What is Left,
When Hope Walks by
And the Remembering Heart
Sits amid the ashes of one once flame?
This question has been asked
From when man was an ape
Or another birth.
You can sit
If you wish
Upon Ancestors seeds
Saying I Am and this, without a deed.
I am a THIS
Or my dad was a THAT
What does it take for mankind to see
Its not what you hit its what you miss.
We peer so Strongly upon won goal
'Tis when we fail we do not see
'Tis not that you did not get there
But what could have been gained, along the way.
I am not an Elder
Nor a Chief
I Honor the Medicine
While I have it not.
However, I can tell you this
With sadness and remorse
The Ancestors learned it first
And too Late.
Live in The Past
That is where you will die.
And they would be first to say
There are Traditions and then there is stupidity.
My Brethren, brothers-sisters
The Time has come
Can we decide to keep True Tradition,
And let go that which hinders now, not protects?
The Rain Falls Traditionally
But does it fall exactly so
All the time
The moon shines always, traditionally
But does it never change?
The sun rises and sets
Mother Earth never changes?
To change does not mean Giving Up
It means to Survive!
That is where our Traditions came from
To aid The People to Survive.
That is how they were meant to be
Not as Locks and Shackles
Nor guns at our heads
That we ourselves put there.
Do I speak of giving all Traditions up?
of course not I never speak thus
No matter what some may think
I but ask The People to mind pause.
It once was Tradition
To slit the nose of certain women.
Do we yet do this?
Are we less or more because we do not?
And remember this the Greatest Among us
Gave up and away a Tradition so that the People might survive.
Because they did you survive to this day.
But now, we sit...upon the Rezs steps
Watching other races waltz past us
Cause we will not learn that we can both hold and change Traditions.
Spiritual Traditions never to be lost.
Honorable Traditions never to be betrayed.
Respect Traditions Always to be earned.
People Traditions The People always first.
The rest? Ego.
And when we learn this
Then, perhaps the Indian
Of any name
Will begin to truly grow again.