Leanne Howe: Evidence of Red

Artist Credit: Sharon Erla
Title: Necessity is the Mother
Mother Earth Art

Evidence of Red
by: Leanne Howe

First, night opened out.

Bodies took root from rotting salt

and seawater into evidence of red life.

Relentless waves pumped tidal air

into a single heartbeat.

In the pulp of shadow and space,water sucked our people from sleep.

That’s how it all began. At least

that’s all we can remember to tell.

It began with water and heartbeat.

In minutes we tunneled through corn woman’s navel into tinges

of moist red men and women.

Yawning, we collected our chins,

knees, breasts, and sure-footed determination.

A few thousand years before Moses parted the Red Sea, and the

God with three heads was born in the Middle East,

the Choctaw people danced

our homeland infra red.

Finally when the stranger’s arms reached to strangle the West,

Grandmother eavesdropped

on the three-faced deity

who said that chaos was coming.

When he puckered his lips and tried to kiss her she made it rain on him.

“Maybe you’ve forgotten

you were born of water and women,”

she said, walking away laughing.

Bame-wa-wa-ge-zhik-a-quay: A Native Star


Native Star

By Michele Habel-Coffey

Woman of the Stars Rushing Through the Sky

Eyes cast down upon the blue

Native daughter, filled with Muse

The sacred birch was made for you

To them you sang your spirit songs

Spinning tales like spider’s webs

Glistening with the Northern dew

Dancing with the flows and ebbs

Of greatest lakes with tides that pull

And push upon your countenance

Tis the moon that had its way with you

And led you to this happenstance

But neither sun nor moon gave greater light

Than the prose of fairest Leelinau

Her words they fell like gentle  flakes

And did land atop the whitest snow

Where her footfalls left a path

Showing, leading, guiding  through

The darkened forests of new lands

Back to sacred Manito

Native Nose


Native Nose

by Michele Habel-Coffey

I stared into the side view mirror.

She was looking ahead at the road.

I don’t like my nose.

You have native nose.

Native nose?

You know what I mean.

I know what she means.

I know her meaning.

She is mean.

She is angular lines

Where there should be curves.

She is a pointed tip.

She is the triangle;

She knows no circles.

I have native nose?

She is native nose.


 Credit for eye art. Image found at the following address: