“Formula for Frightening a Storm” tr. by Jennifer Reeser

Jennifer Reeser


translated from an ancient Cherokee shaman’s formula, recorded by A Yu I Ni, “He Who Swims”

Ha! Listen! Now, you’re coming into rut,
And I am vastly apprehensive, but
You follow on the course your wife takes, merely.
And I have pointed out her footsteps clearly.
Observe them going upward to the sky.
The paths, in your possession there, will lie
Without disturbance. Let your passage seize
The lofty mountains, and the tops of trees.
Listen! Let your walkways, as they go
Along, meet where the waving branches blow.

from Rattle #58, Winter 2017

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Jennifer Reeser: “I am a bi-racial writer—Anglo-Celtic and Native American Indian. By translating this poem, I hope to bring more attention, to a wider audience, the profound heritage and creative arts of the ancestors to whom I owe my life. This language and culture being an under-represented ‘endangered species,’ also, I hope to be the curator who treats her ‘creature’ to a beautiful setting, contributing my gift from the Creator towards the communal good, benefiting the ‘tribe’ of all Humanity, and uniting the two ‘half-breed’ sides of myself, bringing them together in harmony, into the Great Circle.” (web)

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