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Sweatlodge by Joris Rosse

POETRY BY SHIRL A. STEWARD

On Our Way Home

 

The hummingbird,
upon my window sill,
Watches while I puzzle
through my ego's trap for the day.
The little bird, he seems to wait,
to know... there'll come a time
I'll throw it all away,
just to hear the sacred music
born in his sweet song,
the sound of his wings
aflutter in the breeze.
Can the legends be so wrong?
Does this tiny bird really know
the secret of the way...
the way that takes us home?
Somehow...
The Lakota drumbeat connects me
to the rhyme of my heart.
The ritual sweat brings me
to the threshold and beyond.
Ancient memories ask to be aroused,
The shaman from within rises
to the challenge of the task.
Our wounded, bleeding Mother Earth
calls us to journey home,
upon the inward moving spiral
to the center holding
keys to mysteries vast.
In ritual fast we give in sacrifice
that which we have taken.
We give to the elementals...
the wind that gave us breath
and the song of the winged,
to the tree that gave us fruit,
to four-leggeds hunted down,
all undefended,
to the sea and to the ground
that gave us fish and loaves,
to the moon that motivates the tide,
and stimulates emotion,
and to the sun, our blessed source of light,
the energy that is our hope to survive,
to the universe that gave us Earth, our home.
We pay homage to all these,
The Earth and elementals,
we ask once more they be our friends,
ask forgiveness for our devastation.
In return we ask to gain
the balance of the perfect circle
symbolic of the whole,
harmonious with all born of and
dependent on the one.
We dance within this wheel of life,
to the pulsation of the Native drum,
weeping, as we fast, expressing sorrow
for the errors of the past,
rejoicing, as finally we feast,
in the newness and hope of tomorrow,
connected forever, heart to heart
to the Earth and to each other,
unified . . . at last, complete.
Curiosity has drawn us in.
The hummingbird leads the way
Into the spiral moving inward.
We are thrust into the center of the soul
returned to the truth of who we are,
to the heartbeat of infinity.
The beauty of the silent OM
tells us we are home.

By Shirl A. Steward copyright 1993

(Dedicated to Anilia Wakan, and the Lakota First Nations, Theme Poem, Earth Days 93)