Winter 2005-6

Phibby Venable


A gentle flight through the red paints trail
and the heavy scent of laurel
It is Yonaguska, following the rock path
and moss pads
He is throwing his voice to his people
He once rose like Lazarus with warnings
of unrest and whiskey
His words are the air ships they follow
He is handsome and strong
A drop of white blood touches him
but he cleanses in the sweat lodge
A dozen deaths seek him
but he evades them with a fate card

There are the wild blackberries
There are the silk women
There are the unbroken horses
And the sweet song of birds
Yonaguska is humming his life chant
He is lining his people with dreams
to carry on a trail of pain
The sun is shining like trinity
The water is moving in clear leaps
When he has spoken, he nods,
and cocoons in his blanket
He tells his heart
to stay still.




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