from an evolving collection entitled Temazcal: The Steam House Chronicles
Her origins speak of The Great Origin.
Hers. Ours. The many nations of the living hoop.
She starts, as all wholesome bodies-in-motion do —
like a gentle hand planting seeds.
Just above Omashkoozo-zaaga’igan —
Elk Lake in the tongue of The Good Humans,
a great font begins.
Tapestry of eloquence.
Soft colors bind life to life.
A distant pitch-perfect loon.
Sturgeon creates a swirl.
Beaver builds her lodge of downed birch.
A blanket-wrapped woman at the lake’s edge
offers tobacco to the dawn.
Icicles melt from branches of tamarack, balsam.
Another sounding from a lonesome loon.
A yelp, another — howls from a pack of wolves.
Lightning forks of water gathering.
Flowing past acorn songs.
Birch bark stories.
Stands of sweet maple sap.
Flowing past Osage, Sauk-Fox —
others we don’t know the names of
but whose memory is sealed in the breath of the wind.
Flowing down past Effigy Mounds.
Concealing mammoth bones, muskets dropped long ago.
like extending arms
Scooping up shifting sands.
Unseen currents below
carrying prayers from two-thousand years ago.
(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com
image: Lena Rose