By Mark Turcotte
somewhere in america, in a certain state of grace . . .
As a child I danced
to the heartful, savage
of the Native, the
in the Turtle Mountains,
in the Round Hall,
in the greasy light of
As a child I danced
among the long, jangle legs of
the men, down
beside the whispering moccasin women,
in close circles
around the Old Ones,
who sat at the drum,
their heads tossed, backs arched
in ancient prayer.
As a child I danced away from the fist,
I danced toward the rhythms of life,
I danced into dreams, into
the sound of flies buzzing.
A deer advancing but clinging to the forest wall,
the old red woman rocking in her tattered shawl,
the young women bent, breasts
drooping to the mouths of their young, the heat
hanging heavy on the tips of our tongues,
until the Sun
burned the sky black, the moon
made us silvery blue and
all of the night sounds, all of the night sounds
folded together with the buzzing
still in our heads,
becoming a chant of ghosts,
of Crazy Horse and Wovoka
and all the Endless Others,
snaking through the weaving through the trees
like beams of ribbons of light,
singing, we shall live again we shall live,
until the Sun and the Sun and the Sun and I
still a child, still dancing
toward the rhythm of life.
The epigraph of this poem was originally omitted in the changeover to the new website. Because of this, reciting the epigraph is optional for the 2019-2020 Poetry Out Loud season.
Mark Turcotte, “Flies Buzzing” from The Feathered Heart, published by Michigan State University Press. Copyright © 1998 by Mark Turcotte. Reprinted by permission of Mark Turcotte.
Source: The Feathered Heart (Michigan State University Press, 1998)
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