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Winter 1995, Volume 12.1

Poetry

 

Gary Sterling


Gary Sterling (M.F.A., California State University—Los Angeles) teaches English at Marshall Fundamental Secondary School in Pasadena, CA. His work has appeared in
Puerto del Sol, Reading Improvement, The Education Digest, Palo Alto Review, The Clearing House, Oyez Review, AIM, and The Star News.

 

The Grandmothers of Acoma

we are The People
who chose the modest gift
so we would last forever

but we are driven back
into the refuge of time
which sickens and we die

so we dig our roots deeper
into the silence
and wait

 

White

They think they know me
because I am beautiful
Their minds do not
sit with me on the ground
Their hands are too clean
they never touch
anything anyone themselves
My feet are animals
My eyes are the sky

 

Sherman Institute

A thousand miles two years
without reservation and I carry
carefully among the white and English
my own song and
the true knowledge of the sun
I am still inside me
and bound at my neck
or free
my black hair shines 

 

Indian Silver

                               I
Flowing under fingers stained by the land
the silver breathes
From its liquid embrace
a lump of blue stone watches me

                               II
You carry the squash blossoms heavy
pendulous with unconcern
You talk about a Chief who made them
You talk about the breaking of the flower

 

The Singing Waters
          
—Santa Clara Pueblo

We have lost the songs
like moon behind the clouds
We have lost the songs
like frost upon the morning
We have lost the songs
like smoke upon the wind

I sit beside the singing waters
to learn again the day and night
I sit beside the singing waters
that flow through death and birth
I sit beside the singing waters
the earth made new around me
I sit beside the singing waters
and listen
and listen
and sing

 

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