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Howdy All, so it's been forever and a day and I have been sitting on this poem and continually forgetting to post this.  From our gathering in Utah in October, the poem - A Good Story.  Thanks to all of you for your patience! :)



by Lee Francis IV





It is the story of stories

the poem, the song

the wisdom of family

the spirit of all


we begin at the beginning

hush, listen

these things are not new


hush, listen

the ancient ones are singing an honoring song

we hear it in our dream shadows

our moon echoes

our heart stones


we are called home to unfamiliar locations

where the wood is worn by a thousand thousand handprints

into shibume


we are called by drumbeat and song

we are called by chorus and prayer

we are pioneers in this moment

we are pioneers of this moment

rounding the bend, gasping for breath

stumbling our way seven thousand feet up

in the fading light

ragged from the struggle of

being just, being still

still being


but there is never such a thing as too many hugs

never too much heart to heart contact

and we are made whole by

gracious hosts and gracious space

greeting one another at the potluck

waving to one another

with mouthfuls of ovenbread


and we greet one another

gently, beautifully

in starburst and seaweed

and our laughter is bright fancy colored paper

and our pockets are filled with

sleepy-eyed children

barefoot canoeing

dub poetry

sacred fish ponds


and our baskets are filled with

the heart of the mountain

ocean salt and desert sand

oak leaves and birch bark

raindrops and the sound of the hollers




This is the story of stories

the poem the song

the wisdom of family

the spirit of all


hush, listen


And so

I shall tell you a story of the first peacemakers

and the time when the Spring People and the Autumn People

made war and broke apart

it was very long ago

but here is what happened


The People wanted to build a tall ladder to be able to speak with creator.  The Spring People decided they would build and climb and build and climb, for they had much energy.  The Autumn People decided they would stay and hold the bottom of the ladder for they had much strength.  And before the Spring People began to climb, the Autumn People said for them to return often for the Autumn People would sometimes forget.  The Spring People promised they would and they set off up the ladder.  And they began to build and climb and build and climb.  And they would check in with the Autumn People every so often, but at the ladder grew taller, the Spring People came back less and less.  And soon the Autumn People forgot why they were holding the ladder and left to attend to other business.  And the ladder fell.  And the Spring People fell.  And when the dust cleared, the Spring People were hurt and they saw the Autumn People and they yelled at them.  And the Autumn People upset that they had not been listened to, yelled at the Spring People. And they yelled and they fought and the warred and they broke each other into pieces.


But the wisest of the Spring and Autumn People had not participated in order to tend the fire and they knew the true story of what happened.  And they took to rebuilding the People.  They collected all the pieces of the Spring People and the Autumn People and began to put the pieces back together.  But in their wisdom, they made sure that they swapped one Spring piece with one Autumn piece, so there would always be Spring and Autumn inside us all.


And so it was.




This is the story of stories

the poem the song

the wisdom of family

the spirit of all



hush, listen

we are singing an honoring song

we are singing an honoring song for you

for you

for you

the canoe makers

the basket weavers

the clay potters

the corn grinders

the diggers and planters

the medicine singers

the dream walkers

the keepers of circles

the warriors

the peacemakers

for you


we offer this



all of us

our tears and smiles

our showoffs and tattletales

all of this


a Utah sunrise and a handful of raspberries

a human pyramid and a man-made waterfall

a bottle of wine and the sun dance kid

a world cafe and a plan for the future


we offer this


as blessings for all the good things

and all the bad things

for balance and harmony

for the four directions

for the above and below

and for all our relations



may we walk in beauty



this is the story of stories

the poem the song

the wisdom of family

the spirit of all


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Comment by Karma Ruder on March 27, 2011 at 4:37pm
as moving now as when we heard the earlier version in Utah.  your gift is a wonderful one - wonderful to be on the receiving end.  THANK YOU!
Comment by S. Kwesi Rollins on March 25, 2011 at 10:43am
Most Excellent!  Too bad we don't have video to accompany.  Wonderful reminder of our time in Utah.
Comment by Matt Militello on March 25, 2011 at 9:49am
So inspring. Thanks for writing, reciting, and now sharing.

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