Indigenous Poetry

By: Running Elk Woman
Shawnee & Adopted Lakota

Vision Seeker 
by Jerome Bushyhead

Buffalo Art by
Jerome Bushyhead

I hear her speak.
Her words are strong,
Like a millon Buffalo
Thundering along.

Her words are
Peace, Love, and Life
No more strife
And no more fight.

Hear, our people;
We are still alive,
With the sacred wisdom
That lives inside.

As one nation,
We come alive
To fulfill the dreams
That live inside.


To hear with your
heart and not
your ears.

To feel with your
heart and not
your hands.

To see with your
heart and not
your eyes.

To speak with your
heart and not
your mouth.

To think with your
heart and not
your mind.

To be one with
all in the heart.


High upon sacred mountain
I hear the cry of the sacred
wolf, coming to teach us the
wisdom of the ancient ones.

Teaching us to help the children
of our mother earth and giving us
understanding of Wanka Tanka
and life.

I see the deer in the forest so near
filling our hearts with love and abolishing
all our fears.

I feel the winds upon my face
bringing the change from a
sacred place.

I see the stars in the sky
who light the way so one
day we'll fly.


Sacred tree of life
teach us to root ourself
and walk in balance.

Teach us to share our
shelter, food, our breath.

Teach us to bend, and to have
compassion and love
for our brothers and sisters.

Teach us to be grateful
for all gifts we recieve
and, remind us to pray.

Teach us to stand tall and
reach for grandfather sun.

Teach us to share and live as one.

Sacred tree of life
thank you for all your
wisdom and for all
life in which you


You think you've broken our spirit
but now you must know.

The clouds were dark but the
sacred winds will always blow.

We love and care for our
mother's land.
See you've forgotten you
not but a grain of sand.

As the tree sprouts and
knows when to grow
hidden from the winters snow.

We will rise and shine
these sacred things
you'll never know.

Like the rivers we have moved
through time fast and slow.

You see we have kept that sacred flow.

Things I speak about are things I see
seeking peace and living free.


You think your superior
civilized man, look what
you've done to these
precious lands.

We are not but a flea
on our mother's back.
How much more
before she cracks.

Hear her call us one
and all, for if not
we all will fall.

You've taken advantage
of these precious lands
what is to come, is
now at hand.


Remember to be humble
along the way.

give thanks
for each and every day.

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature

Compiled by: Glenn Welker

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