Beyond the Red River

As writers and artists we need to have a vision of what we are creating. We need to see it, hear it, and feel it. When we do, we can truly share the vision with our audience. It comes through loud and clear. In a sense they can experience our vision.

The problem is that sometimes our vision is distant, in either space or time, or even in culture. I love writing about our Native American/First Nations brothers and sisters. Yet there is a fog at times. I write about the past and the way it used to be. My vision comes out blurred or obscure in some way. The vision is still there though, and I try anyway, even if it is a struggle. Here’s a poem about it.

Beyond the Red River

I can see the water flowing over the rocks of the Red River,

and can hear the wind whispering through the trees.

There are people around the fire, talking about hunting.

I hear the language – Ojibwa — full of life.

Beyond the river, looking west I see the Cree, and the Assiniboine,

further southwest the Blackfeet, and towards the mountains where the Salish live,

villages of life. Smoke from the fires. Deer meat.

I can see further south, some growing corn,

but only as far as the Platte, near the Osage, and the Omaha.

I paint with words what I can see. There is a fog sometimes though.

Smudges. I can make a mistake by only painting shadows with bright colors.

Focusing on the past, the picture seems flat. Forgive me.

The people are still here today living with brown and grey, reaching

for yellow.

But I have the vision and I want to write and to paint,

so others can see the beauty of life, beyond the Red River.




© Copyright 2014, nicodemasplusthree

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