A leading figure in the Native American literary renaissance that emerged in the 1960s, Simon J. Ortiz has published short fiction and non-fiction prose in addition to poetry. Whatever form his writing takes, though, it is concerned with modern man’s alienation from others, from himself, and from his environment—urging as a solution our meaningful re-connection with the wisdom of ancestral spirits and with our Mother Earth. Simple in its diction and rhythms, Ortiz’s poetry can express great reverence for beloved landscapes as well as intense rage against the de-humanizing forces of excessive development and mechanization.
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You could drive blind
for those two seconds
and they would be forever.
I think that as a diesel truck
passes us eight miles east of Mission.
Churning through the storm, heedless
of the hill sliding away.
There isn’t much use to curse but I do.