Clan Song



amber eyes, like fire

warm me with



a song in the night

to sisters and brothers

not a romantic song

of freedom or such notions

but rather a song of



He Wo Ni Tsa La Gi

I am from a long line of free spirits

of Oo go yo s ti

and of Moses Black Fox

of Qua tsi te li co

and Woman of Wolf Clan.

I am of Sallly Rogers

who taught my dad to track

and of Granny Mag

whose medicine healed his head wound.

I am of Wi hi ma

who refused to forget

he was “Indian”

even when his uncles

punished him for fear

–of discovery.

He remembered and

his mother remembered

and her father remembered, until

there was no longer a need to fear

Oklahoma. We stayed in Kentucky

in the hills and the hollers

in the nooks and crannies, taking on

White names until it was safe to be

Indian again.

I am she who walks with light,

a whispering wind

who touches the Earth

I am child of these rivers

daughter of these hills.

Ode to a Pistol


 Photograph by R.A.W. Photography Copyright 2009

Hyena kitten

soft, playful, unreal

hyena, who would

eat my hair whenever

I held her.

Poor eyesight

bizarre sense

of feline humor

a tortoise shell

of color patches

growling at stuffed dogs

and swatting her shadow

my little Pistol.




Our first kiss on the steps
of a funeral home. I wore
purple lilac. You wore
Old Spice cologne.

And our tiny house,
four walls painted
green, not much to see,
a good place to dream

with brown bats
hanging in willow trees
and bare wooden
floors loving our feet.

where Dan’s songs
touched our souls,
made us believe
we could run for roses

Life was lived in Lightfoot’s
lavendar and blue jeans,
Oh, what days before
the end of innocence.

Years defy physics,
moments in our minds,
treasured, we think
are here to stay,
a blink, a turn,
and they are