Dream Song 61: Full moon. Our Narragansett gales subside + Narragansett Prayer of Thanksgiving

John Berryman + Anon.

Full moon. Our Narragansett gales subside
and the land is celebrating men of war
more or less, less or more.
In valleys, thin on headlands, narrow & wide
our targets rest. In us we trust. Far, near,
the bivouacs of fear

are solemn in the moon somewhere tonight,
in turning time. It’s late for gratitude,
an annual, rude
roar of a moment’s turkey’s ‘Thanks’. Bright & white
their ordered markers undulate away
awaiting no day.

Away from us, from Henry’s feel or fail,
campaigners lie with mouldered toes, disarmed,
out of order,
with whom we will one. The war is real,
and a sullen glory pauses over them harmed,
incident to murder.

♣ ♣ ♣

Narragansett Prayer of Thanksgiving

We walked here once, Grandfather.
These trees, ponds, these springs and streams,
and that big flat rock across the water over there.
We used to meet you over there, remember Grandfather?
And we would dream, dance, and sing
and after a while, make offerings
Then we would sing the traveling song and would go our ways
and sometimes we would see your signs on the way to our lodges
But something happened, Grandfather.
We lost our way somewhere, and everything is going away.
The four leggeds, the trees, springs and streams, even the water,
where the laughing whitefish goes,
and the big sky of many eagles is saying goodbye. Come back, Grandfather, come back!
Thank you, Great Spirit, for all the things that Mother Earth gives!

Source 1. Source 2. About the poet. About Narragansett (RI). Narragansett Indian Tribe. Narragansett Culture and History. Kim Park Photography.


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