at one time, i felt alone, spinning in this world
across the prairies, just you know, spinning with-
out direction, and it was the open plains, so
it was flat and i could spin blind-
folded like so many others
i didn’t cross any other person
quite like me, until that is
i stumbled like a tumbleweed, snagged
sagebrush that caught me, and others
a collective of stories
there were others, of course, spinning, who passed by
saw trash, instead of
collective beauty beneath the surface
and kept spinning, alone
these stories, sifted and true kept collecting
as sagebrush became a hill
as hill turned into a mountain
of words, stories
still collecting to this day
mountains reaching for the sky
this is what i love about poetry, we connect to others, and we connect to our humanity. it is beautiful. it feels real in a world that tends to separate us from our self, others, and the natural world.
growing up i often felt alone, odd, and weird because i was seeking understanding of who i was in this world that was determined to terminate the anishnaabeg / people i come from. as a kid, it’s a scary thought, and it’s not even a thought because it was action supported by policies and mandates from the highest courts and churches. what made me weird, i thought, was that it didn’t seem real. it seemed like i wasn’t really seeing humanity or that i wasn’t part of humanity because the human i was was not like the ones that i was surrounded by and learned about in history. it was unbelievable yet, it was real, it happened. farm kids often reminded me how their ancestors conquered mine and continued to do it right on that yellow school bus.
now that i’m older, i see this history as a world-wide disease of human ego and misuse of intellect as it wasn’t just my people who suffered from these acts of genocide. it’s a human dilemma where ego and misuse of intellect, and dare i say, misinterpreted use of religious beliefs that has corrupted our lives.
so, i seek poetry that questions our humanity and brings our humanity to the forefront. i seek indigenous perspectives that mirror my own experiences. without indigenous poetry, i might be still spinning along the vast prairies not connecting to anything but the wind. and i wanna be with the mountain of stories reaching for the sky.
i know the woman hanging from the 13th floor window
at night when the sky darkens and fills with distant flickering lights
we ride the northern lights, feeling vibrant
this is all we really want to be is