April 1, 2012 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION











The Rug Weaver – Mojave 1904


Ilona Martonfi



Piñon nuts, prickly pear cactus,

she gathers juniper berries,


the dance of the squaw,


a black crow keens


and walks in the sun

catches fire—

without its carapace

the cawing is louder:



daughter of Chooli—

today is your Kinaalda,

rite of passage,


thick handspun yarns

carding and spinning,

everyday letting out the sheep.


Things she said about being a woman:

my great-grandmother remembers

the Long Walk home

land of the four sacred mountains

desert mesa by the wash


heard the cries of a child—


long, fringed buckskin dress

adorned with silver concha belt,

turquoise bead necklace,

upright loom.

Navajo weaver carding

and spinning,

we live here as a clan


mud roof cedar hogan


door facing the east.




Our Beautiful Land


Ilona Martonfi


The road to Nunavut

Iglulik summer camp

sealskin tent. My father Amaruq

in a kayak:


with thin ice



ancient names —

a girl Lutaaq Meekitjuk,


Inuit woman with her daughter,


Arcticin fuchsia midnight sun,





Sewing fur parka, beaver mittens.


We are flown to residential school:

A place

to learn

assimilate —

Ward of the State.

My Bible name is Annie.


Native Inuktitut, forbidden.



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  1. Prince Mensah April 06, at 03:51

    Nana, the two poems are exquisite and full of food for thought. Congrats.

  2. EileenJ April 02, at 14:49

    Beautiful work. Especially love these lines: "the go ahead and breathe it’s okay freedom found in this in-between time." That's one of my own favorite things about this time of day.

  3. Evelyn April 02, at 01:51

    ahhh still love to read me and all these other poets... thanks Val!

  4. Dennis White April 01, at 17:51

    Beth, These two poems are just a brief sampling of your extraordinary talent and mastery of words and imagery. You deserve recognition for your work and I'm glad it is happening. Wishing you continued success in your writing endeavors. Dennis

  5. ed hart April 01, at 15:21

    oops, i called this wonderful poet Emma...sorry for that...but the sentiment still carries

  6. ed hart April 01, at 15:19

    Congratulations Emma...your poetry continues to life on strong wings...your words lead a natural rhythm, with delicate fingers sculpting the deep magic, the pleasure of life


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