Poetry ~ Prose

SENSES by Larry P. Madden

Bullfrogs' Song by Larry P. Madden

Flow Poems 2 by Larry P. Madden

Flow Poems 1 by Larry P. Madden

Deer Stand Poems by Larry P. Madden

Heartbreak by Larry P. Madden

All Girls Dance by Candice Truesdell Nokes

Earth by Camille Billie

Dry by Kathleen Tills-Storsberg

Friend by Rosemary Powless Malanik

Me by Rosemary Powless Malanik

Prayer by Kathleen Tills-Storsberg



SENSES

A Poem by Larry P. Madden

SOUND
BIRDS AT PREDAWN, WAKING CHIRPS, CREATORS SONG

SMELLS
MUSKY ODOR OF THE COOL SUMMER SWAMP

TASTE
MUSKY AIR ON THE TONGUE WITH REMEMBRANCE OF MUSHROOMS EATEN

COLOR
SUN DAPPLED SHAFTS AMONG A MYRIAD OF GREEN CEDAR AND RED WILLOW

TEXTURE
SOFT, MOIST MOSS OF DEEP SWAMP HUMMOCKS, LIKE A MOTHER'S BREAST

SHAPES
LIKE TURTLE SHELL ISLANDS IN THE SEA, AMONGST MIRRORS OF WATER


ANIMAL
MAKWA, BEAST, KING, MEDICINE DIGGER, BLACK AS NIGHT

TWIST
TRANQUILITY SHATTERED AS THE DISTANT SOUND OF BAWLING HOUNDS RINGS IN HIS EAR...TIME TO REST HAS ENDED

Larry P. Madden (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin) was born and raised in the Sturgeon Bay area. A recent graduate of CMN, he enjoys the Powwow trail and strives to maintain balance on the red road.

senses

Bullfrogs' Song

A Poem by Larry P. Madden

The Bullfrogs’ song, sung from the pond was pleasant to the ear.

But when my mother sang in church, it made me quake in fear.

There she stood so brown and proud, her Savior oh so near,

And when she’d sing his praises, it grated on my ear.

Brown as chestnuts we stood, amid this sea of white,

And when my Mother sang aloud she caused the white folks fright.

I wish and waited for the day, that from the pew I’d fly,

For every time the Bullfrog croaked, I surely thought I’d die.

But time has passed, and so has Mom, her memories haunt me still,

And every time a Bullfrog croaks, I get a little thrill.

Larry P. Madden (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin) was born and raised in the Sturgeon Bay area. A recent graduate of CMN, he enjoys the Powwow trail and strives to maintain balance on the red road.

moon on foggy night


Flow Poems 2

by Larry Madden

Choice

Many fools chase jewels or
cities of gold till they grow old!

Some chase love,
more elusive than Coronado's seven cities.

Unicorns in existence
Waiting next to a pot o' gold.

With one more rainbow to go,
just outside of Atlantis.

Virgin birth risen from the grave
a bigger chance,
than unrequited love.

Ahab's quest but a Sunday stroll,
compared to love fulfilled and real.

Eyes dim as life slips to the next unknown level.
Let not that last burning regret be:
I missed my chance to DANCE.

deep forest image

ALERT

As He entered the new growth, his predator mind was looking, smelling, hearing, tasting the wind. For the deer loved this country, recently logged, the new poplar grew like dog hair. Climbing an ancient ridge past the loggers landing, down the trail. Up another sea shelf from before man walked erect, now pine, oak, birch and endless new growth poplar. The favorite cover and food for Ahtoh, travel routes that have been run for many moons before he was ever born. Quiet, careful, alert to all. Natures’ keys, tracks in the mud, some small, still others large, deep showing dewclaws the Stag. Now a river of tracks—a story in soil, a symphony for the eyes in mud. This spot is found, a game afoot, a time to find a place to root.

For still and calm are the hunters’ true nature. The big cat waiting, brass claw loaded, eagle eye scope to death's door. For death spawns life with a gift of meat. Ravens squawk, squirrels chase and twitter, small birds chat....“chicka dee dee dee”... “chicka dee dee dee”. Upturned root whose stump’s a chair, fanned out roots like Emperor's throne. Hunter perched alone, silent wait for the prey that roam. Snap of twig, blink of eye, form appears, horns don't lie.

I see him, he sees me, who'll break first, it's yet to be. Click of metal, rush of blood, eagle eye scope, brass claw fly.

My God he stands, he didn't die. Brass claw slam, pinpoint strike, no dog hair armor will stop this flight. Roar of gun to silent din, pounding heart, gasping breath, both pound deep within the breast.

King of the forest down on the floor. His reign today will last no more. The King is dead. Long live the King of the forest floor. The once proud Lord will roam no more.

RIVER

Sometimes my mind like a river roars;
Other times it snores and bores.

Tumble ore the rocks of thought,
to form a foam, filled with fraught.

