The following poem, entitled “Legacy,” has been a favorite of mine since my college days. I’m not Native American, and I don’t believe in being one with the earth, but I do believe God’s Creation is beautiful and worthy of being written about, sung about, told about from generation to generation.

Read the poem and then click here to see my Legacy-inspired poem.

my face is grass

color of April rain;

arms, legs are the limbs

of birch, cedar;

my thoughts are winds

which blow;

pictures in my mind

are the climb up hill

to dream in the sun;

hawk feathers, and quills

of porcupine running

the edge of the stream

which reflects stories

of my many mornings

and the dark faces of night

mingled with victories

of dawn and tomorrow;

corn of the fields and squash…

the daughters of my mother

who collect honey

and all the fruits;

meadow and sky are the end of my day,

the stretch of my night

yet the birth of my dust;

my wind is the breath of a fawn

the cry of the cub

the trot of the wolf

whose print covers

the tracks of my feet;

my word, my word,


legacy, the obligation I hand

to the blood of my flesh

the sinew of the loins

to hold to the sun

and the moon

which direct the river

that carries my song

and the beat of the drum

to the fires of the village

which endures.

— by Maurice Kenny (b. 1929)



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