Small Stones for Week 3 (Part 2) Jan. 19 to 21, 2016

Small Stones for January 19 to 21, 2016






Jan. 19 2016

“I know of no species of plant, bird or animal that were exterminated until the coming of the white man. The white man considered natural animal life upon this continent as “pests”. There is no word in the Lakota vocabulary with the English meaning of this word…” — Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux, 1868-1937 from 365 Days of Walking The Red Road, Terri Jean

Luther Standing Bear (1868–1939), a Native Ame...

Luther Standing Bear (1868–1939), Native American writer & actor (Wikipedia)

Cry for the animals whose spirits no longer roam
our forests, the fish absent from our rivers, the birds
no longer soaring above us, nor raising young in nests
sequestered in our trees.

Polar Bear (Sow), Arctic National Wildlife Ref...

Polar Bear (Sow), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska (Wikipedia)

No thought was given when we cried instead for progress,
sent toxins and noxious fumes into the air. They are the spectres
that return to haunt us in the rising waters of the North,
the torn fabric of the ozone, the rusted red pillars of evergreens.

They bear witness to the legacy of industry, and to the truth
that we never foresee consequences, searching always
for solutions and forgiveness for our sins
of commission, of omission, always deadly.

Jan. 20 2016

“It is easy to live within the shadow of fear, procrastination and pessimism…” 365 Days of Walking the Red Road, Terri Jean

The Scream.jpg

Public Domain Wikipedia

With this, I would argue that it is not an easy shadow, but bears down,
a heavy iron curtain blocking out the sun revealing itself in
rain shadows that live in winter, never shedding soft warm tears of a summer sky.




Jan. 21 2016


“This morning the light/Changes on the wall opposite”— from Venetian Light, Crow-Work, Eric Pankey


And I think about winter sunlight, crisp and white by noon, then
golden and slanting from the west by 3 o’clock.
In summer, the light in Vancouver, different from Eastern light

English: Looking downriver on the Fraser River...

Fraser River, Vancouver, BC. (Wikipedia)

somehow more mellow, yet white, not yellow, till later at evening
as it sinks into the mirror of the Fraser River
The sun shines more brightly over Canada even in winter, while

the light in Budapest seems watery at best, somehow the sun
always telling time as 3 o’clock. Even English light in January, more like
candlelight than sun, not the bright star that reigns over Ottawa.





Final January Stone: Jan. 31, 2015






Bronze statue of Chief Noah Sealth ("Chie...

Bronze statue of Chief Noah Sealth (“Chief Seattle”), Chief of the Suquamish, Five Points / Tilikum Place (where Denny Way meets Fifth Avenue, roughly the border between Belltown and South Lake Union), Seattle, Washington. Sculpted by local sculptor James Wehn, unveiled November 13, 1912. On the National Register of Historic Places, ID #84003502. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jan. 31

“There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities, no place to hear the leaves of spring or the rustle of insect wings…the clatter only seems to insult the ears.”—Chief Seattle (Seathl) DuwamishSuquamish, 1785-1866 

Yes, indeed. This is something I certainly can relate to as I go about my day, and as I try to settle in at night to sleep.

I’m so accustomed now to blare and squawk,
the hum of electricity whining through machines that
keep me warm or keep me cool, tell me when to wake

now when it’s time for sleep, I find silence unsettling.
I reach again for the controls, turn on
the white noise of television, my modern lullaby.

It startles me now in spring when, window open
to call in breezes, I hear forgotten sounds of loons
and Canada geese giving thanks for morning

The neighbouring rooster no longer sings
his call to rouse the farm, even the drab pigeons
no longer coo-roo-coo along the back fence.


CAS Jan. 31, 2015




Small Stone for Jan. 30, 2015


Jan 30

I was born in Nature’s wild domain! The trees were all that sheltered my infant limbs, the blue heavens all that covered me…” – George Copway, Ojibwa Chief, 1818-1863) 


 This partial quote struck me this morning as quite wonderful in its imagery and poetic language.

To be born naked under stars,
shielded by a cloak of greening trees
beneath the blue vault of sky—

to feel the first spring rain,
gentle on this tender skin, to know
the scent of crocus bud and hyacinth—

and remember always I am a child of Spring.


CAS Jan. 30, 2015


Small Stone for Jan. 29, 2015


Jan 29

“All things in the world are two. In our minds we are two, good and evil…” –Letakots-Lesa (Gray Eagle Chief) Pawnee, 19th century

The quote later goes on to say: “the right hand that strikes and makes for evil… the left hand full of kindness near the heart.”

I must say, as a left-hander, it is wonderful to find a view that does not see the left hand as evil or somehow deficient.


Is this trait genetic or an accident of birth,
an odd traverse through birth canal,
a last-minute bias of brain?

There are more of us now amid great speculation
of why and wherefore, some suggestion
the more violent the society the greater its need

We’re not gauche, not sinister, just hampered by
proliferation of tools that make us seem awkward, uncoordinated.
But consider our ability for music, for mathematics, for language…

CAS Jan. 29 2015

Below are links to lists of musicians and U.S. presidents and lefthandedness