Sunday, 20 December 2009

tracking: in the valley

As I sit here in the valley
all the heart has gone out of me.

I threw a stone at the blue grouse*
on the side of the mountain.

It hit her, and she flew off.
I re-wove the rotten fish-basket,

fixed it up for use again in the
foothills. But, sick at heart,

I have cut it to pieces. While
I was weaving another, a bat* flew

right at me. I will not do what
it orders, the small moth-spirit

that flew at me here in the valley.
Right here in the valley,

all the heart has gone out of me.

Tsimshian Tribe

Native American Songs and Poems
Edited by Brian Swann
(New York: Dover Publications, 1996)

* the blue grouse is probably the woman the man has sent away
* when a bat hits someone it means that person is about to die

in preparation for

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