Arise and Bow Down to All Nations ~ Central Park, Manahatta. This is one long poem, a paean ("song of praise joy or triumph").
Reflects a beautiful level of consciousness
- Jacqueline Moss, poet
i absolutely LOVE this new book.....i haven't been this excited about a collection of poems in a very very long time......thank you for sharing your singular vision
- Linda Opyr, Nassau County Poet Laureate 2011-13
The chapbook is 24 pages with cover and three photos (B&W infrared) by Dave Beckerman, a professional photographer, and three photos (B&W) by Anne Marie Tognella, a Public Relations Specialist at Sachem Public Library on Long Island who coordinates music concerts, special events, lectures and cultural and historic trips in the New York Metro area, plus an introduction by Tiokasin Ghosthorse of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation. Printed on recycled papers and the pages are 11 inches wide by 4.5 high, rectangularly long so as to emulate the shape of Central Park. Poem by Mankh (Walter E. Harris III).
from the Introduction
by Tiokasin Ghosthorse Oyate Tokaheya Wicakiye of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation:
Each life form that we can name we call a ‘Nation’ - there’s the Ant Nation, the Tree Nation, Air Nation, the Water Nation... so when we look at those things in relationship, we know that one time the water will be a spirit guide, one time a tree will be a spirit guide, or maybe just a bird call will be a spirit guide, because they lead us into different dimensions all the time. The damage that we have done as Human Beings to the earth is because we have forgotten the many Nations of life that have given to us. Our ‘medicine’ - our way to live amongst other life on earth was gifted to us by these Nations.*
In the barren December trees in NYC’s Central Park you can see the walls surrounding the man-i-cure of Mother Earth. In many Native languages there is no concept nor word for ‘park’€ť. The relationship with the land has never been broken but for only a foreign language who may wish it so.
from the poem:
you wear the city on your sleeve
a mustard seed in the heart
your garden-variety prophecy
ready to blossom
while the long-arm of the sommelier law
keeps the lock-kneed drunk
on fake power
O, you city of throngs hovering near parks,
multitude of Nations amidst a verderous canopy
of fresh-born leaves causing silhouettes
and wavering shadows on the gray cobblestoned avenue,
sunshine brightened leaves breathing life
into tall buildings their glassy windows
reflecting, reflecting . . .
O, city dwellers getting your feet wet
with green energy, incessant squeaking
from a bird’s nest half-way up on a lamppost
with a small metal NYPD box for a makeshift roof,
the scent of spring’s grass rising,
Nations of Trees rooted down
deep into the Mother Earth
(* paragraph from: “The Lakota Star Nation” published in Soul Companions: Conversations With Contemporary Wisdom Keepers: A Collection of Encounters With Spirit, ed. by Karen Sawyer, O Books, 2008.)
cover photo above © 2012-2017 Dave Beckerman.
Website © 2003-2017 Walter E. Harris III.