LB’s Poetry: The Indian People See Things No One Else Does


In the early ’90s, when I had had enough of Hollywood’s reality as opposed to the dreams that had driven me to go there and succeed, I did when any totally impractical and probably insane person would: I packed my clothing, comic books, drum kit, and dog into an SUV and drove off to the Southwest to see if I could track the magic I had been writing about for so long but never experienced. I found it, kind of like this…

The Indian People See Things No One Else Does
by Larry Brody

The Indian people see things no one else does.

They hear the elements, and smell the spirits

Within each clod of their Mother’s earth.

They say I can see the magic too, if I try hard enough.

They say I’ll be able to hear, and even sniff out the scent.

But they don’t want me around.

They don’t want any wannabes,

Any turquoise-wearing Anglos,

No matter how high their cheekbones or their aims.

Even the most well-meant of intentions

Have caused too much pain.

Still, I took the form of an eagle once, and

Flew with a Hopi elder, through a sky that

Spoke straight to me.

Even in man-form, the elder had an eagle’s eyes,

All pupil, with no iris, although it was the middle of the day,

And black, as black as the heart of anyone

Working for the BIA.

He knew I was afraid of heights, and took me to a high

Mesa, where the wind roared like the sea.

There we prayed—a chant, the waving of a

Sacred gourd—and I gave myself to his wishes, which

Weren’t really his but mine.

I stopped fighting the gusts, and let them take me,

And together we took off.

It took only seconds for the fear to knot tightly

Around my newly-feathered soul, and I knew I didn’t

Wannabe anymore.

“Tough!” the sky said, and I soared. I saw the Indians’

Mother as eagles see her, smelled the clouds

as eagles smell. “This is real,” the sky said.

“Earth, air, wind, and sky. This is true.”

My fear was flung downward, plummeting to

the rocks far below, and I screeched a

Reply. “This is true,” I screeched.

“True. Earth, air, wind, and sky.”

Then we landed, and I was a man once more,

Sitting cross-legged beside a weathered Hopi

Who wore a red bandanna around his graying head,

A weathered Hopi with an eagle’s eyes.

I thanked him, and together we walked back to my truck.

I knew I was walking on his Mother,

And that she would never be mine.

I’m not of the people, nor do I wannabe.

But sometimes I dream about the

Mesa, and I see things no one else does.

I hear the elements, and smell the spirits

Within each clod of earth.

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.

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