Friday, December 29, 2017
by Toni Truesdale
Morality tales in retrospection
Sing the world into creation, again;
Reenacting the cumulative wisdom
Cultural knowledge retains,
In prose that teaches;
Rules, mores and responsibilities
Concerning complex relationships
Of original instructions.
In commonality within communities,
The oral traditions reflect;
Collective memory in the timeless narratives
Of the Storyteller.
Monday, December 18, 2017
by Toni Truesdale
The beautiful dark Madonna comes down to us
from the our beginnings.
She has many names: Ana, Tiamat, Isis, Cybele,
Demeter, Sheba, Mary Magdalene,
Mary, mother of Christ,
Maya, mother of Buddha,
Fatima’ daughter of Mohammed,
Nana Bakula, Spider Woman, First Woman,
Parvati, Oxum, Corn Maiden, Eurzuli,
Oya, Morrigan, Ishtar,Tara, Gaia, Saule, Amaterasu,
She is of the earth and the sky;
She is our mother and our mother’s mother, and so on
to the very first spark of life,
She is always,The Great Mother.
She is us. We are she.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
by Toni Truesdale
It is the time for the latent
Power of women to return.
The Spirits reach out to the earth
And all inhabitants.
It is a time of transition;
The view of one dominant
Culture is to be transformed
Into the perspective of many;
As thoughts of war turn
Into negotiations of peace,
Eliminating injustice, domination and discrimination.
The ancestors have told us,
Women elders speak with the strength
Copyright 2008 T. Truesdale
Friday, December 8, 2017
By Toni Truesdale
Just after Christmas, 1890, a group of Minneconjou Sioux
camped close to Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
They were led by Big Foot, who was very ill with pneumonia.
The tribe had just come through the Badlands with great difficulty.
It was frigid. The very air froze on the breath of the people.
Big Foot traveled in a wagon with a white flag.
He had hoped to join Red Cloud at Pine Ridge
to protect his people from the U.S. Calvary.
Major Whitside caught up with him on December 28.
He took the small band to camp at a creek called Wounded Knee.
The morning of the 29th, Colonial Forsyth, from Custer’s old regiment,
Proceeded to harass the Minneconjou men while looking for weapons.
A Young Man, Black Coyote, was trying to put his hunting rifle down.
The soldiers grabbed him and roughed him up.
Suddenly, there was a sound like a gunshot.
No one is really sure if it was a gun or who fired it. The soldiers didn’t investigate,
They opened fire instead.
The Minneconjou had been disarmed, they had only a few knives and clubs.
There was a brief struggle.
Then all the Minneconjou started to run from the big Hotchkiss guns
stationed on the hill above aiming at all the women and children.
It didn’t take long to kill nearly three hundred of the Sioux band.
Only a few soldiers died; mostly by friendly fire in the killing frenzy.
The people were buried in a huge mass grave, dug into the frozen ground.
Together in a mass grave, their bodies were contorted in the agony of violent death.
Big Foot’s band still remain at Wounded Knee
to testify silently on the depopulation techniques of the U.S. Government.
The Mass murder was legal,
The soldiers awarded the “Medal of Honor”.
Monday, December 4, 2017
Whispers of juniper,
Sage scent of star filled nights;
Wind whispering softly of
Remembered rites on plazas
Dancing to the drum, song, prayers
That echo still.
Handholds furrowed into cliff sides
Painted in prehistoric colors.
Footsteps of the ancients follow
Lightly dusted trade roads
Between carefully placed stones of origins.
Bears Ears: Birthplace of living nations.
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Turning Point: Action Required
Ground waters run toxic
Poisonous chemicals color rivers and streams;
Ocean dead zones expand
As sea creatures struggle with our plastic waste.
Our lands are being stripped and broken;
In pursuit of fossil fuels that belch out greenhouse gasses.
Expanding housing and gleaning,
Strip the forests, farms and age-old civilizations.
The impoverished perish with
Spreading disease, desertification and rising vector lines;
The swelling of waters swamp fragile sea coats.
