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Navaho Child

Updated on September 22, 2011
I Will Fight No More Forever, Chief Joseph's Surrender Speeh
I Will Fight No More Forever, Chief Joseph's Surrender Speeh | Source

Oh Navaho Child
I see your life unfolding.
Your life is like mine,
forever we are growing,
to be ONE.

In our tribes we live,
seven-cornered hogan.
We eat simply, we eat.
We sleep on woven memories.

Our nights -- are so dark,
silent -- yonder the wind.

In sacrifice of our tradition,
we need more...yet only existence.
We speak a language,
inaccessible.

Yah-te-hey...Yah-te-hey

We sense your world,
your world surrounding ours.
Your world is our night,
and we sleep to you.

We sleep to the stars,
and we sleep to you.

Oh Navaho Child....

Written at the Navaho Reservation in Chinle, Arizona when I was 17. I later made this poem into a song.

Rachelle, the darling Navaho child who inspired my poem.
Rachelle, the darling Navaho child who inspired my poem. | Source

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    • JoyLevine profile image

      JoyLevine 

      4 years ago from 3rd Rock from the Sun

      Sorry, I made quite a bit of type-O's in the comment above. Should have proofread before hitting submit! Eeks! I am usually a much better writer. Chock it up to being so tired tonight! Sorry!

    • JoyLevine profile image

      JoyLevine 

      4 years ago from 3rd Rock from the Sun

      Beautifully rendered. Native American tribes and tribulations have always resonated with me in a way inconsolable all my life. one day, I found out that one of my ancestors was full-blooded Creek Indian. She survived a massacre that wiped out her entire tribe, every family member and friend she had grown up with. No one left in her world. How did she survive?

      An Scottish man had bought her as a wife, traded two guns and 3 blankets for her, she being the ripe old age of 14 at the time. I cannot even begin to imagine the horror and atrocities of the lives so many endured like this.

      I often think, I am breathing, living, existing today because a woman, a girl that lived and breathed as I do, that grew up in a forest next to a river, and learned how to live off the land and live in unison with nature and wildlife, in harmony with the universe,

      ...somehow, someway, learned how to survive the horrors that I can only infer... taken at 14, ripped from her family and her life and all that she knew... a woman that survived, told her story to many, it is written down, and in turn, gave life to 7 children who carried her legacy and most, her will, determination, and burning desire to not only survive, but to remember... remember their roots and their origin...

      and the fact that they were only alive because of a young Creek Indian... raised in the wilderness with an education most could only dream of... and with a determination to survive in the wake of tragedy and adversity, despite all that had been taken from her...

      and because of a foreigner, who had invaded her land and the only home she had ever known.... and the poignant selfishness, if unwittingly so, being the norm at the time, who ended up taking her as wife, a bond meant for the closest pairing on earth...

      ... what an irony, that she was not only survived the despair of losing all her family less than two years after her marriage at too early of an age, and the loss of her innocence... to a battle by Custer, no less...

      ... but went on to raise 7 children.... with a love, hope, values and a knowledge and memory of where they came from.

      She gave them more than life, more than a legacy... she gave them a soul.

      Anyway, beautiful story and thanks for reminding me where I come from, and not letting me ever forget.

    • Prisana profile imageAUTHOR

      Prisana Nuechterlein 

      8 years ago from Thailand and Colorado

      Hi Ghaelach,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment and for voting up and awesome! We all share in our shameful past and in the responsibility to rectify our past wrongdoings. I was extremely heartened by Australia's long overdue apology to the aboriginals.

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2008/02/12/aust...

    • profile image

      Ghaelach 

      8 years ago

      Morning Prisana.

      A lovely but sad poem.

      I read that you American's feel ashamed at what has happen to these ancient folk at your doing, but i would got further back in time and question what the English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and probably many more did to your wonderful country.

      From Canada through the USA and on down into South America we European's brought wars and decease to your shores. Where are the Aztec people and the indian nations, gone or at least hunted and stuck on some reservation with no life or living standard to speak of.

      You only have to look around the world today see what the west European nations have done where ever they have been from Africa, India down to Austrailia and New Zeeland. The ancient peoples from these lands where distroyed.

      I think it's maybe the European that should be ashamed. But these are my feeling and not all would agree with them.

      Voted up as far as i could push it with an awesome and beautiful to go with it.

      Take care and have a nice day.

      LOL Ghaelach

      PS. Popping over toyour hubpage to read your other work and FOLLOW.

    • Prisana profile imageAUTHOR

      Prisana Nuechterlein 

      9 years ago from Thailand and Colorado

      Thank you all for leaving your kind comments. Ahorseback; I stayed with a Navajo family on the reservation for 2 weeks back when I 17, and was so deeply moved and shocked by their dire situation. It was indeed an eye-opening experience and it made me ashamed and sad that they were living such impoverished lives. Three decades later, their struggles continue. Only recently did I learn that they have also been adversely affected by abandoned uranium mines on the reservations. Truly tragic and beyond shameful.

    • profile image

      ahorseback 

      9 years ago

      I have traveled to the Navajo lands and been enchanted and at the same time ashamed for myself as an American!.beautiful poetic imaging......:-}

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      9 years ago

      ....what a lovely comment from my buddy MCKBIRDBKS - yes in this short time since we've met you have 'fast' become one of my favorite writers here - always a thrill - always a honor to arrive at your hallowed hubspace and be graced by this gift of your writing and your wonderful mind.

      lake erie time ontario canada 12:05pm a return to summer perhaps where the sun is shining her diamonds on the sparkling lake - must go into the water for a swim because time is fleeting - and the air is cooler these days

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      9 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      you've penned, quiet granduer

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      9 years ago from Nepal

      Beautiful words. My best lines:

      Our nights -- are so dark,

      silent -- yonder the wind

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