To be dispersed by peaceful flow, gently lolling as rivers go
past glades of peace where serenity grows.

Around the bend, the rumble grows
as the rocks of thought ebb and flow.

Now to gain a quicker pace--
enough to cause one's heart to race.

Each turn affords a different place,
as thoughts fill end endless space.

Like a river's unchecked pace.

AFTER DARK

cold moon rises...stars apppear
young bucks....rut and fight
does present....then break to fight
cold moon pass...to raise the light
fowl cackle...to raise the light
eldest brother rises...to all's delight
man and beast...lose night's fright

Larry P. Madden (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin) was born and
raised in the Sturgeon Bay area. A recent graduate of CMN, he enjoys
the Powwow trail and strives to maintain balance on the red road.

Flow Poems 1

by Larry Madden

Choice

The cold winter nights drew on the old man like the angst of heartaches;
The table cold to the touch, held his books and tools.
A sweep of the arm provides the needed space to eat or cypher
on troubles real or imagined. 

Dreams of lost youth swirled through with each draft
from Ole' Man Winter's harsh breath.

The crackle of fire and the ticking clock are the only audible sounds. 
Though the roar of the mind filled the space twice over. 

Had fate or karma landed him in this position? 
A question many ask but few realized the answer.

No, choice was a better word.
Choice, nothing so fickle as karma or fate. 
Choice, the free will decision to be in a certain, position or place. 
Unforced choice. 

Choices had shaped his life.
Some good but more than less they were bad.

Choices, probably just the trails of life that defines each of us.

deep forest image

Light

A new day dawns as the prophet calls—
follow the glow, move to the light. 

Moth helpless yet determined,
herd mentality, sound of the hoof. 

Danger unknown,
panic unlimited
run...run...run to the light. 

The LIGHT at the end of the endless tunnel. 

Is love as hard to attain?
Are riches so distant?
Are the stars for me, easier to touch?

Fly swiftly,
run strong,
it's right there—
closer I'm sure. 

Pound heart, burn lungs, bulge eyes—
It's right ahead. 
I can almost touch it.

Empty Space

Empty space fills the void
Left by absence of attention.

The rift of heartbreak,
Unmeasurable in dimension.

Unapproachable by land or sea,
But when observed from air

One could see the chasm—
A Grand Canyon by comparison.

How one little woman could create such rift—
so big and wide to make a mind slip.

No nuclear bomb, nor earthquake twist
could tear a gaping hole like this.

In a Human heart...

The Universe o' dark and cold cannot compare to this.

Larry P. Madden (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin) was born and
raised in the Sturgeon Bay area. A recent graduate of CMN, he enjoys
the Powwow trail and strives to maintain balance on the red road.

 

Deer Stand Poems

Three poems by Larry P. Madden

 

Atoh

Sitting ever vigil, underneath a tree.
Little blaze orange Buddha, rifle on his knee.

Waiting, watching, wondering if they will appear
“Atoh”—If not familiar, in English, Whitetail Deer.

Privilege it is for many, but not for all of us.
Somewhere near sacrament, a mission and a must.

He’s out to harvest “Atoh”—his health, his strength, his speed.
And so he provides for us, his meat is what we need.

Feel no woe for “Atoh,” his purpose, it is just.
Creator made “Ole Atoh” just to care for us.

deer in forest


Day Tripping

A hawk flies in late fall air,
Making trips from grass to lair.

V flocks form extraordinaire.
Ducks and Geese and Cranes are there.

Blaze orange dots in landscapes afar.
Some stand, some walk, some sit in car.

They hunt for horn, they hunt for meat,
Some hunt to escape the urban street.

Blackbirds chirp in trees that sigh,
underneath the azure sky.

Every year from youth till now,
I sit and listen to guns go pow.

A hunter's life is ingrained in me,
And so every season here I’ll be.

To hunt Atoh whose life is free,
He gives his Spirit and meat to nourish me.

Creator’s plan in this I see,
As I wait beneath this tree.

Natures form is ebb and flow,
Of this I’ve watched and so I know.

In future time I hope like me, a hunter waits beneath this tree
for Creator’s gifts bequeathed to my brethren and me.

Fall

V-winged flocks on steel blue skies.
Sliver moon hanging, while sun blinds eyes.
Naked trees against the sky,
While evergreens stand patient by.
‘Tis fall for sure and winter next.
When man and nature both are vexed.

Larry P. Madden (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin) was born and raised in the Sturgeon Bay area. A recent graduate of CMN, he enjoys
the Powwow trail and strives to maintain balance on the red road.


Heartbreak

A Poem by Larry P. Madden

I wish our eyes had never met,
Our laughter never mixed.

Put together by fate’s cold hand,
Our friendship forever fixed.

Who knew that this forever feel could somehow be nixed?
Forever isn’t forever real and nothing’s ever fixed.

Your eyes so bright and smile right, with laughter on the air so light,
Now causes me distress at night…I anguish over you so cold and white.

