Creative Reflections “Dreaming Medicine”

ninanaskomitin for listening, reading, and seeing.

I. mêmêkwêsisak 

pêyak 1.

I closed my eyes 

before the hands 

connecting to 

his father and mosom


so hard 

when I landed

my spine became

an accordion

playing their passed down 

generational rhythms 

the music


and I 

couldn’t move

niso 2. 

I opened 

my eyes became 

a mirror to my self

laying on my stomach

hair pulled to the side

mosôm and kôhkom 

mêmêkwêsisak standing

on my bare back 

they’ve split it open 

from the base of my spine 

to the top of my neck

like a zipper

muscle and ligaments  

interlocking vertebra 

laminae facets


small moons

nisto 3.


grey pants plaid shirt 

suspenders and gum rubbers

nickel colored braids with 

little pieces of red cloth 

interwoven tying them tight

earth face set seriously

little pipe sticking out 

from the side of his mouth

bone awl in hand 

he pierces with precision

pulling a thread of sinew 

brown as my skin 

using his knee the 

size of my thumb 

knuckle as leverage

newo 4.


red kerchief

multi-patterned dress

beaded high tops match earrings

underneath furrowed silver

soft amber eyes 

she stands 

two wood bowls and 

a little basket beside her 

voice lilting

a gentle anesthesia 

awake and sleeping 

I drift  

on the waves of her song.

niyanan 5.

I feel a warm liquid 

pour over the point 

where the needle went

an inspiration caresses 

my lungs faint sikiwin 

semaa and wood smoke

then a heavier stickier drop

touches and takes me 

to blueberry picking 

under a hot sun 

cedar sage sweet grass 

the âtayôhkanak surround me

until I’m sewn up

eyes welling 

nikotwasik 6.

I try to hold back

nosisim cry cry let go let go

it’s ok nosisim cry cry 

they whisper catching my tears  

in copper vessels

mistikwaskihkos sounding

breaks my sobs

a multitude of voices rise

like the span of the stars  

past present and future meld into


help her find her way

soft whispers echo 

they offer my tears 

up to the stars  

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on (adjusted).

tepakohp 7.

Mide Wabo

Mide Wabo

Mide Wabo 

Mide Wabo

You will find your way.

II. The Little Boy 

fat brown legs moving quickly 

little and stocky

on wrap-around moccasins

black hair long loose

soft slight curl at ends

a maskwa made little boy    

“C’mon,” he urges 

giggles like waterfalls

echo through the cedar and pine

the damp earth

catches my own moccassined toes

“Wait for me,” I yell

as he jumps in between a split birch

chaga smiling up

“Don’t go” I panicky 

try to catch up to him

following the trail of his laughter

under boughs and branches

moss and needles springing back up

from the shape of his little feet

“Wait! Please wait”

“C’mon hurry up! It’s not too late hurry” 

I grab onto the syllables

as I glimpse him one more time

a flash of black hair and brown skin

maskwa made little boy 

ducks into a large den

I come to a screeching stop

right before the domed entryway

I can’t see past the darkness: “Wait, I…I can’t go in there!”

“Yes, you can C’mon, c’mon!!”

“No I can’t go in there, please come back.”

“You can come in, c’mon

pitikway bindigay come in

come in

III. Entering

“pitikway bindigay come in

you’re ready now

pitikway bindigay come now”


stemaw/semaa inside my left hand

my heart line 

an offering of intent 

my aim

arrow straight

heart line following the little boy

to the other side




1. a thing intended: an aim or plan.

“she was full of good intentions”

the action or fact of intending.

2. Medicine

the healing process of a wound.

his laughter and love

echoing each step I take 

my plan

to join him


my wounds

so many processes needed


my wounds

so many 

a few almost as old as me

scarred over some edges ragged 

others smooth as stone

some still breaking open

oozing into present moments

like the rings of a tree 

a barrier to the light at the center 

layer and layer of wounds form 

my ahcahk-iskotêw, my soul flame,

gasps for air waning and dimming

I can’t see past the darkness

the more ahcahk-iskotêw dims

the less life you can see

“c’mon” the little boy says

“don’t be afraid

you have to go through it

to come out on the other side”

but I can’t see

how will I know where to go?

maskwa made little boy

takes my hand

“stay open and you will see”

