Words of Wonder

I am a feather on the bright sky
I am the blue horse that runs in the plain
I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water
I am the shadow that follows a child
I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows
I am an eagle playing with the wind
I am a cluster of bright beads
I am the farthest star
I am the cold of dawn
I am the roaring of the rain
I am the glitter on the crust of the snow
I am the long track of the moon in a lake
I am a flame of four colors
I am a deer standing away in the dusk
I am a field of sumac and the pomme blanche
I am an angle of geese in the winter sky
I am the hunger of a young wolf
I am the whole dream of these things

You see, I am alive, I am alive
I stand in good relation to the earth
I stand in good relation to the gods
I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful
I stand in good relation to the daughter of Tsen-tainte
You see, I am alive, I am alive

By N. Scott Momaday

 

This poem by the celebrated Native American writer Scott Momaday (whose Kiowa Indian name is Tsoai-talee) spoke to me in its celebration of alive connectedness and confident goodness.

After a whole range of bright connections he’s gladly stating his good relationships – “I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful” – what must it be like to be so confident in the wholesomeness of your relations to the earth, to the gods? Perhaps his gladness to be alive and connected comes from being in love with the daughter of the brave Kiowa chief Tsen-tainte… but I’d rather understand it to be the other way around: he’s at peace with himself and the world and from that place he’s free to love the daughter of Tsen-tainte as well.

A good poem to honour the Indigenous Peoples of America, especially around this time of the American Thanksgiving which may well have a different meaning for them. May we all stand in good relation to the earth and to each other!

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