Saturday, May 10, 2014

Poetry of Spirit

...for Shirley Carter on her journey.

My fathers and mothers
never knew poetry.
They spoke of legends,
of spirits and creatures
that came before them.
Passed down
one link by one link
over the passing of many moons.

These legends were responsible
for the waters I bathed in,
for the hills I climbed,
for the light that allowed me to see in the dark,
the tapestry over my head
and the sounds I needn't fear.

I have heard these legends
in the stillness of my spirit,
the restlessness of my journeys
and have passed them down
to the next generation
the next link
in a nation's march onward.

But my fathers and mothers
never knew poetry
for they had no need
to write things down.
They were entrusted
with passing on
a people's history
with the breath upon their lips.


Mark Butkus


(The artwork accompanying Poetry of Spirit is by renowned Native American artist Paul Shilling. The poem is dedicated to Shirley Carter, a friend of the Bar None Group, a Dharma Bum of Barra de Navidad, and indomitable spirit who never fails to put a smile upon the faces of those who know and love her.)