for the cloud people


Carol Lee Sanchez

we go forth and call the earth
into being
father sky and rainmaker
ride summer winds
across blue mountain-
speak sacred names
to cloud people;
watch dancers
offer corn flesh
beneath them.

shíwana, shíwana
corn mother thirsts

shíwana, shíwana
dust devils rage

shíwana, shíwana
hide o sraht's face

shíwana, shíwana
fill grandmother's breast

keep rainbow god
behind blue mountain
til after you come
then he may bless this village,
these fields we planted.
climb down those clouds
to these mesas below you.
shíwana, come to us:

grandmother waits
corn mother waits
four-leggeds wait
two-leggeds wait
everything waits
we all await you
shíwanacome to us.

From excerpts from A Mountain Climber's Handbook (selected poems, 1971-1984) by Carol Lee Sanchez, Taurean Horn Press/Out West Limited
© 1985 Carol Lee Sanchez

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