Wednesday, July 25, 2018

"Ceremony" by John C. Mannone

Ceremony
John C. Mannone

"Eagle" Watercolor on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
I look down from the wings of a great eagle,
a Muscogee song sifting through my feathers,
the wind singing prayers to my body below.

I sing to myself because I am a prayer even
after my spirit has gone—my body will stay
for a while for the ceremony we all need,

even as I was born, my mother washed me
with a flood of her love. Sponging her heart
into mine, I listened for her pulse as I drank in

her tenderness as soft as the whisper of milk.
Today, I am washed again with my memories
of her and of my children’s—drenched in stars.

Poet’s Notes: I was inspired to compose this poem after my attending a reading by Joy Harjo of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/joy-harjo. In recent years, I have been interested in the infusion of Indian culture, legend, and history into some of my poetry. 

Editor's Note:  See related works published in Songs of Eretz for the Ojibwe and Nez Perce Indian cultures:
“Dreamcatchers” (Tupelo Press 30/30 Project), a Songs of Eretz Poetry Award Contest finalist (from a time before John was a Frequent Contributor) http://www.songsoferetz.com/p/draft-e-zine_31.html, and

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