“C’est la vie,” is what they say when things will be,
But c’est la vie is not for me.

My mind screams for blood revenge,
To count some coup, kick some ass, to feel you’ll be avenged.

But your killer is not of my world—to bleed, to skin, to hurt.
Instead my power reduced to be a deep and ugly hurt.

Heart broken, heart broke, heart busted.
Someday I’m sure I’ll heal.

Until I do, I’ll scream to you
Under Grandmother’s light so bright.

WAPANAKESIKUHKIW
(WAPON-NAA-CASE-A-COOKIE)

Larry P. Madden (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin) was born and raised in the Sturgeon Bay area. A recent graduate of CMN, he enjoys the Powwow trail and strives to maintain balance on the red road.

 

moon on foggy night

 


 

Prayer

By Kathleen Tills-Storsberg

Redwing Blackbird
That I call my life
Stay on that fence
Warbling
All summer afternoon

Wind along the grass
Comes towards me
Thin arms lifted
Like tails taking flight

Stay true in the air
Be swift
Be kind
Carry my words
To the Creator

red sunset
Kathleen Tills-Storsberg is a Haudensaunee poet whose previous work has been published in 491 Magazine.  

 


 

Dry

By Kathleen Tills-Storsberg

Not enough poems are
written about chickadees.
Their knitted black caps
pulled low over the eyes—
Little thieves of my heart.

Landing palms down
on my palm up,
cold wire feet become
warm on my fingers.
Black beak cleaving
black seeds.

In my second day
of grief I wish for wings.
It’s more difficult
than I imagined.

Warm fingers become cold wire feet,
black seed shells fall from beak,
palms down spring from palms up.
Picture brilliant yellow Tamarack
against a gray sky.

This is my survival.

bird on a branch

Kathleen Tills-Storsberg is a Haudensaunee poet whose previous work has been published in 491 Magazine.


 

ME

by Rosemary Powless Malanik

I am
tree sillhouette
I was
I will be
I am
I

My name is Rosemary Powless Malanik, also known as Teyuthahukwa (woman who picks up the path). I am an Oneida native, born in Chicago, Illinois. I now reside in northeast Wisconsin with my husband and two dogs.

 


FRIEND

By Rosemary Powless Malanik

I have a Native friend who knows how I feel,

what I believe in,
how I behave,

things I can do, cannot do, will not do, or simply don't do.

She knows what is possible or impossible.

She's there when I need her or not.

She knows my fears, real or imagined.

She know my successes, as well as my failures.

She helps bring my talents and dreams to fruition.

She's aware of my hurts, both physically and emotionally,
and she’s the chicken soup of my soul.

Sometimes it seems like she hates me
and badgers me when I'm wrong.

She knows my loves and my lovers, my likes and dislikes
and all my misgivings.

She communicates with me endlessly, keeps me in check.

She also treasures my Oneida heritage with respect and pride.

She cries with me and she laughs with me—
She knows me well.

I call her, “me.”

My name is Rosemary Powless Malanik, also known as Teyuthahukwa (woman who picks up the path). I am an Oneida Native, born in Chicago, Illinois. I now reside in northeast Wisconsin with my husband and two dogs.

empty mirror

 


Earth

by Camille Billie

 

Reflections in the water,
They're blurry.
The fact it's more intoxicated
Than the people around me
Is slowly starting to phase me.

A polluted breeze.
It's the air we breathe.
But the propaganda continues to decieve.
Because the cause brings in money.
They kill our life source in the name of Greed.

They've lost their morals,
They've lost their minds.
We need to wake up,
So we can be devine:
Who we were meant to be.
We need to break away,
So we can truly be free.

A pill for this,
Take this for
the side effects of that.
Modern day medicine is like
The equivalent of crack.
Because I don't feel healed,
I don't feel better.
I don't feel anything,
But the urge to protect our Mother.

Camille Billie as a young poet and Oneida tribal member

secluded lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All Girls’ Dance

By Candice Truesdell Nokes

Jingle Butterflies fancy shawl dance
Girls float
Moccasin feet
  kiss
  the Downbeat

Hearts pulse. Wings dawn and spread, drenched
in colors so deep.
Eagle feathers fan. Sky salute with downward gaze. Solemn anticipation.

Dark heads bounce. Shawls shimmer and vibrate the electric colors of their creators’ souls.
Fuchsia and deep lake blue,

Fall birch leaf yellow,
new grass green,
woodpecker vermillion,
snowflake white.

Recognition breezes through me,
though this somehow feels new,
and creates tears.

The butterflies spin.
Vortices of Spirit.

Atoms spinning. Atoms spinning in song, around each
other, within each dancer. Each dancer spins. Unified, yet rare.

Hypnotic exhilaration.
Aligning my heart, our hearts,
with Beauty. With Being.

Language provides a curious and enthralling palette for Candice (Oneida) as she explores her artful expressions on earth. Her goal is to create a space that is compelling in beauty or truth.