Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

This story does not come because of someone I’ve met personally.  But I recently read his story in a ONE Spirit newsletter and felt I wanted to share it with you.  I love this story because it shows the strength that the human spirit can have, it shows that anyone can inspire us to be better and it shows the value of native culture.


This story is about an 11 year old boy named Cody who was born of mixed heritage – African, European and First Nation Iroquois.  His mother and grandmother have raised him in his Native American tradition.

Cody could not sit or crawl at 1 year old.  He was carried by his mother or grandmother.

As he grew older, he would walk on his knees, holding the hands of his mother and grandmother.

At age 5, Cody was able to use a walker and could enter the dance circle without assistance.

Last year, Cody decided to put aside his walker.  He falls often, but always rises the assistance of a warrior Uncle who dances with him in the circle.  There is a saying, whose author escapes me at the moment, which says that failure is not when we fall in life but when we do not get up again.  I think Cody is a great success already at 11 years old because he seems to understand that concept.  He is already a warrior in his heart.

As evidence of his warrior spirit, Cody has been moved to give what he can for others.  He dances for those who cannot dance.

When he heard about the teen suicide, poverty and lack of heard in Pine Ridge, he realized that he was fortunate — he had food, warmth, love.  He was determined to help somehow.

Cody began to sell his poems for donations that would go to ONE Spirit.  I want to share one of those poems with you.  It’s beauty reflects a wisdom far beyond this young man’s 11 years.

by Cody

I am the sacred circle
I see the fire in the center
I hear drumming
I say, “I love Pow Wow’s,”
to my MeMe (grandmother)
I imagine myself in the men’s dance competition
I hope I can do the competition
I discovered I’m Iroquois
I fear I will get killed on my Reservation
by white people
I feel the Iroquois power
I am the Iroquois child
I am the Iroquois chief in the future
I heard my people say, “Be kind.”
I saw myself on the Reservation in my dreams
I feel the sacred circle is helping me to be kind
I lost my Great Uncle when I was very young
I taught my people how to be kind to other tribes in my dreams
I was not so kind in the past
I will be kind
I will be nice
I will be a better person

Thank-you for reading this poem. Hope you pass it on.
God bless you


A warrior is a warrior because of his heart, not his strength.

Cody is a warrior.

Are you?



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I am going to make a confession that may amaze some of my readers.  Others may not be as amazed, since I try to avoid politics, especially with regard to the people of Pine Ridge Reservation.  It isn’t that I don’t see that politics — federal, state, tribal and familial — play an enormous part in causing the conditions that exist on the reservation.  The fact is that the cause of the conditions means less to me than does finding ways to assist the people who must live in the third world conditions that are the way of life for far too many.

So I usually write about the people with whom I speak and the stories they tell about their lives.

But I do know some of the history.  I recognize the names that have been in the news.  I make no judgments about history.

I can judge truth and beauty, however.  I recently came across a poem that touched me on many levels.  It spoke to me on the universal level of human to human.  It also spoke of lover to lover.  I will not attempt to analyze or dissect it — I do not want to break its fragile beauty.

Instead I will share it with you.  You may be surprised, as I was, to see the author when you finish your reading.  I leave you to draw your own conclusions.


We are Not Separate

We are not separate beings, you and I
We are different strands of the same being
You are me and I am you
and we are they and they are us

This is how we’re meant to be,
each of us one
each of us all

You reach out across the void of Otherness to me
and you touch your own soul!

Tate Wikuwa (given name of Leonard Peltier)

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