Among Hawks

Snow Dance

Diamond in the Sky

we have watched again

our own guilt disguised

stalking the sullen wind


carrying our own words the crows

in the worn sky wait remembering

too late


the reasons

for our being

among them

–Lance Henson

(Voices of the Rainbow: Contemporary Poetry by Native Americans edited by Kenneth Rosen, p.58)

Becoming a Hawk

Lance Henson is a Cheyenne who states, “My interest lies in expressing the inner mythic being of the Native American, his God, his views, his spiritual participation in the contemporary society of his native land” (ibid. p.228). I think “spiritual participation in the contemporary society” means becoming a hawk. The warrior is a valued role in present-day Native American culture. It was more so in the past.

Killing Crows

Being a hawk in modern society entails acknowledging the warrior within and killing the crows in our minds (the societal shoulds, constraints on individuality, society’s materialistic values, etc.). Feeling guilty for our hawk-like nature is the result of society’s precepts ensnaring and eventually enslaving us. A hawk flies free and has a wide perspective from the open sky. “The {spiritual} reasons for our being among them” (in society) is to set other hawks free and the struggle that entails. As hawks we need to “{carry} our own words,” hammer out our own opinions and set our spirits free.

Diamond Sun

We don’t need to search for our individual values in the “sullen wind” and “worn sky” of contemporary society’s anti-values. We need to fly free, gripping the glowing diamond (our spiritual values) with our talons of light. Become a diamond sun over the mountains at dawn.

Photo Credit: Photo by Catherine at Flickr Creative Commons.

Snow Dance

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