Hershman John

Hershman John, jeune poète et enseignant, a publié un recueil I swallow turquoise for courage aux Presses de l’Université d’Arizona.

i-swallow-turquoise-for-courage

Grandmother Moon

 

Tonight is the lunar eclipse

Tonight the moon blooms

Tonight my grandma is home

 

The cornfield carpets the canyon’s basin

A Navajo field of colored corn

Red, Yellow, Blue, and White

Grandma Nalnishe whispers to the moon

Her turquoise jewels reflect the evening dinner fire

In the distance, the bells of the sheep ring

Overhead the moon begins to glow.

Tonight is the lunar eclipse

Tonight the moon blossoms

Tonight my grandma is home.

Every year, the Crow Fair brings her family back

She holds her sleeping grandchild

In the security of her camp, she sings

Grandma Black Eagle sings for the moon

And the booming drumbeats create the rhythm

The Little Bighorn river reflects the starlit sky

Through the trees the moon begins to glow.

Tonight is the lunar eclipse

Tonight the moon burns

Tonight my grandma is home.

A Hopi village rests quietly on a mesa

In a rectangular room, she whispers a prayer

As the candlelight shadows of the Kachinas dance on the wall

Grandma Honyumtewa prays for the moon

And a lone Kachina points out the window

On the roof top, an owl hoots « who? »

Out the window the begins to glow.

Tonight is the lunar eclipse

Tonight the moon bleeds

Tonight my grandma is home.

Relocated to a house in Oklahoma

She lost her Cherokee homeland

In her rocking chair, a tear drips off her cheek

Grandma Webb cries for the moon

While fanning herself with a beaded Eagle-feather fan

The air is sick as a loud car passes by

And over the buildings the moon begins to glow.

Tonight is the lunar eclipse

Tonight the moon beacons

Tonight all my grandmas are home

Tonight they all see Grandmother Moon

Tonight the moon glows deep like blood

Tonight the moon is Indian.

 

First published in Expedition, Vol. 37, #1, 1995.

 

MOON ON THE REZ

Lune au-dessus de la réserve, près de Dennehotso, 2011, copyright Nausica Zaballos.

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