Wampumpeag

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					Moondancer
    Wampumpeag is dedicated to the Spirit of my mother, Lillian Mary Fortier.

                               Nokace cawammaunsh
£
Wampumpeaag
                    by

             Moondancer




    © 1996 Frank O'Brien (Moondancer)
         Aquidneck Indian Council
  12 Curry Avenue, Newport, Rl 02840-1412
         ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
                                   Credits


      Some poems in Wampumpeag are selected from Food and Fire: A
Collection of Poetry, Analects and Neologisms, © 1990, Frank O'Brien
[Moondancer].




"Moontime" has also appeared in Chrysalis , Vol. 1, Number 1,1993. "O
Spirit" appeared originally also in Chrysalis , Vol. 2, Number 3,1993 as did
"A Walk on the Seas " (Vol. 2, Number 1,1994).           "Keihtanit-oom" ("O
Spirit") is written in the extinct Algonquian language Massachusett (Natick),
and is reprinted from Moondancer & Strong Woman, Understanding
Algonquian Indian Words (New England). Newport, RI: Aquidneck Indian
Council, © 1996.
                           Contents

1. Keihtanit-oom
2. O Father! Teach Me the Ways of My People
3. The Dream
4. Moontime
5. A Walk on the Seas
6. To Them
7. A Survivor's Prayer Under the Hunter's Moon at Dawn
8. The Wail of the Coyote
9. Bird Song
10. Pining
11. The Voice of My Past
12. On What American Indians Want Today
13. Kehchisog

   About the Author
                                                                                 1




                O Spirit                                 Keihtanit-oom

                  O Spirit                                Keihtanit-oom
          That gives us our breath                     magunt'che nashaiionk
              Watch over us                                wadchanish

                 O Spirit                                 Keihtanit- oom
          That gives us our food                    magunt'che meechummuonk
             Watch over us                                  wadchanish

                  O Spirit                                Keihtanit- oom
          That gives us our family                    magunt'che teashiyeuonk
               Watch over us                               wadchanish

                  O Spirit                               Keihtanit-oom
        That gives us our happiness                  magunt'che wunnegenash
                                                          wadchanish
               Watch over us
                                                          Keihtanit- oom
                 O Spirit
                                                     magunt'che pomantamoonk
           That makes all living                            wadchanish
             Watch over us
                                                          Keihtanit-oom
                 O Spirit                           kesteau yau ut nashik ohke
        That makes us one with you                          wadchanish
              Watch over us
                                                           Keihtanit- oom
                 O Spirit                                pasuk naunt manit
           You are the only One                             wadchanish
             Watch over us




Keihtanit- oom written in Natick-Massachusett Algonquian language
                                               2




O Father! Teach Me the Ways of My People



      0 Father!
      Teach me the ways of my people

      I must know why the bird sings
        and flies so high in the sky
      Why the flower blooms
        and smells so pretty Why the
      sun warms my face
        and the moon stares at me Why
      the water washes me clean
        and makes my skin bump
      Why the wind whistles
        and makes the trees dance in the sky
      Why the coyote wails
        and I can never see him Why
      the thunder roars in anger
        and the lightening cracks
      Why the fire warms my hands
        and then is gone in the night

      O Father!
      Teach me the ways of my people
      Talk to me in words I can know
                                                             3




                     The Dream



      A big black bird flew to me in my dreams

 He circled round and round coming closer and closer

Then he landed on my right shoulder folding his wings

  He looked up into the sky Then directly into my eyes and

                there peered for a long time

  Suddenly he spoke to me "Your People are near. Soon you

                 will be at one with them."
                                                 4




               Moontime

The moon looks at me in a cold curious way
The Man-in-the-Moon carols a wide-mouthed song

Moonbeams dart through dancing leaves
On a cold country road

He dares me to tread it


"Go home," He whispers
"Night is moontime."
                                      5




