Almost a year ago, I began weaving a Chilkat robe for Tlingit elder Helen Watkins from the Shungukeidi Thunderbird Clan; the robe is called “Egyptian Thunderbird.” She was going to dance the robe this coming June during opening ceremonies of the biennial gathering of clans in Juneau called “Celebration.” Looks like she will be dancing the robe in spirit; Helen “walked into the woods” last night.
Helen was the happiest when she gathered foods from the land and sea with her big family and friends. Back in 2011, I attended one of her presentations on the Native subsistence foods and posted a blog about it. Check it out at: http://clarissarizal.com/blog/subsistence-presentation-by-helen-watkins/
Her obituary is at: http://www.legacyalaska.com/obituaries/Helen-Abbott-Watkins/#!/Obituary
You’ve got a lot of family, relatives and friends who are going to miss you greatly, dear Helen!
Saturday night sit-in at the station, amazing that I’ve somehow managed to stay away from sharing deep-bottomed jazz with the world so long, so selfish, so typical of people like me and this abstract, driven music, pulsing, this music.
…that I started an MFA program in May of 2015? I’m finding it quite amazing that I’ve not posted since October 2015 despite a very productive writing period. Glad to be working through draft after draft with the talented and generous Zack Rogow. He’s so generous he’s giving away his sage advice on his blog.
So for the sake of bringing some recent work into the light, here’s one from the fall that’s nearing completion.
Nevermind the stillness— / the deep sleeps to awake.
–Nazim Hikmet from “The Epic of Sheik Bedreddin”
To get out
of the deep, first
work that furious club-tail
through tunnel twists,
down, then up, then out.
Out of the deep-den,
beaver through waking,
through mist music,
light deep like black spruce
down at roots but rising.
Brittle sap floored-forest,
so many needles dropping,
daylight falling but trapped
in drooping night-net.
and water warp, sight
swarms as translucent eyelids lift
forest and fractured light
come into focus.
Swim beaver, wet still,
become day, walk now,
spit spruce sap, build.