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Monday, April 21, 2014

The Jingle Dancer

The jingle dancer begins.
Poised, like a ballerina,
She stands upon her toes.
Shining metal cones tinkle as she moves.

Gracefully, she glides upon
The arena's grassy surface,
Pivoting, swaying,
Her body as supple as a new born branch.

She is the heartbeat of her tribe:
Beautiful, ethereal.
Her neck, a tender reed, curves,
As she bows her head in humility.

© 2009 Debra Shiveley Welch

Cedar Woman is on sale for a short time only. 


Friday, April 18, 2014

The Resurrection

The sun has not yet risen,
The night is very still.
A woman kneels silently praying
Beside a hewn out hill.

Soldiers stand in anxious attendance
Around the silent grave,
Guarding the body of the man
Who sleeps within the cave.

The soldiers are all frightened,
As the night slowly drifts away,
And the rose of dawn now heralds
The coming of the third day.

The memory of the words:
“Be it done according to Thy will”
Echoes along the hillsides
As the scriptures are fulfilled.

All is quiet.

The heavens part in fury,
And thunder fills the sky!
The soldiers fall upon the ground,
Covering their frightened eyes.

Only the woman sees the angel
With flaming hair and sword,
Streak the sky and part the stone
That seals the tomb of the Lord.

He comes forth in shining glory;
His face as bright as day,
Conquering death and sin –
His gown is of Heaven’s rays.

The woman utters a startled cry
And falls upon her knees.
Her face is full of radiance
As she gazes with ecstasy,

Upon the Conqueror of Death,
This Jesus, King and Lord!
The Son of man and of God.
The Savior of the world!

All is quiet.

Library of Congress ©Debra Shiveley (Cruz) Welch 1978

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Cedar Woman

Announcing the release of the second edition of Cedar Woman in Kindle.

Newly formatted and easier to read and learn the language of the Lakota, while still enjoying a story of a Lakota woman who finds success outside of the reservation, Cedar Woman is available from now and through next week only for $2.99.

Winner of Books and Authors Best Native American Fiction 2011, Cedar Woman has continued to entertain and inspire readers.  The new format allows the Kindle reader to easily access any part of the book, including the cookbook and dictionary.

And now, a word from my sister Spotted Eagle Horse:

When Tankse (elder sister) approached me about writing a novel from a Native American woman's point of view, I had serious reservations. Too often we, as Native people, are romanticized or stereotyped into the same tired versions of what people think we are, the "forgotten people" or "forgotten race", because so many fall for the stereotypes of us often portrayed in Hollywood movies, sports team mascots, and history books, not realizing that we are still here. We are over 500 culturally and linguistically distinct nations strong. We are still here - and still dancing.

So when asked if I was okay with her writing the book, and if I would act as a consultant, I had to pray to decide if such a project should go forward and if I felt worthy of adding my voice to such a project. Finally I talked over my fears with Debra, my brother and "Spiritual Advisor" Joe Red Bear, ultimately deciding to participate.

In Cedar Woman, Debra has bypassed a lot of the usual hype and BS often associated with Native culture, producing an honest, clear eyed look at who we really are, albeit through a fictional character. She deliberately decided to not show the darker side of our culture: something I appreciate!

I especially love how thorough she was in researching the subject matter, and I deeply admire her dedication to giving a more realistic look into our culture, including much of our Lakota language and several of our favorite recipes!

While I realize that, unless you have lived as a Native, either on or off the rez, you will never completely understand what it is to be Native. I think that Debra has a pretty good handle on who and what we as Native people are really about. And, thankfully, she did not rely on just my voice alone. The resulting story is one I am proud to say I was a part of, and I am proud to call her my "Sister By Choice".

Hecetu welo, mitakuye oyapi.
I have spoken, it is so. I am finished.

Mitakuye oyasin, all my relations.
Julie Spotted Eagle Horse Martineau

Cedar Woman can be purchased on Amazon here:Kindle
 and on Barnes and Noble Nook

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring Glory

 Photo by Christopher Shiveley Welch


The earth exhales in gratitude at the hope of Winter’s end; flowers in bloom herald the arrival of Spring.

Youth rejoices as the air warms with the scent of daffodils, and glorious tulips side-by-side like lovers stand.

Birds trill their joyous song, hungry mouths stretched toward the sky, as Robin and Jay and Sparrow, renew the promise of the season with new life.

Those of us who remember yesterday and yesterday and yesterday more, stand and stretch and warm our bones beneath Spring’s rejuvenating rays,

And once again our hearts lift up in thankful prayer,

for another Spring is ours.

© 2007 Debra Shiveley Welch