   A Walk on the Seas

   I took a walk on the seas To
 find my mother, the Moon


       She lifted me up
        To the skies And
   showed me the past


 I saw a fiery ball of all colors
    That opened and closed
  Embracing in all directions


Then she put me back on the shore
And resumed her watch over the seas
                                 6




         To Them


           To them

      The rocks are dead

      The water is dead

      The trees are dead

 And all the animals are dead

They even see their own people

           As dead
                                                      7




A Survivor's Prayer Under the Hunter's Moon at Dawn

          The sun is my father


          The moon and seas are my mother


          The stars are my brothers and sisters


          The land is my kingdom


          Here there was a time they say


          When there was no time


          A time when there was only time


          A time when there was no space


          A time when there was only space


          But all that was before


          The Time

          Now There is
          Only Time
          Only Space
                                         8




     The Wail of the Coyote


       There was a bird once
       Who knew a man once

 They danced and sang together once
    For they were brothers always

      Now the bird is sad always
His brother has vanished from the Land
               Always
                                  9




         Bird Song

            I died
    And was resurrected
Somewhere in the wind and ashes
       Upon the land
      Among the birds
    Who fell from the sky
           To me
       And from me
     Winged to the wind
       To sing again
                                                                              10



                                      Pining


                      I know a tall pine tree in a Newport park


                     They say it blew its top one hurricane day

                        Upon first acquaintance I saw that
                This evergreen bleeds Mom, noon and dusk to dawn
                        Pine sap So clear, sticky, and tasty

                          Its lower limbs are severed to the bark

                    Perhaps so tourists can touch and film a real tree

                    And feel safe amidst the mist of a moonless night

            But only black ants march up and down the fir trafficking then-
                        wares in fast streams of quiet dignity
                         They live in the holes under the tree
                       Where the white blood streaks and seeps

           Yellow-jacket bees visit the green pine in a slow, busy search

            Maybe they come to sharpen their stingers on the needles

And gray park-pigeons still parade about its snaking roots head bowing in
                                rhythmic ceremony

                              I too come once and again
                         I like to touch the tough dark bark
                              And drink from its wounds
                            For the tree and I are brothers
                         11




The Voice of My Past



  The voice of my Past

       My People

Dancing to the seasons

    Of their Cycle
                                                            12




      On What American Indians Want Today



    They want to dry the tears that drowned the sun

      They want laughter to return to their hearts

They want to go home! <> To Mother and Grandmother

 They want to hear their ancestral voices 'round the fire
                                                   13




                Kehchisog
               (The Elders)


   The Elders pray for the rising of the sun


  The Elders pray for the setting of the sun

            We pray for the Elders

 "Elders, please pray for the rising of the sun"
"Elders, please pray for the setting of the sun"

                 The sun rises

                 The sun sets

               The Elders pray
                                      14




"If the Sacred does not live in you
         You are not alive"
(Anonymous Native American)
                                                                                      15




About the author of—
                                           Wampumpeag

Dr. Francis Joseph O'Brien, Jr. (Moondancer) is a mixture of European Canadian-Indian
heritage. His mixed Indian heritage dates back to the 1600s when a fisherman from Normandy
named Antione Fortier married a Huron girl in Beauport, Nouvelle France, on November 21,
1677.

                 "My mother taught me to see connections among all
                 things under the sun. So, now I dedicate this book
                 to the honor of her memory and all Native Peoples
                 of the Americas."

       Frank has authored 7 poetry chapbooks and has published poems in obscure sources.
He has graduate degrees from Columbia and makes his living as a government research
mathematician.
       His Indian name is Moondancer. Moondancer is President of the Aquidneck Indian
Council, and lives in Newport, RI with his wife Strong Woman (Julianne Jennings) and their
beautiful children Brian (age 8) and Julia (age 6).
       Moondancer and Strong Woman currently are completing Understanding Algonquian
Indian Words (New England).

				
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Description: Native American poetry, 20th century