Odzihozo, I recognize you for the first time
before a biting cold glorious sunset,
floating, doubled in reflection
above the still waters that dance like flames on the horizon
in the time of greetings, alamikos, the month of January.
you created yourself from dust,
and then you created all this land,
a miracle without equal which goes on,
inside us and all around us.
And this lake and its nest
in these grand and gentle mountains,
the elders say you created this last,
your final masterpiece.
And now you rest,
in your floating throne of rock
the sublime, serene, spontaneous spiraling
of the patterns still emerging from your original design.
Perhaps the famous battles caught your eye,
or perhaps not –
maybe the motions of the clouds
mean more, in the long run.
You must have sensed the plague,
the pestilence and poverty
which fell upon the peoples who first recognized you,
the centuries of conquest, ongoing.
Today you must sense the poisons
seeping from land to lake,
the acid in the rain,
the erosion of the shores,
the warming of the skies,
the sickness of the soils.
And yet you float upon and above
the churning liquid horizon,
and yet this lake is a shining jewel
precious to the preservation of all the world,
and yet your transformations bloom within us still,
calling us to dance and rest upon horizons,
to reflect ourselves over water and fire,
to be buoyant in bitter cold
for a beauty that burns like a sun within the soul.
I am writing this to you and to me and to others,
as a prayer and a poem,
as a message and a manifesto,
as prose and as a petition
for your recognition:
A reminder that you are watching,
not in judgment
(you are the transformer, not the redeemer or the revelator)
but in patience;
for the ultimate glory of your creation,
which is you,
which is us,
and all of this,
nestled in the mountains,
upon this lake once known as bitawbágw, now named Champlain
and this land once known as ndakinna, now named Vermont.
by QMS, January 2016