I see

one older than time himself

Mishoomisinaan Dewe’igan

sitting with

nohkomis tipskaw-pisim/Nohkomis


they sound 

the heart of okâwîmâwaskiy/aki four times

they call down the light of kîsikâwi-pîsim/Giizis

as Mishomis Giizis pulsates the darkness flees

nipiy stills all movement as  

she becomes a reflective mirror

of that other realm 

an entry point

with all their heart lines connected to mine:

nipiy maskwa made little boy, Mishoomisinaan Dewe’igan, 

nohtokwew tipskaw-pîsim/Nohkomis, okâwîmâwaskiy/aki, kîsikâwi-pîsim/Giizis 


I walk through the body of nipiy

in her the doorway is illuminated 

the echo of nikihci-âniskotâpân multiplied by thousands greet me:

takosin, takosin 



pitikway/ bindigay

tawâw kiya mîkiwâm

IV. piyêsiw: Thunderbird 

piyêsiw: Thunderbird 


long sun colored grass

dance with  yôtin

moving back and forth

in unison they

touch their heads

to kikawinaw askiy

i can hear their  

song under her breath

birch and pine

circling us stand tall

bending to kiss each other

bones creaking

sounding pahkakos

at the center

i hear a great rush

yôtin reaches a crescendo 

the grass becomes shadowed

falls flat in reverence

under a span of wings 

covering the breadth of 

half the meadow

each the equivalent

in width a full grown tree 

his voice a soprano screech

as he comes to rest 

in front of me 

I drop to my knees

hands covering bent 

head down shaking


a voice 

inside but out 

breaks through

I still all movement


slowly my eyes raise along 

the lines of grass to his talons 

sinking gently through kikawinaw askiy

her soft brown holding them tightly


his chest of feathers strong

sinew and sleek muscled neck

a deep yellow beak to his

gold flecked brown gather 

the heat of a thousand embers

into one 

laser arcs into 

the center of my forehead 

Don’t be afraid

circles my eyes close

become the lens of

a fast forwarding screen

I Hear I See I Feel

kikawinaw trying to catch her breath

panting desperately 

the lines of pipe cut her airway 

as the smog fills it

blankets of cement lie

heavy on her heart

crush her breasts

semaa not enough semaa

screaming in pain

she ruptures 

sudden rush of nipiy 

rolling into sheer rage 

nipiy roars

into the cities trying to reach 

the sands of tar to speak to the Ones

the acâhosak buried long ago 

with wîsahkêcâhk’s help

the wîtihkow Ones the people 

let loose in their insatiable desire

for more more more 

the stories told of them

and the laws to keep them

contained long forgotten 

nipiy calls to those wîtihkow Ones 

trying to reason with them

she swallows 

towers high rises poles houses cars trucks

boats wires couches chairs desks televisions

computers phones debris of all sorts




in her body 

Those wîtihkow Ones waiting with their mouths wide open

and just as quickly 

kikawinaw askiy breathes

a deep inhale 

nipiy calming soaks back 

into her body

kikawinaw askiy exhales 

begins to gasp again

pants again even faster 

in sheer terror and pain

nipiy desperate to help her 

calls for iskotew hearing her plea

he breaks through the layers and layers 

of hardened arteries those wîtihkow Ones 

have already sucked dry

the places where nipiy 

should have been but 

instead those Ones took hold

inside kikawinaw askiy 

begins to tremor and shake 

as those wîtihkow Ones

following the lines of pipe 

fly through her veins

iskotew chases them 

trying to catch them

ahead of him they race 

those Ones push through 

cracking her skin 

kikawinaw askiy shudders and flails 

towers high rises poles houses cars trucks

boats wires couches chairs desks televisions

computers phones debris of all sorts




into her body

those wîtihkow Ones waiting with their mouths wide open

nipiy tries to join iskotew but she slows to a trickle then stops

he bursts into tears 

towers high rises poles houses cars trucks

boats wires couches chairs desks televisions

computers phones debris of all sorts




as his sadness fills the air 

until it is thick with smoke

those wîtihkow Ones waiting with their mouths wide open

and just as quickly 

kikawinaw askiy breathes a deep inhale

iskotew calming 

his tears fold into her body

and with her exhale a song is

sung to yôtin for help

towers high rises poles houses cars trucks

boats wires couches chairs desks televisions

computers phones debris of all sorts



up into the sky 

as yôtin’s helpers from the four directions

join hands in a round dance then stop

on the honour beats



into the mouths of those wîtihkow Ones waiting

and just as quickly

kikawinaw askiy breathes a deep inhale

the four winds dance into her body

with her exhale another song is sung

a song of mourning that is sung so high 

it reaches the acâhosak, in their world and 

awakens wîsahkêcâhk from his deep sleep.

Together, they return the wîtihkow Ones once again 

tying them and burying them once again

they gather the people who are left

to tell them the stories and the laws once again.

My eyes open and the arc dissipates

before he leaves me, 

he touches the center

of my forehead with the tip of his left wing

and tells me,

don’t be afraid

Tasha Beeds ©April 2019

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