Tag Archives: aborigine


by Thomas Davis from World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium Poems, Navajo Technical University Press

Two long days of writing a constitution
And making the structure of an accreditation authority,
Then the long drive from Porirua to Hamilton
Through the Ruahine range of mountains
And mountains and hills of the Wanganui River.
All day we passed from sunshine to storm,
Rain and even hail blowing out of clouds
That crept white and shifting down green mountains
Where rows of pines waited for cover
Before they marched in maneuvers
Designed to confuse eyes of hawks and human beings.

We traveled so long we forgot about white manes of seahorses
That galloped in heavy winds beneath ocean
Into unmoving rocks of shore.

For hours rainbows walked ahead of us,
Sometimes one, bright in its arching,
And at other times two, dark one larger than the bright one
And always trailing behind,
A mother watching out for her adventuresome child
That once darted so close to us it made the wet branches of a pine tree shine.

We did not stop at the proceedings at Moutoa Gardens
Where Maori camped in bright colored tents,
Occupying ground in order to assert sovereignty
As old as the naming of the shaky isles by Aborigine,
But passed gorges plunging to river waters
Before greenness that covered hills and mountains
And fell into valleys blessed by singing birds
That kept trying to tell of the rainbow’s walking glory.

At the Lady of the Waterfall, in rain,
Mana Forbes blessed stones we had taken to ourselves
After we had climbed down steps to the waterfall
In the country of kings.


Filed under Poetry, Thomas Davis

At the Founding of the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC) on the Stoney Reserve in Canada, 8/7/02

Rock mountains thrown down out of sky
Into the green girdle of pine and spruce
That fall into white trunks of aspen
Fluttering with leaves in the valley
Beside the sometimes molten turquoise of a river.

In this place,
Beside a lake alive with small waves,
Below mountains,
The tall aborigine puts his lips to digeridoo,
Brown hollow log,
And blows out earthsongs
Into humming bones,
His mother’s voice soaring above deepness,
Voices of cultures
From mountains, hills, valleys, ocean shores, forests, swamps, lakes, steppes, deserts
Spilling languages alive
Into the ecology of peoples,
The digeridoo inside heartsong
Of generations backward and forward
From this time, this place.

Words flowed around tables.
Voices became people
As songs sought the spirit
Of prayer, of humility, of hope.
Words and people
Circled inside each other
As agreement approached, a field mouse
Twitching at wind’s breath on blades of grasses.

And then unity,
Past, present, future bound
Into voices and words,

The language of peoples
Become a single language.

Inside the world of cars, airplanes, computers,
People original to places
Feel their deserts, steppes, lakes, swamps, forests, ocean shores, valleys, hills, mountains
Rise from the low color of digeridoo’s sounds.

In education,
In belonging,
In wisdom
Is the sustainability of the world.


Filed under Poetry, Thomas Davis