Publication Date: 15-Nov-06 | ISBN: 1844712672 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 140pp | Format: Paperback
UK & International Distribution: | Publishing Status: Active
NATIVE WRITERS CIRCLE OF THE AMERICAS FIRST BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY These poems rise from the smoke of a Council Fire. Around the fire gather many nations of the world, some angry, some at peace. The nations’ emissaries accept invitations to stand together at the Fork-in-the-Road Indian Poetry Store and turn rhythmically to the four cardinal directions, so that the earth can regain its balance. Facing East, the ambassadors see Flags of Mercy hanging over New York City and Nagasaki, then encounter and embrace a manic-depressive Native Hawaiian-Cherokee medicine man in Oklahoma City. Traveling closer to the moon and stars they fly with a dreamer in the Garden of the Bumblebees, and they listen in Weleetka, Oklahoma, to the last two living speakers of Yuchi. Turning North, the councilors ice skate with post-Vietnam revolutionaries on glacier lakes in Idaho. They chase grouse in snow two feet deep, ponder dormancy in hyphenated winters and university libraries, and learn the best way to build a fall fire. Facing West, they lie on cool, creek bed vulvas of earth in sweltering Great Plains summer, navigate a wilderness river in canoes, and kiss a lover at dawn in the Chihuahan desert. Finally, turning in the divine direction South, the emissaries hear The Story of The Seeds, a journey back to 1540, to the conquest of Mabila by De Soto. In a stream of survival, they emigrate with Choctaws on trails of tears from Mississippi to Oklahoma, before sharing big ripe melons in the delta of the Vegetable River. They finish their revolution facing east again, just before dawn.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART I. FACING EAST; Construction ; Council Fire; Flag of Mercy ; Closer to the Moon; Ceremony; More Like Children ; Holhpokunna The Garden of the Bumblebees; Mixed Blood ; Mother Yakni; The Great Society; Rain Dancers; The Carpenter's Dilemma; like a full moon over a thunderhead; The Fork-in-the-Road Indian Poetry Store ; PART II. TURNING NORTH; Ochre Hole; Revolutionaries; The Big Woodpecker; when you foresee the unforeseeable; Diphthongs to Dipterons; Stepping Out; New York; Earth Life; Endangered Species; Shimmering Thread; Hyphenated Winter ; University Library ; Run; Water Planet; Winter Trees; I Have Some Advice For You; PART III. FACING WEST; The Two-Pronged Stick; Father Luak; World's Largest Rez; Journal Entry: March 23rd, Chihuahuan Desert; Am I Seeing?; halito akhana hello my friend ; Ballad of Kenneth Ruth; Anumpa Apesa a Iti Hikia: The Judgment of Standing Trees; Click Beetle; Life's Work:; I Found the Earth in Snails; Snake Bags; We Spoke French Throughout the Desert; He Showed Them Snakes; most cynics would laugh; On the Nile; All About Wind; On That Great Plateau; A Desert Love Poem; PART IV. TURNING SOUTH; creator; The Story of The Seeds; No Goodbye; Anumpa Boklukfi Hilha The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek; The Dogs Did Not Follow; Black Crow; The Lost Ponds; White Bone Hooks; Aiena e-Taloa We Sing Together; Meadowlark, Large Family of the Plains; Ragged Owl Nest; A Popular Theme; Bohpoli; Mobius Garden; Vegetable River; Fire and Wind; Fried Rabbit; Digging Deeper; Before Dawn
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“In Phil Carroll Morgan’s poetry seeds watch over dreams, vines tell the story of conquest, and gourds, oh lord, the gourds, excuse us from observing the sabbath. Morgan is the farmer every Indian wishes he could be: living on his family's original allotment, one hundred and ten acres of it still intact, his relatives defending it against internal and external threats such as “the Dawes commission, two world wars, the great depression, a period of alcoholism, three marriages, and two divorces.” He's the farmer I want to be, coming in from the woods to a house he built with his own two hands (doesn’t owe any money to the man, one of his songs proclaims), filling the place with the music of his considerable talents as a pianist and guitar player, bringing one kind of music, off in the treeline, inside, carrying his own songs back out like a missionary, teaching them to every living creature. In such an environment even Blue, the cow dog, can't help but sing his own ode to joy in defiance of ravenous coyotes. And you will too, friends, because these poems won't sing without you. They carefully chronicle the history of an allotment, and its human and non-human relatives, who have survived the Territory. ” —
“Phil Morgan is one who reveres his heritage and his literary ancestors, and that reverence is found throughout this first, glorious collection. Yet there is a new wisdom in his poetry that is somehow familiar, though we never saw—or even thought of— this beauty before he revealed it. The journey of a snail or the light of cold: this book is a gift, a mystery, an illumination.” —
Phillip Carroll Morgan is an enrolled Choctaw/Chickasaw bi-lingual poet who has enjoyed a 25-year artistic collaboration with his painter-sculptor wife, Kate Arnott Morgan. This collaboration has seen the birth of three children, as well as the production of The Fork-in-the-Road Indian Poetry Store, which won the 2002 Native Writers Circle of the Americas First Book Award for Poetry. He has worked as a newspaper editor, business executive, building tradesman, guitar player, and rancher. He is currently a PhD student in Native Literature at the University of Oklahoma.