N. Scott Momaday

One hears the river run,
An occasional rise of wind.
Nothing of the setting sun
Illuminates the wounded mind.

A coalescence of the dead
Will simulate a marching band
And stitch the way with lurid thread
And echo silence out of hand.

In faith one is compelled to be
Complicit in apostasy.

Photo by Benjamin Catapane on Unsplash

prayer for words


Prayer for Words
N. Scott Momaday

         My voice restore for me.

Here is the wind bending the reeds westward,
The patchwork of morning on gray moraine:

Had I words I could tell of origin,
Of God’s hands bloody with birth at first light,
Of my thin squeals in the heat of his breath,
Of the taste of being, the bitterness,
And scents of camas root and chokecherries.

And, God, if my mute heart expresses me,
I am the rolling thunder and the bursts
Of torrents upon rock, the whispering
Of old leaves, the silence of deep canyons.
I am the rattle of mortality.

I could tell of the splintered sun. I could
Articulate the night sky, had I words.

Photo by David Aler on Unsplash



N. Scott Momaday

Oh, my holy and unholy thoughts
Will lie scattered on these pages.
They will do to make a modest book,
Not something for the ages,
But leavings for a lonely child, perhaps,
Or for an old man dreaming.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash