"I wrote this poem in honor of a young man who lost his father," says Nipmuc poet Larry Spotted Crow Mann, author of Tales from the Whispering Basket. "The young man is a Native American Grass Dancer. I was blessed to be there when he did a Ceremonial Grass Dance in memory of his Dad."
Grass Dance for our Father
We Dance for our Fathers.
My Footsteps leap, pound & wander,
Like my Heart, across the Sacred Circle.
At the Center,
The Fire smolders, then crackles like Thunder.
I stride, bow and spin,
Like Swirling Smoke & Flame,
Igniting my Prayers into the Sky.
My Moccasins, sweep across the Earth,
With silken dexterity,
My Fringe flutters, & Bells Resonate,
To the Harmony of the Four Winds.
Father -Sun above, illuminates my every motion.
I firmly close my eyes,
Breathe- In, the Light,
Healing my Scars-
That Dance along the edge of my Shadow.
Sweat and Tears,
Bounce off my Flesh,
The Earth beneath my Feet-
As the Sacred Drum, transforms my Pain, into Life.
Memories of You,
Flowing down, like Gentle Morning Rain.
Like a Blade of Grass,
I Cling to Every Drop, every moment of You,
The Tender & the Sharp.
And I will dance for you Father.
Trying to smooth the Earth,
I must now, walk without You.
But I know I am not alone.
For it is this Circle, that takes me to You.
& the Rebirth that grows, when I look in my child’s eyes.
& to know Creator says, that there are no Goodbyes.
We Will be together again someday,
In that Powwow in the Sky.
I Dance, for- You- Father.
I Pivot & Sway, as the Honor Beat Holds me,
Tells me, where my Feet need to Be.
It is my Story I Share,
Rooted in the Grass,
Rooted, In this Path,
Which you taught me so Well.
I bend my arms & crouch my Body.
Lean my head, toward the Stars.
Two Eagle Feathers, aiming out into the Universe.
Connecting to You,
Connecting, to All of Creation.
In this Space, Words are not needed.
There is Only Love.