Chemicals, petroleum and nuclear accidents endanger entire ecosystems,
Yet we continue to prevail destruction upon the sacred earth.
Land, sea, waters, air once pristine not long ago
Are wastelands expanding daily
To suffocate all life on Earth.
Warned by the Indigenous peoples of the world.
We wonder now with the knowledge of the perceptions foretold.
But who among us will stand?
There is only one world,
Every culture on earth has a sacred name for her.
Where humans migrated,
A word expressed love, sustenance, thanks
To the great, common Mother.
May we remember them now.
Toni Truesdale 2017
Earth Mother copyright 2001
Sunday, November 5, 2017
The feathers drift in the breeze
To be in symbiotic symmetry
With powerful shamans
Who pray beyond their experience,
To encompass the whole of existence.
The gift of the birds;
Who die unnaturally;
Linked to events foretold
By the ancient mnemonics
Of the Hopi and sacred medicine people all over the world
Who listen to feathers,
And hear the silence of frogs everywhere.
Handsome Lake did foresee
The trees that now die from the top down
The ground is parched where small animals lived in Africa
And here, in this present…
Water swells with melting global tips.
Canaries in the mines
Are empty nests.
Fire fierce lurks beneath and above,
Disrupting fragile things that grow
And push into the sea, man-made things.
The earth rumbles underneath our very feet
The old ones grow closer
Whispering into the four winds;
They sing over battlegrounds,
Graveyards, centuries old.
Where erections now glitter with windows
Looking out at unhearing thousands
Going here, there, everywhere
Directed by a technology of weapons
Wanting, taking, demanding, demonstrating
How to be a correct human.
But their song falls into our steps
Winding around our footfalls
Just above the sacred earth;
Sanctified, so many years ago.
Prophesy is never forgotten
It lingers in stones
Waiting to be picked up and held.
"Embracing Prophesy" Truesdale 1998/updated 2017
"Feathers" by Truesdale copyright 1995
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
All Souls, Saints, Samhain
and the Dead
End of harvest, the reap
Long evenings grow long and deep;
Time for our stories bold,
Ancient as the night is old.
The Tuatha de Dannan
That linger beyond the veil;
Between the worlds so thin
They cross into our din.
To lure one to dine on plates of gold,
And disappear into the fold.
For years and years…
Offerings, feasting, festival and more
Honor those that come back to the door.
For one night, for one day
Welcome both the kin and the fey.
As we all that live get grey
The young we need to pay,
With several treats
Some of them sweets
Because it hold the fearful at bay!!!!
Pray for the Dead
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
“All Things Are Connected”
By Toni Truesdale
Circle of life.
Season’s Endless Cycle,
Clockwise and counter.
Wind patterning the rhythms of eons,
Waves breathe in and out.
Rumbling fissures erupt
Changing the tissue of Earth.
Timeless elements; All
Crossroads point to visions
Ladders of consciousness stair
Ascent and descent;
Center of the Earth.
Enclosed in the Universe.
Red, black, white and yellow
The races of Humanity.
Roots of the Great Tree of Life;
Linking humanity, animals,
Plants, birds, insects
To the oneness of all things…
All things are connected-
T Truesdale copyright 1996 revised 10/17
Thursday, October 5, 2017
There are imprints left on the land;
Deep grief and pain.
I see this, feel this, hear the sounds of tears sometimes…
It overwhelms me;
Took until my teens to realize not every feels the
The agony of others misery;
Past, present, future…
Within the cities
Frustration and anger
Wear the pathos of children’s lives,
Unable to thrive in daily fear;
Heard acutely in my heart, in my body, tears in my art.
Over the western plains one day,
I just cried for the vain
Fragments of feeling left on the land
Filled with deep mourning…
The ghosts of the people, animals
Land, now devoid of life
For few shrubs can grow in grief.
The silent emotions,
I know them as my own,
I can almost touch the poignant memories.
They are so loud, so clear,silent
Songs of sorrow.
