dVerse Poets Pub: Meeting the Bar – Repetition Form

Thursday is MTB (meeting the bar) day at dVerse.  Victoria is our prompter today and she is requesting we do a poem using repetition.  I decided to go back in my history and detail one night with my Lakota lover as we explored and camped among the Badlands and the tall grass of his reservation in North Dakota.  Come visit us at the Pub 3:00 PM EST to read these poems of repetition.  https://dversepoets.com/2017/01/19/ill-say-it-again-and-again-and-again/

***Sunkmanitu Tanka

by the river my lover and I slept
we were awakened by the songs of wolves
he whispered – sunkmanitu tanka – wolf

we lay and listened
the moon was full
and the wolves sang

I will tell you, my lover said softly
how the wolves saved rivers and the earth.
how the rivers were dying
how the willow and tall grasses were dying
how the elk and the buffalo were dying
how the eagles and birds were dying
how the beaver, the foxes, the rabbits were dying
how the fishes, snakes, and turtles were dying
how the earth was dying

Grandfather looked down upon this world he created and wept
but he fashioned the wolf
and made it free to roam
to hunt to run free to mate
to give birth to play in the snow
to run the plains and forest

The wolves followed the river
and hunted the elk which were too many
and they were killing the earth
but the wolves hunted the elk
the foxes and the eagles ate the carrion
left behind by the wolves and they lived
the elk became fewer and ran to escape the wolves
and no longer ate the earth bare
willows flourished and broke up the water
the water gave birth to beavers snakes turtles
the beavers built dams and the rivers became lakes
the bear grew strong and hunted
the mountain lions grew strong and hunted
the eagles grew strong and hunted
the wolves ran free over the earth

And the earth began to grow again
and the earth became green again
and humans were formed from the earth
and grew strong and hunted.

And I heard in his voice the drumdrumdrumming
and the songs of the Lakota people
as the earth began to grow again.
I heard the drumming and the songs
around the campfires.

and we listened to the wolves singing
and we slept.

***Lakota for wolf

public domain image

public domain image

18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jan 18, 2017 @ 20:14:36

    Wow, wow, wow! This is just stunning and so very intense. The love of our Native Americans for the earth is unequaled. Thank you for sharing this with us, Toni.


  2. ladynyo
    Jan 19, 2017 @ 14:20:30

    Way back but so much needed today. Marvelous tribute to Lakota wisdom and lore. Stunning.


  3. whippetwisdom
    Jan 20, 2017 @ 16:07:05

    Absolutely stunning Toni, thank you so much for sharing 💖 xxx


  4. Jennifer Wagner
    Jan 20, 2017 @ 21:38:09

    The use of repetition really enhances the storytelling here!


  5. erbiage
    Jan 21, 2017 @ 03:47:11

    Oh the lover! From another culture. Another language, another perspective. So much to learn, to unfold, to love. To the beat of the heart drum drum druming. Thank you for keeping this with you, and bringing your past into the now


  6. sanaarizvi
    Jan 21, 2017 @ 07:47:31

    Oh my goodness!! ❤️This is absolutely a gem Toni 😀 the passion, the emotion, the intensity of each and every line… is to simply die for! Beautifully executed!❤️


  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jan 21, 2017 @ 09:36:42

    I really love this poem… the way you weaved yourself into the narrative of creation. The repetition of a chant works so very well.


  8. Bryan Ens
    Jan 23, 2017 @ 07:31:44

    There is wisdom in his words. ..any part of the ecosystem that is missing upsets the whole balance


  9. Angela
    Jan 26, 2017 @ 13:14:25

    What a powerful piece, Toni. A showcase for the reverence of Mother Earth held by Native Americans. For us all, if we listen.

    Angela Kay (Kay)


  10. Grace
    Feb 05, 2017 @ 11:32:52

    There is a documentary on this and I loved the wolf pack saved the river and the animals. This would be good to include in the anthology Toni. Let me know if you want too, soon ~


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