by Larry Brody
NOTE FROM LB:
The Navajo Dog is here! In this very poem. First one I ever wrote about her but didn’t get to her origin (well, she is a kind of superhero, after all) until much later.
But now you know she’s real, in the way that all poetry is real, and far beyond it as well. My teacher, my support system, back when I first went tracking the magic from Santa Fe to Monument Valley to Pine Ridge to Chaco Canyon, and uncountable (or unaccountable) points in between.
This is one of the first lessons the Navajo Dog ever taught me. And the wisdom and magic and pure, “Of course-ness” of it still keeps me going today.
The World Is Full Of Dead Men
The world is full of dead men.
I have this from the Navajo dog.
We were coming back from a walk
Along the arroyo, and it sounded to me like
She was bragging again. I asked her why,
If her people’s medicine was so mighty,
When it was them versus Kit Carson, they lost the war.
“It’s the dead men,” the dog said to me.
“They’re unbeatable. Law of nature, and all.” She
Stared after a passing rabbit. “Our medicine is the
Medicine of the soul,” she said. “It’s the spirit of the
Medicine worker versus the spirit of the evil he
Needs to drive out. Everything has a spirit,
Except the Kit Carsons of the world.
Their souls were eaten long ago.”
She eyed a low-flying crow.
“No soul means nothing to work on. Means
We lose our ass.”
“World’s worse now,” I said.
“More dead men,” said the Navajo dog. “Some are the cause, and
Some the effect.”
Another rabbit ran by. She gave chase, and bit off its head,
Said a prayer to beg its pardon.
Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’”
Who is the Navajo Dog? Keep coming back and you’ll see.