Do not leave traces

Navajo blanket detail GIMP

When prayers are offered, do not leave traces.

Jesse Biakeddy

The dusty gods are made out of sand and pollen,
colored sand and different kinds of pollen
according to their nature, it is their nature
that determines what they are made out of,
what they are made out of does not determine their nature.

Sand and pollen have made the dusty gods,
with wind and sunlight they have been making these gods,
it has taken forever, that’s why these gods are immortal.

Now I wipe away the sand and pollen, look, now the dusty gods are gone,
you will have forgotten about them before my song ends, look!

 

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Always Being Hungry

188743415_a43768d5b7_oCoyote ate up all the animals
Crow ate up all the birds
Pike ate up all the fish
Grasshopper ate up all the crops

So when Yaitse
That pasty-faced monster
Ate up the rainclouds
And the sun went crazy everywhere?

Nothing to eat but bones, we had
Nothing to drink but tears.

pike

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Talking God’s Prayer

Talking God - Curtis 1904Amid the high stratus clouds
In the house made of dawn
In the house that was raised at dawn,
Upon the road lit by the dawn,

Talking God needs a singer, and I am he!
He walks, and it is my feet that walk;
My limbs are become his limbs,
My body, his body,

My mind, his mind,
And he speaks, and it is my voice that speaks;
And the fierce plumes of his plumed helmet,
They nod above my head, above his head.

Beautiful what lies before him, which lies also before me;
Beautiful what comes behind him, and also behind me;
Beautiful, all that lies below, all that rises above,
Beautiful, everything on every side, beautiful!

As his voice is sacred, and of the most sacred, as pollen, and is beautiful,
So does my voice become most sacred, and beautiful,
And thus in beauty it is done;
In beauty it is done.

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She Makes Them at Home in the Land (Monster Slayer part 7)

nayenezgani   tobadischini CM

She called out that one’s name,
Four times she called Nayenezgani, Kill-Ogre,
And the canyon walls answered back,
And the rocks heard it.

She called out that one’s name,
Four times she called Tobadischini, Water-Child,
And the canyon walls answered back,
And the water heard it.

“Now you are part of this place.
“The rocks have heard your name,
“The water has heard it.
“Here you will always have a place.”

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Yaitse Figured It Out (Monster Slayer part 6)

403949639_74968ea275_oYaitse said:

I see the footprints
Running here and there.
Give them to me,
Those two skinny boys!

White Shell Woman said:

The prints like little feet,
I make them with my fist’s edge,
Scatter them all around the place.
It’s better than living alone.

Changing Woman said:

Go back to the mountains, Yaitse,
Break your teeth on stones.
There’s nothing for you here,
Nothing you have not ruined.

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The First Time White-Corn’s-Child Came to the House Made of Dawn

2920375421_5eac7d6df3_bStumbling through the grounds at sunrise,
With dew-damp pollen clinging to my ragged pants cuffs
And having left all my friends behind,
I found myself here.

Beauty amazes me!
Charms hanging in the doorway!
Beauty amazes me!
I’ll dance with the altar-cloth!

Beautiful all that lies before me!
Beautiful all that creeps up behind!
Beautiful, every side I turn to!
I turn, and turn, and turn!

So here I am wandering around
In the house of happiness,
In the house of long life
That no one enters alive.

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How Those Boys Grew Up (Monster Slayer part 5)

Warrior TwinsFour days ago
These women dreamed in the sunlight
And now there are babies
Wriggling at their breasts.

Four days ago
These were babies crying
And now they are running everywhere
Playing huntsman.

Four days ago
These were boys playing
And now they practice shooting
And ask about their father.

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Two Women and the Sun (Monster Slayer part 4)

Georg_Pencz_-_Schlafende_Frau_(Vanitas) WITH SUN3 Changing Woman said:

Such a dream I had.
The Sun himself took me as I slept!
I would not have thought him
Such a careful lover.

White Shell Woman said:

I slept, and as I slept
Old Sun, that sly fucker,
Came down and slipped it in me.
I woke still wet.

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To Witness the Public Ceremonies of the Night

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(a found poem, from the works of Washington Matthews)

It has lasted eight days before
the four singers,
after long and tedious instruction by the shaman,
come out
to sing this song.

Five hundred people are, perhaps, assembled
to witness the public ceremonies
of the night;

some have come
from the most distant parts
of the wide
Navajo
territory; all are prepared
to hold their vigil until dawn.

A score or more of critics are in the audience
who know the song by heart and are
alert to discover errors.
It is a long song,
and consists almost exclusively of
meaningless
or archaic
vocables
which convey no idea to
the mind of the singer. Yet not
one
syllable
may be forgotten
ormisplaced.
Ifthe slightest error is made,
it is at once proclaimed by the assembled critics,

the fruitless ceremony comes to an end, and

the five hundred disappointed spectators
disperse.
But
fortunatelythey are not as particular with all their songs
as they are
with this.

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The Things That Came (Monster Slayer part 3)

Sego Canyon PetroglyphsOut of some place they came
Out of any place they came
And everywhere out of place
Making the whole world out of place:

Kicking monster, old-age monster,
Yaitse, eye monster, rolling monster.
And that’s not all, there are
Monsters nobody ever saw.

Old man said:

Pretty soon
They gonna monster us all up —
Pretty soon, mind,
Be no more people.

Newspaper Rock 3
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