Greetings From Mawenawasic!*
Poems About the Sacredness of Place
*"Place Where Flowing Waters Meet"
A 17th century Native American village site
near Poughkeepsie, New York
of Indigenous Poetry
Susan Deer Cloud, Editor
There is another landscape here in the Northeast. It's beneath the one seen by those who only know their way by maps, by roads, and not by placing their feet on the soil and holding onto the teachings of the ancestors. In Evan Pritchard's new book, we are shown that ancient and enduring land, guided through it by the clear voice of a man who remembers his forebears, believes in and expresses the lasting relationship between our first peoples and this place now called America.
--Joseph Bruchac, Greenfield Press Review, author of over 120 books, & recipient of NEA Fellowship
From the introduction by Susan Deer Cloud:
Greetings from Mawenawasic is a book of many winter poems, stunning in their cold loveliness and dark nights of drifting snow and soul. This is a book in which one Native man's journey shimmers forth in a universal manner, reflecting the struggles of so many contemporary people half frozen and staggering from these hard times … a mini-Ice Age mirroring a mini-Great Depression crushingly huge to those suffering and desperate. But Evan T. Pritchard is a Word Warrior and Poetry Man whose medicine poems make a healing stand in this relentless winter, dare to chant bravely of singing birds, sunrises, four legged sisters and brothers, Mother Earth, and humans who refuse to kowtow to the zeitgeist of cynicism, militarism, and materialism's divisive rule of greed and money.
From the book:
Insinuations of Spring
I step out onto sunlight to see my shadow,
A sailor stepping on land after a long voyage.
I disembark from my dark and ice-locked ark
Of dial-up heat,
And walk on wobbly sea legs along the narrow path
Past mounds of melting ice
Like discarded sculptures
From some demented academy
Where the in-patients are not allowed to use
Sharp objects to shape their marble-hard medium.
Something has changed at Mawenawasic.
The sun whispers, "Take off your coat."
The robins twitter cheerfully,
"It's so nice out. Please take off your coat."
The ice cracks, "Hey bucko, what's your problem?
Take off your coat!"
I look down and my shoes are breaking through
Razor-thin glazed sheets of ice
Sinking into slimy slick swales of mudder earth underneath.
She is saying, "It's time!" "Take off your coat!"
So I remove my old coat,
I take a breath,
And I'm still alive,
And I know the worst is over.
It's Maple Sap Moon, half a moon away from Equinox,
And long way from spring,
But it is a moment of hope.
I turn and look at Deep Water Lake
And I see the sunlight glaring brightly
Off its surface
And I think, "There goes the ice skating!"
I'm going to miss this sweet, sadistic season of snow
The way a sequestered sailor misses the salty, grey sea,
But I have to move on.
The New York Times says it's time to jump one hour forward,
But I know that there are no words for that
In my ancestral language,
Or in the hearts of wild things.
Evan Pritchard, of Mi'kmaq and Celtic descent, is the director of the Center for Algonquin Culture, and the author of No Word For Time, Native New Yorkers, Native American Stories of the Sacred, Henry Hudson and the Algonquins, and Bird Medicine, among others. He was editor of Resonance Magazine, championing new works in the field of spiritual poetry, discovering a number of new poets, and interviewing many well established ones as well, such as Coleman Barks, Madeleine L'Engle, John Cage, and others. As publisher of Resonance Books, Evan Pritchard self published a series of six volumes of original poetry, including Take the Red Road, in English and Algonquian languages, alternating. He lives in Mawenawasic, near Poughkeepsie, NY.
Greetings From Mawenawasic!*
is a 40 page hand-sewn chapbook - $10.00.
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