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Ponokáómitaa

December 7, 2018

Here’s a poem I wrote a couple of years ago. It was originally written in Siksika (Blackfoot), which is a Native-American language that I am slowly learning, and then translated to English. It was published by Subprimal Poetry in 2016. The song-like structure is purposeful as it was intended to be recorded and released as Native-American music. I include it here for your enjoyment.

Ponokáómitaa  

© 2016 Allen E. Rizzi

Máóhk, the color of sunrise, was my pony,
Áápi like the clouds was his blaze.
Sik, the color of earth, was his eyes,
He was mine for a time in the haze.

Ponokáómitaa, he was my friend
When others would not stand with me.
His spirit, it stays in my heart
Like the scent of the tall green pine tree.

Come sit by the fire, my friend,
Let us dream of tomorrow.
Together we’ll speak of today
But never of yesterday’s sorrow.

Ponokáómitaa, come to me in the morning
So that I may ride young once again
Like the man of my youth come alive,
Head high and hair in the wind.

Come sit by the fire, my friend,
Let us dream of tomorrow.
Together we’ll speak of today
But never of yesterday’s sorrow.

Ponokáómitaa, I am proud to say,
I hear the silence we now share.

Here’s the Subprimal Poetry site with a recorded voice version of this poem. Please feel free to leave a comment.

https://subprimal.com/issues/issue6/ponokaomitaa-by-allen-e-rizzi

For more on the Siksika language and Blackfoot heritage, see my other posts:

https://rizziallen.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/o-gyee/

https://rizziallen.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/blackfoot-moccasins/

I would love your comments here!

ᖹᒧᐧᖹᖱᔪᒣᖽ (nitsíniiyi’taki) ((Thank You!))

Photo: Müstair, Switzerland 2001 by Rachel Rizzi

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14 Comments
  1. Tatonka! 🐺 (because they didn’t have a buffalo)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked the poem . . . and the background accompaniament. Very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely poem. That’s interesting that you’re learning a native language. Quite a challenge, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful poem … and congratulations for your study of a Native-American language

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Un incontro molto interessante.
    sherazade

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Grazie, Amo la lingua Siksika e sto cercando di impararlo.

    Like

  7. Such a beautiful poem, Allen, and the recording is wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lesley, This language is difficult to learn but I’m getting better every day. I still hope to get it recorded as a Native-American song.

      Liked by 1 person

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