Unfelt by many
Still seep into the unconscious
And filter into lives unknowingly;
Harm us all.
I am trying to verbalize,
What went weeping
Those unswift deaths,
All the lives stolen
By history, by conquest, by the madness of violence.
Fresh and old,
Blood lies still on the land.
In the stokes of human gain;
Others died, lived and left a terrible pain
Saturated into our suffering earth.
Our World Mother grieves.
As I do,
And anyone that can hear this carnage, still
Speaking so loudly into the silence.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
“The Three Sisters”
by Toni Truesdale
Corn, bean and squash are known by many
First Nations as “The Three Sisters”.
These crops were developed by indigenous farmers
All over the Americas pre European contact.
Often grown together in the farmer’s fields;
They were developed for their excellent nutrition.
While many varieties have survived today.
There was more diversity before 1492.
Crops from the Americas transformed the world
And continue today to save many from starvation.
Truesdale copyright 2010
Thursday, September 14, 2017
By Toni Truesdale
The transparent lingering ghosts of animals
Still drink some days at the moving water
Washed clean by the steep, annual monsoonal rains.
Inside the world within these timeless pools
Tiny fish dart between the rounded glowing stones,
Green vines pulse with the movement of flow and wind
As insects gleam on the surface.
Each day reflections those before and after,
Holy Ghost Creek.
Copyright T.Truesdale 2012
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Oh, what a heroes!
They discuss so endlessly,
Great men that (con) formed to
The great Western culture of civility,
White males of such complexity!
Columbus was a hero, they say,
Each year, we have to celebrate his day.
Just because he stumbled onto an island while,
In search of the opposite hemisphere.
He became the first, all right
To enslave and torture the residents,
Who came to see in peaceful curiosity?
Those crazy enough to cross the big sea.
Cortez, too, came from far away,
Glowing (and stinking) in metal clothes that glowed in the sun
Wielding strange weapons that impaled
With such cultural superiority.
He demanded gold, lots of gold,
To take back across the sea
Just to look good for greedy royalty.
Slave ship after slave ship
Crossed the Atlantic waters,
As the priests gave blessings for
The “divine right” of Europe,
Chained inside, men were beaten
As women were used,
And the sick thrown overboard…
Lots of cash profit
For the social elite;
From the misery and kidnapping of humans.
What songs we sing to those illustrious men,
That considered all non-white people as tools to be used,
As they lived on Native land and harvested indigenous fields.
This left a legacy:
Men, women, and children slaughtered shamelessly.
Entire villages and cultures buried
Under “Manifest Destiny”
In mass unmarked graves.
Was a fine fellow, they say.
All he took was Indian land
To pay his soldiers
That fought the crazy king George.
And to establish the rights of the few wealthy males
Over women, children, Black, and Native minorities.
Thomas Jefferson, that Founding Father,
Kept his own children as slaves.
Considered the great mind of his day,
Hid his Black wife away.
Custer was a vain man,
He had fine curls,
Gold trim on his jacket,
That he wore with such grace;
All the other soldiers wanted to imitate,
His military tactics.
It was not just his ego that was defeated by those united Sioux tribes
That he considered so “primitive”.
Just why do we have
These men in books?
Why do we study their lives so religiously?
Instead of recognizing hypocrisy?
And what God did they worship,
And expect all to follow?
Christians who pray to kill, conquer,
And accumulate wealth beyond spending,
Things beyond using, food beyond eating
While others go without?
Did Jesus use weapons to harm and betray?
So I ask,
Just what is a hero?
What did these men believe?
It seems they emulate the actions of Judas
More than following the teachings of Christ.
How brave are these men
To use force to convince others of
And where are the Peacemakers
When we talk of history?
Those that did not defeat or use arms?
Where are those that chose to communicate?
Often muted too soon,
Even if their words live on.
Patiently waiting for us to listen
To the reason of peace.
So, I ask;
What is status?
A title, wealth?
And define nobility.
For what price is paid and by whom;
When we toast these “heroes”
What do we really emulate?
T.Truesdale copyright 1995