Ghost Dance

Hope Springs Eternal - Terpning

My father has much pity for us
my father has much pity
I hold out my hands toward him and cry
in my poverty I hold out my hands
in my poverty I cry.

Wovóka the Paiute
received the Na’nisa’ana
in a vision directly from God
on the day of the black sun.

And God said tell all the nations the word;
Live in peace
and I will bring you together
with the spirits and a new earth
in happiness and abundance.

Wovóka the prophet carried the sacred word
to the Caddo, Lakota and Cheyenne
and the people began to dance

Wearing the magic shirts
they could see the relatives
who had left their bodies
hear the thunder of the buffalo
knowing the earth would be reborn.

The spirit host is advancing they say
the spirit host is advancing
they are coming with the buffalo they say
they are coming with the buffalo
they are coming with the new earth.

In the mists of Cheyenne autumn
shocks of corn and burning leaves
the spirits of the Sioux will dance
they are coming with the buffalo they say
coming with the new earth.



painting : The Ghost Dance – Howard Terpning


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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5 Responses to Ghost Dance

  1. beetleypete says:

    Another good one Frank. Seems a shame that some of them ended up running casinos. At least it brings money in for the community.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. sojourner says:

    Well the advancing spirit better start picking up his pace a bit, before it is too late. I heard similar claims when I was a brain-dead Christian, and there was no savior waiting in the wings.

    The sayings of the Native peoples of this continent, however, always touch and put me to shame, for the pain, sorrow, death and destruction my ancestors have brought down on them, this land and the world.

    European Caucasians are known as the “white devils” in many places around the world. I can’t say I blame these people for their view of me and people like me,

    Liked by 1 person

    • jfwknifton says:

      The double tragedy is that you personally did none of these horrible things, any more than I earned my living in the slave trade. Nowadays, we are reasonably civilised and yet we must carry for ever the guilt of people who never ever felt guilty in their sad, genocidal lives.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sojourner says:

        Yes, it seems most of us are doomed to carry a “cross” that rightly belongs to the wealthy and powerful few who control almost everything, the same elite few who rape, pillage and murder many of us as well!


  3. jfwknifton says:

    An excellent poem.and an excellent blog post. Thank you for sharing it with us.


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