yukhika-latuhse (She tells us stories), an annual journal of Native American writing published by Oneida Nation Arts Program.


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